Tributes as Sheikh Lemu is laid to rest
- We’ve lost one of our greatest scholars – Buhari
By Romoke W. Ahmad (Minna) & Muideen Olaniyi (Abuja)
President Muhammadu Buhari and other eminent Nigerians have paid tributes to late foremost Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmed Lemu, who died yesterday at the age of 91.
The late scholar, who authored many Islamic books and literatures, was buried in Minna, the Niger State capital around 12noon, yesterday, in line with Islamic injunction. Former head of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, was among dignitaries that attended the funeral prayer of the deceased.
President Buhari, in his message, described the late Islamic cleric as an outstanding scholar, jurist, teacher and author who was endowed with knowledge of encyclopaedic proportion.
“With the death of Sheikh Lemu, Nigeria and indeed Africa, has lost one of its greatest scholars of all time,” a presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, in a statement quoting the president.
Buhari said the late cleric was one of the moderating voices of Islam who used wisdom in spreading knowledge, thereby portraying the religion in the brightest light.
“The late Lemu’s contributions to religious education and the promotion of inter-faith dialogue and understanding are immeasurable,” he said.
President Buhari, who lauded what he called “Sheikh Lemu’s incredible humility and modesty”, added that the “pursuit of scholarship and knowledge was his primary preoccupation rather than the material things of this world.”
On its part, the Niger State government described the late cleric as a bridge-builder who reached across ethnic and religious divides to promote peace and unity.
The Secretary to the Government of Niger State (SSG), Ahmed Ibrahim Matane, in a condolence message, said the contributions of the deceased as a renowned Islamic scholar of high repute have earned him respect on issues of religion, a proponent of peaceful co-existence among the people, national integration, and human rights.
“The commitment of late Sheikh Ahmed Lemu in the propagation of Islam in the country and beyond earned him the King Faisal International Prize in Service to Islam award for the year 2014 by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” the SSG said.