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Professor Emeritus Umaru Shehu: As UMTH mourns the community medicine man

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Professor Emeritus Umaru Shehu: As UMTH mourns the community medicine man

By: James Bwala

It was indeed a glorious exit for the Borno elder, statesman, teacher, father, and grandfather, the late Professor Emeritus Umaru Shehu. Born in 1930, he lived a life worthy of emulation in the service of the state and the nation. He bows out at 93, a rare age target for today’s world. For us at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, it was a sad exit but a glorious one for a library of knowledge. He was simply the community medicine man, and we would all miss his smile and simplicity of life. However, he left behind lessons for us to learn from and take a step forward to change our views about life.

The management and staff of the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) led by Professor Ahmed Ahidjo, the CMD, paid an official condolence visit to the family residence of Prof. Umaru Shehu, who passed away on the 2nd day of October 2023 in Maiduguri. Few to mention who joined the train with the CMD are Chairman Medical Advisory Committee C-MAC Prof. Ibrahim Sanusi, Mr. Idriss Omar, Director of Administration, and others. The CMD, Prof. Ahmed Ahidjo, sympathized with the family, prayed for the repose of the soul of Prof. Umaru Shehu, and further wished him Aljannah Fidausii.

The Northern Governors Forum also expressed their sorrow over the passing of Emeritus Professor Umaru Shehu, the first Professor of Community Medicine in Northern Nigeria, together with the UMTH over this significant loss. In a message of condolence, Gombe State Governor and Forum Chairman Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya praised the late Umaru Shehu as a true luminary and erudite scholar whose passing left a significant gap in Nigeria’s knowledge and leadership.

In the words of Governor Yahaya, “The loss of Professor Emeritus Umaru Shehu has created a profound void, not only for his family, Borno State, and the University of Maiduguri, but indeed, the entire northern region, Nigeria, and the global academic community.” He observed that Shehu was more than simply a name; he was also a font of information, a lighthouse of wisdom, and a personification of devotion to his people and country.

Professor Umaru Shehu, he continued, “has left an indelible mark on society through his illustrious career in several universities, including the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, and the University of Maiduguri, as well as his role as a co-founder of the Borno Elders Forum and the Kanem Borno Historical and Cultural Foundation.

“Professor Shehu’s efforts as the President of the Nigerian Academy of Science and his illustrious role as Professor Emeritus of Community Health at the University of Maiduguri have in fact enriched the country’s intellectual heritage. His international renown as the British Medical Journal’s Editor-in-Chief was evidence of his extraordinary qualities. He said

Muhammadu Buhari, a former president of Nigeria, joins the UMTH, the University of Maiduguri, and the country in expressing their condolences for the loss of the illustrious physician who served as chairman of the board of the Nigerian Institute of Virology up until his passing.

Muhammadu Buhari offered a rich homage to the late Professor in a message of sorrow to the family of the deceased, the administration and people of Borno State, and the entire country, noting that he embodied the best spirit of people.

“Through his many years of medical practice, he saved the lives of so many people. He played a pivotal role in shaping many of the progressive policies in the health sector of the country. May Allah bless his soul,” the former president said.

Emeritus Professor Umaru Shehu, CFR, a leading figure in Nigerian education and one of the first medical pioneers from Northern Nigeria, passed away. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has also expressed astonishment and great sorrow over this. Emeritus Professor Shehu’s passing was reportedly a major blow to the nation, according to a statement by Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity). Tinubu said that Shehu’s passing marked the end of an illustrious career dedicated to serving Nigeria, Nigerians, and humanity in general.

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“Emeritus Professor Shehu was a giant among that illustrious age of indigenous pioneers in our nation, and the biography of his life is replete with pioneering achievements in the fields of medicine, education, and humanitarian aid.

“The eminent Professor of Medicine has consistently rendered meritorious service to Nigeria and given all Nigerians a sense of pride via his immeasurable contributions and cutting-edge methods for managing global health and medical education.” The President expressed gratitude for having him as a patriotic son and a deserving international representative in his fields of endeavor.

The VP, Sen. Kashim Shettima, along with the Deputy Governor of Borno State, H.E. Hon.Umar Usman Kadafur, and Shehu of Borno, were among the thousands of sympathizers that attended the funeral rite of the late Prof. of Community Medicine, Emeritus Umaru Shehu. The VP says words cannot describe the personality of Professor Umaru Shehu.

“We have lost an icon in the field of medicine. We have lost a father, not only to Borno State but to Nigeria as a whole. He was a man of many mountains and an epitome of courage. We shall miss him in so many ways, but death is also a way of life, and we must all answer the call when it calls. Professor Umaru Shehu has lived a fulfilled life. We pray to Allah to forgive his shortcomings and grant him firdaus.” The vice president said

Lending his voice to the crowd of voices wishing to say a word, the CMD of the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Professor Ahmed Ahidjo, said a big tree in the world of medical sciences has fallen. According to him, the late Professor Emeritus Umaru Shehu was not just a name but a root that so many trees feed on as far as medical sciences are concerned. “He was my father, my teacher, and my courage. To the UMTH family, we have lost the father of community medicine.”

Professor Emeritus Umaru Shehu: As UMTH mourns the community medicine man

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VP Kashim Shettima @57: A heartfelt sentiment

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VP Kashim Shettima @57: A heartfelt sentiment

By: James Bwala

Today, the vice president turns 57. On September 2, 1966, this expedition began in Yerwa town, Borno State, northeastern Nigeria. Kashim Shettima is without a doubt the most perceptive, knowledgeable, and attentive person I have ever met. He is a compassionate and modest example of the kind of man I want to be. He draws attention whenever he speaks because of his contagious smile of knowledge and contagious laugh of humility. A photographic memory is something that only those who possess it can fully comprehend, and I firmly believe that Kashim Shettima is one of those lucky individuals!

I’d like to believe that all Kashim Shettima’s staff members reading this know exactly what I am talking about, and I am fairly certain most of my previous guests and avid blog followers know too. I have worked with Kashim Shettima since his days as Commissioner in Borno State, although I knew him long before now, and one can only describe my relationship with him as a life-changing experience. Having had little to no knowledge of politics or much previous political experience, I came to Shettima keen and willing to learn as much as possible about this beautiful and new platform that I now call my second home. It was difficult to be one of the least experienced trainees in Shettima’s staff (of all time), but I quickly found my feet, put my head in the books, and tried to study the vast array of flora and fauna situated in our immediate surroundings.

But my understanding of politics did not significantly increase until I teamed up with Kashim Shettima as a ranger and tracker. Shettima helped me get to where I am today by being patient and being able to share his knowledge. We were able to establish a solid and cohesive link during our first drive together, and this bond has grown over time into the friendship that we now enjoy. Our gaming drives are governed by trust, loyalty, and respect, and it is the unshakable alliance we have built that allows us to collaborate so well.

We have had the good fortune to experience some amazing political interactions together, to analyze various situations, to follow the development of political opportunities and the dynamic play of many times, and to share our individual life experiences and backgrounds with one another. He has taught me essential lessons in tracking, spent endless hours helping me set up, protected me during trying moments, and I am still in awe of his extraordinary spotting skills. I will always carry his palpable presence with me on this machine we call life. Future generations must treasure and transmit his amazing astronomical knowledge and reverence for fostering relationships.

Kashim Shettima is a truly amazing individual who has made a significant impact on many lives, as well as on everyone who has had the honor of driving with Kashim Shettima from his early years to the present. I am confident that those who have previously worked with him will share a similar attitude and appreciation for what he has accomplished. He is an exceptional person and father who is gracious, knowledgeable, giving, and humble.

While growing up in Maiduguri, Bullumkuttu, Abuja, precisely. I had the privilege of attending the same primary school as the Vice President’s relatives. We have been friends with the Usman Alkali family, and I can still remember my closeness with Salamatu Usman, Yagana Usman, and Adamu Usman, to name a few. We lived in the same neighborhood where our parents had come to know each other. That was where it all began, and I came to know him. Kashim Shettima is without a doubt one of this planet’s most precious humans. I have heard them talk about his intelligence and drive for inspiration. He is so knowledgeable and patient! He has a great sense of humor and is keen to pass on his knowledge if you are genuinely interested.

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I remember him saying to me one day, “I know you read a lot! Shettima had made the arbitrary remark while making coffee a few months earlier at his breakfast table. To my surprise, when I turned to face him, he gave me a funny smile and a quiet giggle. I returned his smile and said, “I was,” giving him a shoulder nudge in response. Without a doubt, my love of reading, but more so my modest admiration and sincere gratitude for everything I have learned from such a great man One of my favorite times with him was at that point.

The phrases you spoke at each amazing sighting, which wonderfully captured the chemistry between you and those of us who are around you, have motivated me to do much more in my efforts to increase my comprehension of the lessons we receive from you. We were fortunate to have you as our guide on our once-in-a-lifetime journey. I’m delighted that both of us were able to have such a big influence on me.

So many people in this world do not get the adulation they truly deserve. In life, the people who hold us down are very significant; their smiles when we see them every time are the greatest treasures of hope that we slowly cultivate in our hearts and minds. Kashim Shettima is a good friend. Great are those who don’t cut off the hands that feed and hold them through difficult and good times. There are so many people in this world who do not receive the praise they rightfully deserve. The individuals that hold us back in life are very important, and the smiles we see on their faces every time are the greatest treasures of hope that we gradually grow in our hearts and brains. This friend and brother, Kashim Shettima, is a good one. Those who don’t chop off the hands that support and nourish them in both good and bad times are great.

The Village Choir was a highlight of my dance, though! I hope I can once again dazzle you with my dance skills. A lovely tribute to what seems to be an amazing man! Any lesson learned from Kashim Shettima’s lifestyle will undoubtedly always be connected to the happy times and life lessons he shared with those who were close to him. When I initially met him, I was sensitive to the idea that he would “test” me before winning me over with his kind ways and sly smile. My best wishes are with you for this new chapter in your life, Your Excellency. You have the drive, so you and your family will succeed! It was nice meeting you, and I’m glad we were able to make a big difference in your day.

VP Kashim Shettima @57: A heartfelt sentiment

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When Friends Honor Abubakar Kyari

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When Friends Honor Abubakar Kyari

By: James Bwala

I had hoped to witness the drummers from Borno, who played the enormous “ganga kura” drums. But even so, as friends from near and far came to the Lady Kwali Hall in Abuja for the reception in honor of the Hon. Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari’s beaming face revealed the delight of the coat of many colors.

The elevation of Senator Abubakar Kyari to the position of Minister of Agriculture and Food Security marks a critical turning point in both his remarkable career and the Nigerian agricultural and food industries. Abubakar Kyari was born with it all, but he still has a soft spot for the lowly, and that is an edge in his journey as a grassroots politician.

It was not surprising that Abubakar Kyari attained this high-profile job because he possessed all the information and character traits that reflected the foundation of his upbringing through commitment, attention, and effort.

Hundreds of people gathered to celebrate with Senator Abubakar Kyari. This brings an understanding of how the man was shaped, even from speakers who expressed joy from the depths of their hearts. The words they spoke spoke volumes about the man who was repeatedly molded in revolving political circles, from the Senate steps to vice chairman, north to acting chair, and minister of the Federal Republic within spaces.

‘We would like to express our sincere congratulations to Senator Abubakar Kyari as he begins his duties in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security. He deserves praise for his unwavering commitment to public service and his ongoing efforts to improve his country. We anticipate seeing the great difference he will certainly make in his new position as he continues to support Nigeria’s expansion and development.” Former political advisor to Kashim Shettima, vice president of Nigeria, Hon. Yusuf Adamu, remarked

The Speaker of the Borno State House of Assembly, serving and former distinguished senators, members of the House of Representatives, members of the Borno State House of Assembly, the Acting Chairman and Secretary of the APC Borno State, the APC National Chairman, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, and some serving and former state governors were present.

Former commissioners, serving and former advisers, local government chairmen in Borno State, retired military officers, professors, and senior academicians attended the event. Also arriving for the love of their own, as is customary at such a time, are hundreds of APC members, friends, and natives of Borno State who traveled by road for between 11 and 12 hours over a large span.

The reception, which was organized under the chairmanship of the Borno state governor, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum, also had the governor of Kwara state, Abdulrahman Abdulrazak, for a jolly time.

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“Abu has always been a populist. His experience in a variety of roles, including General Manager of Borno State Rural Water Supply, Commissioner of Water Resources, and Chief of Staff to Governor Kashim Shettima, who is now Vice President, has given him a thorough awareness of the opportunities and problems in public administration and governance. Additionally, his participation in and accomplishment of significant responsibilities when serving in the National Assembly’s green chamber and upon his return in a more significant capacity as a Senator of the Federal Republic have prepared him for understanding his present responsibility.” Said Abubakar Kyari’s friend and senior attorney, Barrister Musa Adamu.

While many of Abubakar Kyari’s friends and associates talk, many believe that they should also be praising him for the type of personality he has rather than only for his position as a minister. They claim he is a bridge builder.

They also referred to him as a mediator, highlighting the fact that Abu, as they call him, was essential in determining the course of the party and maintaining its cohesion during critical moments.

They claimed that his skillful leadership style and strategic thinking are a tribute to his capacity to connect disparate interests and beliefs. “I never questioned his capacity to change lives. And because of his training at Barewa College and the University of Tennessee in the United States, Abu has a holistic viewpoint that combines the elements to create the special blend of the guy we are honoring today.” A friend of his said

When Friends Honor Abubakar Kyari

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Usman Jidda Shuwa: REQUIEM TO AN ICON

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Usman Jidda Shuwa: REQUIEM TO AN ICON
By: Inuwa Bwala
It was like an April Fool joke in June. Most of those who received the news might have felt like coming out of a terrible nightmare. Yet it was true.
It was a combination of shock, disbelief, loss, and grief, immediately the death of Usman Jidda Shuwa, erstwhile Secretary to the Borno state Government was made public.
Those at the scene of the incident must have been shocked. Those who were with him only a few minutes before it happened, found it difficult to believe.
For the Borno state Government it was a great loss: particularly for his principal the Executive Governor of Botno state, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, it was a black Saturday.
In Government cycles there was a sense of vacuum and across Borno state it was a day of mourning.
The Vice President, Kashim Shettima who brought Usman Jidda Shuwa into the Government must have suffered multiple inner riots, as he abandoned the lucres of his new office and rushed down to bury his compatriot. The turnout for his burial was a clear testimony that, Usman Jidda Shuwa was indeed revered and his death without any form of manifest illhealth, was both curious and extraordinary.
He will be missed for so many things and the summation by Vice President, Kashim Shettima,: that Shuwa was an embodiment of intellect, work capacity, humanity, honesty and Godliness, aptly captures the known attributes of the former scribe; all of which shall be missed.

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That his death could throw the Vice President and the State Governor to cancell all official engagements to mourn, speak volumes about the reverence with which Usman Jidda Shuwa was held in Borno and indeed Nigeria.
Those whose paths crossed with the late sage could attest to the widely held notion, that he was a friend to all, a selfless personality, a team player and the engine room of the mist boisterious government in Nigeria, makes his death a big blow to the Government which is still plotting to form a team for the second stanza of Governor Zulum’s leadership.
Up to the time of writing this piece, many could not still not come to terms with the reality of his death. Infact questions are still being asked and only time will convince many, that, indeed, Usman Jidda Shuwa, whom the Vice President christened as the “institution”, is indeed gone
Adieu the icon.

Usman Jidda Shuwa: REQUIEM TO AN ICON

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