Like Shakespeare wrote about greatness in one of his classic plays, Macbeth, “Some were born great, while others had greatness thrust upon them”. Looking at this quotation, it becomes difficult for me to write this tribute to Maitama Sule because I found it hard to choose my words. On the other hand, I got a consolation in the sense that whoever came in contact with the Elder Statesman could easily compose his own tribute in the mind and metal picture.
Maitama Sule was an embodiment of pure love for humanity devoid of any hidden and selfish tendency whereby he took everyone as his own son or daughter. He embraced all and sundry without discrimination as to tribe, religion and status. He would never give up in pursuing any goal he had, especially when it concerns the actualization of the country’s development which he doggedly struggled for until his last breath.
He was a leading light in the social and political life of Kano and Nigeria in general. Despite his advanced age he was still very strong in body, high in spirit and very formidable as a rallying point for the political determinism of this country. He was not an arm-chair critic for the woes of this nations but he sought for solution and instituted various platforms for re-directing the course of Nigeria. His zeal for this country and the pains he had for her political, economic and social emancipation seemed to consume him all through his life time.
My personal encounters with Maitama Sule at Bayero University, Kano on many occasions where he leads in the public lecture were life enriching as space would not permit me to say much more of him. His relationship with students is another legacy that should instruct all of us. He always wished the students to be greater than their parents in life achievements and my students always appreciated and loved him for that.
He adopted special, favourite and a golden way to drive the rigorous scales of life before he finally took his exit into the great beyond. We Miss Baba’s handshake, goodwill, advice and his smiles that would up-lift any one’s spirit.
Anyone who belonged and still belongs to Maitama’s school of thought and ideology cannot be associated with laziness, corruption, evil, wickedness or maltreatment of the down trodden, indifference to what affect the people. He does not only spoke against societal vices but did something about them. Haaaa! If you see me carrying a lantern in broad day-light, do not be surprised, I am looking for and searching for another Maitama Sule and God help me if I would ever find one…. Adieu Maitama.
Aondover Eric Msughter
Wrote in from the Department of Mass Communication
Bayero University, Kano.
Email: [email protected]