His death is something so terribly painful because it came so surprisingly early. With brutal sadness came violent attacks of pain in the evening and Prof. Enna was in agony and died in a private hospital in Jos. His death has left me asking questions that are no longer new to me but to which I have no hope of finding answers. Then, I began to relive my life with him as my first Head of Department when I started my career as a University teacher. His gallant image flashed through my mind in little frustrating sweet moments that were gone before they could be grasped.
Prof. Enna was a detribalised Nigerian who was always very willing to tear down the veils behind which the truth was hidden. Prof. Enna was a man of unshakable stoicism in the face of all life’s accidents and vicissitudes. Here was a Professor whose mountains held great promise of fruitful fields. Here was a man of power and ideas. Quick on his feet, tirelessly improvising, brilliantly maneuvering, constantly outflanking, tactically adventurous and at the same time wonderfully alert to University and national politics.
It has been famously observed that peculiar circumstances always throw up peculiar individuals to do the bidding of history. If we accept this logic, then Prof. Enna was one of such individuals called by circumstances and history to help the Middle Belt region and, modestly speaking, Nigeria at large. He was a staunch defender of justice and human rights; a dependable comrade and mentor, uncommonly courageous, principled and consistent.
But more than that, Prof. Dauda Musa Enna strengthened mankind with his stubborn hope. A man of flame and flower, a passionate lover of life and laughter. He was a Professor whose iron will always have a place for tenderness.
Our ranks, especially in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria, stand diminished by your passing. Good night erudite Professor of Theater Arts, scholar, teacher and University administrator.
***Doki is a writer and Professor of Comparative Literature with University of Jos (UNIJOS), Nigeria.
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