137-yr-old Zamfara man pays N20 loan owed grandson, dies hours after
MARERI Community in Gusau Local Government Area of Zamfara State is currently mourning its hitherto oldest member, Mallam Isah Mareri, who died on Saturday at the age of 137, leaving behind about 200 grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Mallam Mareri died in the early hours of Saturday following an illness related to old age. Alhaji Labaran, one of the grandchildren of the deceased, who is a former chairman, Lalan Traders of Gusau, said the entire Mareri community was thrown into mourning when residents woke up in the early hours of Saturday and discovered that Mallam Mareri had died.
He lamented the death of his grandfather said to have been born in 1882, describing it as a vacuum within the family that would be difficult to fill. “We will miss him, his philanthropic gestures and pious disposition, being a religious personality in this area,” he told Sunday Tribune.
Sunday Tribune was at the funeral prayer for the late community leader at his residence. Despite the bad road leading to the community, businessmen, politicians, scholars and symphatisers found their way to the graveyard where the old man was laid to rest.
Sunday Tribune discovered that Mareri area which had existed for over a decade and is now part of Gusau metropolis has never really enjoyed dividends of democracy as it lacks good access roads. It was also discovered that there is no potable water, no hospital and very little social amenities in the community.
Speaking with Sunday Tribune, Mallam Siddi, a trader who is also one of the grandsons of Mallam Mareri revealed to Sunday Tribune that he had 15 siblings which included 11 men and five women. He however said 14 of his brothers had died but all the five woman are still alive.
He explained that his father led a decent life and was generous to a fault as he gave out almost all he had and did not owe anybody.
According to him, Mallam Mareri had only one house where he lived lived in till the end. He also had some farmlands.
“One interesting story was that my father died as if he knew the day he was to pass away. A day before his demise, he returned N20 that he collected from one of his grandchildren whom he told that he didn’t want to die owing anybody and he died the next day,” he said.
Also, two of the grandchildren and great grandchildren of Mallam Mareri, Alhaji Bala and Mallam Jamilu, said they would miss a grandfather who always wanted his grandchildren to be around him.
“He was very religious, sympathetic and Godfearing. We shall really miss him,” one of them said.