By Mukhtar Haruna
Today marks 40 days since the passing away of our dear father but, certainly, the outpouring of emotions on the recent demise of Alhaji Ahmadu Haruna, the highly renowned philanthropist, business mogul, and elder statesman, from friends, colleagues, politicians, and fellow countrymen is a clear indication of the man he was.
Even though he died at 84, the shrinking of the public space following his unfortunate departure on Monday, September 7, was significant. The burial ceremony still still resonates in his homeland of Gombe and even beyond, as individuals he impacted positively have had cause to attested to his kind-hearted nature and philanthropy.
One of his outstanding qualities was that the late Ahmadu Haruna did not want his good works and support he was giving his immediate community and beyond made public.
One of his greatest legacies was his ability to draw a line between philanthropy and the quest for public validation and praises. Kawu, as he was fondly called by all, was an ardent believer of the core values built on the foundations of honesty, humility and selflessness which defined the indefatigable persona of the octogenarian.
Kawu’s exit was one of the finest ways any man would have loved to transit to the great beyond. On that fateful Monday, the Gombe-born elder statesman observed the recommended Sunnah Fasting as usual, being an obedient follower of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
Although he complained of a mild back pain, he resisted all advice to seek medical attention as if he had foreseen his demise. The epitome of humility slept that evening and did not wake up the following morning.
As a man with foresight, he was a humble achiever. He recognised the essence of literacy and the value of education, a passion that compelled him to the establish a bookshop. He was the first non-missionary businessman to do so in the former Northeastern region. In addition, he built numerous Islamic schools and Mosques. This is evident that he lived his life in service of humanity and most importantly, to please Allah.
This was conceivably his hallmark as a reputable merchant, who traded goods mostly in the interest of the less privileged. Notable personalitiies in the state have commended him, saying he was a man who spent over 50 years promoting education and award of scholarships for the less privileged, particularly on Islamic Education. This is deeply rooted in his philosophy that humans live their best lives when empowered.
The death of Kawu is such an irreparable loss to the Harunas, Gombe State and beyond. The family does not only grief over the demise of the prominent businessman and philanthropist but of a caring husband, loving father and a supportive grandfather. He left behind 2 wives, 24 children, many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
We are, however, comforted knowing fully well that he will be granted a resting place in Aljannatul firdaus InshaAllah. Alhamdulillah for a life well spent.