By Dr. Mahfouz Adedimeji
I have been distraught and devastated since yesterday when a digger was driven right into my heart. That was on account of the sad news of Alhaji Yusuf Nwoha's death. There is still a lump in my throat and I shiver as I manage to write this.
Until his death, Alhaji Nwoha was the Director of Administration, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA). Innaa liLlaahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji'uun! This death is turn by turn; from Allah we come and to Him we shall all return.
Though death is an undeniable reality, the way it strikes sometimes leaves one in utter bewilderment and sheer disillusionment. Who would have thought that Alhaji Nwoha, with whom I have maintained a very close relationship since last year, would leave us so soon?
As Allah would have it, Alhaji Nwoha died yesterday in a ghastly motor accident in Okenne. He was on his way to his native Owerri to celebrate Eid with his family. However, the pen had been raised and the scrolls had dried that he wouldn't witness the celebration!
Who knows whose turn is next among us?
The late Alhaji Nwoha was an amazing brother. Since he embraced Islam in the 80's when he was a student of English at Bayero University, Kano, there had been no looking back for him as he exemplified the essential Muslim personality and defied our harebrained stereotyping. He was disciplined, devoted, humble, honest, sincere, serious-minded, committed, contented, passionate and pious.
Though the late top Administrator had been a top functionary of NSCIA for many years, being a member of its decision-making General Purpose Committee, his service to Islam and Ummah took a step up when he accepted to occupy the position of the Director of Administration late last year after his retirement from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). I am his immediate predecessor.
The opportunity of working closely with Alhaji Nwoha especially during the handing over process and afterwards gave me a further insight into his personality, though we had worked together before then. Like every conscientious Muslim, he was conscious of his mortality and was always dutiful in his religious obligations.
A man of infectious simplicity, the soft-spoken Nwoha was a knowledgeable individual and a role model extraordinaire. Fairly complexioned and seemingly ageless, he radiated the stunning looks that made one think of the first Yusuf.
This is the proverbial straight tree that was destined not to last long in our forest. It is a huge vacuum and we are bereaved. Yet, we are consoled by the awareness of the fact that his Maker and Recaller loves him more than we can ever do.
I condole with his beloved family, the President-General of NSCIA and Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alh. Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar, CFR, mni; the Secretary General of the Council, Prof. Is-haq O. Oloyede, OFR; the Secretariat of the Council and the entire Nigerian Muslim Community on this massive loss.
May the Almighty Allah overlook his shortcomings and grant him Aljannah Firdaws.