Tribute to Late Professor Haruna Wakili by Abdulrazaq Alkali

We are deeply shocked and saddened to learn the demise of Professor Haruna Wakili, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Bayero University, Kano. Our thoughts and prayers are with Wakili’s family, friends and associates at this very sad time. May Allah (SWT) have mercy on him, forgive his sins and grant him paradise.

We at OCCEN agreed without a doubt that Prof. Haruna Wakili was a brilliant scholar, partner, mentor and a good resource person.

He left behind a legacy in the field of democracy and history of our political development with his inspirational and thought-provoking facilitation style during our youth training on democracy.

He left a multitude of scholarly publications that are vital for our continuous coaching and training of youth on strengthening their capacity to participate in politics and democratization process. On his character, he is well remembered as a warm and inspiring professor.

Loved by all, he was truly dedicated to his job and his two-term tenure as Director, Aminu Kano Center for Democratic Studies was outstanding. Many civil society organizations who knew him have been inspired by his scholarship especially in the area of Politics and History.

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Those who have worked with Professor Wakili will always remember him as a person who carries everyone along and a caring mentor, diligent and trustworthy; he would make sure that all tasks and responsibilities given to him are managed well.

He was an active partner and resource person of several OCCEN’s activities in the area of youth training, town hall meetings and policy dialogue, and he was always willing to share the burden and responsibility of our work by taking lead in delivering those responsibilities, we at OCCEN can attest to that as he has done to us multiple times.

He once asked me being the director of OCCEN, how do we measure the impact of the youth training. Prof. Wakili suggested that apart from measuring the larger collective impact of the democracy education we are providing, OCCEN needs to follow up with individual young people trained to see how they are doing in terms of impacting their communities using the knowledge and experience acquired during the training.

Hence we started the concept of youth democracy drivers and documentation of their activities individually. On engagement with our youth participants, many of them said they will always remember and treasure the moments of inspiring discussions and the hearty engagement they had with Prof. Wakili during their training days, organized by OCCEN with support from National Endowment for Democracy.

They promised to pass on the legacy by telling others stories about this wonderful professor that they once met. Prof. Haruna Wakili made us feel as if he was truly among our level, rather than above us. In this regard, he was more than a facilitator…he was a great leader and role model.

Thank you for showing us how to educate and lead.

Adieu Prof. Haruna Wakili, and rest in peace!

Abdulrazaq Alkali, is the Executive Director, Organization for Community Civic Engagement (OCCEN) Nigeria.

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