Tribute to Prof. Haruna Wakili, By Adamu Muhd Usman

“When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure” —Unknown author. 

In the faithful morning hours of Saturday June 20, 2020, precisely around 10am, I missed two calls. The first one was from Hon. Engr Jinjiri Dutse who was a former colleague, commissioner during Sule Lamido ‘s administration in Jigawa State, and a very close associate of Prof. Haruna Wakili and the other was  that of Sgt Alhaji Modu Musa, orderly to Dr. Sule Lamido. 

Before I returned their calls, a very close friend of mine from Kano, Abdullahi Ahmad Adamu (Wakili) who is a relative of Prof and he was named after the prof’s father, called also and said to me, assalamu alaikum,  honourable, Sannu! I replied him, Sannu as how? He replied: Are you not aware of what happened?I asked:  What happened Abdullahi? He continued:your man and your mentor is no more! I  became afraid and said, Wakili I can’t understand, what you are saying? With  calm voic,e he whispered to me:  Prof Haruna Wakili is dead! 

I said Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilaihi Raji’un (We are from God and to him we shall all return). As this horrible news was broken to me, my heart stroke, my body shivered and tears ran down my cheek. I couldn’t take a step or utter a single word  other than kept saying ‘Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji’un until my wife came to my aid and kept consoling me. It is indeed a great loss perhaps irreplaceable. 

Professor Haruna Wakili was born June 15, 1960 at Rumfa quarters in Hadejia town of Jigawa state. 

He attended his primary school at Hadejia and graduated and obtained Teachers Certificate at Teachers College Dutse in 1980 and got his degree  in 1985 where he read B.A., History, in Bayero   University, Kano. In 2004, he got certificate in American History, New York University, USA and his M.A still in History at Bayero University, Kano in 1989. Then in 1998, he had his Ph.D., History, Bayero University, Kano 

Professor Haruna Wakili held many positions such as; in 1990-1993 he became an Assistant Lecturer, Department of History, Bayero University, Kano. In 1993–1996 he became Lecturer II, Department of History, Bayero University, Kano. 

In 1996–1999 he became a Lecturer I,  Department of History, Bayero University, Kano. He rose to a rank of a Senior Lecturer, Department of History, Bayero University, Kano in 1999-2003. In 2001–2004, he became an Assistant Director, Research and Documentation, Aminu Kano Centre for Democratic Research and Training, Mambayya House, Bayero University, Kano also in 2003–2007, Reader, Department of History, Bayero University, Kano 

In 2009-2010 he became a Professor & Head, Department of History, Bayero University, Kano. In  2005–2009 professor Haruna became a Director, Aminu Kano Centre for Democratic Research and Training,  Mambayya House, Bayero University, Kano

Professor Wakili became a commissioner for Education, Science and Technology and Member, Jigawa State Executive Council from 2010-2015. From 2015-2018 was the Director, Aminu Kano Centre for Democratic Research and Training,

 Mambayya House, Bayero University, Kano

Before his death he was the Deputy Vice Chancellor Admin Bayero University Kano (B.U.K) 

Professor Haruna received many Awards such as  Recipient of the Prof. M. A. Al-Hajj Memorial Prize for the Best Finalist in History, Bayero University, Kano, 1985 Recipient of the Prof. Michael Crowder Prize for the Best Student in Modern African History, Bayero University, Kano, 1985 etc he was also a  Fellow at United States Department of State, Fulbright Fellow, New York University, NYU, USA, June- July, 2004.

Professor Haruna authored some Books. These include; Turawa A Kasar Hadejia: Karon Hadejiyawa da Turawan Mulkin Mallaka (The British Conquest of Hadejia Emirate), Kano: Benchmark Publishers Ltd, 2005 ; Religious Pluralism and Conflict in North Western Nigeria, 1970-2000, Kano: CRD, 2009

As part of his life experiences, Prof Wakili visited many countries either on academic, official, personal or religious basis and partly on medical trip. He visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, USA , United Kingdom, Ghana, Senegal, Egypt, Singapore, Malaysia and India etc  

Prof Wakili, aside from  being an author,   was also co-author, editor  of some published reviews, technical reports, vocational publications and he attended many conferences, made several presentations, and was  a member of many professional bodies and associations. He took part in many services from administrations and university services to community services. 

The history, achievements and legacies of Dr. Sule Lamido, the former Jigawa state governor cannot be complete without recognising, appreciating and extolling the role the late Prof played; it will just be like tea without sugar. 

Prof. Haruna’s commitment as a commissioner for education in Jigawa state during Sule Lamido’s tenure can’t be measured.  Lamido is a visionary that was why he gave educational sector a special attention. 

You know, when ever Nigerians gather to discuss the state of education in the country, we all seem to reach a consensus rather hurriedly, that our educational system has deteriorated for long, but in Jigawa, during Sule Lamido’s administration the case was different. 

In his efforts to see Jigawa as part of globalized era, driven by knowledge, Lamido gave education priority and also allocated a lot in  his budget every year to education. 

New Schools including nomadic were built; some were renovated, staffed and were well equipped with functional libraries and laboratories. Classrooms had modern instructional technologies. You would  find  computers  connected to the internet, projectors, auto-video and conferencing equipment were all available…

It was during the time of Prof. Wakili that  Lamido established the state varsity “Sule Lamido University Kafin-Hausa” I extol Sule Lamido for establishing Jigawa State University Kafin-Hausa in order to afford state indigenes more access to higher education opportunities.

Before the establishment of the state University, many eligible candidates of Jigawa origin who sought admission into higher institutions in other universities failed to get it due to lack of opportunities, hence the warm welcome with which Jigawa citizens received the establishment of the state university

Also one of the major factors that made Lamido to achieve all these was the passion of Prof. on education, his state, his people, the future of the growing generation, his positive and fruitful ideas, good working relationship with Lamido, honesty, accountability, transparency, obedience, loyalty, passion, hard work and commitment of Prof. Wakili to his boss, Lamido. 

Prof, your legacies and your character of patience, endurance, honesty,  simplicity, diligence, hard work and commitment etc will remain in our memory and will be a stepping stone for the young generation to emulate. Words cannot be enough to appreciate and eulogize you, Our prayer for you is: may God Almighty forgive your shortcomings and grant you eternal rest. 

Rest in peace Prof.