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Author Name: Idris Bello
Number of articles: 1
How does one begin a sordid tale like this? How does one begin to recount the atrocities of a nation... (3) Comment

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How Obasanjo and the striking doctors kiled my friend!
Author: Idris Bello | March 06, 2007

How does one begin a sordid tale like this? How does one begin to recount the atrocities of a nation that derives joy from murdering its best people in their primes? How do I relate how the striking doctors colluded with the Nigerian government to kill my friend ? How do I narrate the events that led to the death of AbdHameed on March 5, 2007 at the young age of 32. Make no mistake about it; I am not attempting to blame God. Neither do I term AbdHameed’s death as untimely, for every man has his destined time, and when it is up, he will go. I am a Muslim, and I believe that to Allah we belong and to Him is our final destination. However, I also realize that something will be the cause of one’s eventual death, and in this case, the causes are inexcusable, as they depict a failure of the Nigerian system. For those of us who knew AbdHameed very well, it was a privilege knowing him. He was a gift to our generation. Right from his undergraduate days at Obafemi Awolowo University , where he studied Food Science and Technology, all who came into contact with him were amazed at the depth of his intelligence and the width of his thinking. When he put pen to paper, we could only marvel at the strength of his convictions, and his mastery of the written word. He was simply a masterpiece in his choice of words, use of vocabulary and grammatical correctness. For me, he remains unequalled in the knowledge and usage of the language amongst any OAU Alumni that I have ever come in contact with. I remember how he would smile so innocently each time I told him he had made a very wrong choice by studying FST. It was no surprise that he never practiced as a Food Technologist for he was destined for greater things. Right out of school, he formed an NGO, that championed women and children’s rights, a feat for which he was acknowledged both at home and abroad, culminating in a Research Fellowship at the prestigious Emory University Law School , Atlanta . AbdHameed made several trips to the Hague in Netherlands and to various conferences around the world presenting the products of his scholarship, which some of us were privileged to read. However, despite our entreaties for AbdHameed to join us abroad, he always chose to return home after his trips, saying Nigeria was the place for him, and he had bright hopes for the future in Nigeria . Based on this, AbdHameed finished his Masters program in Peace and Conflict at the University of Ibadan , and enrolled for a PhD at the same school but it was not to be. He started losing faith in the country in October last year when he had a close encounter with armed robbers in Lagos, which he described thus in his words “Robbers made away with my laptop (containing thousands of documents being my intellectual effort since September 2003, last backup on CDs was in July 2006); my phone and so many contact numbers; flash disk; my international passport with so many visas since 2001; other documents on me at the time, and of course, cash.” It was a tough loss, but one which he prayed and planned to overcome. However, his final journey began late December without any warning. He lived in Eleyele, Ibadan with his wife, a practicing lawyer and their daughter. He left the house on the fateful day and made to cross the road to enter a commercial bus. Having checked to ensure there was no oncoming vehicle, he started to cross, when from nowhere, a commercial bus driver at top speed driving on the wrong side of the one-way road crashed into him, inflicting serious head injuries and sending him into an unconscious state. He was rushed to UCH, Ibadan where he spent two weeks in coma before regaining consciousness. Since then he had been undergoing several surgeries and was getting better. I had even called several times and spoken to him on phone, and apart from some slight slur in his voice, he sounded almost like the AbdHameed we had grown to admire and respect. Some weeks later, some complications arose which blocked his trachea and affected his breathing, prompting a surgery which was carried out to fit a breathing tube into his trachea to aid his breathing. The doctors planned another surgery to remove the breathing tube and fix the trachea complications, but this was complicated by the fact that UCH, one of the topmost health institutions in Nigeria did not have a laser knife which was required for the surgery. Hence, they had to reschedule another surgery for last Friday, while AbdHameed continued to breathe with the aid of a tube. It was in the midst of all these that Nigerian doctors decided to go on strike. I will not waste time debating the rightness or otherwise of the strike action as it is of no use to me or the bereaved family. I only know that it was one strike too many. AbdHameed was compulsorily discharged from UCH last week despite his situation, before the scheduled surgery ,and the family had to make arrangements to take him to a private clinic in Ibadan , while praying that the strike action would be called off soon. However, this was not to be as on Sunday night, the 4th of March, 2007, complications arose with the breathing tube. The private doctors tried their best, but not being specialists in that field or being familiar with his case, it was to no avail. For six grueling hours, they labored, while my friend gasped and struggled to breath, but at the end he returned to his Creator. If it was in more advanced countries, I would have dared to sue the government and the striking doctors for complicity in his death, but knowing Nigeria , it will be a wasted effort. I know AbdHameed is not the only casualty of this strike, and that saddens me about the country called Nigeria . It is eight years since we have had a ‘democracy’, and while the president and his vice fight themselves over sordid allegations, the citizens are left to die away. The common people can die all they want as long as the PDP has its way in the do-or-die affair it calls an election. If only a fraction of the money spent on the Heart of Africa project were to be spent on our health system, perhaps more lives may be saved. I hope the doctors enjoy their allowances when and if they get, it but I will always remember their role in AbdHameed’s death. May God Almighty forgive AbdHameed and grant his parents and family the strength to bear the loss. Idris Bello Houston, USA

(3) Comment


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monsurat Agboke (nee Bello)    ,     October 17, 2012
Bro AbdHameed, its just like yesterday . Your face and memory of time we shared together keep coming to my mind. Its five years now and we still remember you, especially for the fact that you always bring smiles to our faces and the role you played in my admission into University of Ibadan years back.
May Allah accept you into Aljannah firduas. May He continue to bless those you left behind: your children, parents, siblings and all your loved ones.
Dr. I.O. Albert    Ibadan, Nigeria    April 03, 2007
Hameed's death is a great loss to Nigeria. The circumstances under which he lived and died should be a source of worry to all us.

Hameed was definitely one of the best brains in this country but he was never given the opportunity to flower. He tried his hands on many innovative projects but was frustrated at each point by the social structure of the country in which he unfortunately found himself.

His first degree was in Food Tech. I encouraged him to come to the University of Ibadan to do a Masters degree in Peace and Conflict Studies. At the end of the course, he came top in a class dominated by lawyers, political scientists, historians, philosophers and the like.

This enabled him to start the Ph.D immediately. In the course of the Masters degree program, he got three international fellowships: US, Netherlands and France.

He spent most of the money he brought back to Nigeria in buying books and all that would make him do better on his studies. And then he was cut down in his prime by a country has no plans for the younger generation.

The best that can be done at this moment is to hope and pray for a Nigerian society in which responsible political leadership shall be enthroned. Hammed - we all miss you.

Rest in peace. May the only child you left behind surpass you in achievements, longlife and prosperity.
AKTJ Noonrayn    Ibadan, Nigeria    March 28, 2007
Abdul Hameed, My former Boss is dead! My Boss of Barr Communications!!!

I can't believe this untill someone called me and informed me that he is no more. A man who have respect for his country, I can remember in his usual word, he said he can't leave as an indigen of other country except in his country (Nigeria), but to which he gave up the ghost when the mere country cannot take care of him.

Haven read the article from Bro. Idris, it is now I feel the absence of my Boss whom I learnt a lot from him about Information Communication Technology (ICT). It is a pity that I have lost someone of a great integrity, faithfulness and .....

Abdul Hameed, where are you??!!

May you rest in perfect peace, may Allah overlook you sins, and grant you eternity. May Allah stay with the family - wife and daughter, parents, brothers and sisters of those you live behind.

To those who have caused the disaster;
the armed robbers, you shall surely meet your Lord one day;
the bus driver who ride on the wrong path, you shall....
to the foolish striking doctors who killed my boss, your life is at stake, you shall account for all those who died in your customdy

and finally to the Nigeria government whose life of the citizenry are less concern, continue to rule the world and see..... sometimes ago, it takes you nothing to take your Yar'Adua out of the country cause of his health, but we, your people are dying here, suffering.....

To God be the glory.

AKTJ Noonrayn
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