Inna illalahi Wainnah Illaihirrajiuun. The call came around 6 35am. This was an unusual call because Abba will ask them to call me with his number. Let me share with you how close I was with him. Any time he falls sick no matter the time of the day or night a call will come through. He will some time ask me to come immediately to see the situation or that I should come in early, but this time around the call came from my nephew who stays with them.
Again, it sounded so unusual because it would have been “Abba yace a Gaya miki ya kwana ba lafiya”. The caller Sagir just said “ Mama kizo jikin Abba yayi zafi “( Abba is in critical condition). I immediately started crying and repeating inna illahi wainnah illaihin Rajiuun. As I came out I saw my husband by his car and told him what I was told. He said I should wait for him to drive me home but I could not wait. I just rushed to the main road and jumped into “Keke “ and gave him the address.
It was a short trip that seems too long. At some point I asked him if I could drop in order to run home thinking that it could be faster. He prevented me by refusing to stop. This how I got home to me my dad, my friend, my mentor already dead.
I opened his face and spoke to him. I wanted him to take a deep breath and come back to life. Allah Akbar! His time was up. To say I was devastated is an understatement.
I was to travel abroad on the 3rd of September we rescheduled to the 10th of September. For no reason our visa got delayed. Most of us got theirs leaving about 5 of us. I left Abuja and came back to Kano and immediately proceeded to see Abba. He was happy to see me and even told me he wanted to ask me to come back that he wanted me around since we have not gone. This was how I together with my brothers and sisters spent the next 6 days with our dear father. Each day we will be with him from around 9am until after Isha prayer. Some days up till close to 9pm. 2 or 3 days before his death he told us he want to take pepper soup which we immediately got for him. That was to us a sign that he was getting better because he was not eating at all. We bought Maltina, we bought all that we thought will improve his appetite but nothing much changed.
He complained of itching in those six days and I called Abba from the Skin Clinic in MM hospital. A nice gentle who offered to come and see him at home. He was treated but he was still having some of it but he was full of appreciation.
Again 2 days to his death he told me he was having pains around his lower part of waiste. My younger sister and her husband both medical Drs( Dr I Gezawa and Dr Halima Ibrahim)came and took care of him and Abba was happy for the rest of the day. He slept most of the day that day. We will step out of the room and chat but immediately he woke up he will call me back and say to me please close to me. I want you to stay here and don’t leave me alone. Allah Sarki Abba na, such was my relationship with him. Wayyo Allah. Allahu Akbar. Allah ease my pain and sorrow and that of my brothers and sisters. We all love him. We were all very close to him.
Last Moments with Abba:
The day started as usual with all of us with him around 9am. He told us he slept better but that he kept having some “fainting flash”. It comes and goes in a second. We just said it was due to lack of energy as he was not eating at all. He then asked me about my earlier scheduled trip and I told him that they call to tell me my visa is ready so I can travel on Monday but I am not sure I want to travel again. He said “Haba Sa’a ai Ina Jin sauki “please go ahead. I said today is Sunday Abba it means tomorrow he said why not. I said ok I will go In the morning. Abba insisted that I should get a ticket to Abuja that same Sunday so that I will have enough rest for my journey.
This time I also insisted that I will go ahead and travel but I come in the morning to see him. He reluctantly agreed.
In the evening after prayers I received some calls from my Commissioner to confirm to me that all efforts have been made to address the problem my station had which made us went off air for days. I received the news with delight and I stood up and deliberately took some dance steps in front of Abba just to make him laugh. I ,my brother Hamisu and some of my sisters were all there. Abba laughed at me and said that is why even your ringtone is danceable Nupe tune. As he was laughing I said Abba we are going home now. We will in sha Allah be here as usual in the morning. His last words to me was “ to kinga zamu rabu muna farinciki. Allah Ya sa gobe ma mu hadu da farinciki “. We all said Amin to that. He stretched out his hand to me as if he wanted to shake my hand and only said something I didn’t quite get but I answered that I will see you in the morning in sha Allah. That was it. Alhamdulillah.
Abba lived well. His routine starts around 3am. He wakes up that late or that early takes his bath , Nafillah and reads his Quran. When it is time for subh prayer he will do it and continue his recitation until 6 or a little after 6am. This was his routine that I know Abba on since my childhood. On his sick bed Abba said I always impressed him because I am always very active and mostly come to see him before 7am. In fact most of his pictures reading Quran were taken by me because I come to see him just before he concluded. I replied by telling him that Abba what impressed me about you is how you read your Quran every day since I am old enough to understand you. That was why when our late mothers were getting old and sick, we had to buy big flasks for them to boil water and fill them up so that they don’t have to wake up and warm water for him for his routine. Allahu Akbar. They are today all late.
Abba left behind 11 of us.
Sa’adatu Magaji is the Managing Director, Abubakar Rimi Television, Kano