By Bello Hamza
The news of the death of Tahir popularly known as Gwantawy on 17 February, 2014 came to me not only as a shock but very devastating, like a blow in the face. Tahir was a friend, brother, and a comrade in the pen profession.
I knew Tahir several years ago during his stay with his brother Malam Abujihad in Samaru Zaria, but I became so close to him when I took the duty of editing the Islamic Movement English newspaper POINTER EXPRESS. He was reporting for us from Jalingo the Taraba state capital. He was later called back to Kaduna to handle the marketing department of IM publication.
The way and manner he handle and execute the job really change the overall fortune of the company. It’s during this period I really appreciate and know the worth of the man Tahir. He’s always ready to shoulder any responsibility and discharge same with ruthless efficiency. It’s his quest and zeal to say the truth without any fear that encourage the management of POINTER EXPRESS to accept his request to float a one paged column which he named CRITICAL IMPACT.
A column he maintained to his death. His area of concentration in his write-up has always been people oriented; how to emancipate the downtrodden, how to change the existing social order for the better. Little interaction with him will reveal to you a man so bitter with the way things are being run in the country. Tahir’s dream is to have a just society free from any form of oppression and mismanagement of public resources.
Born about 42 years ago in Gwantu town of Sanga local Government Kaduna where he did both Primary and secondary school, he also attended College of Education Kafanchan for his Nigerian Certificate of education (NCE). Tahir’s journalistic imprint can be seen in several magazines, Newspapers and media organizations because he’s always ready to offer any help and advice. Till his death, he was actively contributing to ALMIZAN our sister newspaper, Dillaliya Newspaper, Mujallar Manoma, LEADERSHIP HAUSA and our own POINTER EXPRESS. He was also a specialist when it comes to translating documents from Hausa to English or English to Hausa.
Tahir will be missed not only for his humble and open nature but for his ability to break the most difficult communication barrier, as he not only speak his local Gwantu dialect and Hausa, he also speaks Arabic, Fulfulde, Yoruba, Igbo and the Ijaw (Bayelsa) language without much effort. These qualities are why the Late Tahir always find it easy to make friends wherever he finds himself.
The late Tahir has travelled to several states of the country and neighbouring countries of Cameroun and Niger republics. Tahir was an adherent follower of the teachings of Ahlul Bait (AS) and a strong member of the Islamic Movement under the leadership of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky (H). He will be remembered for his role as a pastor during the annual procession for the celebration of the birth of the holy Prophet (S), the vacuum which will certainly remain vacant for a very long time.
My condolence goes to all immediate and extended members of Tahir’s family. I must also condole the management and staff of I.M. Publications Zaria and the Media Forum of the Islamic Movement. Tahir left behind his aged mother, several brothers and sisters. May Jannatul Pirdous be his final abode. Salawat!