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Prominent individuals who have died in Kano in the past 2 weeks




DEATH of over a dozen prominent persons in Kano State in the last 10 days have made headlines in the Nigerian media.

There are also news of other 640 mysterious deaths since the state recorded its first coronavirus (COVID-19) disease case on April 17, according to Sabitu Shuaibu, Kano State Deputy Coordinator of COVID-19 Response Team

Though there is no evidence yet linking the death  to COVID-19, doctors and residents have reported that some of the deceased exhibited symptoms of Coronavirus.

Already, about 281,313 lives have been lost globally and over 4 millions people infected.

In Nigeria, there are 4,151 confirmed cases , while 128 deaths have been recorded, according to the National Centre for Disease Control, NCDC.

Kano State has contributed to this number in less than two weeks.

One of the most prominent persons who has been buried in Kano in the past few days is Tafida Abubakar Ila Auta Bawo, Emir of Rano.

Alhaji Tafida Abubakar Ila Auta Bawo – Late Emir of Rano
CREDIT: NigerianMonitor
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The first class Emir of Rano Emirate died at Abdullahi Wase Specialist Hospital in Kano on Saturday, May 2, after a brief illness, according to local media.

The Rano Emirate Council on Sunday, May 3, confirmed that the emir was sick, but that his ailment was not related to COVID-19.

The septuagenarian was reportedly rushed to Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital and later  referred to the Nasarawa Specialist Hospital where he died.

Mysterious death in Kano had also claimed lives of  university dons, the likes of  Professor Aliyu Dikko, a professor at the Department of Physiology, Professor Ibrahim Ayagi, Economic Department,  Professor Monsiru Lasun-Emiola,  Physical Health Education and  Professir Balarabe Maikaba, Mass Communication Department,  all of  Bayero University Kano (BUK).

Professor Aliyu Dikko and Balarabe Maikaba – Bayero University Kano
Credit: Collage.

Those who knew Dikko before his demise described him as a brilliant educator who rose to the rank of Deputy Vice Chancellor of BUK in the year 2000.

Dikko graduated from the Department of Biological Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1981 and moved on to serve as a lecturer in Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto before joining BUK.

He died of an ‘unknown illness,’  according to reports.

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Also deceased, Maikaba – a professor of Mass Communication at BUK, known for his unconventional method of teaching, is revered as brilliant individual.

According to one of his students, Bilyaminu Gambo Abubakar, the late professor took his time to teach each topic and always had cerebral discussions with his students to enlighten them as well as keep them motivated.

Maikaba earned his Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD degrees in Mass Communication) at BUK.

He died on Sunday, April 26, at a private clinic in Kano metropolis, after a brief illness. He was 75.

Late Professor Ibrahim Ayagi – Kano-born foremost economist
CREDIT: Abusites

Ayagi, described as ‘iconic’ by those who knew him,  built a reputation for criticising the the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) policies, preaching against their methods in developing countries.

In fact, Ayagi religiously authored a newspaper column to educate Nigerians on the ‘evils’ of the Bretton Woods Institutions – World Bank and IMF – and the damage they were doing to developing countries.

Before making his mark in governance, the deceased professor spent his early years getting educated in Kano, before he earning a degree at  Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria between 1963 – 1970. He then proceeded to University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA in 1970 to earn a Master’s degree.

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Ayagi worked with the Olusegun Obasanjo Administration, where he served as chairman of the National Economic Intelligence Committee (NEIC) before becoming a full time educator.

He was the proprietor of Hassan Ibrahim Gwarzo Secondary School (HIGSS) in Kano before his demise. Ayagi died at age of 80 on April 25.

Dahiru Rabiu, a friend of late Ayagi and a former Grand Khadi (judge of the Sharia Court of Appeal) in Kano, was also reported dead.

Throughout his lifetimes, Rabiu upheld the islamic laws and practiced his belief system.

Rabiu was sworn in as Grand Khadi in 2003 by Rabiu Kwankwaso, the former governor of Kano State.

Other recorded prominent persons who have been reported dead in Kano are Dr Musa Umar Gwarzo; Mallam Nasir Maikano Bichi; Musa Tijjani (Editor of Kano-based Triumph Newspaper); and Adamu Isyaku Dal, a former Executive Secretary of the State Universal Basic Education Board.

The list include Alhaji Salisu Lado, Hajiya Shamsiyya Mustapha, Hajiyaj Nene Umma, Alhaji Garba Sarki Fagge, Alhaji Aliyu Daneji, father of National Coordinator, Presidential Task Force, PTF On COVID-19 and Dr. Sani Aliyu, who died at the age of 96.

Though several causes have been attributed to the mass deaths in Kano, some reports say Coronavirus is responsible for the mass death.

And many have blamed the high morbidity rate  on the­ dysfunctional healthcare system in the state.

Author profile

Seun Durojaiye is a journalist with International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

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