Like with all who knew and related with him, news of the passage of Honourable Abdullahi Muhammed Wamakko, to the everlasting abode of all humans, came to me with a devastating shock.
That is, even as we have been told by the Almighty Allah, SWT, that, all that lives will certainly taste death at the appointed time: “Inalillahi Wainalillahi Rajiun”. It is all the same, engrained in the nature of man to grieve the demise of one of our own, especially, known and close to us. Honourable Abdullahi Wamakko, popularly known as, “Abdullahi Speaker” was known to me at close quarters.
A quintessential man of humility, our friendship evolved and subsisted ever since our point of meeting at the Government House, Sokoto, in 2007, when, in various capacities, we served as political aides to the then governor of Sokoto State, Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko.
Though, a nephew of the governor who had carved a niche for himself as a political stalwart in his own right, it did not take the two of us, too long to find common grounds. His attractions, to me, were his trademark character of joviality, a high sense of humour and stoic composure even in the face of turbulent times. Gentle but candid in his words of advice, I regularly consulted him for counseling on occasions that I needed a confidant with compassion and listening ears.
Naturally, i would be among the multitude shocked by news of his death. It was a shock aggravated by the fact that Abdullahi Speaker was barely fifty years and one, who radiated good health on account of his simple, aesthetic life style. But the painful fact is that, in accordance with the ordinances of our creator, our mortal journey through life on the planet earth, will terminate at the predestined times, circumstances and place.
A retrospective throwback on his life would create a picture that appears as though, the late Honourable Muhammad Abdullahi Wamakko, had, a premonition that his, would be a short-lived sojourn in this world. Thus the reason he went about living a life of geniality, generosity, and simplicity. One that would not go out of his way to court controversy, unlike the typical politician, he went about politics in the frame of the philosophy of the late Waziri Ibrahim: “Politics Without Bitterness.” He was not one to lose his comportment, no matter the provocation or, unfolding of events that were negative to his salient political interests and set goals.
These attributes, manifested at moments of great anxiety in the turbulent days of the epic political battles for the soul of Sokoto between our principal, Governor Magatakarda Wamakko and Attahiru Dalhatu Bafarawa, 2007 to 2011. One of such momentous turn of events was when in 2008, the Appeal Court in Kaduna, nullified Wamakko’s election of 2007 and ordered for a fresh contest between him and Muhamed Maigari Dingyadi the flag bearer of the opposition Democratic People’s Party. That was in reality, a call for another round of encounter between Wamakko and Bajarawa because; the DPP and Dingyadi were more or less, synonyms for Bafarawa. All in the Wamakko’s side of the divide were perplexed.
I remember very vividly, how the late Abdullahi Speaker took it all in his strides. He kept his cool and composure. With his usual smile and confidence, he responded by admonishing everybody that ran to him to keep faith in Allah’s will and decision which he said all believers, people of iman, should considerS as the best option and judgment. At the end of the intriguing political staccato and subsequent legal uncertainty that ended up in the Supreme Court, Wamakko eventually emerged triumphant. Thanks to the late member of the House of Representatives, Abdullahi Speaker, my faith in the inevitability of the designs of Allah SWT, was reinforced. Few then, including me, if the truth be confessed, could have given Governor Wamakko a chance to survive the meshwork and intriguing obstacles visible on his path.
Perhaps, the defining character of the late Muhammad Abdullahi Wamakko in his political career was his principled steadfastness, consistency and single-minded loyalty to his political mentors and allies. For example, while there were incidents of political allies, friends and even biological brothers, who jumped the boat of Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, at times when his sail appeared struck in inclement storms, Abdullahi Speaker kept faith, willing to sink or, swim with his mentor.
Such was the occasion in the build-up to the 2007 governorship election in Sokoto. Magatakarda as the flag bearer of the then ANPP was adjudged as an underdog embarked on an unequal fight against the candidate of the ruling DPP. Many there were who had been in his camp before he resigned in 2006, as Deputy Governor to Bafarawa, but did not believe he had a chance and so gave up on him. Abdullahi Speaker was among the few that kept faith. He went on to go along with his embattled uncle into the PDP just before the election and on that platform, the battle was won. That historic political victory in the Seat of the Caliphate was, to the chagrin and regret of many, the amazement of others and, to the glory of the few, such as Abdullahi Speaker, who had kept faith.
Abdullahi Wamakko died in the service of his people as their representatives in the House of Representatives. According to eye witness accounts, he was at the National Assembly on Monday and Tuesday preceding his death on Friday, 14th of July, 2017. His experience as an elected representative dated way back to 1991 and 1992 when at a very tender age, he won election as a councilor into the Wamakko Local Government Council. There, for obvious reasons, his colleagues selected him to lead the council as the Speaker. That was the basis of the appellate; Speaker, that became part of his names till the end.
As evident in the outpouring of grief, messages of condolence and tributes from within Sokoto State and beyond, the late young lawmaker was popular and loved by a broad spectrum of people. It is an understatement however, to say that members of his immediate family, his wives and children, would be the most devastated by his demise.
May Allah SWT provide for them the strength, the iman and fortitude to put up with the calamity that has befallen them, ameen. Next on the scale of those really bereaved, would be the members of the political household of his great uncle and mentor, Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, Sarkin Yaman Sakkwato. To mention but a few, one can only imagine what sense of a painful loss has the death of Abdullahi Speaker, inflicted on Alhaji Uban Dawaki, Alhaji Ahmed Kalambaina and Alhaji Aminu Mohammed, ACY.
There are also, Alhaji Ahmed Aliyu, Alhaji Umar Faruk Yabo, Alhaji Ahmed Mainasara Clerk, and Alhaji Muhammed Abubakar Danshehu, young Turks who have shown all along, unblemished loyalty and could go to battles with their eyes blindfolded with Magatakarda as the commander.
Surely, the most bereaved and deserving of condolences, would be Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, who at once, is the head of the political family, uncle and mentor to the late Abdullahi Speaker. Coming barely one year after the passage of yet another of his most trusted political sons, late Alhaji Nasiru Zarumai the depth of the pain on his heart over the latest loss, is best imagined. Under the circumstance, we can only join in supplicating Allah SWT to provide him the immense strength of mind to bear the loss. Most importantly, is to pray for almighty’s mercies on the soul of Honorable Muhammad Abdullahi (Speaker) Wamakko by granting him eternal abode in aljanah Firdausi, ameen.