Members of the Nigerian community, associates and friends gathered on 2 October, at the main cemetery in the German city of Mönchengladbach, to bid the final farewell to Dr Daniel Yakubu Kutchin. The Nigerian scholar, IT expert and development activist died on 7 August at the age of 57.
A brief Christian funeral service preceded the interment of the remains of Dr Kutchin at the cemetery in Mönchengladbach followed by a reception for guests hosted by some of the neighbours of the deceased.
Some of the guests proceeded afterwards to the Grand Cathedral in Cologne to pray for the repose of Dr Kutchin’s soul and light candles in his memory – for the light of Christ to shine eternally on the departed.
The solemn funeral activities, attended by guests from across Germany, fittingly paid tribute to an exceptional person who during his lifetime positively touched those he came in contact with.
Wizzy Polycarp Kutchin, who came from Nigeria to attend the activities, must have been very impressed that his brother was loved and recognised in a land he called home for 30 years.
“The neighbours spoke very good of him. For elites in his community to feel so bad about our brother’s death tells us how well he lived with them,” Wizzy commented.
“Daniel’s life was a brief life full of struggles, of trying to become the best he could be in order to change the depressing situation of his people. The process involved tasking himself to improve so as to be in a good position to help. That’s the overall plan of his life,” Wizzy said.
“Even though he was doing well in Germany, his passion to improve the condition of people in his country and Africa in general drove him to get involved in politics and advocate for the African youth,” Wizzy spoke glowingly of his late brother.
Dr RosaLyn Dressman, president of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Germany (NIDOG), said it’s “a duty to honour a worthy compatriot who dedicated his life to the progress of the Nigerian community and his home country”.
“With the death of Dr Kutchin, Nigerians in the Diaspora have lost a valuable member and our nation a patriot, who made meaningful contributions to the development of Nigeria,” NIDOG had said in a press release announcing Dr Kutchin’s demise in August.
“Dr Kutchin will be remembered by all who came in contact with him as a very pleasant personality who enjoyed a very cordial relationship with his compatriots in Germany,” NIDOG added.
Dr Kutchin, a native of Ampang West, Mangu Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State, studied Physics at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria, where he earned his first and second degrees. He obtained a PhD in Nuclear Physics at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University, Bonn, Germany.
After his post-doctoral graduation, he took courses in Information Technology and subsequently qualified as a “CISCO Certified Internetwork Expert”.
Dr Kutchin worked with Siemens where he was a network specialist. He left the global technology giant in 2003 to become an independent consultant. The IT expert ended his professional career in August 2013 and subsequently dedicated himself to the cause of Nigeria.
Dr Kutchin, in his burning desire to enrich governance in Nigeria with the Diaspora experience, contested for the governorship of Plateau State at the primary election of the People’s Democratic Party in 2014. Although his attempt was not successful, Dr Kutchin’s interest in the development of the state did not in any way wane.
As founder of the ‘Hillstone Foundation – The Diaspora from Central Nigeria’, Dr Kutchin worked with the German government under the auspices of the Dual Vocational Training (DVT) Partnership – to promote vocational education in Nigeria against the background of acute skills shortage in manufacturing and the trades at a time of high unemployment among young people.
“We will remember him not only for his passionate interest in the politics of his home state but also his involvement in projects to promote human capital development in our country,” NIDOG said.
It’s fitting and proper to recognise the role played by Dr RosaLyn Dressman in the organisation of the funeral activities for the late Dr Kutchin. She took it upon herself, in a way far beyond her duties as president of NIDOG, to ensure that Dr Kutchin was laid to rest in a dignified and respectful way. Kudos to her sense of responsibility and solidarity!
May the soul of Daniel Yakubu Kutchin rest in peace.
Sola Jolaoso /Photos: Courtesy of Wizzy Polycarp Kutchin