Mallam Isa Funtua dies at 78, to be buried Tuesday

Ogunsakin Mustapha
3 Min Read

Mallam Ismaila Isa Funtua, one of the troika in the cabal that sorrrounds President Muhammadu Buhari is dead. Mallam Funtua reportedly died on Monday after suffering cardiac arrest. He was 78 years old.

Mallam Funtua’s death is coming four months after the death of another member of the cabal, and Chief of Staff to President Buhari, Mallam Abba Kyari who died on April 17, 2020 of COVID 19 complications. The only surviving member of the troika now is Mamman Daura, the over 80 years old uncle to President Buhari.

Buhari’s spokesmen, Bashir Ahmed confirmed the development on Twitter. He wrote, “Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji’un! Just heard about Mallam Isa.

Ismaila Isa was born in Funtua in January 1942. He received Islamic education, where he learnt the Qur’an, Islamic jurisprudence and the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad. He later attended the Commercial College in Zaria, Federal Training Centre in Kaduna and the Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria. He also attended the University of Manchester, and was the Monitor-General of Course 9 of the Senior Executive Course at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies.

A highly capable administrator, Isa Funtua started his career in the Katsina Native Authority, where he eventually rose through the ranks working in the defunct North Central State. He later joined United Textiles Limited in Kaduna, where he was the personnel manager showcasing great managerial finesse over ten thousand workers. Isa Funtua later became the Federal Minister of Water Resources in the Second Nigerian Republic. He was a member of the 1994 Constitutional Conference under General Sani Abacha; was listed as a target by the regime.

He then retired into private business where he became a director of several companies. He was the founder of Funtua Textiles Limited, and managing director of the Democrat Newspaper. He was also the founder and Chairman of Bulet Construction Company (one of the largest indigenous construction companies in Nigeria), responsible for building several federal buildings. He was a Life Patron and the President of the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria.

His son Abubakar Isa Funtua is married to President Muhammadu Buhari’s daughter,Safinatu.

He was a long time personal friend and close associate of President Muhammadu Buhari; and was a very influential figure in the Buhari administration. He was also a prominent member of the infamous Kaduna Mafia, a loose group of Nigerian businessmen, civil servants, intellectuals and military officers from Northern Nigeria.

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