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My evergreen encounter with a revered, embodiment of humility, Sadauna of Sokoto – Senator Ida. By Lai Gidado

My evergreen encounter with a revered, embodiment of humility, Sadauna of Sokoto – Senator Ida Wazirin Katsina

Waziri (Sen) Ibrahim M. Ida
Abeni Aso-Oke


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Alhaji A. Alhaji, Sardauna of Sokoto                                                                                                As the Pro Chancellor and Chairman of the Council of Usumanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto (UDUS), I often visited Sokoto for official assignments.

During my last visit in August, I fulfilled a long-standing wish to pay my respects to Hon. Alhaji A. Alhaji, Sardauna of Sokoto. The University Protocol arranged the visit, leading me to the residence of the “Man with Alhaji before and Alhaji after his name,” as quoted by The Guardian newspaper during the time when they referred to the Sardauna simply as mister.

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I arrived at his residence in the center of Sokoto GRA (or so I thought) to find him alone, awaiting my arrival. True to his nature, he greeted me with a joke, questioning why, as a ‘Waziri,’ I should be the one visiting him instead of the other way around.

He, as a Sardauna, believed he should have been the one to visit me, given that I was a Sardauna like him before being upgraded to a Waziri. I chuckled and explained that as the Sardauna of the Source, he held a higher position than me.

He disagreed, but the laughter ensued when I clarified that it wasn’t a Wazirin Katsina visiting him; rather, it was his ‘boy’ Ibrahim Mai’saida, emphasizing my full surname instead of the shortened ‘Ida.’

My acquaintance with Sardauna began in 1984 through a late friend of his, who was my customer when I worked in a bank. Our relationship deepened when he facilitated my transfer to the Federal Civil Service. As a Commissioner of Finance in Katsina State,

My active participation in FAC meetings, chaired by him as the Minister of Finance, likely endeared me to him. During one of these meetings, he invited me to join the FMF, citing my background and ease of transfer to the federal service.

Despite the financial implications, he enticed me with the prestige of serving in the Federal Civil Service and the promising prospects that awaited. With the support of late Alh. Kazaure, then Chairman of the FCSC, the transition went smoothly, and the rest is history.

Sardauna played a pivotal role in my life, serving not only as a mentor but also as a leader, guide, and counselor. Our close association in the ministry taught me valuable lessons about being a civil servant — to be both a servant and a civil person simultaneously.

Alhaji Alhaji embodied the qualities of a “GOOD MAN” defined by Kirk-Greene, possessing attributes and behavioral characteristics revered in northern Nigeria. These principles constitute the foundational values of Hausa moral education, including truthfulness, trustworthiness, generosity, patience, good sense, bashfulness, courtesy, self-esteem, wisdom, and scrupulous behavior.

His exceptional talents, skills, and great sense of humor were evident in numerous anecdotes I recall hearing from him. To delve into all my thoughts about triple A would extend this piece beyond interest. So, I conclude with this:

Alhaji A. Alhaji, Sardauna of Sokoto, has been a substantial figure in public service. I join his admirers in extending congratulations and wishing him continued good health and continuous service to humanity!

Waziri (Sen) Ibrahim M. Ida, Ph.D., CON
(Wazirin Katsina)

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