President Muhammadu Buhari has described former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), late Dr Obadiah Mailafia as a man who truly loved his fatherland.
President Buhari added that the love the former Deputy Governor of CBN had for the country was never in doubt recalling that the former 2019 presidential candidate left a sterling footprint by ensuring peace and harmonious relationship is maintained in the country.
The President was speaking during the service of songs and tributes organised for the late scholar at the National Christian Centre, Abuja.
He hailed the late banker for the intelligence he brought to bear in both public and private life through his lifetime.
Represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, President Buhari, explained that late Dr Obadiah 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.
President Buhari noted that he fondly remembers and appreciates Obadiah’s indelible contributions to the transformation of the 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, adding that this most birthed most of the technologically advanced banking services Nigerians enjoy today.
The President said Dr Mailafia was a complete family man and humanitarian whose selfless service to his family and contributions to humanity are enumerable, pointing out that he had made his mark as an outstanding individual whose personality transcended local and international borders for the love of humanity.
“We have lost a rare gem and we will all miss him for his unimpeachable contributions to nation-building. His undisguised love for Nigeria was not in doubt,” President Buhari lamented.
In his contribution, Governor Samuel Ortom thanked the late Mailafia for his courage and love for Nigeria, saying that his death was painful at a time the nation needed him the most to contribute to the development of the country.
Speaking through Dr Ishima Ayati, Governor Ortom commiserated with members of the family and prayed to God to grant eternal repose to the soul of Dr Obadiah Mailafia.
Also in his tribute, President of the Middle Belt Forum (MBF), Dr Pogu Bitrus, described the former CBN Deputy Governor as a distinguished son of the Middle Belt and national patriot who committed his entire life to ensure that Nigeria works for all irrespective of any section of the country.
He said it is painful to mourn the passage of a younger one, Dr Mailafia who was courageous, honest and fearless on issues that matter the most, stressing that his death has left a huge vacuum and prayed that the Almighty God raises up other Mailafias to continue where he stopped towards ensuring a peaceful society.
The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) noted that the late consummate writer and polymath was a symbol of the struggle to enthrone justice and equity for the diverse people of Nigeria for their overall benefit.
Chairman of the Board of Trustees of SOKAPU, Elder Steven Bangoji noted that Dr Mailafia died for the oppressed and stood for those suffering from an unjust system, saying, “As long as Nigeria continue to exist as a single political entity, his footprints will always be remembered.”
Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank, sympathised with the family of Dr Mailafia and described the late banker as an intelligent personality whose contributions to the growth of the nation will remain indelible for as long as the country exists.
Professor Yusuf Turaki in a sermon, recalled the life and times of Mailafia, stating that his courage to stand by his principles at all times 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, thanked Nigerians for attending the service of songs, saying that Mailafia was a true son of Nigeria who loved his nation with passion.
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.