Tribute to a Legend, Prof. Samaila Crah Alkali, By Gabriel C. Joseph Fresh

Life, they say, is like a mist which is here this minute and the next, no more.
One cannot fully understand the meaning of this statement until you are struck by its reality. I really got to understand the full meaning of the circle the minutes it was confirmed to me by Jemimah that popcy was no more. In her exact words “uncle, popcy has just passed away.” I first got the shocking news of his death from my elder sister, Rahab Zamani; “Cham, have you heard?” What? I asked. “Uncle at Maiduguri has fallen asleep.” Jesus!!! Was what I screamed. She hanged up at the other end. I quickly put a phone call to Jemimah not knowing she has already made calls to my mobile line to inform me with no success. Jemimah now told me.
If you say I was dumb-founded, it is an understatement. I sat on my bed that Monday morning feeling so sad and dejected, but with a strong warning never to bother myself with things I have no power over. Prof. Samaila Crah Alkali was a Geologist, an erudite Professor, a Researcher per excellent, a Rare Gem, a True Son of southern Kaduna, a Gentleman, a cheerful Giver, a Shining Star, a Husband, a Father and a Grandfather, thus you will think he will have true friends or a true friend to lean on at difficult times. Prof. lived a fulfilled life as far as he was concerned and people around him can testify to that. He was loved by both young and old. He was known for his readiness and eagerness to serve God at all times. He was remarkably good and hardworking; he was a person of great devotion and integrity; above all, he believed in God, loved God and valued his family. That’s a man who has touched the heart of every needy being that ever came his way. He was immensely passionate and honest in everything he did. Oh, death is so cruel!
Cruel, indeed, is the hands of death. So, the adage is true after all that the straight trees don’t last long enough in the bush. Death, you rudely snatched the father of better Nigeria, the harbinger of true hope. He lived an enviable life standing tall among his contemporaries. Like colossus among pigmies he came, lived, saw and conquered. Prof. Alkali, you were truly a rare gem, a model for models and the quintessential man of virtue. In school, you were revered by your students and colleagues; in the family and church, many looked up to you as yours was a stand for truth and justice with the Lord Christ Jesus.
Today, curfews, researches and research materials, ASUU and organized labor strikes are no longer your headache, but entirely our business. You have suffered persecution, oppression, pain, discrimination, denial, betrayal and injustice because of your faith, philosophy and what you believed and stood for. Monday 22nd October, 2018 was the demise day, the date of your rest and freedom, freedom from the injustices of man to man to the eternity of the Master of all. Anytime I wake up I think about death, I think about the freedom and peace that comes when I am gone from the world of hate, betrayal, deceit, greed, jealousy, injustice, self-centeredness, anger, bitterness, revenge, sickness and so on. I know there is a better life after death; life that will be void of the bad things we have experienced in this present life…
If people cry, surely they are not grieving you Prof., but pitying their irreparable loss for you have left a yawning gap in sleeping of our tomorrow. The chips are now down. Why should death strike now? It should have tarried a while. A moralist to the core, sleep well in the hollow of his hands. If we cry our souls out, it cannot bring you back. The broken gourd can no longer fetch water. Your sudden demise is still a nightmare to me. Your concern about my future had thrown me out of balance when I think of your departure. Popcy, where are you? When are you coming back? I will never forget your love and concern for me, thank you.
Life is a market place, like they always say. The change and debt are with God. Moreover no one has gone there before to come back and tell us what transpires there. But whatever we do here is what we shall benefit from in the hereafter. Some people might even start reaping their own gain right from here on earth. My prayer and I believe that of most people is that we should be found worthy of God’s Kingdom and be counted among the blessed beneficiaries. Professor Samaila Crah Alkali was laid to rest on Tuesday 30th October, 2018 at his resident in Kaduna amidst heavy tears and crying. Good night popcy! Good night Prof. Alkali, sleep well, May heaven be your final abode.
FRESH Writes from Kakuri, Kaduna South



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