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Showers of Tributes As Mailafia is Laid to Rest in Abuja

The last 24 hours has seen tributes pouring in from different parts of the country for Dr Obadiah Mailafia, the Late former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Mailafia who passed away on the 19th of September at 64 was described by many as an economic lexicon and an intellectual giant whose over 40 years career has contributed immensely to the development of Nigeria and Africa.

During a funeral service held at the National Christian Center Abuja, dignitaries and other prominent Nigerians took turn to eulogize the late Mailafia.

Professor Jerry Gana, a former minister of information in Nigeria and also the Chairman steering committee for the burial described Mailafia as a man who lived a life of integrity and had tremendous commitment to the service of Nigeria.

President Muhammadu Buhari who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha described the late Obadiah Mailafia as a devoted Christian, well known development economist, a central banker of distinction, a strategist who contributed immensely to the growth of the Nigerian economy and banking sector as the deputy governor of the central bank of Nigeria.

“Late Dr Mailafia 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. Mustapha said.

On his part, Dr Samuel Ortom, the governor of Benue state commended the late Mailafia for his love and dedication in the service of Nigeria, stressing that his death was painful at a time the nation needed him the most.

Ortom who was represented by Dr Ishima Ayati, commiserated with the Mailafias and prayed to God to grant eternal repose to the soul of the Economist.

Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Bishop Hassan Mathew Kukah also described the late Mailafia as not just a Dr but a professor, making reference to Mailafia’s intellectual prowess.

“Mailafia was so vast that you could hold a discussion with Professor Mailafia on different topics and he will fit in perfectly.

“I first met Dr Mailafia on the pages of the newspaper. I was going to England in 1986 for my doctoral studies when I saw an article he authored.

Kukah said Mailafia lived a life of service to humanity. He also narrated how the Mailafia was at s point time in the race for the position of the secretary general of the Commonwealth even though he lost out.

Dr Pogu Bitrus, the president of the Middle Belt Forum (MBF), a forum Mailafia actively served described him as a distinguished son of the Middle Belt and a patriotic citizen who was committed to ensuring that Nigeria works for all. Pogu also said that the late Dr Obadiah Mailafia had requested when he was alive that when he dies, his funeral should be held at the National Christian Center.

“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,” he said.

The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) was not left behind as the group described the late consummate Mailafia as a symbol of the struggle to enthrone justice and equity for the diverse people of Nigeria.

Elder Steven Bangoji, the Chairman Board of trustees of the organisation said that “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.” Bangoji said.

Rev Gideon Para Mallam, who said Mailafia was his friend for over 40 years, described Mailafia as a lover of knowledge whose academy excellence endeared him to the world. He further said that Mailafia had s deep knowledge of history and was always speaking for the downtrodden in society.

Representative of the Plateau state governor, who is the commissioner for information in the state, Honorable Dan Manjang said his principal governor Lalong for has been a closed friend to the Mailafias over the years.

Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria 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.

Emefiele who was represented also said that “Mailafia’s contribution towards various reforms the bank undertook in the past cannot be overemphasized.”

Mrs Margaret Mailafia, wife of the late ex central banker described her late husband as a loving husband. Mrs Mailafia who took time to travel down memory lane recalled how she met her husband and the memorable marital journey they both enjoyed together.

Barrister Emmanuel Mailafia, son to the late Dr Mailafia described his father as a committed believer and loving father who traveled far and wide making impacts during his lifetime.

Barr Mailafia also said that though his father is gone to be with the Lord his legacies will live on in the minds of those he impacted his knowledge and skills.

A short documentary about the life of the late politician was also aired at the event. The 15 minutes documentary produced by Timbuktoo Media Solutions captured vividly the rise of Mailafia from Randa where he was born down, describing him as a perfect definition of grass to grace.

Mailafia was finally laid to rest at the Gudu cemetery in Abuja.

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