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A university professor, Aliyu Mani was among the 5 people killed when two suicide bombers entered two mosques at the University of Maiduguri, Borno, last week and blew themselves up, injuring scores of others. 
His 53-year-old wife, Dr. Umma Mani, has said that she feels honoured and proud for her husband to have died while observing prayers in the mosque. She also admitted that while things may get tough for her, and their two children, she remains consoled.
Read according to Daily Trust

Daily Trust: Can you please recollect the events that led to the tragic death of your husband?


My late husband, Professor Aliyu Mani, woke up early in the morning on that fateful day as his fate demanded, and it was about 5:15am when I  bade him goodbye. He took his car key and drove to the JS Mosque to join congregational prayers, which is a 5-minute walk. Those were the last words I said to him.


I went back in, and after my ablution, I began to pray my dawn prayers. Suddenly, a loud explosion rent the quietness of the early morning. I had no idea what it was, but as soon as I finished praying, I tried calling my husband’s phone. The phone began to ring beside me, and I realised he hadn’t gone with it to the mosque. I grabbed my car key and drove to the mosque, trembling, and when I got there, I still can’t believe what I saw.


DT: Were there security operatives when you got there?


By the time I got there, police were already on the scene. Nobody was allowed to go in, except rescue workers who tried to save survivors. But I was able to identify my husband, and my heart sank. There was blood all around him. I then told the police that the man who lay in the blood is my husband. They stopped me from entering the mosque though, saying since I’ve identified him, they’ll release the corpse to me.


They released his body to me, eventually, and I rode in the same ambulance which conveyed him home. The whole thing seemed like a dream. It still feels like a dream, because I still cannot reconcile it all.




Usually, whenever he’s going out, I always say “May God bring you back safely”. And I did say so, before saying goodbye, and he responded by saying “Ameen”. And that’s how he left and never came back alive.   


DT: Has anyone offered additional accounts of what happened that fateful morning?

What people told me is that they saw him on Sujud just before the explosion, which means he died while observing prayer. He died honourably. It gladdened my heart (breaks down in tears).


DT: What were his views on the insurgency?


He, of course, abhorred it, but he never came out to condemn them publicly. He would only do so in company of friends and family. I don’t think he was, specifically, a target of Boko Haram. He was such an easy-going person.


DT: Obviously, this is a monumental loss. How will life be without him?


Allah to be praised, I know it is going to be difficult without him. Since we got married in 1984, up till his death, apart from his faith nothing is more important to him than his family; before he does anything, he would tell me and it was likewise for me, too. He used to tell people that while he is the head of the family, his wife is the backbone.

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