Residents of Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, were yesterday shocked following the news of the death of Zannah Umar Mustapha, the state deputy governor.
Mustapha who died in his hotel room while on an official duty in Yola, Adamawa state.
Leadership reports that the late deputy governor left Maiduguri for Yola at about noon on August 14, Friday. He was expected to represent Governor Kashim Shettima at the convocation ceremony of Modibbo Adama University of Science and Technology in Yola. Those who saw the deputy governor at the airport at the time of his departure said that he was hale and hearty.
According to sources close to the family, the deceased had been suffering a heart-related ailment and had recently complained of having some slight pains in his chest.
One of Mustapha’s close aides who accompanied him to Yola, said:
“Oga (boss) was in a normal state all through our trip from Maiduguri to Yola. When we got to Yola, he was still his usual active until we retired back to the hotel where he lodged. He later informed us that we could go to our respective lodges to rest for the day, with an instruction that we all be ready and back at the hotel premises where he lodged by 7:30am, so that we would set out for the day’s engagement at 8am. We all bid him goodnight and left. In the morning (Saturday), we came back to the hotel and asked the details that were left to guard him if Oga had woken up and they said he had not. In fact, they said he did not even come out for the early morning prayers at 5am.
“So, we waited but when it was a few minutes past 8am, we became worried and decided to go and knock on the door to be sure he was okay. We knocked but no one responded; we continued knocking and there was still no response. Then, one of the security aides decided to go round the hotel to the window of his apartment and tried to peep in. It was then we were able to see him lying on the bed, but not responding to our calls. We again knocked on the window but he still didn’t respond. It was at that point that we called on the hotel manager to open the door using the master key and when we entered, we found him lying face up, clutching a pillow to his chest.”
The aide, who pleaded for anonymity, said that the police in Adamawa launched the investigation into the matter. He added that doctors that examined the body had explained that the whitish foam mixed with traces of blood which was seen coming out of his mouth, may not be unconnected with suspected heart failure.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress in two separate statements expressed shock and sadness over the passing of Mustapha.