President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday declared that the undisguised love the former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr Obadiah Mailafia had for the country was never in doubt even as he recalled sterling footprints left by the late 2019 presidential candidate.
Speaking during the service of songs and tributes for the late technocrat and scholar that held at the National Christian Centre, Abuja, the president commended the late central banker for his intelligence he brought to bear in both public and private life.
Mailafia would be buried today but Buhari, who was represented at the occasion by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, said, “Late Dr was a devoted Christian, well known Development Economist, International Polymath, Central Banker, academician per-excellence, astute administrator and strategist whose enormous contributions to the growth and development of our nation’s economy are unquantifiable. I fondly remember and appreciate his indelible contributions to the transformation of our nation’s banking sector through the Banking Consolidation Exercise during his eventful stint as the then Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria between 2005 and 2006. This most birthed most of the technologically advanced banking services we enjoy today. All thanks to late Dr Mailafia and his team.
“Additionally, Dr Mailafia was a complete family man and humanitarian whose selfless service to his family and contributions to humanity are enumerable. He had made his marks as an outstanding individual whose personality transcended local and international borders. We have lost a rare gem and we will all miss him for his unimpeachable contributions to nation’s building. His undisguised love for Nigeria was not in doubt.”
The Governor of Benue State, Dr Samuel Ortom, commended the late Mailafia for his courage and love for Nigeria, stressing that his death was painful at a time the nation needed him the most. Represented by Dr Ishima Ayati, the governor commiserated with members of the family and prayed to God to grant eternal repose to the soul of the Mailafia.
President of the Middle Belt Forum (MBF), Dr Pogu Bitrus, described the former CBN Deputy Governor of the CBN as a distinguished son of the Middle Belt and national patriot who was committed to ensuring that Nigeria works for all.
“At a time like this, it is painful to mourn the passage of a younger one. Dr Mailafia was courageous, honest and fearless on issues that matter the most. His death has left a huge vacuum and we pray that the Almighty God raise up other Mailafias to continue where he stopped,” Dr Pogu declared.
The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) described the late consummate writer and polymath as a symbol of the struggle to enthrone justice and equity for the diverse people of Nigeria.
Chairman of the Board of Trustee of SOKAPU who spoke for the Union, Elder Steven Bangoji, said, “Dr Mailafia died for the oppressed and stood for those suffering from an unjust system. As long as Nigeria continue to exist as a single political entity, his footprints will always be remembered.
The governor of the CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, sympathised with the family of Dr Mailafia, and described the late central banker as an intelligent personality whose contributions to the growth of the nation will remain indelible.
Professor Yusuf Turaki, who delivered the sermon, recalled the life an times of Mailafia and his courage to stand by his principles at all times. He described the Sanga-born technocrat as a lover of humanity and someone who stood for truth.
Chairman of the Burial Steering Committee and former Minister of Information, Professor Jerry Gana, commended Nigerians for attending the service of songs, stressing that Mailafia was a true son of Nigeria who loved his nation.
Thousands of Nigerians from all walks of life trooped to the National Christian Centre to pay their last respects to the man many described as a voice for the voiceless.
The funeral service took place on Friday November 5, 2021 at the same venue at 11am, while interment took place at the Gudu cemetery, Abuja.