By Emmanuel Onwubiko
Two years exactly since the earthly departure of a phenomenal Nasarawa State born Christian leader, preacher, Evangelizer and community mobiliser Reverend Dauda Fadi Negin, the second year anniversary has seen me been confronted by historical circumstances to write on the topic of death, which philosophers and theologians believe is the necessary end to man’s existence on the planet earth while other scholars see death as a taboo which man hardly remembers to reflect on.
Benedict Spinoza, one of the best-known philosophers in our modern period saw death as a topic which mankind does not cherish to reflect on.
In a celebrated proposition of etica (Ethics), Spinoza affirmed thus: “Of no other thing does man have less thought of than of death; his wisdom remains not in the meditation of death, but of life, (home liber nulla reminus quam de morte cogitate. Et eius sapienta non mortis, sed vitae meditation est).
Battista Mondin said in his book “Philosophical Anthropology” that the above suggestion by Spinoza who is one of the fathers of philosophy and modern western culture has become the law for the adult’ ‘mature’, ‘free’ ‘secularized’ man of all times’.
The argument or discussion of death has become ‘taboo’ not only for convivial conversations, but also for the serious meditations of philosophers and men of letters of all clime and times.
“The French Anthropologist L. V. Thomas observed that: ‘Between the society of today and intellectuals, there exists a tacit understanding: I count on you “say the readers, as long as you furnish me with instruments with which to forget, disguise and negate death. If you do not perform the task I have given you, then you will be dismissed; that is, I will no longer read you’.
Ironically, death has become not only the most immanent characteristic of human existence, it is also an actual event on absolute potentiality, and death is the fate of all human existence. For according to some philosophers the moment we are born, we already candidates for death and condemned to die.
Blaise Pascal, one of the best known French philosophers presented the above fact of death in a very beautiful way when he wrote thus: “what we are speaking of ourselves and our all. The immortality of soul is something, which regards us so strongly, which touches us so profoundly that we need to completely lose our good sense to be indifferent to the knowledge of how things stand. All of our actions and thoughts must take very diverse directions according to whether there is (or not) an eternal life to hope for so that it is impossible to make a sensible and prudent choice without working from the solution of this problem which refers to our final end.”
Battista Mondin said, “Man cannot escape from the research of the existential truth that ensures a sense for and present and future life.
I am compelled to research on the existential finality of man, which is called death when the Universal church of Christ lost one of her prominent members in the person of Pastor Dauda Fadi Negin who although has gone to be with his maker in eternity but the numerous great legacies he bequeathed to his followers and immediate family members are still evergreen. He was truly a lover of God but also a lover of quality education which informed his decision to spend great deal other resources to train his Children through the Universities.
The demise of this great Christian Preacher who was also a reputable radio evangelist has awaken in me the philosophical passion to ask the fundamental question of; Death what are you? Incidentally, his big Son Mr. Danuel Daniel has just done a beautiful book about the life and times of this iconic figure who was his father biologically and a father to millions of Christians in the entire North central region of Nigeria.
Obviously, there are three facts, which are indisputable when it comes to a reflection on the meaning of death: firstly, there is the undeniable fact that man dies; secondly, that is an event concerning a being (human being) gifted with self-consciousness, self-transcendence, freedom, spirituality and subsistence in the areas of the spirit and personality and lastly that although we lack direct experience of death, nevertheless it is not completely missing when it comes to knowledge.
Philosophers affirmed that humanity possess two fold indirect knowledge of death: the first is the sight of others who die; the second is the cognizance that life is a constant and progressive yielding and subjection to death, so much that we can say, quotide morior, that is expressed in another words, every day cedes to death a part of the days which have been assigned to me for my life.
Augustine, one of the world’s greatest theologians and a proud African wrote in his book ‘City of God’ that; “from the moment a man begins to exist in a body which is destined to die, he is involved all the time in a process whose end is death.”
Plato one of the most ancient thinkers saw man as imprisoned in the corporeal body and it is only in death that the soul is liberated from the corporeal imprisonment.
Wesley Barnes views death as the terminal point for an existence of alienation, despair and agony, from an existential point of view, death is destroyer and preserver. Soren Kierkegaard sees death as the end of life and the resumption of a new life. He said that the life that ends at death is the physical and the new life, which the individual assumes at death, is the happy life thereafter.
In the new book on the life and milestones of this Reverend gentleman, his eldest son Dauda Daniel had stated thus: The early life of the would be Rev. Dauda Fadi Negin, is traced to his birth place of Kundami and traditional life home of Angwan Fadi in the present Kokona Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. He is historically traced to the Mada Nation. The leading Ncho-Koche clan that belongs to the Ncho clan. His early life activities in Hunting and Farming among others really depicted his characteristic exposure of Mada National Antics leading to his manhood aspect of the pride of his people.
When the Gospel light of the Lord Jesus dawned on the would be Rev. Dauda Fadi, meeting him at the time he was getting ripe to inherit his father’s priesthood of Animism, little did he (the youthful energetic Dauda) know that the New Life would make most of what he became throughout the rest of his life – serving the Lord.
The new life service in the spiritual realm opened the chance for Rev. Dauda Fadi Negin to the fore in Church activities having being groomed and got ripped for the Church Service in Kogum River Bible Training School in the present Kaduna State. The Gospel work took him to various places, starting from his home town base of Angwan Fadi and other places in Kokona Local Government Area, this was traced in the write up, opened the enthusiastic Preacher of the Gospel, Rev. Dauda Fadi to the closer point of meeting his Mada ethnic group and others as his work was neither stagnant nor sedentary, but like our Lord Jesus – he went about doing good.
The Late Rev. Dauda Fadi Negin is affectionately remembered for many outputs of his contributions to the Gospel work and educating his people from the non-formal to formal education levels. That not alone, his contribution in pioneering the Mada Linguistic (songs) recordings using the then ELWA Gospel Station based in Jos, really spurred the Mada Language Development, paving ways to the grander work on Mada language translation from the Bible.
Rev. Dauda Fadi Negin is also fondly remembered, in the field of his working experience in the teaching of CRK (Christian Religious Knowledge) in secular Primary School of Local Education Authority (LEA) under Kokona Local Government Area. The combination of his work with his church spiritual duties, really added the tireless nature of his contributions to all aspects of spiritual upbringing in the Church and the secular circle.
Rev. Dauda’s involvement in all his duties really rendered him the position of reckoning as the Man of the People – among both the old and the young. This earned him the praises from the young ones who occasionally joyfully yelled at him when he passes through them, especially in the town – as “YA-BABA, YA-BABA” (Hello-Father, Hello-Father).
Rev. Dauda attained to his retirement both from spiritual and secular duties in 2002 amiably proved the Reverend (Pastor) Dauda though Retired but not Tired. To this, he still rendered his life experience both in voluntary service in the Church, Ganti, near Garaku when the Church was still awaiting a serving Pastor to be posted.
Rev. Dauda’s experience affectionately surfaces (still) at the family level after his official retirement. At the family level, he rendered his age-long experience among other elderly aspects – spiritually and humanly feasible by giving his great helpful hands in the farming activities; leading to the family’s economic growth and welfare.
The Demise of Rev. Dauda Fadi Negin on 5th December, 2017 was really glorious and Godly reflective of the Child/Servant of God (in the Lord) Going Home (Heaven) to Meet his Father (God) who he, Served in his Life Time.
Glory be to the Lord in ever Cherished Memory of this Servant of the Lord – Rev. Dauda Fadi Negin by the Family and Sundry. Today as we pay tributes to his contributions as a man who built the Church of God and helped raised many Great Preachers of the Gospel of Christ Jesus, there is one consolation that the followers must have and that is that their model and their Iconic father served God and humanity and is inevitably resting in peace in the very bosom of God Almighty. The lesson for us is to strive to do good at all times so there will be WRITERS who will document our good deeds.