How Governor, Minister, AGF, Spy Chief, Editors, Other Prominent Northerners Lost Parents in April 2020
April 2020 will forever be remembered for its tragedy of multiple deaths that struck Northern Nigeria and Kano state in particular, with the death of notable personalities, including parents of some high profile personalities, the Politics Digest has learned.
From politicians (state governors and ministers inclusive) to academicians, business moguls to religious leaders, the region has particularly lost intellectuals and created a huge vacuum whose filling may not be that easy.
The Politics Digest, a publication of PRNigeria disclosed that in Kano state alone for instance, reports say more than 23 prominent sons and daughters of the state died within 24 hours from a yet to be identified ailment in the last week of April.
Let us briefly take a look at some high personalities whose parents died in the month.
Adamawa State Governor, Ahmad Umar Fintiri
Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa state lost his mother, Hajia Fatimah Umar Badami. She was said to have died on Wednesday, April 29, 2020, at the Federal Medical Centre, Yola, the state capital after a protracted illness, according to a statement from the Adamawa State Government.
Mother of Adamawa state Governor, Ahmadu Fintiri, Hajia Fatimah Umar Badami
She died at the age of 68.
Late Hajiya Fatimah Umar Badami is survived by Governor Fintiri, four grandchildren, siblings and other relations.
Politics Digest recalls that the Governor also lost his father, Alhaji Umar Badami inj July last year.
Alhaji Umar Badami, a retired military personnel had died on July 28, 2019 at the same Federal Medical Centre in Yola.
Former Borno State Governor, Ali Modu Sheriff
The Galadima of Dikwa and father of former Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Modu Sheriff, died in his Maiduguri, Borno State home in the early hours of Thursday, April 23, 2020.
Alhaji Modu Sheriff reportedly died of suffocation in a fire outbreak in his home along Damboa road.
The octogenarian was said to be sleeping in his bedroom when the fire, which source was yet to be known as of the time of this report, started.
Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu
Hajiya Fatima Adamu Baaba, mother of the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, is dead.
Hajiya Fatima Adamu Baaba, mother of the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu
She passed away on Friday, April 24, 2020 at the age of 109.
The deceased is survived by six children – three males (including the minister) and three females and was buried at Azare in Bauchi State, in accordance with Islamic rites.
Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris
Idris Hussain, father of the Accountant-General of the Federation Ahmed Idris died in the early hours of Wednesday, April 22, 2020 at the age of 96 years after a protracted illness, the family said.
Late Hussain, a businessman and a philanthropist of high repute hailed from Daneji quarters in Kano city and is survived by many children and grandchildren.
Director General, Department of State Services (DSS)
Hajiya Kareematu Abubakar Bichi, Yusuf Magaji Bichi, the mother of the Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS) has died on Sunday, April 26, 2020.
A community leader and matriarch, Hajiya Kareematu died at the age of 96 in Bichi, Kano State.
National Open University Vice Chancellor, Prof. Abdallah Uba Adamu
Dr. Muhammad Uba Adamu, the father of Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu, the Vice-Chancellor of the National Open University (NOUN) died on Monday, April 27, 2020.
Popularly known as Kantoma, Dr Adamu, an octogenarian passed away in Kano.
His death in Kano added to the number of prominent people that died in the last few days.
National Coordinator Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu
The father of Dr Sani Aliyu, the National Coordinator, Presidential Taskforce (PTF) on COVID-19, Alhaji Aliyu Daneji died in Kano.
Confirming the death, a son of the deceased, Mahmud Daneji said, Alhaji Aliyu Daneji died in Kano at the age of 96 after a protracted illness on Wednesday, April 29, 2020.
The deceased whose funeral prayers were observed early on Thursday at his residence at Sabuwar Kofa, close to Kwalli Primary School in Kano Municipal was buried Thursday morning.
Alhaji Aliyu Daneji was a Permanent Secretary, Kano State Ministry of Finance from 1972-1975.
Abdulaziz Abdulaziz of Premium Times
Mallam Abdulaziz Abdulaziz, an award-winning investigative editor with the Premium Times also lost his father, Mallam Ahmad Abdulaziz barely two weeks after losing his stepmother. They died after illnesses.
Similarly, a month earlier, some prominent personalities lost their parents. Let’s look at some of them also.
Daily Nigerian Publisher, Jaafar Jaafar
The publisher of the Daily Nigerian newspaper, Jaafar Jaafar, has lost his mother, Fatima Muhammadu, at the age of 70 after a protracted illness.
She died on Sunday, March 22, 2019 at Muhammadu Abdullahi Wase TeachingHospital, Kano and has since been buried at Dandolo Cemetery in the ancient city.
The Kano’s Tragedy of Mysterious Deaths
Apart from the personalities identified above whose parents died, Politics Digest gathered that the ancient Northern city of Kano had been enveloped in palpable tension following incessant deaths in the last couple of days with the number those caught in the strange and grisly death increasing by the day.
Among those who passed on yesterday was Professor of Mass Communication at Bayero University, Kano, Professor Balarabe Maikaba, Professor of Economics and former chairman of National Economic Intelligence Committee, Ibrahim Ayagi, who died at the age of 80. The CEO of Hassan Gwarzo School was said to have been ill for some time.
Others are the Dean, faculty of Basic Medicine, of Maitama Sule University, Professor Ali Abdulaziz Dikko; former chairman, former executive secretary of Kano SUBEB, Alhaji Adamu Iliyasu Dal; Grand Khadi of Kano, Dahiru Rabiu; Musa Umar Gwarzo and a former editor of Leadership Sunday and editor of the state-owned Triumph Newspaper, Musa Tijjani who died at the age of 63.
Other deaths recorded recently include the elder brother to former deputy governor Abdullahi Gwarzo, Alhaji Salisu Lado; Hajiya Shamsiyya Mustapha; Hajiya Nene Umma, Alhaji Garba Sarki Fagge; secretary, Students Affairs, North West University Kano, Dr. Nasiru Maikano Bichi; Prof Aliyu Umar Dikko of Physiology Department, Bayero University Kano; First Bank regional manager, Abdullahi Lawal, Alhaji Rabiu Dambatta; Kabir Ibrahim Bayero; Alhaji Idi Mai Lemo Sheka; mother of renowned businessman, Ado Gwanja and Capt. Abdullahi Gyadi Gyadi, among others. They were buried all according to Muslim rites.
Although there is nothing linking the strange deaths to Coronavirus, residents of the state are said to be living in fear as the death is becoming frightening.
Ahmadu Dorayi, a resident of the metropolitan area, told our correspondent that the death rate has never been alarming and even as he faulted the position of medical experts that it could be as a result of the present unfavourable weather condition being experienced in the state.
Some residents attributed the unusual deaths reportedly recorded in the city within the last three days to three major factors. Some of them said in separate interviews that the number of people that died and buried in the last couple of days was not unusual because of the dense population of some areas within the city.
One of the residents and a Community leader, Alhaji Jafaru Gwarzo, said before now people were busy with their daily activities but with the lockdown and people staying at home, they have become mindful of whatever was going on within their area.
“Most of the places that recorded high number of deaths are densely populated areas. Based on our findings, Abbatoir Cemetery in Fagge area recorded the highest number of burials because it is closed to densely populated areas like Gwammaja, Yola and Kulkul,” he said.
According to him, there are some patients who needed treatment for other ailments but could not get access to health facilities due to the fact that attention had been shifted to COVID-19.
He added that some patients could not get medical attention in the hospitals due to the stay-at-home order and restriction of movement.
Another resident, Malam Garba Hassan said the number of deaths recorded within the last three days in the metropolis was alarming, adding that he could not recall the number of burials he has witnessed in their area.
“The people who died were mostly buried in three major cemeteries in the city. This heightened fears of the residents that the deceased might have died as a result of a strange ailment. The corpses buried in the three cemeteries were many within this couple of days because four of the eight local government areas that constitute Kano Metropolis usually come to Abbatoir Cemetery to bury the dead,” he said.
Some families of the deceased who spoke on condition of anonymity attributed the unusual deaths to outbreak of an ailment related to malaria and other deadly diseases such as diabetes, ulcer, even as they said some were asthmatic patients who were not given proper attention as a result of the shift and concentration on COVID-19 cases.
A son of one of the deceased said his father died as a result of Malaria and was buried at the Abattoir Cemetery on Saturday. They, however, called on the state government to make the outcome of its investigation on the matter public in order to allay fears already generated as a result of the strange deaths.
But the Kano State government had earlier dismissed the rumour of mass death in state being peddled on the social media. The clarification was contained in a statement signed by Auwalu Fagge, State Health Educator/Secretary, Risk Communication Sub-Committee on COVID-19.
“This particular rumour has been investigated and found to be untrue and must be dispelled. The Taskforce has activated the Community Informants Structure of WHO to report death and cause of death and has also deployed officers to all burial grounds to count bodies brought in for burial everyday (the workers would conduct 2 shifts)”. The statement urged residents to disregard rumours of mass deaths in Kano metropolis.
“Honestly, the media and rumour mongers have been trying their best in making us dispense energy in wadding them off. We cannot afford to let the good people of Kano panic and lose confidence in our response. I must state that we are more courageous than ever in a bid to contain this pandemic,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, the state commissioner of health, Dr Aminu Tsanyawa said the ministry has commenced investigation into the posts being circulated on social media platforms on the purported death of a number of people within the last few days.
The Way Out
The tragedy of these multiple deaths in quick succession and in almost the same month is serious alrming. The Federal Government through the ministry of health and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) must do something to unravel the real cause of these deaths, particularly at this time when the country joins its colleagues in the fight against the deadly Coronavirus pandemic.
To our state governments, particularly Kano state, this is not the right time for accusations or playing politics. All hands must be on deck to find the real cause of these mysterious deaths. It is too much of coincidence for all these to happen within this time frame. Something must be wrong somewhere.
May the souls of all the departed rest in peace.