Tribute:Isa Umar Gusau: One Death Too Many

By: Inuwa Bwala
Very often, when misfortune befalls us, we tend to seek solace in God: especially when the circumstances defy mortal interpretations.
This is perhaps the situation Borno state governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, and indeed the government and people of Borno state found themselves in the last three months.
The state had hardly come out of mourning over the death of some promising and illustrious sons and daughters before another one strikes.
Much as it is common knowledge that death is a necessary end, the death of Isa Umar Gusau, spokeman to Borno state Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, was mind-boggling
In any way one defines it, the death of Gusau remains one rude shock, after the death of Engineer Ibrahim Idris, the Commissioner for RRR, to many people, especially those of us who had the privilege of knowing the two at closer quaters.
Coming at a time, Professor Zulum was seen to have assembled a robust working team, the two deaths were blows, and we would take long to fathom.
Isa Umar Gusau was an astute media strategist, a shrewd contriver, a versatile public relations expert, and a wordsmith who, despite his vast knowledge and connections, was ready to learn from others.
For him to have been found worthy of serving under two Governors in the same capacity spoke volumes about his capacity.
Many times, since our paths crossed, when I was the commissioner for Information and he was the Senior Special Assistant to then Governor Kashim Shettima: Now Nigeria’s Vice President, Gusau had been my professional compatriot.
Any time I made inputs to him by virtue of having been his predecessor in that office, Gusau, oftentimes, was ahead of me in doing the job.
Whenever he commented or wrote in response to certain circumstances, he virtually spoke my mind.
When I commended him for a job well done, he told me that I was his mentor, even when that might not necessarily be the case.
Even when I left the government and had cause to write about his principal, he would call back to appreciate whatever I write upon.
Of course, there were moments of departure, but that had not affected the mutual respect we had for each other.
When another coleague of mine called to inform me about his demise, we both agreed that his death would create a huge vacuum in the public relations arena. We compared notes on the wonderful public relations job he did for both his principals and the attendant acclaim both gained from his job.
I am aware that he had health challenges, and my first remark to him after he was sworn in for the second time under Professor Babagana Zulum: was for him to pay greater attention to his health.
I am aware he tried his best to seek medical attention. I know he fought hard to stay alive, but like every mortal, the moment for his eclipse has come.
Everybody will miss Isa Umar Gusau, but his boss will miss him most. May God repose his soul and comfort us all.


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