My first encounter with Jauro Suleiman -By Aliyu Jala

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My first encounter with Jauro Ibrahim Suleiman was in 2011. That was 11 years ago. He was a tall, lanky guy who reduced the wideness of his grin after I told him I wasn’t an Economics student. (There’s a certain level of superiority Economics students harboured against the students from other departments in ABU’s faculty of social sciences, because “there’s too much calculations in our course, unlike yours.”)

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As freshers, almost every new student in all the four departments in the faculty took SOLG 101 (Introduction to Sociology) because it was an “A-scoring course” as long as you could memorize some of the arguments and theories by the founding fathers of the discipline, such as Auguste Comte, Max Weber, Ibn Khaldun, Karl Marx, Émile Durkheim and Herbert Spencer.

So, during one of our earliest SOLG 101 classes, I had reserved the next seat to me for my friend Rukky Yusuf who was yet to arrive, when Jauro came, bag across his thin torso, shade glasses over his forehead, desiring to occupy Rukky’s seat.

I told him somebody got the space. He said he would sit there until the person came, and he didn’t sound like he was pleading with me. He sat. The theater was already overcrowded with teenagers jostling to out-cool one another. Rukky refused to attend the class that day, and Jauro thought I had just wanted to be rude.

In the eventual days, whenever we met, he would joke to me about owning two seats “like your father’s house,” and I would laugh and vainly reexplain what actually happened.

We both graduated in 2015.

Three years ago, he joined the Nigerian Army through short-service programme, and I would tease him that after all the “trigonometry you consumed in ABU…” and he would respond to the joke a few years later while remarking about a Facebook post of mine in which I had teased about a perceived discrimination done to civilians on military officers’ Sword-Crossing events. He said “Khaki no be beans,” or something along that line.

Jauro was killed yesterday by terrorists, during an ambush at Guards Brigade in Abuja, along with his passion for Nigeria and blossoming military career. Along with his decency and his amazing wit. Along with his disarming sense of humour. Along with his readiness to make his parents and country proud.

May his gentle soul rest in peace.

Aliyu Jala wrote this piece !!!

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