Hajiya Asma’u is one of the widows left behind by late, great statesman Malam Aminu Kano, leader of now-defunct Peoples Redemption Party (PRP).
In the following interview with Daily Trust, she recalls her days with the late leader of Talakawa, the lessons she learnt from him and how she is coping after his death. Herewith, are excerpts:
Daily Trust: How are you coping after the death of your husband?
Hajiya Asma’u: Alhamdulillah. You know, as a Muslim faithful, whatever condition you find yourself you must thank Allah, because He knows best. You also know that death is inevitable and everybody must die, therefore you must accept whatever decision God takes on you. But to be honest with you, I lost a good husband, indeed. He was caring, generous and pious. He was a kind human being. He took good care of his family, and in spite of his being a politician who was always on the move, Malam never joked with his responsibilities as husband.
Regarding my life after the death of late Malam Aminu Kano, all I can say is Alhamdulillah. I went on with my life after he died. First, I relocated to my hometown in Bauchi State, but I still come down to Kano to greet his relatives, because we are still together. Even though he is dead, we’re still family. They have never abandoned me, and whatever happens here in Kano like weddings or naming ceremonies, they send for me. I always gladly come and join them in celebration. So I can say life continued smoothly after his death.
DT: How long were you married, before his demise?
Hajiya Asma’u: He married me, from Bauchi, about 42 years ago and I stayed with him for 13 years and our daughter Maryam is his only daughter.
DT: What are your strongest memories of him?
Hajiya Asma’u: I always feel like crying whenever I step into this house (referring to Mambayya House, which was the late statesman’s residence) because many things about him come to my mind and I shed tears whenever I remember him. Like most recently, when I came to Kano from Bauchi to attend the 33rd memorial symposium, I visited my former room, which has now been converted to something else. When I got there, I stopped for some minutes. That brief moment alone reminded me of so many things about him.
This time around, I remembered one very important moment, when I interrupted him while he was cautioning our children against lying. What happened then was that he gathered them in his sitting room, lecturing them about the ills of telling lies. I stepped into the sitting room, but when I saw them, I stepped back. He asked me to come back and I did, and I quietly sat down beside them. After about ten minutes, he rounded up and ordered the children to leave so the two of us could talk. I always remember that moment, because it made me very happy to see him guiding them.
I also remember him as a straightforward person. Malam would never disappoint you on anything he promises to do. Also, he always encouraged us as his wives to be honest not only with him, but with everyone.
DT: What lessons would you say you have learnt from him?
Hajiya Asma’u: Many, indeed. Like I said earlier, he was an honest man, so I have learnt honesty from him. I also learnt how to relate with people peacefully. Generosity, humility, kindness and commitment are among other good traits of his which I’ve imbibed.
DT: This year’s memorial symposium is the 15th that has been held in honour of your late husband. Have you ever attended one before?
Hajiya Asma’u: This is my first time attending the symposium, and I can tell you I was touched by comments about my late husband, making me proud of being one of his wives. I feel blessed by the Almighty for being one of late Aminu Kano’s wives.
The event has also shown that the people of Kano are grateful to late Malam for what he did for them in his lifetime. Most people who spoke at the event eulogized him for liberating Kano people and Nigerians in general. This is the kind of life every right-thinking person is aspiring to in life. We are talking of 33 years after his demise, yet people remember him fondly. This is to tell you that he was a great man.
DT: You have witnessed how your late husband played politics. How would you compare the scene those days to now?
Hajiya Asma’u: (Laughter) There is no way you can compare politics of those days to the type being played today. To be honest, we are talking of two different things. In those days, politicians were not into politics to enrich themselves with public funds. Rather, they were into it just to work for the overall development of the people. But the reverse is the case when compared to present politicians.
In other words, today’s politicians are into politics to enrich themselves, not to work for the public. In fact, they have zero regard for the plight of the common man. Another difference is that the politicians of those days are well-educated and they always try to put their knowledge into practice. That’s why they succeeded, and are being remembered years after. Politicians today should fear God and always be honest.
Source :Daily Trust