By; SAKINAT ALAMUTU
40 days ago, on that Thursday evening after Maghrib–Ishah prayers waiting to observe Tarawih Naflah to usher in Ramadan fasting. While waiting, I started experiencing unusual feelings, unconsciously said what kind of feelings is this and somebody asked me feeling like how? Then I answered him that it is usually a sign of a news. Then he said it is going to be a good one by God’s Grace.
Some minutes later, I got a call from a brother and colleague at NNN “Have you heard? I answered “that what”, he said that MD is dead. He asked repeatedly but my answer was muted, I was dumbfounded and overwhelmed with disappointment till he dropped the bombshell call.
Malam Tukur Abdulrahman demonstrated a true definition of good leadership which I used to believe is an impracticable theory. My colleagues will agree with me that our late Managing Director was a brilliant, peaceful intelligent observant, inspiring compassionate, responsible and a complete gentle man.
He does his best to pull everyone together to build the company as a team and make everyone feel sense of a stakeholder in the company.
His staff and colleagues felt comfortable, equal and had a very good relationship with him and he had confidence on his workers.
My boss was a person who was willing to listen and never short of advice and opinions. He never cuts short a conversation, he listened, even when he disagreed. My colleagues will also agree with me that one session with him can easily take up to an hour. One would wonder how vast he was.
“IT’S OKAY”, those words of his still ring in my ears everyday.
No matter how disappointed he was sometimes, he was someone who was always optimistic and wished others the best for instance, when any of his staff secured a new offer, Malam Tukur will advice the staff concerned, by saying, “You see I was asked to stop and convince you not to accept your new offer because you are one of the efficient staff we have in the company but we can’t do that”. Then he will go again, ” IT’S OKAY to leave and see the world out there, but you are always welcome back.” Isn’t that encouraging? That was my boss for you.
Like every other person, my Managing Director also had his own share of mood swings. However, I hardly saw him losing his temper. It was never his style to vent his anger and frustration on any of us.
Ever smiling Tukur, was also one who was not afraid to admit his mistakes as long as you are able to convince him, he will simply say “its okay” and that was all. I remember he used to apologize to his secretary and office assistant. “I forgot to tell you that I was traveling or having a meeting outside the office and that was why I was absent yesterday”. Whenever that happened, I felt like fainting or something like that, definitely this was a sign of strength, courage and responsibility.
He broke the yoke of lies in my life through his qualities – It is a well known attitude for workers to occasionally cook horrible lies when staying away from office. For example, on many occasions I sent messages of excuse duty to my boss (Malam Tukur) sometimes at short notice, depending on circumstances, I would either say I fell sick, fell inside a gutter or a big trailer fell across a major road and these led to long traffic.
In response to these, quite amazing enough, he would reply the excuse via sms “don’t worry, take your time because I am coming to the office around that time”, he will not frown at the short notice given him. It was then I realized that lying doesn’t worth it, knowing fully that he will permit us to go.
In view of the above qualities, I feel so blessed that I worked with one of the best bosses in the world whom I have also learnt priceless lessons from.
He lived a good life worthy of emulation.
SAKINAT is the Personal Secretary to the Managing Director of the New Nigerian Newspapers