By Johannes Tobi W.
He looked so ordinary – but the reality was far from that. He was sophisticated and tissued. Those who cared for the country and its rebirth knew he was playing a pivotal role. Despite his imperfections – like we all are – they loved and cherished him.
My mother, who worked with him while he was the Chief Editor at the Democrat described him succinctly: “He was calm, quiet, and soft spoken. He was never a noisemaker.”
His intentions were plain and hardly complex: get Nigeria working for the ordinary people; provide the basic environment for the people to thrive; let love for country be the guiding theme.
The many tributes I have read echo these clear and firm ideals that the late Mallam Abba held. I loved him for these – they are the ideals I hold as well. They are unfortunately scarce in a country where majority of its political and elite class see the consumption of power first for personal gain, and last for social good.
For Aisha Abba Kyari, and her siblings:
Thank you for sharing your father with us. Nigeria desperately needed him; Heaven preferred him. It can never be denied that he gave his life for this country, with the simplicity of a Ghandi, and the resilience of a Martin Luther King Jnr.
I only wish he spent many more years with us, to share from his wisdom, to build on his passion, and to teach from his principles. Sadly, that will not be the case. The best we would get are the letters of his writing, the words of many eulogies, and the reading into what a plain white babariga and the red cap means to a world of more opulence, with little character. He was the opposite of this damned world as we know it.