The northern city of Kaduna was a beehive of activities as thousands from far and near gathered on Wednesday to pay their last respects to the elder statesman, the Wazirin Fika, Malam Adamu Fika, who died on Tuesday at the age of 90.
The Wazirin Fika reportedly died while being brought back to Nigeria from the United Kingdom, where he was undergoing treatment on Tuesday, October 24.
His funeral prayer took place on Wednesday, October 25, at the Sultan Bello Mosque, Unguwar Sarki, which is a few minutes’ walk from the house of the deceased.
Malam Adamu Fika was also one of the leaders in the mosque who contributed immensely to its development, according to the leaders of the mosque committee.
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Daily Trust Saturday observed that hundreds of people, including top government officials, both serving and former, attended his funeral prayer. The prayer was led by Kaduna-based Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, around 4:15pm.
Some of the dignitaries in attendance included the National Security Adviser (NSA), Malam Nuhu Ribadu, who led a federal government delegation on behalf of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu; a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe; and the NAHCON chairman, Jalal Arabi.
Others included government officials from Yobe State, the home state of the deceased, a former National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) chairman, Barrister Abdullahi Muktar, traditional rulers from Yobe and Kaduna states and other personalities.
His house was full of sympathisers and family members who travelled from Yobe to attend the funeral prayers and pay their last respects to the man considered a father by many.
After the funeral prayer, his remains were conveyed to the Unguwar Sarki cemetery, accompanied by most of the dignitaries. He was laid to rest a few minutes before 5pm.
He was a leader worthy of emulation…” – Sheikh Gumi
Kaduna-based Islamic scholar, Sheikh Gumi, who spoke to the Daily Trust shortly after performing the funeral prayer for the deceased, described the late Adamu Fika as a leader worthy of emulation.
He said such a person was difficult to find among the present crop of leaders in the country, as he was very patient and God-fearing.
“We pray to Allah to forgive his shortcomings and grant him Jannatul Firdaus. He will be remembered as a northern elder worthy of emulation because such elders are rare in our society due to his good leadership,” he said.
He urged the younger generation to learn to be patient in whatever they do.
It’s a big loss – Nuhu Ribadu, Gov Buni
The National Security Adviser (NSA), Nuhu Ribadu, who led the federal government’s delegation, described the late Fika as a titanic figure and one of the northern heroes in public service.
He also said the late Fika was a wonderful Nigerian who had a fulfilled life and contributed immensely to what we have today as the government of the country.
“We are here on behalf of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in our team, including Ambassador Babagana Kingibe and the pilgrims’ commission chairman. It is a big loss, but we celebrate his fulfilled life. The country is grateful for his service, and we pray that Allah forgives him and grants him paradise,” he said.
Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State also described the death of Fika as a great loss to the Fika Emirate, Yobe State and the nation.
“The death of Alhaji Adamu Fika has closed a door of consultation for our government and created a blockage to borrow from the wealth of experiences of an accomplished technocrat and seasoned administrator,” Buni said in a statement by his media aide, Mamman Muhammad.
He will be greatly missed – Sympathisers
Alhaji Muhammad Buhari Ali, a traditional title holder of Majidadin Gwandu in Kebbi State and a retired civil servant at the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), shared his memories of the late Adamu Fika, whom he knew when he was a commissioner in the North Eastern State during the regime of General Yakubu Gowon. He said Fika was a trustworthy individual, which was evident in all the places he worked.
“His elder son, Ali Adamu Fika, worked under me at NDIC and respected me a lot because of my closeness to his family. Waziri’s death has created a significant vacuum that will be difficult to fill. May Allah forgive him and grant him Jannah,” he said.
Alhaji Buhari also advised the children left behind to continue their late father’s good work.
Another elder in Kaduna, Alhaji Balarabe Idris Jigo, described the late Adamu Fika as a hero and respected leader. He said he contributed to the development of the Sultan Bello Mosque.
He urged other leaders to continue with his dedication and commitment to the development of the country and the northern region. He emphasised that Fika would be remembered for his contributions to the nation’s development and for his fatherly advice to the younger generation to be good citizens.
He instilled the principle of humility in us – Eldest son
Alhaji Ali Adamu Fika, the eldest son among the 13 children left behind by the deceased, expressed their feelings of loss.
He said as a family, they lived a peaceful and happy life with their late father, who instilled the principle of humility in them.
“God gives life and takes it whenever He wishes, and He has taken it, so we cannot question Him. But the truth is, words cannot express the feeling we have right now. I can assure you that we lived a very peaceful life with Waziri, my father, and he gave us discipline. May Allah forgive him.
“He instilled the principle of humility in us, his children, by always advising us not to overstretch our luck. He always told us to strive for ourselves and make our own progress.
“He told us he would not intervene at our workplaces to seek favours for us as his children.
“We were always advised to try to make it on our own. He believed in climbing the ladder step by step,” he said.
Born in 1933, the late Adamu Fika was a respected elder statesman and skilled administrator. He was the Pro-Chancellor, Chairman, Governing Council, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF).
He attended Kaduna Government College (now Barewa College), Zaria, from 1948–51, as well as the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology, Zaria, 1952–1953 (now Ahmadu Bello University), where he was one of the pioneer students.
He was appointed Provincial Inspector of Education, Provincial Education Officer, Zaria, 1960, and later Inspector of Education, Adamawa Province, Yola, 1962.
He became the principal of the Federal Training Centre (FTC), Kaduna, in 1962. Malam Adamu Fika was appointed Deputy Secretary, Interim Common Services Agency, 1968–1970 and later appointed Secretary, Interim Common Services Agency, 1970.
He was appointed Commissioner of Finance, North Eastern State in 1972. Malam Adamu later moved to the federal civil service, where he rose to become a permanent secretary.
Malam Adamu Fika was appointed Head of the Civil Service of the Federation in January 1986, where he served until he retired in April 1988.