Mallam Abdulbaqi Jimoh: An Unsung Hero

Mallam Abdulbaqi Jimoh: An Unsung Hero

By: Shehu Bashir Esq.

AREWA AGENDA – 1997, destiny served as the bridge that connected me with a rare gem, a specially endowed individual, a consciously godly soul, a gentle man per excellence and an altruist by all definitions, Mallam Abdulbaqi Jimoh – “Boda Baqi”.

While I was a student at the University of Ilorin, then in my 200 level, I met him in company of the then Vice Chancellor, who was just appointed into that position. As a student union executive of Ilorin Emirate Students’ Union at that time, we had cause to relate and interact, and that was where I picked him out as such a committed, passionate and dedicated philanthropist, who is more concerned about making others that making noise.

I cannot write the history of my life and career without expressing my gratitude to Boda Baqi, same as I will always do with Prof. Shuaibu Oba AbdulRaheem. My journey to EFCC as a staff in 2012 was a success because Boda Baqi took it upon himself that I must fulfill a long time dream to work in that Commission. But for him, with Allah’s mercy, my wish would have just remained a mere dream.

I have always said that there are many heroes who have not been privileged, strictly speaking, to be exposed to political authority, should they do, they will turn this world into earthly paradise. There is no man I have met and known in my life that is so unconditionally kind and humble than Boda Baqi. He is not rich yet, he gives like Dangote, he is not so politically placed, yet he helps like he is the president. He uses every stick in his hands to stir the water of relief for anyone who is thirsty to drink.

I can say many good things about him but the one that amazes me more is his resistance to temptation, utmost regard for honour, self preservation and personal dignity. Boda Baqi is such a content man who though has stupendously rich and affluent people around him as friends and brother, yet, he remains reserved never to burden anyone with what he wants. Sometimes, I wonder why this kind of heroes will not be spotted out and uplifted accordingly. Life indeed is a mystery.

Sometimes, I can be very restless, while I seek to drive harder and demand for what I consider a duty from anyone in such position of power to help others, Boda Baqi will often treat everything with incredible patience, acquiescence and calmness. Even when his right is denied of him, he will just say, “dakun, fi won le” . It amazes me alot.

Life they say is a struggle, every able soul wants to struggle to success, getting better and bigger opportunities to help others grow and lift the society. As a civil servant, whose opportunity is limited to just administrative request and persuasion, Boda Baqi used his entire career in the service to change the cause of life of many. At the University of Ilorin, sitting in that position as a Senior Staff in the VC’s office at a time, I can’t count the number of indigent people who he assisted to gain admission into the University and helped through with their school fees. Many of them are even professors today and many of them, he did not even know before hand. If only I am allowed to open the catalogue of the beneficiaries of those he has helped for employment too, it will pleasantly shock many.

Boda Baqi specially enjoys the respect of many people, including many who are professors today at the University of Ilorin because he played key roles in the eventual employment of many of them, but he will never gloat over that. To Allah be the glory.

Life is time. I struggle to imagine that Boda Baqi will return from active service without the world rewarding such a man with political position of responsibility. Sometimes, I question our selection and election process and I wonder why the Community is not allowed to nominate people into positions based on the merit of kindness, commitment and sincere ambition to selfless service. Indeed, “this life no balance”.

As much as people think I am the talking type, in private, I talk and gist with a few people. Boda Baqi is one of those very few people whom I share everything about my life with. The only man I confin in without fear of breach of privacy. Boda Baqi has been playing a very important role in my life in term of temperament management and public image exposition. Naturally, I can be very impatient and resistant to nonsense, injustice and oppressive tendencies. Many at times, when I am fuming and fired up to react to any of such oppressive disposition by anybody at all, in his very loud taciturnity, Boda Baqi will just calm me down, preach the words of Allah to me and make me see reasons to apply decorum. I have never regretted any of his guidance in this direction.

Boda Baqi is probably my loudest “image maker”. He has this incredible love for me that he wants to introduce me to all his friends and will be canvassing for me to get political appointment. Many times when we go out together, and we meet any of his “big friends” he will introduce me to them and practically download my CV in one minutes, relaying my antecedents and competency to these people, like that person should just take me to the podium and raise my hand in appointment. I just don’t know why he honours me that much all the time but I am eternally grateful to him, always.

So, coming to see that ILORIN EMIRATE DESCENDANTS PROGRESSIVE UNION, Northern Branch will be honouring him with an award, I am duty bound to honour him with my presence and this note. No other person from ILORIN of his status deserves more. He has been such a fantastic man, the hero whose kindness is yet to be really sung. I owe him a duty of gratitude and forever, I will always be grateful to him.

If anybody deserves the honour of rewards, he will make the first on the list. Mall. ABDULBAQI is a God fearing man, a philanthropist, a selfless person, an enigma and a shinning emulable example to incoming generation to note and emulate as a reference figure in service to humanity.

May Allah Subuhanah Watahala continue to grow him in good health, honour him with the best of reward and provide for him and his family so that he can remain grateful to Allah, Ameena Ya Allahu 🤲.

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