As one calls the name above without any description especially in Damaturu, everyone can relate to him as his reputation has proceeded him even to those who never met him before.
He was someone I knew in person and have encountered many times as I usually stopped when passing by to greet him by his door where he usually seats with friends in his free times around the main roundabout in Damaturu.
The news of his death was the first thing I saw as I opened Twitter and I immediately called my Dad to confirm the painful news which happens to be true.
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It’s a painful writeup to me as I had to switch from celebrating Global Teachers to a eulogy of one of the most outstanding teachers for many and myself have ever come across in life.
Unlike many religious leaders, he was active in advocacy for good governance and politics in the state, Malam Ibrahim was a humanitarian and a grass-roots campaigner against gender-based violence, he has been in the forefront of sensitization and preaching peace while encouraging forgiveness and enlightening the general public.
He was a strong pillar of the society who has never let any sensitive problem escalate without any cautions in his weekly Friday sermons and he did so without fear or favour. His position as the leader of the Yobe State council of Imams was purely out of merit and sense of responsibility.
He was not only an Islamic scholar but also a lecturer with the department of Islamic Studies, Yobe State University Damaturu, he was a statesman with his own orphanage foundation and has earned the trust of the community who are always at ease and confident of justice and fairness whenever his name appears in a committee or chairing a team.
His fearless nature and support for reforms have set him above his contemporaries who have folded their hands or step aside in many instances, his desire to assist the poor and offer selfless service to humanity has made him be going round hospitals and helping patients in need.
As a stakeholder in the JIBWIS movement, he has been a great motivation to many young people who have joined the volunteer movement including myself at a time and changed their lives, and many of my childhood friends are among those people who are still in the movement today.
It’s a monumental loss to the country and the people of Yobe state in particular. Death took him at a time we needed him the most, as a mentor to many young people who attend his brief preaching between Maghrib and Isha’ obligatory prayers.
He gives time out of his busy schedules to young people for consultations in person. His Eid-el-Fitr annual prayers sermons were one of the best as he always focuses on the current issues affecting the society especially the young people.
We stand in prayers with his families and relatives and by extension his many students and mentees especially the JIBWIS Damaturu branch, it’s indeed an unimaginable loss.
Malam Ibrahim lived a life of legacies and uncompromised character and exemplary personality, he has lived in a way that he would be remembered and known by many for years to come.
He was very healthy as of the night before his death and attended his normal brief preaching after maghrib obligatory prayer and led the morning prayers at his mosques of Nasarawa bypass before going to sleep that he never woke up.
He died a peaceful death in his sleep and we pray may God forgive his shortcomings and accept his good deeds, grant him the highest level of paradise and give his family the fortitude to bear this great and painful loss.
The biggest lesson for me in his exit is the very fact and frightening revelation that being healthy was never an injection for mortality and that we all go to sleep every day but none of us has the guarantee or certainty of waking up again. May God forgive him and grant us an easy death when our time comes.
Musa Gambo is a JCI Nigeria Ambassador, President, Junior Chamber International Nigeria, El-kanemi, Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria.
He can be reached via Mgambo78@gmail.com.