All roads led to Yima Sen’s Mbaapuusu Village in Shangev-Tiev of Konshisha Local Government Area of Benue State in central Nigeria where the late radical nationalist was finally laid to rest.
Although Intervention was not at the burial, pictures sent by a contact and also confirmed on two other Whatsapp platforms confirms that, on hand to witness the rite of passage were, among others, Mrs Lona Sen, the wife of the deceased and their two children; Engineer Barnabas Gemade who attended the same Bristow Secondary School with Yima; Engineer Benson Abounu, Deputy-Governor of Benue State who stood in for Governor Samuel Ortom; Senator George Akume, former governor of the state and incumbent Minister for the Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs and former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar whose Special Adviser on Policy and Programmes the late Yima was from 2002 to 2006 in the current Republic which took off in 1999.
The Special Adviser on Policy and Programmes is an overarching taskmaster in matching, cross-checking and enforcing quality, completion and problems of completion of a government’s commitments. In late 2015, there were hints that the late Dr. Yima was to return to the same job in the Buhari Presidency. It followed initial hints about his being tipped as Minister for Transport. All two did not come up at last. Such hints are usually beyond confirmation which doesn’t mean they are untrue either.
The former Vice-President who spoke through his representative, Hon Shima Ayati, called Yima a global scholar, someone who would be missed for the advocacy for freedom and equality he stood for.
Other speakers followed suit. While Governor Ortom referred to the deceased as a Benue son with national and international clout, a fighter for the emancipation of the poor; Senator George Akume singled out Yima for his contributions to the development of Nigeria and Senator Gemade crediting to Yima unparoled contributions to Nigeria’s political development.
The burial marks the end of a main figure in recent radical politics, albeit a very complex one as far as a Marxist in politics is concerned. He leaves his ideological fellow travelers with the task of reflexivity and questions about how a legacy might still be consolidated.