Galadima Modu Sheriff, the father of the former governor of Borno State, has died following a fire outbreak at his residence in Maiduguri, Borno State capital, Sun News reports.
Witnesses said the septugenarian father of the former Governor, Ali Modu Sheriff (2003-2011) was trapped in his house as fire gutted a part of the building in the early hours of Thursday.
“I heard shout and calls for help at about 3am and came out. I saw some people rushing to the house already on fire. Smoke was coming out of the house. I joined them as some people tried to break the window to bring out baba and others out,” a neighbour to the deceased, who preferred anonymity, told The Sun.
He said the Sheriff patriarch was already gasping for breath as of the time of his rescue due to his old age even as attempts were made to get him to the hospital. He later died.
Scores of residents besieged the expansive compound located along Damboa Road in the city, on Thursday to sympathise with the Sheriff’s family.
There was no immediate official statement either from the family or the Borno State government.
However, Special Adviser to the governor on media, Malam Isa Gusau described the death as an act of God.
He said the recent death of Abba Kyari, President Buhari’s former Chief of Staff by (COVID-19) and Galadima Sheriff (fire incident), both prominent personalities in Borno, should be seen as martyrdom.
“As many Muslim already known, deaths by plague (epidemic and pandemic) and by fire, are among the seven classifications of deaths by Shahada (martyrdom), as taught from Judith of our noble prophet,” Gusau wrote on his facebook page.