A Tribute: Dr. Shafiu Auta: So You Have Abandoned Me Halfway?

by Prof. S.A. Zuru

It was just like yesterday when I got back from United Kingdom and took appointment at Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto. As an ordinary mortal, never knew that the component of the destiny that brought me to Danfodio University was for us meet and build a bond that though tested severally would last a lifetime. When I resumed at the University, the custodians of the Faculty in their wisdom assigned Jurisprudence to me to teach.

The implication was that, I only get to meet the graduating students of the 500 Level exist door. That was how we met, I taught you Jurisprudence and, like was told in the chronicle of a good teacher, “ he will always spot a talent, a genius in the making within the pool of his or her classroom “ absolutely true to story. When I gave your class a test in Jurisprudence, your performance was a class act of brilliance ahead of your classmates. That prompted me asking your class rep to bring you and like Professor Moorie Shultz in Tuesday With Moorie, thus began our life long relationship. I can recall that when you were about to graduate, I summoned you to my office, sat you down and pleaded with you to think seriously about pursuing a career in the academics and promised to be there for you. After our conversation, you assured me that you will get back to me after consulting with your family, I believed you and you never disappointed me. After your Law School, expectedly, you came to see me in the Faculty to importantly gladden my heart with your decision to toy the path of honor and dignity. Understandably I was overwhelmed with emotions when you informed that, you have decided to pursue a career in academics. I immediately scheduled an appointment for us both to see the Vice Chancellor about your appointment, however before then, I decided that we should see Professor Bada on the same issue and we did.

Needless to say that, on both meetings with Prof. Bada and the Vice Chancellor, I argued passionately about merit of your case besides, you were neither from Zuru nor did we share any kind of affinity or fraternity. It gratifying that our best effort paid off and you were accordingly appointed an Assistant Lecturer . As we held ourselves together and walked through the dark tunnel into the future, I kept reminding you that, so long as you were destined to excel, you must be vigilant, discipline with hardwork as your religion. And when the opportunity came for you to do your masters degree, I counseled you but politely insisted that you do it at the Center for Petroleum Law Studies and Policy, University of Dundee, United Kingdom (a school I also attended). At the end of the day you agreed and did just that, thank you for the respect and loyalty. Shafiu, forget about death, it has always been wicked, cruel and unsympathetic, you were only its latest victim and we all shall be. As my companion, I must tell you that despite our sparks, you neither disappointed me nor ever fallen short of my expectations. As Professor Moorie Shultz said in Tuesdays With Moorie, “there is nothing extraordinary about death, what it does at worst is only to take life but does not change relationship.“ Finally, now that you are gone and truly gone, sleep tight and sleep peaceful, you deserve it but, make no mistake Doc., this relationship will continue , what has changed though according to Moorie is the model and thrust of our conversation, while I do the talking, you will now do the listening. Thank you, thank you for the relationship, thank you for the good times. See you after midnight, may your soul Rest In Peace and thus it will, it must. Thank you


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