By Bashir Bello, Katsina
The family of President Muhammadu Buhari is bereaved after they lost two of their senior members.
Hajiya Ai’sha Alhaji Mamman, wife of the President’s elder brother, Alhaji Mamman, was the first to die, followed by Hajiya Halima Dauda, Buhari’s niece and younger sister of Malam Mamman Daura.
Halima was also the mother of the President’s Personal Assistant, Mohammed Sabi’u Tunde.
Sympathizers have continued to throng Daura, the hometown of the President, to condole with the family.
The Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, led the Federal Government delegation on a condolence visit.
In the delegation were the Minister of State, Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika; three Senior Special Assistants to the President, Sarki Abba, Ya’u Darazo and Garba Shehu; and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ahmed Abubakar.
Also in the delegation were the State Chief of Protocol, Amb. Lawal Kazaure, the Permanent Secretary, State House, Jalal Arabi, Alhaji Isma’ila Isa and Sayyu Dantata.
Governors Aminu Bello Masari (Katsina State), Mohammed Abubakar (Bauchi State) and Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano State) as well as a former Military Governor of Kaduna State, retired Brig.-Gen. Jafaru Isa, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu and some traditional leaders from neighboring Niger Republic came calling at different times.
Receiving the visitors on behalf of the family, Malam Mamman thanked God for the lives of the deceased and the guests for sharing the moment of grief with them.
Meanwhile, fond memories of time spent and love shared together would continue to linger in the minds of relatives who lived closely with Hajiya Halima Dauda and Hajiya Aisha Alhaji Mamman.
Members of the family who spoke to Sunday Vanguard said they received the news of the death of the deceased persons with shock, saying it has created a vacuum in the family that will be difficult to fill.
‘Nobody in house’
Murtala Shehu, a grandson of Hajiya Aisha Mamman, said, “We received the news of the demise of both women with shock though one of them (Hajiya Aisha Mamman) was elderly. She had been sick for almost seven years. She was a nice grandma and related with everyone with love and understanding. “She tried to keep the bond of the family. She would visit family members wherever they were. Whenever she didn’t see anyone of us, she would come looking or ask after us.
“She would crack jokes, laugh with us, pamper us in a way I cannot forget. We will miss her.
“Her death has created a vacuum that cannot be filled. If you take a look at the President’s family, there were 14 siblings; only two of them, President Buhari and his elder sister, Hajiya Rakiya, are left.
“She was the only one among the elders left in the house but, today, she is no more. When you go to the house before, you will meet grandma but with her death, you will find nobody in the house. All her children are grown up and married.
“Talking about Halima Dauda, she was the wife to the late Dirbin Daura. She was also known as Mama Madam. She was a teacher, she taught us in primary school. She became ill and was taken from one place to another for treatment before she died in London”.
Another member of the family, Adnan Nahabu, prayed Allah to grant the souls of the deceased persons Jannat Firdausi.
“Their lives were very beneficial to others. Aisha happened to be our in-law. Her husband was the eldest brother of President Buhari, followed by two women between him and President Buhari. They were of the same father and mother. She was nice and always helped people.
“Halima was our niece. People benefited from her benevolence and she was a mobilizer.
“They were both very religious women,” Nahabu said.
Another family member, Salisu Harp, said Ai’sha had eight children, five females and three males.
“She had been sick for some time. She was flown abroad and returned only two weeks ago after which taken to the Federal Medical Centre, FMC, in the state where she died.
“Her husband was Buhari’s elder brother; he brought up the President”.
In a related development, Buhari was in Daura for several days last month. The visit is believed to be in connection with the deaths of the women.