Hamisu Ado: From Hawker To Hero At Kaduna NUJ Press Center

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By John Fwah,

Wednesday, January 9, 2019, marks a day Kaduna Journalists held a very solemn ‘Valedictory’ State Emergency Congress that was devoid of trappings witnessed at other Congresses.

This particular Congress was heavily laden with emotions with all the members present in very sober and mourning mood which was a sign of the sad state of the Kaduna State NUJ.

Immediately the Chairman, Comrade Adamu Yusuf, declared the floor open, after his opening remarks for members to express their feelings about the demise of the  man ‘Hamisu’, who was like everyone’s ‘errand boy’ or messenger while alive.

Elder Alhaji Tajudeen Tijjani Ajibade, broke the pin drop silence in the jam-packed hall as he told the story of how Hamisu came to Kaduna. He said, ‘I know Hamisu about 31 years ago as a young man when he came to Kaduna and was hawking cigarettes, biscuits and other articles at our old Press Center, opposite the New Nigerian Newspapers.

Today he is not here with us. May Allah grant him Aljannah firdausi,’ as he and members fought back tears. ‘He was later to be employed by the Council to assist the bar man, Yunusa, as a cleaner, a job he maintained until he returned to his maker yesterday, (Tuesday January 7, 2019) being the second day of the three days mourning declared by the Council as a mark of honour and respect for this ‘hero of Kaduna NUJ.’  Elder Tijjani said, We cannot have another Hamisu again in this Kaduna NUJ. I may quarrel with him, but the following day we will continue as usual as if nothing happened between us. Nobody would even know and where they know it was no issue. We will really miss his services.”

  A former Council Secretary, Dominic Ezeuzu, said, “You never know the value of something until you lose it.

That was the situation we find ourselves in NUJ Kaduna today. Hamisu was one staff of this NUJ you can put your whole confidence and trust on.

I came as a green horn journalist to know him at the old Press Center and since then he has not disappointed me especially when I held office in the Council. He was everything to us in this Council.

We will really miss him. May his soul rest in peace, amen.” Members could hardly hold back tears as speaker after speaker paid glowing tribute to one man, Hamisu Ado, the only staff of the Kaduna State Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Council that served with dedication and commitment for 31 years. Hamisu Ado returned to his maker like all mortals on the morning of Tuesday, January 8, 2019 after brief illness.” While on his sick, the Secretary of the Council, Comrade John Femi Adi, observed that  Hamisu was eager to return to his duty post on discharge from hospital. He said in his post on the platform, thus:

“Even on hospital bed ,he was still willing to return to his duty post, as NUJ Messenger.

He was an unusual staff ,who was humble ,committed and willing to go all kinds of errands .

Late Hamisu was known as ” NUJ Bank” ,because money kept in his custody was always  safe and handy. In fact ,he could be described as ,”Integrity Personified”.

Hamisu Ado has left a vacuum that would be very difficult to fill.

He was aged 63 and survived by a wife and eight children .

We pray that God grant his family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

Both the Chairman and Secretary kept a tab on him as he was transferred from Barau Dikko hospital to Yusuf Dantsoho hospital. The news of his demise went viral. Comrade Adamu Yusuf said, ” when the daughter called me, I said, this call is not a good one as we were making arrangements to transfer him to Barau Dikko hospital. And my doubts was confirmed when she told me, ‘our father is dead.’ I was totally devastated as I can hear her cry.'”  He said that Hamisu served everybody in the NUJ dedicatedly and would not say no to any errand just as he would not quarrel with you. Referred to as ‘NUJ bank,’ several testimonies said he could be trusted with any amount of money. ‘Give him money and come back tomorrow you will get the money in the same denominations. He will go to bank and if there is a mistake in the teller he will point it out for you.’ 

The confidence and trust on him was such that earned him the name D.G of NUJ Kaduna by the former chairman of the Council, now Zone ‘A’ Vice President, Comrade Yusuf Idris. The reason is not far-fetched.  Late Hamisu, became the only NUJ staff who worked, and served all the Chairmen of the Council up to the incumbent. Just like the saying goes, ‘soldier go, soldier come, barracks remain’. Late Hamisu was like a barrack — ‘Chairman come, Chairman go. Hamisu remains’. Some of the Chairmen include,  late Albashir, Kingsley Hunohashi, Ibrahim Madaki, late Kabir Umar,  Yunusa Aliyu, late Musa Isah, Dr Ismaila Shehu, Andrew Fadason, Ismail Omipidan(acted), Yusuf Idris, now VP Zone A, Garba Mohamed and the incumbent Adamu Yusuf.

During the Valedictory Congress, Yunusa Aliyu who described the early life and the entry in to Kaduna NUJ administration by Hamisu, as a story of “The Hawker boy to Hero” captured it thus, ‘Hamisu came to this town hawking cigarettes, biscuits, sweets and other small things. We did not really want him around because there was another person doing same hawking before Hamisu. But Hamisu hung around , sometimes with his wares in his pockets. We however started patronizing him but he ended being liquidated. By who? By us, simply because we were not paying him. That’s the point he was brought in as a cleaner and helper to the main bar man and he was told that his duty was to keep the premises clean. All the story started at old site of the NUJ opposite New Nigerian Newspapers (NNN). Thanks to his hard work and dedication to the extent that he was almost not taking time off to travel to his home state, Kano. I know that many of you don’t know where he came from. ‘He said that Hamisu was not educated per se, but Journalists have to rely on him for certain information, just as he could identify each member of the NUJ by their names. He even served as a ‘spy’ or informant to new Chairman, because he knows the names, ability, and characters of any of our individual members. Hamisu was a dedicated, committed, hardworking  He was a trustworthy and confidant fellow.

Adamu Yusuf said, Hamisu was a leader. He has the attributes of a good leader, patience, tolerance, self control, honesty, respect, diligence, hard work, even when he was not educated.

 He was a very responsible and reasonable family man. He catered for his family even more than some people. He loved his family and they also loved and looked up to him in everything. From what I saw they will miss his loving care and attention so much. I learnt a lot from him in this three years in the office and these are the things I cannot get from the school.

Contributions by members at the Congress suggested various ways to remember late Hamisu Ado who was Kaduna NUJ personified. ‘There were suggestions for his immortalization while others called for catering for the family by way of ensuring the continual education of the children to keep the spirit of the late alive. One man who demonstrated his concern and affection as a member of the Journalists union is Alhaji Ahmed Maiyaki former SA Media to former Governor Yero. He said, ‘I have to break away from my activities in Abuja and knowing fully well that I will be late for this Congress I abandoned using the train and joined the public road transport with all the risks. After his message of condolences to the Union of which he is part of, Ahmed suggested Endowment Fund, not only for the late but for our other colleagues. ‘I think Endowment fund Committee should be set up not only for Hamisu but for our colleagues to benefit from it. I am offering myself in this regards.’ He said. Another school of thought suggested adoption of the late Hamisu as a retiree with monthly pension to make the family have a feel of the years their father was with the Kaduna State NUJ Council was not in vain.

A former Council Secretary of the NUJ Kaduna, many years ago,  Donatus Okpe, until recently a former MD of Graphics newspaper, Kogi State, in his tribute to the late said, ‘Of what use is my elegy ,of what use is my epitaph when I didn’t know you had protracted illness. I was once or twice Secretary of Kaduna State Council of NUJ and I learnt a great deal from you. From Hamisu our late press Centre manager,whose death has just been announced, I know that honesty,integrity and loyalty are not class determined. You were poor in material sense of the word,but your golden heart is shrouded in honesty,integrity and loyalty without recourse to religion and ethnicity. Those who related with you didn’t care  about where you came from. You were not educated but could teach us how to run the secretariat.  You never compromised the education  of your children. May God reward your sincerity, honesty and loyalty to humanity with eternity. Hamisu rest in peace

Another member and admirer of the late Hamisu, , Akinjide Jide Babalola,  the assistant editor of the Nation Newspaper, in his condolence message said: ” what I knew of him over the years easily convinces me of his exceptional  excellence as a being. Although he did not have the education or exposure that most of us had, he stood much taller in terms of genuine human feelings towards others and very sincere Godliness.

“He was a most excellent citizen of Nigeria, relating so well with everyone from all parts of this great country and with him, nobody cares to identify him with any town, state or tribe. Humble, extremely conscientious, hard working and faithful to his Maker, even in the face of palpable lack.

“Hamisu was perhaps the most excellent advertisement for his religion. He had all than you can look for in an exemplary Muslim I never ceased to wonder how, with the right opportunity, Hamisu could have been a great leader, an exceptional manager or any other thing comparable to such”, Babalola said.

As Hamisu Ado has set the bar of honesty, integrity, hard work  dedication, trust, commitment, conscientious, respect, diligence, self-control, attributes of good leader, responsible and reasonable family man even when he was not lettered like his employer,  Kaduna State NUJ Council,  the onus is on the doors of the practitioners of this noble profession.

John Fwah, is a Kaduna based Journalist

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