Mr. Mohammed Sani-Abdu, a member of House of Representatives, on Tuesday gave the first vivid account of how the late Senator Ali Wakili died.
It will be recalled that Wakili, who died on Saturday morning at the age of 58 in his Abuja residence, represented Bauchi-South Senatorial District of Bauchi State.
According to a Punch Metro report, Sani-Abdu, who is also from Bauchi State, recounted Wakili’s very last moments when the House paid tributes to the late retired Comptroller of Customs.
The session was presided over by the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, who hails from the same district as Sani-Abdu and Wakili.
Sani-Abdu said that as the very first person to arrive in Wakili’s residence after receiving a distress call, he could authoritatively reveal that Wakili slumped in the presence of his wife.
According to him, Wakili had got dressed and ready to travel to Yola, Adamawa State, to attend the wedding of the daughter of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha.
But, before leaving the house, Sani-Abdu said, the late senator asked his wife to prepare a meal for him to eat.
He spoke further, “This is why we have to continue to appreciate our wives. His wife received the first shock.
“She prepared porridge and brought it for him to eat. But Wakili told her he wanted something light instead, like tea.
“She went back to get the tea, only for her to return and find her husband slumped on the floor.”
Sani-Abdu recalled how he personally washed the late senator and prepared his body for burial, having been told what happened.
He added, “The wife is a very courageous woman. I asked her whether she would be strong enough so that I could remove the cloth from his face for her to see the husband for the last time.
“She agreed. You know, people are somehow afraid of dead bodies. But, this woman did not only hold her husband, she prayed for him and tightly embraced the body.
“She did not want to let go of the body. It took some women, who had strength, to pull her away from Wakili.
“Immediately she was separated from him, she fainted and people had to bring water to pour on her. She took the first shock.”
Dogara had opened the session by recalling the good deeds of Wakili, including his courage as a politician, to challenge the political class in the state for taking decisions that did not serve the interests of the majority.
The Speaker said, “He fought for good governance, especially in our dear state of Bauchi, and Nigeria at large.
“Merchants and profiteers of bad governance had the knives all out for him, but never to be intimidated, he stood his ground and held the lines with rare courage until his death. He represented an idea that death cannot kill.”
A former customs officer, Mr. Jerry Alagbaso, who was Wakili’s contemporary in service, described the late senator as “a jolly good and resourceful officer while he was in the service.”
A member from Jigawa State, Mr. Mohammed Gudaji-Kazaure, said he learnt from Wakili the lesson that those fighting for political positions ahead of 2019 might not live to see the year.
“We were very close. He told me that people were fighting because of 2019 elections, but who would say with confidence that they would see 2019?
“He was not desperate about positions and this is a lesson for all of us.”
On his part, another retired customs officer, Mr. Albert Adeogun, said, “It is not possible in a moment to describe the person of late senator Wakili.
“I pray God to grant his family the fortitude to bear the loss.”
The House observed a minute’s silence in his honour and later shut the plenary till Wednesday after praying for Wakili’ soul.