By Patience Danjuma
President Muhammadu Buhari has extended his condolences to the government and people of Nasarawa state on the death of Dr Hassan Lawal, a former Chairman of the Governing Board of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), who died on Saturday night in Abuja.
Lawal retired from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and joined politics in 1999. In 2001 he was appointed Chairman of the Governing Board of the Nigerian Shippers Council, a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Transport.
President Olusegun Obasanjo appointed him Federal Minister of Labour and Productivity in 2004. He was retained in this position in July 2007 by late President Umaru Yar’Adua. In a cabinet reshuffle, he was appointed Minister of Works and Housing on 17 December 2008, but left office in March 2010 when then Acting President Goodluck Jonathan dissolved the cabinet
Until his death on Saturday, he was member of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In a statement by his spokesperson, Garba Shehu; President Buhari, who was represented at the burial of Lawal by a delegation led by the Minister of State for Environment, Mallam Ibrahim Jibril, described the demise of the “strong political ally” as painful.
The President noted that Lawal was a strong pillar of support in Nasarawa state and the North Central geopolitical zone as a whole.
He said, “I was shocked to hear of the passing of Dr. Lawal. He will be missed by thousands of people whom he had assisted in one way or the other.
“His role in politics and the development of his community, state and nation will remain an inspiration for other political actors.
“My condolences to his family, close associates and the people of Nasarawa state.”
The presidential delegation to the burial included Sarki Abba and Garba Shehu, senior special assistants and
Ambassador Lawal Kazaure, the state chief of protocol.
Governor Umaru Tanko Almakura of Nassarawa State, who received the government delegation at the palace of the Emir of Keffi, Dr Shehu Chindo Yamusa thanked President Buhari for sharing this moment of grief with the people of the State.
Lawal was receiving treatment at the Turkish Nizamye Hospital in Abuja before his death.
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