It is exactly a week since the Mangals and indeed the nation woke up to the sad news of the demise of a business tycoon and a philanthropist, Alhaji Bashir Barau Mangal, the Vice Chairman and Chief Executive officer of Max Air Ltd.
Late Bashir has since been buried in his hometown of Katsina in accordance with Islamic rites and tributes have continued to pour in as people from all walks of life trooped into the country home of the renowned business mogul, Alhaji Dahiru Barau Mangal, who is the elder brother of the deceased, to condole with him, the family, government and the people of Katsina State.
In an interview with Daily Trust, Alhaji Dahiru Mangal, who is not just a brother but a boss and mentor to the late Bashir, explained what his only younger brother meant to him, to the family and their business empire, describing his death as a monumental loss. He, however, said he was consoled by the saying of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), “What Allah has taken away belongs to Him and What Allah has given belongs to Him, and everything in the sight of Allah has its appointed time.
Max Air CEO, Bashir Mangal, buried in Katsina
Buhari delegation pays condolence visit to Mangal
“Actually, Bashir grew up under my tutelage, he was with me right from his childhood, even though our parents were alive at that time, he was under my care. I know his character, attitude and behaviour, so there is nothing I could say more than Inna Lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji’un (From Allah we come and Him is our return).
“Yes, we are brothers of the same parents, but I was like a father to him, I nurtured him, trained him and groomed him. I know he was a patient, kind and generous person. He had a good sense of humour and a good sense of human relation. He learned a lot from me in the art of living and in relating with other people with patience and decency up to the time that he became of age, got married and became a family man.
“He lived his life together with me, so I have no brother that is very very close to me more than the late Bashir. This is therefore a huge loss to all of us, but we have submitted everything to the will of Allah, because it is Allah who gave Bashir to us and it is He who has taken him away to him. Our prayer is that may Allah accept him and admit him into Aljannah Firdaus.
“We also pray to Allah to bless his offspring. He left behind five children, two daughters and three sons. The female ones have completed their education and got married while the three sons have completed their education too, up to the Masters level and they are now grown up and responsible members of the society. We pray to Allah to bless them. I also ask them to continue to pray for the repose of the soul of their father and pray also that May Allah grant them a fulfilled life and a good ending like that of their father,” he said.
Alhaji Dahiru also related how the late Bashir began to take charge of some of his businesses and how he became his vice chairman. “As I said, we were together right from his childhood, so we did everything virtually together. From the time we were mere traders, retailers to the time we started transportation, especially in the oil sector up to the time we ventured into airline and other businesses. Along the way, he established his personal businesses, though he was standing firmly on his feet, he did not detach himself from me. While he was running his personal businesses, he was still executing my own assignments.”
He said the death of Bashir would certainly be a major loss to the family and the business.
“Here’s someone that had been with me right at the age of 10 or 12, up to the time of his death at 56, I don’t need to tell you the kind of loss I have suffered. But for the vacuum his death created, it is up to Almighty Allah to fill it. We are all moving towards where he has gone to, and we have our children coming up, they will one day come and take over from us and we will leave them with their own children as well,” he said.
Alhaji Dahiru Mangal thanked all those that have in one way or the other commiserate and condoled with the family over the death of his brother.
“A lot of prominent personalities, some of whom were my associates, some his own associates, others our business associates, prominent scholars, traditional rulers, people from Katsina and from our neighboring states, from all over the federation.
“I thank all of them, I wish them all the best, May Allah reward them abundantly and may He grant us all a glorious ending when it is our time to return to Him,” he said.
We have lost a friend – sons
Khalifa Bashir Mangal is the last born of the late Bashir Mangal. He described his father as not just a dad but a friend and everything the family needed.
“To the family in general, he was our counsel, everyone would come to him and he was a person with the listening ear. He would listen to all your problems, ‘Yes’ was always his answer and ‘impossible’ was not in his vocabulary. Even if you go to him with the most stupid idea, he would say: “I would look into it, and in the end he would guide you on the right thing to do. To us he was that pillar everyone needed,” he said.
Khalifa said though his father was “super friendly”, he was the kind that did not condone nonsense. “He would tell you when you are wrong, a disciplinarian he was, though a friend, but he was that friend that you’re afraid of doing stupid things in his presence, because if you misbehave, you are not with him,”.
On whether there was a premonition or signs seen by the family on his death, Khalifa said his dad had fallen seriously ill a number of times, some of which the family had given up on him, but he would recover and bounce back stronger, hence he thought this one was going to be the same, but alas, it was different and final.
“In 2005, he fell sick to the point that everybody gave up on him, he bounced back and came back stronger. In 2015 he fell seriously sick and he bounced back like nothing happened. In 2020, during COVID-19 pandemic, we took him in an air ambulance from this airport here in Katsina to Abuja on Sallah day. Everyone had given up, but he recovered fully.
“In April this year, he went to India for medical attention, we all gave up and he came back hale and hearty. Even last month, he was that sick and he recovered, two weeks later he fell sick again. This medical history of his gave us confidence that he will be fine once more, but Allah, the most powerful, decided that it was his time,” Khalifa said, as he struggled to control his tears.
The young man said in spite of the status of his father, he was down-to-earth in his dealings with people. “A person that relates freely with the people in the grassroots, mingled, ate and laughed with all and sundry irrespective of their social status.”
He added however, though the family had lost a father who is irreplaceable, with his uncle, Alhaji Dahiru Mangal, they have the confidence, peace of mind and stability that the family will not be left on its own.
Also speaking, his second son, Arc Muhammad Bashir Mangal, a staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria, said his father was so amazing and a good listener who was also caring and compassionate.
“He had trained me, groomed me, I have a good education and a good job. What I will miss about him the most is that parental care. He was a friend and a provider. One of his accomplishments in life was the establishment of Max Air alongside his elder brother, which of course, as you know, has provided a lot of jobs and contributed to the nation’s economy,” he said.