By Tahir Ibrahim Tahir Talban Bauchi.
After narrowly losing out at the Supreme Court judgement that reaffirmed Gov. Bala Mohammed as the winner of the 2019 gubernatorial elections, my former boss, whom I had served as a PA throughout the 2015 campaign year and 3 months into his tenure as Governor, before he appointed me his Senior Special Assistant Scheduling; remained focused, steadfast and professional enough to veer off Bauchi politics and concentrated on his legal career. He traversed the entire landscape of our Federal Courts, representing clients and taking his Chambers to greater heights. Today he is prestigiously a SAN, a former governor of Bauchi State and indeed a force to be reckoned with in as far as North Eastern politics in Nigeria is in perspective.
MA Abubakar Esq. never misses his 5 daily prayers in congregation, no matter what. Not a meeting in the Villa with PMB, not a Federal Executive Council meeting and not the State’s Executive Council, talk much less of any other vain endeavor. In Islam, prayers are ‘a’azamul ibaadaat, the highest form of worship. MA, The alerter I had tagged him then, after he paid off the 3 months arrears of salaries which he had inherited from the previous administration, bombarding civil servant’s text messages with ‘aalaats’ as my former colleague Mr. Saidu, at Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC used to hint; never misses his Monday and Thursday fasting observations and never misses to invite one or two other people who have also fasted, to break their fast with him at his residence. MA Abubakar is a loyal and committed family man, paying close attention to his wives and kids, especially the younger ones, making out time for bonding and having quality conversations with his family.
MA Abubakar is a frugal administrator and very disciplined in expending state’s resources. He was quite meticulous with his duties and doesn’t miss his memos, Executive summaries and any other documents that are instrumental in the discharge of his duties as the Chief Executive Officer of Bauchi State. He is a lawyer anyway, so he took hours upon hours perusing all official files that came to his table. He read every bit of what is forwarded to him. If he made me write a letter, he would correct me to the finest punctuation mark absent or misplaced. He had a very well structured routine, going to bed early, rising early, and working thoroughly throughout the day. He wasn’t the nappy type and was rock steady throughout the day and if you didn’t have enough energy to keep up, you’d have to pass out around on some seater, and cut out the drain. When he caught you he would jest and say, ka miqa kai! Meaning you have surrendered to the whims of nature. He applauds you for not being strong headed.
MA Abubakar had a very close relationship with my late dad Dr. Ibrahim Tahir who he fondly calls Babatalba glorifies as his mentor. He spends hours gisting me about him and Babatalba. MA Abubakar was also a very close friend to my mum’s younger brother Dr. Habu Gidado. His wife Anti Hadiza is also a friend to my mum Anti Yelwa, and they’ve been at it for well over almost 35 years now. Not a day in this lifetime have I ever heard them quarrel or even raise their voices at each other and if there ever was a sombre time around them, it would probably be at a time they were mourning a close one’s demise. My baban Habuja, Nuhu Gidado, was MA Abubakar’s Deputy Governor and Commissioner of Education. My relationship with him is far from political really.
I had a very fine working relationship with MA, and I understood that I was family and not his staff. He was quite supportive of my industry, and energy and I was probably the most favored appointee of his. But politics, a dirty phenomenon, made it such that my unique situation with him drew a lot of attention and enmity to me, from almost every other person around him. The clubbering and heat I couldn’t bear or withstand and I gave in. I did my miqa kai to my detractors and left my appointment. It was however from a place of love and not from a political vantage point. Till tomorrow, if I’d call and seek his audience, he would query me as to why I’d have to ask, and not just find him in any of my momma’s houses. Momma in Anti Hadiza who is my mum’s friend, or his younger wife who I call mamana as she shares my mum’s name.
At an event to celebrate MA Abubakar, I saw on stage former governors Ahmadu Adamu Mu’azu, Isa Yuguda, MA Abubakar and of course the boss of the day, Gov. Bala Mohammed. Who would have all three former governors and the incumbent, who come from different political parties, on one stage, in jollification mood, celebrating him? Of course MA Abubakar Esq. and it comes from a place of camaraderie, good nature, respect and brotherliness. He remains a friend to all despite alI the challenges he’s faced as a politician. I celebrate you my boss, for this onerous and most wonderful achievement, and I am indeed proud of what you have done, despite your status. I have always marveled at how an ex-governor would run up and down courtrooms, representing clients. The end does justify the means afterall. Allah ya taya riqo sir.
Tahir is Talban Bauchi.