Ode to a stormy petrel, By Matthew Hassan Kukah


When I read the news of the death of Dr. Junaidu Mohammed this morning, I tried to see whom I could call to confirm. First, I did something that seems foolish but gives me some emotional consolation at times like these. (For example, I still have the telephone numbers of some friends who have been dead for a few years on my phone. I occassionally look at them and get some emotional connection, as if clutching on to something precious).

Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Matthew Hassan Kukah [PHOTO CREDIT: catholicdiocese-sokoto.org]
Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Matthew Hassan Kukah [PHOTO CREDIT: catholicdiocese-sokoto.org]

I immediately dialed Dr Junaidu’s number four times. First time, it rang busy and my face lit up. I called again three times and no one answered. Following the logic of my emotional foolishness, that gave me some consolation, as if to say, the phone should have died with him. I hesitated, expecting that he would, as usual, return my call immediately.

When it comes to times like these, you switch into self- denial mode, seeking to clutch to anything to say it is not true.

Immediately, I thought I should call either Mahmud Jega or Mohammed Haruna. I called Mahmud first but he did not pick his call. I decided to wait and try again because I…



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