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“I’m a cabal myself” – The last Interview granted by Mallam Isa Funtua, About Buhari’s Late Associate

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The Late Isa Funtua who died at 87 years old, was an associate of President Muhammadu Buhari, had in one of his last interviews said he is not a member of any cabal but a “cabal myself.”

The Late Funtua, is among those whom critics of the Buhari administration refer to as the cabal.

He made the remarks following outbursts by Aisha, wife of the president, who had said her husband’s government had been hijacked by some of his associates.

The wife of the president had accused Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, of not being loyal to her husband but “to others who have no stake in the compact that the president signed with Nigerians on May 29, 2015 and 2019.”

When he appeared on The Morning Show, a programme on Arise Television, Funtua said it is an insult to say Buhari is running his government through a group of people.

Funtua accused people of using the term cabal in a derogatory manner, saying the president is free to have people he trusts around him.

“I’m not a member of any cabal, I’m cabal myself,” he said.

“What is cabal? In short I think it means kitchen cabinet, people that you trust. People you believe will not deceive you, that they can do things in the interest of the country.

“Nigerians are using it in a derogatory term not in the real meaning of it. Take dictionary, what is the real meaning of cabal?

When asked that first lady had alleged that cabal exists in the presidency, he said: “Please, let me hear word, I beg you.”

Ismaila Isa Funtua, an associate of President Muhammadu Buhari, has been a close member of the President’s kitchen cabinet – he regularly travels with the President on Foreign Trips.

Sources say he died after a brief illness on Monday and it may be COVID-19 complications.

In a tweet, Bashir Ahmad, another aide of the president, expressed regrets over the incident.

“Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji’un! Just heard about Mallam Ismaila Isa Funtua’s sudden death. This life! May Allah accept his soul, forgive his shortcomings and grant him Jannah al-Firdaus,” he tweeted.

His Son, Abubakar Funtua, is married to President Muhammadu Buhari’s daughter named Sefinatu. Within the last 6 years of Buhari’s Presidency, he is alleged to have bought over Keystone Bank and Etisalat, a Nigerian Telecommunications Company.

Malam Ismaila Isa was born in Funtua, Katsina State.  He was a pioneer student of the Federal Training Centre Kaduna. He trained as an administrative officer at the Institute of Administration, Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria and as an administrator at the Manchester University in the UK.

He was the Monitor Gen-eral of the Course 9, the prestigious National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS, Kuru. He served at the Katsina Native Authority for seven years as an Administrative Officer.

Mallam Ismaila Isa is a renowned Business Executive and public officer with over thirty years of management experience. He was Personnel Manager in United Textiles Limited (UNTL), responsible for over ten thousand staff and a one-time Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He is the founder of Bulet International Nigeria Limited (the largest wholly owned indigenous construction company) which built most of the iconic pub-lic buildings in Abuja. He is the founding Managing Director of Democrat Newspaper and served as President of the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) for 8 years. 

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