Barrister Abdullahi Aliyu Babangari’s painful exit

I’m still in shock and pain over the demise of Barrister Abdullahi Aliyu Idris Babangari. About a month ago, we prayed on the same mat at Malam Bello Adamawy Mosque, Hayin Malam Bello. In fact, I arrived at the mosque before him and he, along with his brother, Arc. Nuhu Aliyu Idris, later joined me and I turned round to ask the late Barrister whether or not he was strong enough to observe the Friday prayers, because some hours before then, I had left him on admission at M.S.K Specialist Hospital, Rigasa, Kaduna.

He laughed and teased me saying ‘you know I am about to undergo a complicated surgery as such, I need serious prayers, especially today being Friday; I cannot afford to miss Friday prayers. Similarly, my brother Nuhu was at the hospital and insisted that I should be brought here for the Friday prayers for which I will forever remain grateful to him whether I survive the coming cancer operation or not.

 Now, Abdullahi’s death is not only painful, he died at the tender age of 35 leaving behind his mother, one wife and several sisters and brothers. The Babangari family is such that my wife is the third in seniority after Safiya, Aunty Sala. Honestly, their father gave them certain training that you can hardly differentiate which children come from a particular woman.

It took me years to know that some of the family members are not from the same mother with my wife as there is no room for showing differences among the children. When their father Aliyu Idris Babangari died of cancer complications at Access Clinic, Zaria Road, Kano, years back, he left a very strong will that never should his children operate on the basis of who is from which woman, but to should refer to the two wives he left behind as goggo and that they should take each other’s problem as the responsibility of all of them.

Late Abdullahi Aliyu Idris, after his graduation from the Bayero University Kano, and attaining law school in Abuja, though he did his law school at Bagauda, Kano Campus, was briefly into private practice before he secured a job with Kaduna state Ministry of Justice. When Kaduna state governor, Malam Nasiru El-Rufai, requested that Minister of Justice should send him three brilliant lawyers to work with him in Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, the late Abdullahi was chosen among the three. In fact, Kaduna state Commissioner for Justice who visited him on his hospital bed and later visited the family compound at Abdulrashid Road Rigasa, Kaduna, cried like a baby after describing Abdullahi’s death as “a great loss to Kaduna state and his family.”

When Barrister Abdullahi decided to settle down, he met a lawyer colleague after seeing his sister and told him that he was interested in her and would love to marry her. When he got the go-ahead to do so, whenever he visited the lady, he would go in a very rough and tattered dress to ascertain whether or not the lady actually loved him for good, and truly, she told her people that she was not interested in him until her attention was drawn to the fact that the guy coming to her was a qualified and hard-working lawyer. When she approached him with this information, he laughed and said it was not true, that he was only a poor man struggling to survive, but one thing led to the other and they eventually got married.

The late Abdullahi, a deeply religious fellow, opened an Islamiyya School in El-Modern International School, Rigasa, a school owned by his senior sister, Hajiya Aisha Aliyu. He used the school to teach the Hadith, the Qur’an and other basic Islamic knowledge; he also wrote Islamic books which his students still use while other Islamic schools too have adopted the same book for their students.

When Aisha, my wife, and Abdullahi’s sister opened his handset which had been with her since his operation, there were several posts by Abdullahi on the social media and some to his friends. In most of these posts, he was talking about the virtue of Islam, his desire to make it to paradise, his advice for people to shun material things and his very deep messages for Muslim Ummah. In fact, before his operation, he told his mother that if one was sure of getting paradise, why would he insist that he would “remain in this world that has nothing to offer, but pain and other vices.”

These were some of the things Abdullahi continued to illustrate before his death. Now, let’s come to the painful aspect of Abdullahi’s death; when the hospital gave them a bill of more than N2 million, for first and second operations, the Kaduna state Commissioner for Justice applied to the governor to release the money for the operations. Up to the time he died about three months later, the file was still on the governor’s table, but it was quickly approved after Abdullahi died.

Secondly, this is the third time, if not the fourth, that I witnessed the death of a patient at MSK Specialist Hospital. All the patients were very close to me; Abba Abu Rajab died in the hospital when I was around; Safiya Shehu Muhammad died in the hospital of cancer complications, Shehu’s wife and my wife are of the same parents. Shehu spent close to N3 million for his little daughter before she died. Only about N300, 000 was paid to other doctors that operated on Safiya in a hospital in Ungwan Rimi GRA and the third one is Barrister Abdullahi which also cost more than N2 million.

Retired AVM Maisaka certainly may have set up MSK Specialist Hospital in the remote part of Rigasa to help the poor, but it charges more than N2 million for cancer operation. So, why is the hospital located in a place that is not known to all? Does the hospital have qualified doctors and modern equipment to handle complicated cases? I only know of one Dr. M.S.K Maisaka, a few nurses and other staff that have no medical backgrounds.

The Kaduna state Ministry of Health should visit M.S.K Specialist Hospital and verify what is happening there because people are dying there almost on a daily basis yet, it is a specialist hospital. What does the hospital specialises in? On the hospital’s signboard it is boldly written that the hospital offers this and that, but in most cases when you take a patient there the hospital will charge you an amount of their choice and later look for doctors from hospitals across the country to help in handling the cases. Doctor Jimoh from Kogi state, a staff of ABU Teaching Hospital, Zaria, who is a brain surgeon and operated on the Barrister Abdullahi, is not a on the MSK Specialist Hospital, Rigasa payroll as a staff.

As for the late Barrister Abdullahi, one can say for certain that he indeed finished well. In fact, people that turned out for his funeral were unprecedented in the history of Burial in Layin Biliya Cemetery; he was religious, kind, humble and above all nobody has visited their family compound without illustrating his positive tributes. We members of his family that he left behind will continue to pray for him and be grateful to those who stood by us during his painful exit.

The Kaduna state Commissioner for Justice did all she could as a leader and God will definitely bless her efforts, members of Abdullahi’s immediate family, I mean his sisters and brothers and all those who assisted in one way or the other during his sickness. May Allah bless all of them; he ended well and we hope that he is resting in Aljannah Firdausi. Bye Barrister, till we meet to part no more.

Askira writes this tribute from Kano