Maiduguri — Alhaji Yusuf Buratai, the father of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, died yesterday at the age of 106. Alhaji Buratai, according to family sources, died early yesterday at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital where, sources said, he was on admission for four days and underwent surgery over an undisclosed ailment.
He left behind one wife and 15 children, including the COAS.
The late elder Buratai's funeral prayer was conducted after the Juma'at prayer at the mosque where he was until his death, said to have been observing his five daily prayers in the congregation, adjacent to his house at Bags Road, Maiduguri. He was interred at the Gwange Ward General Cemetery at 2:30 pm.
The World War II veteran, on retirement from the military before Nigeria's independence, worked as a messenger with the Northern regional Minister of Information. Early callers at the funeral prayers included Governor Kashim Shettima, Deputy Governor Usman Mamman Durkwa who was accompanied by some state commissioners, the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj. Gen. Rogers Nicholas, the GOC 6 Div. Nigerian Army, Maj. Gen. Ibrahim M. Yusuf, Senator Bala Na'Allah, Director of Army Intelligence and Maj. Gen. Tarfa.
Others included the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Defence, Senator Abubaka Kyari and the Chairman House Committee on Army, Mukhtar Betara Aliyu.
The federal government delegation led by the National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd) comprised the Minister of Defence, Brig. Gen. Mansur Dan'ali, the Chief if Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar, the Minister of State for Works and Housing, Alhaji Mustapha Baba Shehuri, Senator Muhammad Ali Ndume, among others.
Maj. Gen. Monguno described the late Alhaji Yusuf Buratai as having lived a good and worthwhile life worthy of emulation, and described his death as a moment for stocktaking for all to appraise their lives.
Governor Shettima thanked President Muhammad Buhari for sending a high-level delegation which, he said, was expressive of the president's love for Borno State.
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday commiserated with the Buratai family over the death in a statement by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina.
The president said the late elder Buratai's service to Nigeria would always be appreciated and remembered and expressed the belief that his years of service to the nation epitomized by courage, skill, determination and devotion had been rightly bequeathed to his son, who is diligently serving the country.