Sule Mathew: A Tribute to assassinated BUK First Class graduate
By Sani Ibrahim Paki
To say I was shocked or devastated by the striking story of the killing of Sule Matthew, is an understatement. He was said to have been gruesomely killed with other passengers by “unknown gunmen” at Ekwulobia in Anambra State.
Sule did not only graduated with a First Class Information and Media Studies (IMS) from the Bayero University Kano (BUK), he was the best student of the pioneer set of the IMS department that was carved out of the old Mass Communication in the present Faculty of Communication of the institution.
He was killed on that fateful day while travelling to Anambra state alongside other passengers. Sule happened to be part of the many innocent people who lose their lives, almost on daily basis, in the hands of these blood-sucking monster terrorists masquerading as unknown gunmen or bandits.
Our paths with him first crossed in 2019 when he, alongside four of his classmates enrolled for an Penlight internship Programme at the then newly built PRNigeria Centre in Kano, which I was privileged to be its pioneer Manager.
All the set are brilliant, to the extent that I thought that time, the department chose the best of its students to send to our centre for the internship. This really made my coaching and mentorship of them very easy as they quicky grab whatever they were taught as they delivered on given tasks sometimes, even beyond expectations.
I remember, the first day they came, our boss, Mallam Yushau A. Shuaib (YAShuaib), said I should inform them that everyone must be tasked to write at least one opinion article weekly that should make it to any of the national dailies.
Before they rounded up their eight weeks stay at the PRNigeria Centre, Sule was among the interns with highest number of articles published in about six national dailies. He was simple, calm jovial, hardly could you spot him in any unnecessary argument.
Though an Igala by tribe and Christian by faith, most of Sule’s friends as far as I know, were Muslims. A distinctive quality implying his accommodating character of respecting people’s identities. I have never heard any of his colleagues complaining of anything bad about his character towards them.
He was the co-founder of HOS Tutors, a Nigeria social enterprise platform that focuses on making learning in formal and vocational education accessible and affordable for everyone by connecting all categories of learners with best-fit tutors.
Sule was also on a 6-month non-residential fellowship program that trains, and mentors young citizen activists to push for democratic reforms – Gidan Yanci. He was also the Senior Project Manager of BUK Enactus Team – a delegation that performed wonderfully under Sule’s watch, to the extent of putting his institution as one of the three worldwide to get mention of the United Nation for their outstanding performance. He was also a volunteer at Sunbook and a member of World Literacy Foundation, among several other accomplishments.
What a loss of a human resource!
He died with a lot of dreams waiting to be accomplished. So, when I first heard of the tragic incidence, I became devastated and terrified, for his likes are rare to find. He distinguished himself wherever he went as intelligent.
Unfortunately, Sule was killed a week before he was to report to the Orientation Camp for the forthcoming National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme.
I cannot imagine the pains his family are currently going through, especially after losing his father in July last year, just a month before his graduation from university.
His death is a loss not only to his family or his Ayangaba community in Kogi state, but also to his department, faculty and BUK in general. May God give all of them the fortitude to bear his loss.
And to his killers, may they never know peace in their lives for the same pain they inflicted on his family and the society that would have benefited from him – if he had lived longer.
Until we meet to part no more, good night Sule Matthew.
Sani Ibrahim Paki was Manager PRNigeria Centre Kano and currently with the Daily Trust Newspapers
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