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Yahaya Turaki: Death as the worst thief ever

I then began to call all our family members, but none of the calls went through. I therefore sent a message back to Yabo through…

I then began to call all our family members, but none of the calls went through. I therefore sent a message back to Yabo through Black Berry Messenger (BBM), begging her to tell me what had happened, but she ignored me. However, after spirited effort I did, and I got a big shocker when I confirmed my suspicion that my big Uncle, brother, guardian, and mentor had just passed away, in his sleep that early morning. I was shocked, speechless and confused.
Indeed, death is a thief, of all the thieves that ever lived or existed in the planet earth, none is like death, non can be compared with death, of all the histories of robberies which is as old as mankind, non  can be liken to death, because your sudden demise was shocking, disturbing  and unexplainable.
Death came as an early morning thief and took you away from us at a time all of us were either asleep or meditating and saying our morning prayers, at a time when none expected an unwanted visitor to come knocking on your doors, when everybody around you was gone. When you were alone in your closet, in your sleep, helpless, tired, weak, exhausted. When your two eyes were closed in sleep. Oh death, why?
If you are not a thief, death, you should have waited until its dawn, until all your people are around you, until your wife Asabe, is back from her journey, until we are all on our guards.
If not a thief, death should have waited for all your colleagues in the Nigerian Medical Association to be around. I know they would have summoned an emergency national meeting of all their members to surround you, they would have deployed all the most modern and sophisticated medical equipment to Potiskum- just to save you. Dr. Ishaku who coincidentally was very close there would have moved his clinic and staff to your house. I too would have used my pen to write and solicit for emergency medical help from across the globe using facebook, twitter, Google+, BlackBerry chat, and all other social and conventional media platforms. Professor Zakari too would have summoned all his colleagues to research and bring a solution that would have kept you alive, Jummai and all the people she taught for over 20 years would have rallied around you, Yusuf, Ado and Racheal would have rallied their friends around you; Joshi would have asked his bosses to grant visas at entry point to all that will respond to our appeal from abroad, your loyal boy Babale would have rallied all his NAFDAC colleagues to certify and administer the best drugs-to keep you  alive; their royal highnesses Emirs of Fika Dr. Muhammadu Abali Ibn Muhammadu and Tikau Alhaji Muhammad Abubakar Ibn Grema and your friend, Yariman Fika Waziri Abali would have assembled all their subjects to pray for you to live, yet these did not happen simply because; we all were taken unaware, because death chose to come as a thief and stole you away from us that beautiful Sunday morning; just before dawn.
Woe be unto that network which denied me the opportunity of hearing your voice at least for the last time when I dialled your mobile number but did not get through at 8:11am Saturday morning, less than 24hours before your glorious exit.
As people who have absolute believe in God Almighty that He alone can give life and   He alone can take it away, we cannot question Him, we cannot ask Him why? We cannot say He has done us bad, because   though we loved you, but the very God who created you, who saw your through these 53 years, who made you a great physician, a great surgeon, loved you the more and knows the best for you. It is our utmost belief that God has taken you away from us, from the troubles of this world, to go and rest, away from the evils of this world.
We take solace in the fact that while you lived on the earth, you sacrificed, worked hard, showed unparalleled dedication to service and humanity. Your heart was whiter than the suit you wore on your wedding day in 1986. You harboured no evil against anyone, yet people plotted a lot of evil against you, yet God protected you from them all. It was as a result of such wickedness of man to man, when some people thought they hold others’ destinies in their hands; that you voluntarily resigned from the public sector in 1993 and went into private practice which lasted exactly 20 years.
You got betrayed, despised, treated with disdain by the very mouth you fed, very people you helped, those whom God used you to make them what they are today. Yet you never bothered.
On several occasions you rejected offers to leave the shores of country for a greener pastures, yet because you loved your people, you said: “No I won’t go, I will stay home to serve my people”. You did stay and you did serve the people for almost 30 years as an accomplished medical practitioner and great surgeon – even to the end. Even when evil took over the land and many fled, you got pressured to also leave but you said: “No I won’t leave”. When society turned its back on you, yet you never bothered, you just moved on and continued to serve your people.
Indeed, you will surely be remembered by the thousands of patients you helped saved their lives with your surgical blade, those you resuscitated with your stethoscope, syringes, needles and care throughout the 30 years you practised which earned the name Bokan Turai by those who could not afford even a single dose of panadol yet to admit them, treated them and cared for them.
Other are those children of the less privileged who you helped paid their school feels and today they are what they are as well as thousands of mothers whom you helped delivered their babies and thousands of patients you performed excellent surgery on them and today they are healthy and strong.
By the many patients who were still on their sick beds receiving treatment from you and then suddenly you left them helplessly, for they will be more pained even in their pains.
More importantly, by the over 500 children, some of whom now are men, or even fathers who were named after you by their parents in appreciation and show of gratitude to you for all you did to them.
By Mama and Baba, by all of us, your brothers, sisters, cousins, nephews, nieces, friends and above all by your beloved children – Anna, Dauda, Esther and Baba Sila. Be rest assured that our love, care and affections are with them even in your absence.
May you rest in the bosom of the Lord. Adieu

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