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Tribute to Engr. Ibrahim Khaleel Inuwa, FNSE, FAEng, OFR. By Engr. Prince Segun Adedeji, FAEng

Tribute to Engr. Ibrahim Khaleel Inuwa, FNSE, FAEng, OFR. By Engr. Prince Segun Adedeji, FAEng

 

Tribute to Engr. Ibrahim Khaleel Inuwa, FNSE, FAEng, OFR. By Engr. Prince Segun Adedeji, FAEng

It has been this long for me, (6 days) to recover from the shock of the sudden and sad news of the mysterious demise of my friend, brother and professional colleague, Engr. Ibrahim Khaleel Inuwa, on Monday May 11, 2020 after an illness period said to be less than 30 minutes. He was aged 71 years and 26 days having celebrated his last birthday on April 15 when I sent him birthday greetings as we used to exchange greetings on various landmark events, in particular during celebrations of our Faiths. Would anyone ever expect that would be the last birthday of his life?


The news came like hurricane which caught everybody off guard, his family, numerous friends and the entire Engineering community, all in disbelief, all wondering what happened. The spontaneous reaction of everybody to the news was the same. Shock! Grief! Questions were asked but no answer. Hearts became heavier, Faiths started to dwindle, tears became uncontrollable. As mortals, we would never find answers, as the will of God is unquestionable and His will must always be done. Who are we then to question His will? We only need to give thanks to God the Almighty, for the grace of making him fulfill his destiny, for a glorious exemplary life well spent and crowded with enviable achievements for which he would forever be remembered.


My first close contact with Engr. Inuwa was in 1989/90 when as the President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), he was a member of Council of COREN, now the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria and i was then the Registrar of the Council. He was very active, always punctual and he demonstrated high sense of responsibility, discipline and good leadership traits. He was passionate about SITSIE, Supervised Industrial Training Scheme in Engineering, which sadly has remained moribund to date, Engr, Inuwa later became the President of COREN and his tenure was very successful.


Engr Inuwa and I became very close when we served in the Presidential Projects Assessment Committee,  set up by former President Goodluck Jonathan 2010/2011. The Committee members recognized him, late Engr. B. K. Mohammed and me as brothers, the way we related throughout the 15 months assignment. We shared same ideals in our belief in honesty, accountability, discipline, straightforwardness, meritocracy and fairness. The Committee worked hard as expected of patriotic Nigerians, but strangely, the well-received reports have never seen the light of day and no reference, to my knowledge, has ever been made to them to date Engr Inuwa expressed his regrets whenever we recalled our experience serving in that Committee.


Although we were a decade apart in age, we related with love, sincerity and mutual respect. I was fond of him as he was fond of me. He wanted me to serve in the Committees he chaired. He was the Chairman of the Committees on the Amendment of COREN Act and the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Nigerian Society of Engineers. I served with him on both Committees. The success of the two Committees has been well documented. The last time we were together was on February, at the Exco/Council meeting of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering, As the Technical Secretary of the Academy, he hardly missed meetings and he was usually very punctual, even though coming from Kano or Abuja. He was very dedicated and thorough After the meeting on that day, I took him back to his hotel as i usually do, reciprocating his kind gesture of always ensuring he got me back to my hotel at Abuja after meetings, even at evident inconvenience to him and his schedule A true friend indeed!


Engr. Inuwa loved his family and he was very proud of his children. I know two of his daughters who are Engineers. May they become greater Engineers than their father who was a great Engineer. I recall three occasions Engr Inuwa and i were in Accra, Ghana for the Ghana Institution of Engineers Conference. We shopped at a big Woodin materials store and my brother would fill 2 suitcases for gifts to his children, family and friends He was indeed very generous.


Engr. Inuwa died without experiencing any pains, 15 minutes between first attack and the second attack from which he never recovered. What a saintly way to return to his Creator after a laudable completion of his assignment on Earth! We must give thanks to God, the Merciful and the omnipotent for His grace in every situation. What would have been our reaction if he had survived the attack but become a ‘vegetable’, a burden to his family and to all of us for as long as he would live thereafter?


We should be consoled by the fact that is as natural to man to die as to be born. Quoting Young "Death is the crown of life, were it denied to live would not be e and even fools would wish to die"


Adieu Engr Inuwa! You have played your part honorably and left the stage when the ovation was loudest, in the style of a great actor. i certainly will miss you and your usual first words to begin our conversation, "my brother, how now?" But you will surely continue to live in my memory and in the memory of all who crossed your path in your sojourn on Earth, in particular your Engineering professional colleagues friends and Associates. A consolation is in the words of Margaret Sangster that "They never quite leave us, our friends who have passed through the shadow of death to the sunlight above; A thousand sweet memories are holding them fast, to the places they blessed with their presence and Love…”


To his widow, children, grandchildren and entire family, i express sincere heartfelt condolences on the painful loss of a trustworthy friend Engr. Ibrahim Khaleel Inuwa. May Almighty God grant us the fortitude to bear the devastating loss and may his soul rest in peace. Amen.


Engr. Prince Segun Adedeji.

May 17, 2020