How I wish the sad news that struck on Sunday December, 22nd 2019 at about 12:30pm is not true, I also wish the call I received from my sister, Badiya, telling me that my dad, Baba Sintali Aliyu, had an accident was a mere dream.
I wished many things, but the calls I later received from my family members, made me to believe the sad news. Inna-lillahi- wa- Inna- Ilaihi- Raji’un!
Abba left home at about 10am to Kaduna for an official assignment, and as if he knew what was about to happen to him, before he left, he complained bitterly to my sister (Hajiyayye) about the terrible condition of the Kano-Kaduna express way.
“Bana son bin hanyar nan ta Kaduna, (I don’t want to travel on that Kaduna road),” he said, but notwithstanding, “Allah zai kiyaye” (Allah shall protect us). As he gently walked towards his car accompanied by my brother, Umar, he handed the car keys to his driver, Sa’adu, who drove off.
Two hours later, his elder brother called to inform the family of the accident that occured between Kura and Daka Tsalle at a bridge called ‘Gadar ‘yan kifi.’ Uncle Sani did not disclose details of the news, he only said, “A moving truck with container has fallen on Baba’s car but no problem, he is safe, Insha Allah.” The family became confused while my brothers rushed to the scene.
Inna-lillahi- wa- Inna- Ilaihi- Raji’un! Yes, Abba is dead, they met him and his driver lying helplessly under a heavily loaded container. An eye witness told my brothers that he was saying “ Innalillahi, please help us, LaillahaIlallah, LaillahaIlallah,” before he gave up. Inna-lillahi- wa- Inna- Ilaihi- Raji’un, we lost him and the driver, Sa’adu.
Abba, the name we call him, had exceptional character and personality.
The love he had for his family was second to none, he could sacrifice his life for the comfort and happiness of his family, indeed a great pillar is down.
I called him my best friend because we were very close, we so much look alike, he always confided in me, we shared almost similar interests, whenever he spoke about his family he would call ‘Zainab.’ I have no words to describe the vacuum he left in my heart. Abba, you gave me names that only you called me-Madammm with the double M, Black face, and whenever I brought a joke, you laughed and said, “Crazy woman.”
The whole family agreed to our closeness, they named us ‘Tom and Jerry,’ because you scolded me often.
Abba, you truly lived a good life, the world has testified to it, we never knew you were loved by people until when you left. Allah has endowed you with his fear, a highly devoted Muslim, a great achiever, generous, humble, jovial, cheerful giver, kind, and dedicated. He was never deterred
by the challenges of life. Indeed, a true warrior has gone. He had love and passion for orphans and widows, he loved to clear and expand graveyards, sponsored people to further their studies and much more.
May Allah SWT reward you with Aljannat, you will always be remembered in our prayers, till we meet to part no more, Insha Allah. Rest on Sarkin Yakin Kazaure, rest on Baraden Hausan Daura.
Sarkin Yakin Kazaure, the hero of adversity
On that fateful day in the morning the news struck me. My wife stormed into my room in a manner that was annoying but rather unexpected of her and shouted: “Have you heard the news?” My heart skipped a beat, which made me
momentarily dumb-founded. I cannot recall whether I answered or not, but with the alacrity she entered the room, I knew something terribly disturbing had taken place. I struggled to control my confusion to reply in the negative. When she broke the news, I could not believe it at first until after some immediate inquiries and was told it was so! Inna-lillahi- wa- Inna- Ilaihi- Raji’un (to Allah we came from and to Him we shall all return). The end of a lifetime for Baba Santali Aliyu had come through a ghastly motor accident along Kano-Zaria Road on his way to Kaduna. The rest of the story is now in public domain and will remain in the annals of history.
Customarily, every death of a personality leaves some repercussions and obvious lessons for posterity. In Islam, death reminds us of our duties and responsibilities as Muslims with ardent belief that everyone will taste it and return to the creator. Part of the reflections in the absence of Baba Sarkin Yaki that would suffice is filling the political vacuum his death has created, especially among APC members in Kazaure LGA and Kazaure Emirate as a whole.
Baba appeared to be one of the very few successful political gladiators of this generation that had weathered all sorts of adverse circumstances and situations to reach the level he attained. In his political escapades, he utilized his influence and affluence to an advantage and presented something to benefit his people. He held important leadership positions notably as chairman of Kazaure Local Government Area and Commissioner for Works in Jigawa State. Part of the legacy he left in those two appointments is that as chairman, he gave employment to a lot of young men and women in the LGA, damning the consequences. His action enabled almost every household in Kazaure to benefit with the gesture raising the socio-economic levels of several households. This action later came to be known as “Karambanin Baba” and served as a good social intervention initiative of some sort, unparalleled by any of his contemporaries.
As Commissioner for Works and Transport, he was instrumental to the development of many towns in Jigawa State through the construction of township roads and other infrastructure. His most recent political contribution before his demise was his charismatic change over from Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) which he strongly assisted financially to ensure the party’s success in the 2019 General Elections in Kazaure LGA.
This he achieved by jettisoning his political principles and leaning, stepping on the toes of his political Godfathers, a sacrificial feat he made to his political career that left notable political bigwigs in awe and adversaries guessing as to what was the motive.
Baba has been regarded as a controversial man whose polemic life was full of ups and downs from every angle, including from within his family, colleagues and political associates. Those close to him will tell you that in his life, he experienced abuses, hatred and was despised in his social interactions. Within the extreme of love and hate however, Baba was a man of iron whose life was full of struggles to uplift himseld and his people’s social status in order to become recognizable members of the society.
His birth into a low income family did not deter him but gave him the impetus and realization to propel, work extra hard to get educated, earn good wages, get to know people, determine his political career and consequently succeed to leave a legacy. Within the traditional enclave, he rose to become the SARKIN YAKI, a member of the kingmakers within the Kazaure traditional institution, a position believed to be unachievable by someone
from a low class family, according to the traditional institution’s dogma.
One striking characteristic that stands out in Baba’s life is his generosity. His open-hand approach in dealing with people was a key to his success which serves as an essential attribute people should emulate. Baba was always ready to assist and would give a promise if not able to satisfy a person’s need at that material time. In his good mood, one might likely be flabbergasted with his generosity. More so, his attitude to life generally was devoid of acrimony as he was always willing to compromise.
Inna lillah wa inna ilahi-l-raji’un! Without being condescending, the legacy of Baba in terms of the good heart of generosity, hard work and compromise should be emulated by all. May his gentle soul find Allah’s favors and rest in perfect peace. May his family and the rest of us who are equally touched by his departure have the fortitude to bear the loss, Ameeen.