February 1, 2016 was the day I lost someone very dear to me.
My grandfather was by far one of the most amazing people I had the honour and pleasure of knowing.
Even more so, I am proud to say that I am related to this man.
Growing up, my grandfather was the life of the house, someone everyone loved talking to and always wanted advice from.
In the small part of the world where he lived (Borno/Yobe states), everyone knew who he was and everyone always knew they could rely on him for any reason or counseling as the need for that arose.
Many of us in the family were inspired by him to what love meant, such as the trust, charisma, kindness and many more good gestures.
He always gave us (grandchildren) the best hugs.
Granted, he knew how to give a stern talking to whenever he needed to, but he did so with love, kindness and respect for us and our safety.
He taught us about gratitude and never taking anything for granted.
He told us to always shoot for the stars and live in a way that makes us happy.
Around him, we never once questioned our worth, our talent, our beauty or our purpose.
He always had something to say to brighten our spirits and always something to say when we wanted nothing more to give up.
He always spurred us to do good as he spurred others and we are all in his debt because of that.
When he died at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital after a protracted illness, the news was not only shocking but devastating and unbearable but we were consoled in the fact that he bequeathed some indelible legacies that he would reap the benefits as Sadaqatul Jariyya that only Allah knows.
No one can really be prepared to lose a father, a husband, a grandfather or a best friend.
Two years later, we still think about him, we still remember and laugh about the fun times we had with him.
We still cry over him, sometimes without any warning or reason, we just cry.
I still miss him and wished my siblings had the chance to know him like I did.
I wished they had the chance to hear stories from “back in his day” or listen to his tales about working as a judge who traversed all nooks and crannies or old Borno State before its Balkanization in 1991 when Yobe state was carved out.
I love and miss my grandfather and it still hurts whenever I think about him, but I am glad I knew him and I am more proud to say that I am a part of his family.
In memory of Late Khadi Habib Alkali Tijjani, thank you for everything you did for us and thank you for always being there when I needed you.
May Aljannah Firda’us be your final abode till we join you and part no more, Kaka.
From the entire family, we love you! Fatima Mohammed Habib, Kaduna