|Hajiya Bilkisu Yusuf |
News from Saudi showed that a Nigerian woman Hajiya Bilkisu Yusuf was among the victims of the stampede. She was a versatile journalist, columnist, journalism ombudsman and later civil society activist, who mentored a lot of journalists for about three decades.
Until her untimely death, Hajiya Bilkisu was one of the advocates for the BRING BACK OUR GIRLS (BBOG) Campaign. The campaign which was initiated to advocate for the safe return over 200 Chibok schoolgirls that were abducted April 2014. The BBOG group was in shock upon receiving this sad news.
The stampede occurred Thursday [Sept 24] morning during the ritual known as "stoning the devil" in a tent city in Mina, about two miles from the holy site in Mecca, Islam's holiest city.
Hajiya Bilkisu, a former presidential Adviser on International Affairs and syndicated columnist for Daily Trust and Leadership newspapers, was the Executive Director of Advocacy Nigeria, a movement working for the reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality.
According to wisemuslimwomen.org, Hajia Bilkisu "is also a founding member of several NGOs including two of the country’s most vibrant and pace setting national women’s organizations, Women in Nigeria (WIN) and the Federation of Muslim Women’s Association (FOMWAN)."
"She served as First Kano State Coordinator at WIN and as a National President at FOMWAN. She also is a Chairperson at ABANTU for Development, an NGO where she is the Master Gender Trainer for Northern Nigeria. "Ms. Bilikisu has also worked as an information officer in the Ministry of Information in Kano and worked briefly as a Programme Officer at Radio Kano. She also worked as the Editor of three National Newspapers The Triumph in Kano, The New Nigerian, and Citizen Magazine.
"She serves on several national and international boards and has written 20 chapters in published books on subjects ranging from Women’s rights, media, gender, Islam, politics and maternal and child health. "Ms. Bilikisu received her B.S. at Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, and also earned a Masters in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin Madison, USA. She received an Advanced Diploma in Journalism from the Moscow Institute of Journalism and International Relations, Moscow. She is married with children," wrote the website.
Hajiya Bilkisu Yusuf died yesterday alongside 700 others in the Mecca stampede. May Allah make Aljannah Firdausi to be Hajiya Bikisu's final abode.
Bilkisu Yusuf (2nd from the right) a panelist during our Day 365 memorial lecture. #RIPP #BringBackOurGirls pic.twitter.com/995Pfq6Ts8— #BringBackOurGirls (@BBOG_Nigeria) September 25, 2015
Bilkisu Yusuf, #BringBackOurGirls advocate. Died in the #HajjStampede Died without seeing our #ChibokGirls back. RIPP pic.twitter.com/vKB05LyP05— #BringBackOurGirls (@BBOG_Nigeria) September 24, 2015
Devastating news tonight of the loss of Hajia Bilkisu Yusuf in the #HajjStampede - such fond memories of her, a true leader among women.— Ayo Obe (@naijama) September 24, 2015
Trailblazing journalist/Editor, Bilkisu Yusuf. Gone but will never be forgotten. RIP Anti Bilki #MeccaStampede pic.twitter.com/lObNTyRMKl— Kadaria Ahmed (@STWKadaria) September 24, 2015
Very sad to receive news of the death of Bilkisu Yusuf today. Great humanist, advocate, journalist, networker and above all devoted to God— Jibrin Ibrahim (@JibrinIbrahim17) September 24, 2015
Hajiya Bilkisu Yusuf was an amazing woman. Her courage and intellect inspires me. HEARTBROKEN to learn of her death. She will be missed....— Yashua Alkali (@Yash_Hamza) September 24, 2015
Aunty Bilkisu, the news of your death is devastating. I'd hold on to this message as a reminder of your sweet spirit. pic.twitter.com/ZmTb23up8A— Bukky Shonibare (@BukkyShonibare) September 24, 2015
The sadness of Mecca tragedies know no bounds. Our sister, one of the most brilliant voices 4 Girl-Child, Bilkisu Yusufu died.TOO SHOCKING!— Oby Ezekwesili (@obyezeks) September 25, 2015
Bilkisu Yusuf was an extraordinary woman & professional. A distinguished journalist who gave plenty RESEARCH & VOICE to the GIRL CHILD. SAD.— Oby Ezekwesili (@obyezeks) September 25, 2015
Bilkisu Yusuf attained heights that she direly wanted the GIRL CHILD to surpass thru society's COLLECTIVE ACTIONS. What a most PAINFUL LOSS!— Oby Ezekwesili (@obyezeks) September 25, 2015