16 December, 2019 Tribute to NSCDC Boss Younger Brother
The year 1996 was when our paths crossed as “freshmen”, “jambites”, or “newbies”, as year one university students are called. We were all looking quite innocent and full of life, I was studying BSc Business Administration and He was studying BSc Accounting. We had different circle of friends, but we always connected every time we meet – mutual respect and fondness for one another.
Ahmed Gana more commonly called Galasa, is a rare gem. Little did I know that on this beautiful Friday (13th December 2019), Allah will call your name. At about 9.45am I received a call and seeing the caller, straight away I knew the chain of our friendship in this world has broken. But as Allah calls us one by one, the chain will link again, In Shaa Allah. I refuse to mourn you my dear friend, instead, I will celebrate you and let others know why.
There are only a few of your kind and today, we have lost you. Your kindness had no limits and you did not pick and choose – you stretched your hands and reached out to people, even those you know not. You carried everyone as one…..let me share some of your benevolent acts in celebration of a true friend, whose creed of friendship I have carved to resemble thus – if you need me, call me. I don’t care if I’m sleeping, having my own troubles, or angry with you or life. I’ll be there for you.
“Malamin makaranta” (School teacher) as he fondly called me, he asks, “where is GQ? Ka san GQ mutumina ne (You know GQ is my guy), and I responded, he is in KD and not doing well…..he continued, “Ah, please, tell him to call me or come and see me”. As I reached out to GQ, we set out on a faithful Saturday and I delivered GQ to Galasa….and your guess is as good as mine….Galasa made GQ smile.
On another occasion, whilst I was in my first year as a PhD student in the UK, he came visiting and I picked him up from the airport in a cab I booked earlier. As we got talking about the inconvenience of using a public transport and how expensive it could be, I told him not to worry I was saving up to buy a small car and that next time I would conveniently pick him up. As usual, he goes..”how much is the “small car”, I told him and without hesitation he said, “I will give you the money”, and he did. So, I got a nice Nissan Almera 2003 model, which I used for about 3 years.
Anytime he comes to visit in the UK he never allowed me to spend my own money, he would always say “Malamin makaranta, ka barshi” (School teacher, please I will handle it). I can go on and on about him, but of all these things I have mentioned, the most touching is when I realised there are certain orphans that he pays for their school fees…Ya Allah, bless the soul of Ahmed.
My dear friends, this is just a snippet of Ahmed’s benevolence. His friendship in one that is seen through the heart and not the eyes. Within his family, he was a cord that bound all, he got along with all his siblings – most notably, Dr. Ya Ado, sometimes I ask myself, are they brothers or friends?
Today is a day Allah has chosen that we would not be together again, but in our hearts we will keep you, and there you will stay until our friendship chain is linked again.
Oh Allah, I ask you to forgive Ahmed Gana, receive his soul in the best of manners, forgive his shortcomings and grant him the highest ranks in Jannatul Firdaus. Oh, Allah, look after his wife and adorable children, and make us those friends that will support them. This would not be complete without a word for his wife “Goggo”, indeed in you he found a friend and I am a testimony of your support in his life, most especially, during the trying period – I ask Allah to bless and comfort you.
To his family members and everyone who has come across Ahmed, please accept my sincere and heart felt condolence.
Rest in peace our very own Galasa.
Forever in my mind.
Dr. Mustapha Shitu