Nigeria unfortunately lost two great Nigerian nationalists: the Emir of Kano for over 40 years, Alhaji Dr. Ado Bayero and former minister of information and communications, Professor Dora Nkem Akunyili within 24 hours this week. While Alhaji Ado Bayero died in the early hours of Friday, Professor Dora Akunyili gave up the ghost in the early hours of Saturday.
Of course, it is an incontrovertible reality that there would always be death when it comes, but nevertheless, leave us, the mortals, to be imagning the cause of such death. The cases of these two great personalities were not different from this partern.
Beyond the search for reasons for their deaths is also the reality that they were, in the calculation of human being, opposite in many respects: Ado Bayero was a male while Dora Akunyili was a female. Ado Bayero was a Muslim as Dora Akunyili was a Christian. Ado Bayero was a Royal father (a Monarch) while Akunyili was a politician. Ado Bayero was from the far North as Dora Akunyli was from the far East.
But, in reality and physical dispositions, the two personalities have a lot of positive traits in common. They were, in their different callings, selfless, committed to excellence in service, conscious of their input to the societal growth and happiness of others over selves. They lived so that others would find joy in living, so to say.
Alhaji Ado Bayero, popularly called by his admirers as “Sarkin Zamani” (translated roughly as modern monarch) was in love with humanity, not just his immediate family or emirate but across the country and the world.
There has always been the fear that Kano might not be the same again, in terms of cohesion, peace and above all, comfort for the non indigines, from the very moment he died. With his death on Friday, that fear needs to be carefully put into focus.
In deed, it is no child’s play for Alhaji Ado Bayero to rule Kano, the largest emirate in the country, for over 40 years, interspersed by Nigerian civil war, series of Maitatsine crises, “June 12” political imbroglio and now, Boko Haram.
His uprightness in the defence of truth, even if such truth would adversely affect his relations, and his commitment to national unity nearly cost him his life last year when he was attacked by members of Boko Haram, who ovbiously were at war with his type. They have said it again and again that they would attack and kill anybody who have sympathy for democracy and anything western system. And Alhaji Ado Bayero, being the Sarkin Zamani, became their chief enemy because of his belief in equality of man before God, his upbringing as an administrator and manager of man and material and above all, as a believer in the indivisibility of this country called Nigeria.
The Emir never wavered from the ideals of national cohesion even when he returned to the country after undergoing medical treatment overseas.
Just like Alhaji Ado Bayero, Professor Akunyili displayed a great pashion for the advancement of Nigeria and gave her all for the country to be safe from the dangers inherent in adultrated and fake drugs across the country; an action that exposed her to the danger posed by drug barons.
One of her numerous admirers had this to say of her: “May the legacy left by Professor Akunyili rekindle our hope for better Nigeria. I am personally inspired by all her great achievements throughout her period of office in the government and afterwards, driven by her strong purpose in life. She established a fact that as a woman, her voice should be heard and that she could fight and win a war of injustice, inequity, misappropriation, unfairness etc. Her strong commitment towards her purpose was just extraordinary.”
So it is that the world of similarity between the two giants that quit this world on Friday, June 6 and Saturday June 7 is the indefatigablity of action for the purpose of making life comfortable for their fellow human beings, and even animals and other living things. They were here with the purpose, in their own unique ways, remaking the world where everyone and everything run in harmony according to the will of God.