By Felix Khanoba
Former Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) and newly re-appointed Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, has expressed deep sadness over the demise of Mallam Mustapha Jaji.
Yakubu, who spoke in Abuja after the 3rd day Islamic prayer held in honour of Jaji at his residence in Apo, Abuja, paid glowing tributes to his predecessor in TETFund, describing him as a very meticulous person.
Jaji, a Former Executive Secretary of TETFund, passed on at the age of 64 in the early hours of Sunday, November 22, 2020, after a protracted illness and was buried on the same day according to Islamic rites.
He served TETFund untill 2007 under what was known as the Education Trust Fund, ETF, before handing over to Prof Mahmood Yakubu.
“In 2007 I had the privilege of taking over as Executive Secretary of the Education Trust Fund from Mallam Mustapha Jaji and I heard testimonies from staff of all the good things that he did while serving as the executive secretary in the areas of welfare of staff in particular, and the management of the public trust.
“It’s a tragic loss, not only for his immediate family, for those of us that we consider his friends, but also for the education family and the country in general.
“He served conscientiously to the best of his ability. The only thing that we can do is to pray for the repose of his soul, and to pray for the family to have the courage to bear the loss,” the INEC boss said.
On his part, the immediate younger brother of Jaji, Muazu Dambo Jaji, said he was deeply saddened by the demise of his elder brother “but who are we to question the will of God.”
“From him we came and to him we will return. We pray that the Almighty God, who gave him a good life, a beautiful life that touched people positively will also reward him for those good things that he did while on earth.
“And for those of us that he left behind, including his children, and other relations, we pray that we shall be united, we shall love one another, support one another and try to emulate the life that he lived.
Also speaking, a former Minister of Sports and Special Duties, Taoheed Adedoja, described Jaji as a very quiet and unassuming person who is going to be greatly missed.
Adedoja said “I knew him since the 1980s at the University of Maiduguri. We worked together. I was in the academic and he was in administration. That is where we met and he was known to be a very intelligent and quiet person, always ready to help you.
“Even before he came to TETFund as the Executive Secretary, we knew him for that; very quiet, very unassuming and we are going to miss him. His death was a very big shock to all of us that are his friends and believe and hope that Allah will accept him in al jannah firdaus.”
Jaji’s first son, Ashaf Jaji, expressed gratitude to God for the life his father lived, describing him as an amazing man.
“He has left behind a lot of his character in all of us. We can only hope that all of us will make him proud,” Ashaf said.
On his part, Mohammed Bello Jaji, the last son of the deceased, said his father was a very caring man and is surely going to be missed.
“He showed us love, care and discipline. Now that he is gone, we are just going to keep on praying. We are going to be strong for our mother and be there for her,” he said.