President Muhammadu Buhari has sent a condolence message to the family and professional colleagues of veteran journalist and renowned social commentator, Abdulkarim Albashir, who died yesterday, Monday.
In a statement by the senior special assistant to the President on media and publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, President Buhari described the late journalist as brilliant broadcaster and writer, who used his talent to promote the cause of the poor and the helpless.
The President commended “the fearlessness and forthrightness of Abdulkarim’s columns in tackling social ills,” adding that the years he spent in the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria and as Editor-In-Chief of the Democrat Newspapers were most historical and remarkable in developmental journalism.
He said that Abdulkarim’s legacy of giving ‘‘voice to the voiceless’’ will be long remembered.
Abdulkarim died today, Tuesday at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH) Shika, Zaria, at about 3:47pm after a protracted illness. He was aged 68.
Announcing his death, the deceased’s son, Gaddafi Albashir, said on his Facebook wall: “join me and my family in prayers. We lost our dad, Mallam Abdulkarim Albashir. May his soul rest in peace. Baba, we love you but Allah loves you more.”
“The body has just been transported home at Kinkinau GRA in Kaduna and we are currently preparing for his burial tomorrow (today) by 11am,” one of the deceased’s sons also stated.
The late Albashir worked at the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) and was also editor-in-chief of the defunct New Democrat newspaper.
The fearless writer later became a notable columnist and maintained columns in several newspapers.
Before his death, he suffered an undisclosed ailment which led to the amputation of one of his legs about two years ago.
Earlier this month, the senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial zone, Shehu Sani, visited and donated $3,000 to the deceased to enable him secure an artificial limb.
The late Abdulkarim is survived by one wife and seven children.
In a condolence statement issued by his senior special adviser, political and ideology, Suleiman Ahmed, yesterday, Senator Sani described Abdulkarim as a journalist who exemplified himself in his field of discipline for decades.
He also described Abdulkarim as a man of dignity and honour who lived a reputable life of service to his country and to humanity.
“His unmeasured contribution to the development of journalism in Nigeria can never be forgotten in the history of the profession.” [myad]