Mama Taraba: The exit of Muri’s most unifying force | Dailytrust

Mama Taraba: The exit of Muri’s most unifying force

Late Jummai Alhassan
Late Jummai Alhassan

Senator Aisha Jummai Alhassan is gone forever! The first thing I uttered when the shocking news was broken to me on Friday evening was, “Innalillahi wa inna ilaihi rajiun, kulli nafsin za’ikatul maut” – From Allah we are and to him we should return, and indeed every soul must taste death.

I watched the outpouring of grief-laden tributes from mourners across all walks of life detailing their sorrows, and fond memories of the woman who until her death was a powerful force of unity, an excellent grassroots mobiliser and a strong reminder of the roles women can play if empowered to participate in governance.

But for some of us close to her, it is beyond all that. It is more about the foundation of Muri, now orphaned by her sudden death. No doubt Sen Alhassan until her very last moment was the most unifying force for the people of Muri irrespective of tribe, religion or political affiliation.

Her sudden exit shattered the hearts of her family, friends, close associates, Muri Emirate, Taraba State and the country at large. I personally felt lost and devastated. I wonder what becomes of the hitherto fragile foundation of Muri which she was able to support with her hospitable approach to leadership and an all-inclusive style of politics? Who can fill the huge vacuum that her sudden death has unearthed?

Sen Alhassan did not just wake up one day and claim the revered title of “Mama Taraba”, she worked for it, and she deserved it even more. She was inarguably the only woman to have assumed the title of “Mama” for a whole state in Nigeria’s political history.

Our paths first crossed when she was contesting for Taraba North Senatorial District’s seat on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and I was contesting for Jalingo/Yorro/Zing House of Representatives seat on the platform of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). We related well throughout the campaigns despite our political differences, and that played a key role in our successes at the polls. At the National Assembly we worked cordially in the best interest of our constituents.

Sen Alhassan was a generous sister who perfectly combined the role of a caring mother to  many of us.

Many of our politicians hopelessly fought her out for selfish gains; unfortunately they could not do 10 per cent of what she did to sustain us. So sad that we lost a caring mother, supportive sister, awesome niece and everything the Muri and Taraba State at large will always be proud of.

In all, Sen Alhassan’s journey to the beyond makes me cry. I am still crying, but then I find solace in the words of Gail Caldwell when he asserted that, “I know now that we never get over great losses; we absorb them, and they carve us into different, often kinder creatures.” Mama Taraba, this is my solemn promise; your journey to the great beyond, though painful, has touched me in such a way that I am now a different and kinder person.

You will be greatly missed! Allah chenido yafo Adda, Hokkumo Aljannah firdausi, Aameen.

Hon Aminu Ibrahim Malle, PhD, is the Chief of Staff to the Deputy Speaker House of Representatives

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