Tribute to Dr Babagana Wakil: a Friend Turned Brother
By Waziri Laminu
I first met Baana in 1973 when I was admitted into GSS Geidam. He was one year ahead of me but our small stature in the midst of giants attracted us to each other. Ya Fandi his late mother often commented on our union and once remarked that we looked more like brothers. Indeed we were till the very end. It’s hard to remain friends for such a long time but with Baana we shared our most intimate secrets for all these years and in all these years never had a single misunderstanding.
He was my best man during my wedding. We joined the MSS at a very early stage of our lives and attended together with the late
arc Babagana Adam senior classes in the circle of the late Sayinna Mustapha Alkali.
Of all our common interests,academic was on top. He was an erudite scholar. Although he started with NCE,Baana continued to build himself until he crowned it with 2 masters degrees and a PhD. When his NPC employers chose to send him to NIPSS very close to his retirement he came straight to me and we discussed it over and over until he finally agreed to go. At the institute he proved himself and was appointed his class monitor just as he was throughout the secondary school.
Baana was a very jovial and amiable person to all those who met him. He was full of jokes and stories.
He was a living encyclopedia of Borno history,language and culture. Through him i made so many friends. He also authored a dozen books in the kanuri language. No scholar of our time has done as much in this area as Dr Baana. Books that are taught at the NCE and degree levels. Indeed 2 years ago he produced 5 more kanuri literature books and I often asked where he got all that stamina.
As chief of staff to Governor Zulum he was the engine room of the administration. He had no weekend nor rest days and we often adviced him to take it easy.
Only last week his family convinced him to celebrate the 28th anniversary of his wedding without the least knowledge that death was lurking in the corner.
Life is not measured by how long it is lived but by the impact made. Baana you’ve made your indelible mark in the sand of time.
Adieu my brother
Dr BG Wakil. You lived a worthy life. May the almighty Allah grant you Janna al firdausi.