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Tribute to Hon. Isma'ila Yusha'u Maihanchi: The Game Changer Gone Too Soon (1986-2023)



At the dawn of Saturday 22nd April, 2023 around 5:00am I received many calls from friends, students and well wishers. I responded to those calls later only to realize that some of the calls were made to inform or to confirm the demise of Hon. Isma'ila Yusha'u Maihanchi Member-Elect Jalingo/Yorro/Zing Federal Constituency, Taraba State. 

 

To be sure, I quickly looked for update on social media Facebook and WhatsApp groups I belong to. My doubt was cleared from the update and condolences were posted. I responded to some messages of confirmation and to others I do not up to this moment of writing this tribute. 

 

Hon. Isma'ila has become a phenomenon in Taraba politics with a span of 8 years. Even though he started as ward secretary of People's Democratic Party. Hon. Maihanchi was a young energetic and pragmatic politician who dined and wine with the powerful and gave to the less privileged. He served the people before he was elected to represent them. He knew his greatest power lies with the masses. 

 

Hon. Isma'ila was highly educated. He attended Ibrahimiyya Primary School, Jalingo, 2002, Science School, Jalingo 2008, Legal Studies, Yola 2011, Taraba State University, Jalingo 2017 and obtained a Masters Degree from the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna 2021. 

 

I will describe late Hon. Isma'ila as a charismatic figure, smart lobbyist, and a game changer in politics of Taraba State. He was never tired of assisting people irrespective of faith, tribe, party, and zone in Taraba State. He has extended his helping hand to the; students, politicians, orphans, widows, civil servants, and the less privileged. He was tireless to the cause of the common man. He assisted accident victims, paid medical bills, gave money for naming ceremonies, burial expenses, and paid for marriages. How can one describe Hon. Isma'ila's kindness that knows no bounds and his large heart? 

 

These acts of philantropism endeared him to all. The greatest lesson from his life is in his humility, sagacity, purity of intention and selflessness. I would like to give three instances when Hon. Ismaila proves to be pro-poor. Firstly, I once referred some students to him for assistance for their school fees at the Taraba State University he provided without hesitation. 

 

Secondly, during the period of curfew enforced on Jalingo Metropolis the State Capital people were looking for whom to complain to Hon. Isma'ila singlehandedly lobbied directly from Arch. Darius Dickson Ishaku the Executive Governor Taraba State for the initial lifting of the curfew.

 

Hon. Isma'ila paid for Islamic pilgrimages of his political foes parents in a surprise kind gesture. Hon. Isma'ila had promisedfor many people cars and other direct benefits before his sudden death. Nobody will count what Hon. Isma'ila has done good except God who created him. 

 

To me that is why there is high hope on him to deliver. So far Hon. Isma'ila has secured admissions and appointments to over 300 people in Taraba State even before he was elected. 

 

The greatest honor the state Government will do to him and his family is to ensure that the ticket of PDP is given to his respected family and which I strongly believe have capable people who can deliver for the party. 

 

I and many others were invited to strategize for his campaigns  by commity of friends on several occasions. What I equally observed from the attendees were not from his constituency but across the length and breadth of Taraba State. My friends and classmates Barr. Bilyaminu Bilyaminu Lukman Maihanchi and Sani Comrade Bamalum insisted I must be there to contribute always because Hon. Isma'ila is our younger brother.

 

During the funeral prayers of Hon. Isma'ila, I observed people attended irrespective of tribe or religion, party or zone in Taraba State. I have seen Igbos crying, boys crying, elderly crying and women crying that a good jolly fellow has gone too soon. Who will step into the shoes of the game-changer remains the puzzle of the political actors in Jalingo and Taraba State? 

 

Sadly, the vacuum created after the youth commander's demise is too big. Hon. Isma'ila is a political phenomenon and game changer in Taraba State. The commander as he was popularly called was a hero of the youth of this generation. Before his death he was an accomplished business man and a creative entrepreneur. 

 

May Allah forgive his shortcoming and grant him an exalted place in Jannatul Firdausi. Amen.

 

"Everywhere man blames nature and fate, yet his fate is mostly but the echo of his character and passions, his mistakes and weaknesses" (Democritus). 

 

Isa Mohammed,

23rd April, 2023.



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