By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
Governor Bala Mohammed has adjudged former president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as the best president Nigeria ever had, who now the country is missing.
Receiving the former president in Bauchi on Friday to condole him over the demise of his elder brother, Abubakar Mohammed, the governor also described the former president as the most level-headed Nigerians have ever seen.
He told Jonathan, “So many people are striving to be President, you are the best President Nigeria has ever had. The tall, the short, the young and the old, everybody from across the country have remained part of your family which is a manifestation of the kind of good leadership qualities that you have”.
Governor Bala said, “One of my elder brothers will always tell me to copy you, but I am struggling to copy you, to be like you, you are patience, intelligent and focused. Let no one misunderstand your gentility because you can take decisive decisions when the need arises and they will be taken by surprise”.
“We hardly had anything in common even at party level but because of nationality and patriotism placed in your heart and the need to create unity you made me come to national relevance and limelight. So, Your Excellency, even my late brother recognized your benevolent posture”.
Senator Bala Mohammed observed that the former president can still do so much for Nigeria by his status of statesmanship as, according to the governor, “We believe our presidential candidate and all other presidential candidates will gain from your wealth of experience”.
He noted that everywhere in Africa and indeed across the world, the former president has always been called for one assignment or the other, adding “We are proud of that, May Allah further elevate you and one day and bring you back as the President of Nigeria”.
He emphasized the former president’s sense of mentoring need to be emulated, as hid capacity for leadership recruitment has not yet been surpassed, stressing that It is not because he want to boost his ego, but, they have to say it for many people to copy.
“With humility, through your office, we built over 10,000 millionaires in Nigeria, through your benevolence, we have helped so many people, there are so many people who rose during your tenure. This is the extension of the goodwill you have created across the board”.
“You gave me trust and I will always remember that you did that without my input, without anyone talking to you on my behalf”, the governor recalled, saying “Many are now struggling to become the next President of Nigeria but no one can match your qualities”.
You are outstanding, you gave the best to the country which will be difficult to equal by anyone”. You remain the best thing to have happened to this country called Nigeria. Your selfless service and sacrifice has made Nigeria greater than how you met it”.
The Governor said that the former president is part and parcel of the people of Bauchi state, but his position and achievements are beyond him, the state or anybody, saying Jonathan carved a niche for himself as a humane and simple leader.
Mohammed further told Jonathan, “You a leader who lives very well, who lives peacefully with people. For someone like me, I always look to cherish our relationship where I came to national limelight and prominence through your benevolence and act of Allah”.
Former President Jonathan has earlier condoled the Governor and his entire family over the death, saying, “It is a solemn assembly to pay a condolence but one would have loved to visit here to commission project. We are mortals and must die one day. I am here to condole a younger brother who lost his elder brother”.
“Nobody knows date of death unlike when a woman is pregnant and the expectant parents will guess date of delivery. He has come and Allah has called him back, there is nothing we can do about that only to pray for fortitude to bear the irreplaceable loss”, he said.
Jonathan added, “The world is just a stage where we all came to play different parts. One thing though is that people leave when the ovation is loudest leaving behind things that will make people to remember them. Our late brother had played his part, he gone but left behind good things to remember him for”.
Engr. Salmanu Mohammed who responded to the condolence by the former president on behalf of the Dugurawa family members said that they have many reasons to cherish his condolence visit, but firstly said, “Abubakar Mohammed grew up in a family of academics. Our father graduated from Bauchi Teachers College in March 1934”.
Salmanu pointed out a large number of the family members to the former president, “Those of us who were here on behalf of the family, almost everybody has a degree, everybody. The late Abubakar Mohammed has two Masters Degrees from the United Kingdom. He was a planning officer in the Bauchi state service. He served this country for 35 years and retired as assistant director in the Central Bank of Nigeria”.
“Coming to your relationship with the Executive Governor, we have every reason to believe you are part of us, your relationship with Bala Mohammed is beyond our imagination. At the time when he was in the opposition, you decided to make him a minister. At a time, you came for second time, you retain him as a minister”.
Salmanu added, “You have always been visiting Bauchi since Bala Mohammed become the governor. The family has no less knowledge of the fact only those you love then you follow, you are the leader but you are still coming to us, sir, we are very grateful for this. This condolence visit would be cherished by the family members as long as we can remember”.
He recalled that when Governor Bala Mohammed started building network of roads in Bauchi state, the first road he completed was named after Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in respect of the relationship the governor holds him in very high esteem, expressing the hope that with the coming of new elections the former president would be with them.
Abubakar Mohammed died last Sunday at the age of 69 years, leaving behind a wife and five children, a male and four females.