A Tribute to a passionate Hajj manager, Mallam Umar Bala

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By Ahmad Muazu Ibrahim.


I was struck with mixed emotions the time that Mallam Umar Bala told me that it is time, I was wondering what time is it? He told me that by July 12th he will proceed to his retirement leave.


Grief and happiness struck me at a time. I am grieving the exit of this honourable colleague of ours, a father to many, a friend, a brother and a companion.  At the same time happy because of his achievements, he has achieved several things, one of which is completing his run in the civil service after reaching the mandatory age without crisis or problems which not so many are that lucky.


Also happy at the same time because not many also reach that age alive to see their retirement. Over the cause of working with him, I have personally benefited enormously from his vast wealth of knowledge and experience; He has a fantastic understanding of knowing when to motivate you, when you need pushing and supporting you when you are struggling.  A great boss who sets his ego aside and gives his juniors the confidence to go on to achieve great things.


Mallam Umar has over the years proven his worthiness at the commission, he has impacted both the staff, the management and the pilgrims in various ways.  he was always available to talk and most importantly listen and offer solutions to one’s problem, even when he is on his downside.


As a mentor he promoted success by implementing a simple workstyle. Announcing his gratitude for each small thing you have done to him, reiterating how important he has felt and what your efforts meant was not only motivating but energetic. He has a vision as he planned projects with cognitive maps allowing him to organize his plans and tease out flaws.


He was a man who is responsible and accountable to his commitments, his Involvement and expertise in a wide range of pursuits has coined him a renaissance man. He absolutely excelled at everything he put his attention to. With a personal mantra of, “Do the right thing, the right way, right now,” we can see that he lived by his word. His legacy lives and breathes kindness.


Mallam Umar was a man of many facets – Altruist, embodiment of optimism and a hard worker. Seeing him at work is always an inspiration, you can never differentiate between him and junior colleagues except by the matured looks and excellent ways of his delivery.


His leadership and vision made him a great person, but his integrity, respect, and compassion make him a greater person.


The most remarkable qualities about Mallam Umar were his gratitude and  humility, I remember vividly during Hajj operations how he will sat down with us and eat at the same place, he will call us and inquire for what is supposed of us all for the daily activities during the Hajj operation, this is something I find different in his character, he never took his position as something to intimidate any person with.

He didn’t care for material possessions. In fact, he was known for giving items away because “there was someone who was more in need.”


To You Mallam Umar,


Having someone like you at the workplace has been a gift. You are that bright light that shines on us during the dark days. Your advice, support, and cheerfulness will be greatly missed.


You never took day-offs from work, except when it is beyond your control.


Sometimes, the proper words of acknowledgment are tough to find for someone as great as you.


Anyone can be a boss around but it takes someone special to be a leader. Thanks for being such a great leader. Wishing you the best on your retirement.


Also, a simple ‘we’ll miss you’ or ‘best wishes’ cannot be a satisfactory goodbye to a person like you who has been more than a mentor to us. It may be uncomfortable for some people to truly speak what’s in their hearts. But at times like these, the sentiments conveyed mean a lot.

We pray that Allah SWT will continue to guide you.

As you proceed on your retirement, we will always be looking up at you for guidance and support.


I am deeply thankful to you for all that you have done and relished spending time with you at work place.


Thank you.


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