The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha has poured ecomium’s on late former Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ishaya Iko Ibrahim saying that during his close working period with Ibrahim at Nigerian Inlaand Waterways Authority (NIWA), he found the former CNS to be a man of unrivalled integrity and a detribalized Nigerian.
It would be recalled that while Vice Admiral Ibrahim served as Chairman of the Board of NIWA, Mr. Boss Mustapha served as the Managing Director of NIWA.
Speaking at a Wake Keep/Service of Songs service in honour of the late former CNS at the ECWA Church, Wuse 2, Abuja on Friday night, the SGF recalled that Admiral Ibrahim who had served as CNS to late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua and former President Goodluck Jonathan, displayed great humility and patriotism when he took the then All Progressive Congress Candidate, Muhammadu Buhari on fact finding visit to Southern Kaduna including Kachia and Southern Zaria and made suggestions on how to rescue the country.
The SGF said, “I bring you the deepest condolences from the President. My association with Vice Admiral Ibrahim is not long but the little time I have had course to relate with him dating back to 2014 after the merger of political parties to form the APC and because he is a man of deep conviction, he did something that has remained fully clear and crystal for me.
“He served under both President Yar’Adua and Jonathan as Chief of Naval Staff between the years 2008 and 2010. But after the political parties merged, I think it was after the convention in Lagos or before but before the general elections in 2015 that we were trying to deepen the ideology of the APC.
“As Chairman of the Board of the Nigeria Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) he was the first person that took president Buhari, then a candidate, on an exploratory visit and we had some kind of seminar about the need to come together to rescue the country and we travelled to Southern Kaduna.
“Because of that particular enterprise, except you are a man of deep conviction, the step he took was not an ordinary step, having served under two PDP Presidents and now a candidate from the opposition was the one he decided to pitch his tent with.
“That is the hallmark of a true patriot, a man of integrity. I was not surprised when I left NIWA as managing director to become the SGF, I had the singular privilege of announcing his appointment. He is not only a great icon to the Navy but to the nation.
In his tribute, Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Lucky Irabor said, “For me as CDS, I want to thank the Ham nation for bringing such a wonderful officer who impacted so much on the armed forces and the nation.
“Let me also use this opportunity to assure that family of our departed colleague that we will not abandon them just as we will continue to ensure thst the welfare of all our personnel particularly those in the frontlines are given priority of place.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo who was represented, Former Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Martins Agwai, former Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Jibril Ayinla (rtd), his coursemates, members of the 14th regular course of the Nigerian Defence Academy also paid tributes
Mrs Grace Ishaya Ibrahim, the widow thanked all those who have condoled and conforted the family since the demise of “my husband of 45 years”.
She said, “The sickness thst took him to hospital is one that happens to everybody all the time when you fall sick and go to the hospital and come back home. But he never came back home. It was shocking because I have never seen my husband fall sick. Even when we tried to make him go to hospital initially, he said he was fine.
“We are going to terribly miss him because he was so close to all of us and very caring. But our consolation is that I know my husband is with God. He loved God from his inner-most being.”