Professor Haruna Wakili
Professor Haruna Wakili

You will always be in our hearts – Tribute to Professor Haruna Wakili

Wherever you are, you will always be in my heart.– Mahatma Gandhi

On a very silent morning, a shocking announcement was made that Professor is no more with us. I couldn’t believe it. Could that be true? I kept asking myself in tears knowing how important he was to my life. I quickly called his son Ahmad who confirmed the death to me, I was loss of words during this sorrowful time.

What moves through me was a silence, a quiet sadness. We were not ready to say good-bye, but it is undeniable fact that little by little we will all die because we are all mortals.

We begin to remember not just that you died, but that you lived. And that your life gave us memories too beautiful to forget.

I first got a direct contact with him when crisis rocked down the National Association of Jigawa state students (NAJISS) which led to the tear-gassing the students venue of election and the governor invited 3 of us to speak the truth and what led to the incidence and after narrating with pictorial evidences on what happened and who are the root agents of the crisis, two days later Prof. invited me to his office and asked me to keep unionism aside and join the real politics to continue with the social media engagements and promised that he will assist in both social media and my academic activities which he did.

He gave me a special gift of a brand new Honda car in early 2014 and spent months given maintenance money to me. He gave more than 200 books to me to read and always encouraged me to develop the culture of reading and asking questions.

In my undergraduate thesis, I had a quarrel with my supervisor after seeing the picture of Sule Lamido in my laptop background resulted to spend 9months in proposal and the man look at my eyes and told me that i have to wait for good three years before finishing the one mandatory project..I quickly narrated the story to my leader who sent text message to Professor Wakili to look at the matter and do the needful, he asked me to meet him in his office at history department which i did and he sent me to meet the Dean of the faculty Professor Adamu Idris Tanko and narrate the story to him. After three days my supervisor asked me to come to his office and which he told me that because of Prof. Haruna Wakili and Prof. Tanko i will give you three weeks to finish since all the data is with you and I will grade you with (E). I said Ok to him and may God put Barakats on it and make it be beneficial to me and thousands of people.

Even though I am geographer and environmentalist but he used to called me engineer because i bear the same name with a very good friend and brother of our mentor Engineer Mansur Ahmed of manufacturers association of Nigeria. Wakili once told me that in me he saw courage, zeal, hope, future and person that can help so many people and always tell me to keep going as he enjoyed watching and reading my posts.

Under his watch as commissioner of education Jigawa state he had sterling records, such as achieving the establishment of Girl-child centres in 20 LGA’s, Distribution of free school uniforms across the state which started in 2008, Established 211 additional Primary schools and 101Junior secondary schools across the state, constructed and renovated 8,243 classrooms in Primary and Junior secondary schools across the state, construction of 1,253 cubicles of toilets in primary and Junior, provided 129,938 sets of pupil furniture which were distributed to schools across the state, provided 637 other school buildings such as toilet, kitchen, dining hall, library, workshop etc, promoted 18,189 eligible teaching and non-teaching staff, sponsoring Of Imams and members of the council of Ulama for further studies abroad up to PhD level, sponsoring 100 best student to study abroad every year, renovation and constructions of so many building in the tertiary institution across the state

New site of model international Dutse was completed, Jigawa state Academy for the gifted and talented established and commenced academic activities in January, 2012, In March 2014 a new campus was established along Hadejia – Malam Madori for the college of Agriculture and the college was renamed to Bilyaminu Usman College of Agriculture, Sule Lamido university was signed into law on 13th May, 2013 and commenced admission in the 2013-2014 session. In Jigawa state prior to the appointment of Haruna Wakili as commissioner of education there was no degree awarding institutions but at last we have 4 successful degree awarding institutions.

I will forever remain grateful and indebted to you for the wonderful role you played in my life and your lost is a great lost to me and my entire life. We will hold onto the beautiful memories and precious moments shared with one of the incredible person in the world.

Mansur Ahmed writes from Jahun.