By Qasim Akinreti, PhD.
“ Death is a necessary end , it will come when it will come “. Willams Shakespeare .
And so for Abdul Waheed Bakare, a prolific writer, commentator, editor, mentor and a philanthropist, death came on Sunday evening at the end of Ramadan. Our beloved brother and colleague is no more.
As Muslims, “Certainly to Allah swt we belong and truly to Him we shall return” . Suratul Baqara Holy Quran 2 : 156 . I was just able to get out of the shock after the burial.
A thorough Professional
Abdul Waheed Bakare, as a young journalist rose steadily through the ranks after graduating from University of Ilorin in 1997. An Editors’ delight because of his penchant for excellence. Within 20 years, Waheed as fondly called, stamped his authority in the media industry.
From year 2000 when he joined the defunct Comet Newspapers, he continued to soar higher with notable print media organizations.
His literary background as Masters Degree holder in English language from two reputable universities in Nigeria: Unilorin and Unilag set him apart from his peers.
Waheed was a shining star at The Punch Newpapers, Lagos. He joined the stable in 2001 and rose to the position of Head Punch Metro Desk in 2011. He became the News Editor, 2013, and Feature Editor in same year. I enjoyed his writing style, lucid analysis and high sense of history.
The resounding success at the Punch newspapers was the phillip needed for another top rated assignment at The New Telegragh newspapers from December 2015 till May 2020. He was the Editor on Saturday for the newspaper.
What is remarkable about Waheed at The New Telegragh newspapers was his hardwork, dedication and spirit of camederie among his colleagues. While on sick bed , his colleagues were calling him and wishing him quick recovery. Alas, Waheed time to meet his Creator was already determined. Few hours to his death in the hospital, he received another get well calls from friends and well wishers.
Indeed , a loving brother and colleague is gone for ever.
A devoted Muslim and family man
Waheed devoted his entire life to serve Islam, as a Journalist and family man. He defended his faith with all his heart.Despite our very demanding schedules as media managers, Waheed will set aside time to offer his prayers in his office and also attend Islamic programmes with his family. He deployed his media services greatly for robust media outreach for notable muslim organizations like Markaz Arabic Center , Agege, lAhmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, NASFAT, Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation as well as the Muslim Media Practitioners’ group. As if he knew that death was lurking around him, he contributed greatly to the crowd funding for a muslim sister in dire need and worked relentlessly towards the success of Muslim coalition group given out palliatives to the needy during the on- going COVID -19 pandemic.
I enjoyed his support during the last NUJ state election. After the victory, he continued to offer useful advice on restoring the integrity of the Union. His words: “Allah (swt) has chosen you to lead the teeming Lagos Journalists at a most challenging time, You cannot afford to fail, remember you will be accountable to Allah swt on the day of judgement “.
A great Commentator
Late Waheed Bakare’s appearances on The Award winning Journalists Hangout programme on TVC, is always rewarding. He made his submissions with a “clinical finish “ on national issues drawing from his deep knowledge of politics and socio – economic dynamics of Nigeria.
Babajide Otitoju and his anchor did a great tribute to Late Waheed on Monday edition of Journalists Hangout.
That was a befitting farewell to one of the outstanding analysts on the programme . We shall miss Waheed Bakare for ever.
Surely, in life , it is not how far, but how well. Late Waheed Bakare came, saw and conquered. May Allah swt bless his soul and grant him Aljanah firdaos.
Qasim Akinreti, PhD, is the Chairman. NUJ Lagos State Council.