Tribuute: Engineer Usman Abubakar lived a simple life – By Muhammed Lawal
ENGR. USMAN ABUBAKAR LIVED A SIMPLE LIFE
He was simple, led a humble life, and departed simply. Engineer Usman Abubakar Daura, Chairman Nigerian Railway Corporation until his death last week, was an epitome of simplicity, humility and measured tolerance, even though I became very close to him fairly recently, from 2015, we had earlier in life shared a common mentor in Kaduna, the Late Mallam Liman Chiroma, of blessed memory, Engineer Usman Abubakar worked with Mallam Liman Chiroma at the higher level while myself and other like Mahmud Jega and Abdulhameed Babatunde worked at the level of trainees coming up to serve voluntarily.
We worked together in various committees of Arewa Consultative Forum, Jama’atul Nasril Islam and various Ad-hoc panels. There were many emergency meetings, mostly at Arewa House, during visitation and meetings with international Scholars to explore the values, cultures and other hidden qualities of the north. There were also many meetings with delegations from other parts of the country in order to build bridges of understanding. Mallam Liman Chiroma chaired them; Engr. Usman Abubakar played prominent roles in them, while the rest we tagged along.
After the euphoria of the 2015 election that brought President Muhammad Buhari into power, I was brought close to Engr. Abubakar by a very intimate friend of his, Mallam Ya’u Darazo, whom I have clearly associated with since 2001. Together we established an NGO called Peaceful Change and Social Development Initiative. Engr. Usman became the chairman while I am the Executive Director. This NGO is set out to engage with the Nigerian public in matters that shall promote peace and social development within and amongst the people of Nigeria.
It also aims to consolidate the positive changes associated with the government of President Muhammad Buhari.
Engr. Usman Abubakar was the person together with three others still alive (Mallam Mamman Daura, Abba Kyari and Ya’u Darazo) that can sacrifices their lives for President Muhammad Buhari based on the solid principle. Whatever he was coming to Abuja Engr. Usman Abubakar will call and inform me that he will be in Abuja and as soon as he arrived he would also call and let me know. He once said to me, you are the first person I call whenever I came to Abuja.
Even though he was an engineer by profession, he was blessed with the ability to ‘’make head to issues that are headless, while at the same time crossing the final tees and dot on the most of our submissions. He led a humble life and had no airs even when he was among his children not to mention his friends and colleagues.
After serving as commissioner for works and transport in the then Kaduna State (now Kaduna and Katsina States) in the 80s, he retired to private practices and part time exemplary service to Nigeria. No wonder he choose to live with commoners at Anguwar Dosa, Kaduna along a street named after him. Commissioners Road. The offer then as a result of his selfless services was for the road to be named after his name but he insisted that let it be his title, hence ‘’Commissioner Road’’, during his last four days at the Turkish Hospital in Abuja, I visited him daily, giving him comfort together with Alhaji Yakubu Leko, his Driver and friend. What started as a little stomach ache ended his life on Thursday 0ctober 11, 2018, May Allah Grant him eternal peace in Al-Jannah Al-Fiddaus. Amen
Mallam Muhammed Lawal wrote from Abuja