Ismaila Isa Funtua

Ismaila Isa Funtua
Born(1942-01-17)17 January 1942
Died20 July 2020(2020-07-20) (aged 78)
Alma materAhmadu Bello University
University of Manchester
National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies
Known forpublishing, business

Ismaila Isa Funtua OFR, mni (17 January 1942[1] – 20 July 2020) was a Nigerian statesman[2] who served as a Federal Minister in the Second Nigerian Republic.[3] After government service, Isa Funtua went into business where he cultivated clients, business associates and friends who extended his interests beyond the normal scope of a businessman.[4][5] Ismaila Isa Funtua died on 20 July 2020 after a cardiac arrest.[6]

He was a long time personal friend and close associate of President Muhammadu Buhari; and was a very influential figure in the Buhari administration.[7] He was also a prominent member of the infamous Kaduna Mafia, a loose group of Nigerian businessmen, civil servants, intellectuals and military officers from Northern Nigeria.[8]


Ismaila Isa was born in Funtua in January 1942. He received Islamic education, where he learnt the Qur'an, Islamic jurisprudence and the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad. He later attended the Commercial College in Zaria, Federal Training Centre in Kaduna and the Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria. He also attended the University of Manchester,[9] and was the Monitor-General of Course 9 of the Senior Executive Course at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies.[10]

A highly capable administrator, Isa Funtua started his career in the Katsina Native Authority, where he eventually rose through the ranks working in the defunct North Central State. He later joined United Textiles Limited in Kaduna, where he was the personnel manager showcasing "great managerial finesse" over ten thousand workers.[11] He was a member of the 1994 Constitutional Conference under General Sani Abacha;[12] was listed as a target by the regime.[13]

He then retired into private business where he became a director of several companies. He was the founder of Funtua Textiles Limited,[14] and managing director of the Democrat Newspaper.[15] He was also the founder and Chairman of Bulet Construction Company (one of the largest indigenous construction companies in Nigeria), responsible for building several federal buildings. He was a Life Patron of the International Press Institute and the President of the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria.[16]


Ismaila Isa Funtua died after a cardiac arrest[17] in the late hours of 20 July 2020.[18][19]


Isa Funtua was the grandson of Late Ammani Funtua. His father was called Isan Ammani when he was alive, he died in 1945 when Samaila was just three years old .His son Abubakar Isa Funtua is married to President Muhammadu Buhari's daughter, Safinatu.[20]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Lifetime achievers Isa Funtua: Principles trump opportunism". Vanguard News. 2016-12-31. Retrieved 2020-07-21.
  3. ^ Admin (2016-11-03). "FUNTUA, Alhaji Isma'ila Isa". Biographical Legacy and Research Foundation. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  4. ^ Published. "Rulers of Nigeria: The 10 most powerful persons in Buhari's govt". Punch Newspapers. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  5. ^ "Funtua and chief of staff - The Nation Nigeria". Latest Nigeria News, Nigerian Newspapers, Politics. 2020-04-26. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  6. ^ "Nigerian President Loses Second Confidant With Death of Funtua". Bloomberg. 21 July 2020.
  7. ^ Published. "Isa Funtua on Nigeria's realpolitik". Punch Newspapers. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  8. ^ "Kaduna mafia: Metamorphosis of a power broker". Tribune Online. 2018-11-18. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  9. ^ "Mallam Ismaila Isa". Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  10. ^ Briggs, Deinbo (2012-10-11). A Jolly Gentle General: Biography of Charles Bebeye Ndiomu. AuthorHouse. ISBN 978-1-4772-6909-1.
  11. ^ "FUNTUA, Alhaji Isma'ila Isa". Biographical Legacy and Research Foundation. 2016-11-03. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  12. ^ "Isa Funtua, President Buhari's Confidant Passes On". HumAngle. 2020-07-20. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  13. ^ "The Last Gasp from Kaduna: Who's Who". March 1994. Cite journal requires |journal=
  14. ^ "Nigeria's Funtua mill expansion to revive cotton farming". Middle East Africa Textile News - Kohan Textile Journal. 2020-06-26. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  15. ^ "Kyari, Daura, others in Buhari's kitchen cabinet have two things in common: journalism, UK education". The ICIR. 2019-09-23. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  16. ^ "Mallam Isa Funtua is dead". Vanguard News. 2020-07-20. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  17. ^ "BREAKING: Isa Funtua, Buhari's ally, is dead". TheCable. 2020-07-20. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  18. ^ "Close Associate of President Buhari, Ismaila Isa Funtua dies at age 78". The African Media. 2020-07-20. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  19. ^ Loffie, Liza (2020-07-20). "Close Associate of President Buhari, Ismaila Isa Funtua dies at age 78". The African Media. Retrieved 2020-07-21.
  20. ^ Carter, Lara (2019-01-10). "Who Is Abubakar Ismaila Isa Funtua?". Olatorera Consultancy Limited. Retrieved 2020-07-20.

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