The Nigerian scholar credited with ensuring the recovery of one of the country’s artefacts put up for auction for over a billion Naira, Professor Sa’ad Abubakar, is dead.
According to a published biography of the academic, as ambassador of Nigeria to Switzerland between 1987 and 1992, he stopped the auction of the Benin Bronze head, which was going for $3 million.
Not many knew of his death until former Vice President Atiku Abubakar issued a statement on Sunday.
In a statement by his media office, Atiku said Prof Sa’ad Abubakar was a towering intellectual giant.
He expressed sadness at the demise of the eminent scholar and accomplished academic.
The statement reads further: “Prof Abubakar is author of acclaimed book, “The Lamibe of Fombina: A Political History of Adamawa 1809–1901.”
“Reacting to the death of what he called a distinguished historian and thoroughbred academic, Atiku said Professor Abubakar’s contributions to scholarship and promotion of knowledge are so immense and immeasurable to be forgotten for many years to come.
“Describing the deceased as “a towering intellectual”, the PDP presidential candidate in the 2019 election said Professor Abubakar was also an accomplished university administrator who had left his footprints on the sands of time.
“The Wazirin Adamawa added that that the people of the Northeast are proud to produce such a great scholar of international acclaim.
“Atiku noted that Nigeria is going to miss the contributions of this great scholar at a time his services were most needed to move the country forward.
“According to Atiku, the pride of every scholar is to produce other scholars to keep the process of knowledge growing, adding that the late Professor Abubakar had achieved this dream.
“He called on his students to immortalise the scholar as part of the the efforts to keep his legacy alive.”