From Maduabuchi Nmeribeh, Kano
Elder statesman and political activist, Dr. Junaid Salik Muhammad is dead.
He died at the age of 71.
Junaid, a Second Republic lawmaker died at his Lamido Crescent residence, Kano, after a brief illness on Thursday.
Burial arrangement is being concluded at Farm Centre Cemetery, Taurani, Kano, as at the time of filling this report.
He was the Vice Presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDA) in 2019 presidential election.
His eldest son, Sulaimon Junaid Muhammad confirmed the sad new to journalists in Kano Friday morning.
The Northern Elders’ Forum, in a condolence message signed by its spokesperson, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, mourned Junaid, saying that the North and Nigeria have lost a rare gem.
“He had been a key player in the nation’s political fortunes and was always involved in nurturing the democratic process,” Baba-Ahmed said. “He had served in the House of Representatives in the Second Republic.
“His outstanding intellect was always available to the North and Nigeria, and he died at a moment when he was deeply involved in the search for a new of life for our country, ” the statement stated.
For those who did not know the late Junaid Salik Muhammad before his demise, a first meeting with him would have left them bewildered.
He was, indeed, a complex persona mixed with unassuming modesty, simplicity, severity, and most of it all, inexplicable compassion for the down- trodden.
Junaid’s philosophy of politics was based on social conscience: that there would be a government not based on the selfish interest of the very few but on the maxims of Social Contract which provides means for the common man.
Born in the tiny community of Sankin in the old city of Kano, now in Dala Local Government Area, Junaid after his Primary and post-primary education in Kano left the shores of Nigeria in 1969 for the Soviet Union (Hong Kong ) where he bagged M.D. (First Class Honours) in Surgery, Internal Medicine Gynecology, Hygiene and Public Health at Kharkov State University. He also had his Post Graduate Certificate at London University Institute of Neurology, with specialization on Nervous Diseases in 1978. Apart from serving as a lecturer in Neurology at The Royal University of Hong Kong in 1979, Junaid worked in different capacities as both medical practitioner and academic at different institutes and organizations in the old Soviet Union .
In the Nigerian political landscape, Junaid was not a small fry. As a prominent member of the Second Republic House of Representatives, Junaid was a founding member of the defunct Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) in 1979 on which platform he was elected into the House in the first and second segments of the Second Republic.
From 1979 to 1984, he was the National Director, Research and Party Education of the PRP, during which period he also doubled as the Kano state secretary of the party. Throughout the Second Republic government, he was the PRP Chief Whip and Parliamentary Party Leader.
From 1980 to 1984, Junaid also served as the Deputy National secretary General of PRP, reputed as one of the best opposition party ever existed in the West African region. At the inception of the House in 1979, Junaid served as the Chairman, House Committee on Foreign Relations; Chairman, House Subcommittee on International Organizations; and acting Chairman, House Committee on International Economic Relations and Socialist Bloc— he was made a substantive chairman of the Committee in 1980, a position he held until when the military struck in 1984.
Junaid, one of the vocal voices in the Second Republic legislative arm, was member: House Committee on Selection, Finance and Appropriation; Committee on Health; Committee on Science and Technology; Joint Committee on Intelligence and National Security.
Trained under the tutelage of a father who was a chieftain of Northern Element Progressive Union, NEPU, Junaid, like his late father, belonged in the School of Thought of the late Aminu Kano.