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Bashir Tofa rejected traditional title I offered him — Sanusi

The 14th Emir of Kano, Malam Muhammadu Sanusi II, has described late Alhaji Bashir Othman Tofa as God-fearing and trustworthy personality who tells the truth…

The 14th Emir of Kano, Malam Muhammadu Sanusi II, has described late Alhaji Bashir Othman Tofa as God-fearing and trustworthy personality who tells the truth to leaders irrespective of their position, stating that failure to have people like him around the leaders is worsening the country’s situation.

Sanusi, who is the present Khalifa of Tijjaniyya movement in Africa, was speaking as Special Guest of Honour, at the First Bashir Tofa Memorial Lecture to mark one year of his death which was held on Tuesday evening via zoom.

He said lack of appreciation of people who tell the political leadership the right thing to do for the citizens is one of the problems of Nigerian leaders, stressing that the situation has pushed the country backward.

“Bashir Tofa has lived a good life that should be emulated by our present leaders; telling the truth to anybody without fear of his power or position. What our leaders don’t want is telling them the truth and this will not take us anywhere.

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“The best prayer we can offer to any leader is for him to have good associates that will guide them to the right things. It is high time we stopped mocking our leaders indoors. What we need is to tell them the truth to do the right thing,” Sanusi said.

He said the late Bashir Tofa rejected a title he offered him when he was the Emir of Kano for his dedication to serving people.

“When I was the Emir of Kano, I decided to turban Bashir Tofa with the title of his late father, which is Zannan Kano. But immediately he got my message, he rushed to the palace and said he didn’t want it. He said then that at his age and level, he didn’t need any traditional title.”

The guest speaker, Professor Tijjani Naniya, who discussed the life and time of the deceased said the whole of his life was dedicated to serving humanity as well as helping the less privileged.

“Late Bashir Tofa has touched almost all aspects of human life. He was a businessman, a writer, a philosopher, a politician and philanthropist. His love for people to emulate him forced him into writing books. He wrote about 14 books and all in Hausa for easier communication,” he said.

On her part, the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations General Assembly, Amina J. Muhammed, described Bashir Tofa as a patriotic leader who believed in God to be his judge, hence never feared anyone but Allah.

She urged women and youth, including the present leaders, to read through his life and emulate his good characters, values, humility and good faith.

Earlier in their remarks, the chairman of the occasion and the chief host, Alhaji Shehu Muhammad, Sarkin Shanu of Kano, and A.B. Mahoud said the event was organised to remember the deceased, offer prayers for him, and reflect on his life for people to emulate him.

Speaking on behalf of the entire late Tofa family, his son, Musaddiq Bashir Tofa, thanked the organisers for extolling the good virtues of their father while calling on them to keep it up as an annual event.

He expressed the family’s willingness to live on the righteous paths set by their father while calling on Professor Naniya to publish the history of the family, saying the immediate family got to know many things for the first time when he was speaking.

Daily Trust reports that among the dignitaries that graced the occasion were members of his family, close friends including Retired General Abdussalami Abubakar, representative of Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Brig. General Halliru Akilu, among others.


From Zahraddeen Yakubu Shuaibu & Salim Umar Ibrahim, Kano