DM Dauda of SDGs: Another Great One is Gone!
It was renowned American abolitionist and Author, Harriet Beecher Stowe who famously said that, “the bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.”
This couldn’t be more true than when on Tuesday 29th December, 2020 at about 2:52pm my phone rang and the caller ID revealed that it was my mentor and boss, Alhaji Yushau Shuaib, whom whenever we talk on phone, is either always guiding me on propriety or we are dissecting the myraids of issues bothering the country and laughing it off where necessary, but the ambience this time was different especially when immediately after the pleasantries he asked if I still remembered the man that received my team at the SDG’s Office during our courtesy visit.
I was not prepared for the response that came after my affirmation, but it came very hard, “he is Dead, sudden death!” Alhaji informed me.
That piece of news was a rude shock and it hit me hard like a sledge hammer landing on my solar plexus!
I have been a keen observer of the current trend of unfathomable sudden deaths that is the order of the day across age grades, with my own personal apprehension that the next one could be anybody’s turn, especially given that every soul must taste death at the appointed time, but it never occurred to me that sooner rather than later, I would be mourning a man who had wholeheartedly embraced my idea of generational endeavor towards regional and national development especially as they relate to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).
As Secretary of Programs, Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (OSSAP-SDGs), I recall with vivid clarity how DM Dauda paid rapt attention to our projects and programs when I and my Team from Arewa Agenda – a group of young writers and journalists from Northern Nigeria geared towards Peaceful Coexistence and National Development through positive narratives – visited the OSSAP-SDGS.
He received us with ultimate joy on behalf of SSA- SDGs, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire.
Prior to now, he had read our briefs and paid attention to our project with a resolve to working with us, but that did not stop him from patiently listening when we visited.
When it was time for him to speak, his carriage, mien and grasps of issues as they relate to the UN SDGs were beyond compelling.
DM traced the roots of various issues, their peculiarities to the various regions of the country and aligned them with the 19 SDG’s, while emphasising on the importance of the Media as not only an avenue for information dissemination but one for creating awareness and advocacy, charging us to use our Media platforms to create the much needed awareness on SDG’s, noting that Government cannot do it all alone as everyone has a role to play.
As he talked, his passion towards sustainable development for citizens of the country were very glaring.
He was especially particular on poverty eradication, decent work and economic growth, quality education and ending hunger, while highlighting some of the projects executed by the OSSAP-SDGS.
I still recall the glint in his eyes as he expressed happiness that a youth led initiative like Arewa Agenda is making all the necessary difference in terms of growth and development through media action as he promised to give us all necessary support to do more while working in partnership with the SDG’s Office.
Today, that glint is no more, that promise has gone home and though our paths may have crossed only once, I have a feeling that with him in the picture, more would have been.
We submit to the will of Allah and we shall continue to shed tears over his grave for all the words left unsaid and all the deeds we would have done together.
While taking solace in the fact that he has lived a worthy life, I and my team will remain committed to the ideals with which he has charged us with, such is our own little way of keeping his memories alive.
I extend my condolences to his entire family, friends and colleague over this irreplaceable loss. His passing on is not just a loss to them but a huge setback to the idea that human societies must live and meet their needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Indeed, another great one is gone. May Allah have mercy on your soul DM Dauda.
Mohammad Dahiru Lawal is a multi Award winning Campus Journalist at #CJA2020 and Convener/Managing Editor, Arewa Agenda.