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Footprints Of Humanity And Humility: Nine Years After Prof Ahmad Falaki- The Fall of Farmers’ General II

The Oasis Reporters

March 6, 2024







By Prof. M. K. Othman

Contrary to Mark Antony’s statement in Shakespeare’s play in 100 BC, “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is often interred with their bones,” there are certain men whose good was so great that part might have been interred with their bones for heavenly reward.

The other part might continue to immortalize them several years after their death.

The testimonies of people whose lives were touched by Prof. Mustapha Ahmed Falaki during his well-spent life makes it irresistible not to share a few more with those not opportuned to associate with him. Happy reading.

It has been exactly nine years, one week today since Falaki died. I first interacted with him one-on-one and closely around 1989 when choosing undergraduate project topics in agronomy for the crop science option. The tradition then was students chose topics drawn along IAR research activities by lecturers. On his guidance, I decided on one that his mentor and father supervised.- Prof. M K Ahmed.

The late Prof. M K Ahmed supervised four of us, Musa Gashua, Yunusa Mustapha, and Babangida Umar. Our set was the last he taught and supervised at the UG level. The late Prof. Falaki chaired both my M Sc and Ph.D. supervisory committees. So, I consider myself a son and grandson of Falaki and M K Ahmed respectively

Late Prof. Falaki was instrumental in my application for a teaching job in January 1991.

When I came to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria for my Convocation, I dropped an unsigned application for the position of an Assistant Lecturer with him, the job which later materialized in June 1994. Before I came, I was already employed in Jigawa State, but Mallam Falaki did not allow me to think twice about leaving that job for the job in ABU Zaria.

Unsurprisingly, Prof, you called Falaki the Farmers’ General. His contributions to farmers as SG2000 Country Director in agricultural production and extension are second to none.
Even before then, his famous nicknames, Mallam Falaki and simply Falaki, were household names in the university community (ABU), northern States’ ADP circles, Agriculture Faculties of Nigerian universities, and Federal and (northern) States’ Ministries of Agriculture. So, I called him the Sardauna of our time. I will conclude with two observations and prayers. Nine years after Prof. Falaki’s death, his vacuum is yet to be filled. His Khalifa is yet to be identified. The realization of his absence is evident and apparent daily, especially to those of us in his immediate constituency – Zaria. This shows the great personality he had. His seniors may not be alive, and the few friends/colleagues/contemporaries around him must have retired now, but he left multiple circles of students he trained/mentored. Again, nine years after him, his remembrance remains an annual tribute. He needs to go to the next level by instituting Annual remembrance lectures, foundations, etc, to keep his legacy. Now, the prayers which he needs most. My prayers are: May Allah continue to shower mercy on the soul of the late Prof. Falaki. May Allah continue to forgive his shortcomings, bless his children, and grant him Jannah.
May Allah forgive and bless our departed parents and loved ones as well. Ameen
Prof. A. A. Muhammad

Prof Falaki offered me admission into the Faculty of Agriculture. A senior colleague in secondary school who was an undergraduate at ABU wrote the application on my behalf and submitted it to Prof Falaki without my knowledge. As the then admission officer, Professor Falaki did not know me but offered me the admission; he was a good man. May Allah forgive his shortcomings and grant him Aljannat Firdaus, Ami. Prof. Falaki’s death was indeed and without doubt that of a Martyr.
Abdullatifu Abidemi

Talking about Prof Falaki, I am sure we can’t exhaust his good deeds. When we were being screened in Part 1, one of the screening Committee members almost sent me away; Prof Falaki saw me crying, attended to my case, and defended me fully. How can I forget that day? He wrote a Referee letter for me in 1992 for my job at the National Water Resources Institute, Kaduna. He did not know me from Adam apart from being our Lecturer—a selfless and detribalised person. May God keep the family upholding the excellent name Prof Falaki has earned. May God almighty keep filling the vacuum he has left. May God rest his soul in peace. A good name is better than riches. God bless Prof Falaki in his present abode.
Bilkisu Umar

If there is any man who left a footprint of humanity and humility in the Faculty of Agriculture of Ahmadu Bello University, it was the late Prof Falaki. May God continue to grant him eternal rest.
Samdi A Musa,

I always remember him as calm, friendly, and gentle. He came to me on that Student crop farm in our final year, where we planted Cotton and soybeans; he was our supervisor and asked me if I was related to one Mr T.T. Bot. I answered affirmatively – that Mr. Bot was my Dad. He said, “he was my best geography teacher in Government College Keffi. Ayah, I am just meeting you when you are about to graduate from university. That kind word he said of my late Dad endeared him to me. I will never forget Mallam Falaki as a good and kind-hearted man. May his soul continue to Rest in Peace
Felicia Bot,

Everyone is pouring encomiums on Prof Falaki, which is good. Mazi Malizu suggested, and we allowed it to go without anyone responding. I support organizing a visit to the families of our colleagues who are no longer with the late Prof, including us. We should make some financial commitment towards the visit to their families. The leadership should not allow such humanitarian gestures to end, but it should be backed by financial commitment.
John T. Luka

Late Prof. Ahmed Falaki was a mentor to virtually every one of us who were his students then. He taught us irrigation Agronomy. He made the course very interesting to us (Agronomy option class). I remember him as the only Lecturer visiting us in Danfodio Hall to see how we were doing (especially during our FPT). He will use his soft-spoken voice to give us brotherly advice on life on campus and outside campus and encourage us to consider joining the Faculty after graduation. I am sure many of our coursemates who are now faculty managers have his marks in their pursuit to be there. May Allah reward him with Aljannat fir dausi.
Idris Musa Alhassan

I did not choose ABU at all for my undergraduate program but rather the University of Ibadan. Because of IJMB, I was denied admission. My brother in Zaria told me to come down. I first went to Professor Mustapha Abdullahi, the then-admission officer of the department of Pharmacy, but I met his absence. I was desperate not to miss that year’s admission as my IJMB result was is already two years old, after which it may not be valid for admission. I was advised to go to the Faculty of Agriculture and ask for the admission officer. I met Professor Falaki in his office, who welcomed me cheerfully as if he knew me before. I narrated my ordeal. Having seen my O level and IJMB results, He said whether I chose ABU or not, I would be admitted. I should provide my JAMB registration number. That was what happened.
Dr. Yunusa Mustapha

My ambition was to read an MBBS or Pharmacy, but I could not get an MBBS, so I qualified for Pharmacy as my second choice. I rushed to the Faculty of Pharmacy to seek for admission, but the quota of my state was filled. Someone advised me to see Malam Falaki. I heeded the advice. I met Malam in his office for the first time, and then he offered me admission. My name was number 2 in the last supplementary list. May Allah forgive Malam for all his shortcomings and reward him with Firdausi. May Allah continue to comfort the family he left behind.
Aliyu Danlami Chafe

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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