An elder statesman and former Nigeria’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Sule, is dead.
The renown strong politician and Kano orator died aged 88 in a hospital in Cairo, Egypt’s capital while receiving treatment for an illness.
One of his surviving sons, Alhaji Mukhtar Maitama-Sule, confirming the death of the elder statesman, saying he died, 24 hours after his arrival at the Egyptian hospital.
The Kano State Government has declared Tuesday, July 4 as a public holiday to mourn the passing away of its illustrious son, who held an emirate title of Danmasanin Kano.
In a statement signed by the State Commissioner for Information, Mallam Mohammed Garba, the late Danmasanin Kano’s body on arrival from Cairo would lie in state for some hours at the Emir’s palace.
“Funeral prayer for the deceased will be conducted tomorrow (Tuesday) at the Emir’s Palace, Kofar Kudu, by 4.00 p.m,” Garba said in the statement.
This would enable prominent Nigerians to mourn the elder statesman before he would be laid to rest.
Yusuf Maitama Sule was a Nigerian politician, acclaimed orator and diplomat.
In 1976, he became the federal commissioner of public complaints, a position that made him the nation’s pioneer ombudsman.
He was appointed Nigeria’s representative to the United Nations in September 1979.
While there he was chairman of the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid.
Meanwhile, some residents of Kano State have been trouping to the deceased’s house to commiserate with his family and associates.
They expressed shock at the news of the death of Alhaji Yusuf Maitama-Sule.
A resident, Alhaji Balarabe Abdullahi, said Kano was indeed grieved for losing an elder statesman like Maitama-Sule at this time.
He said late Sule mentored and advised the late Emir Ado Bayero.
A relation of the deceased, Hajiya Amina Ahmad, said Kano had lost a father whose advice kept the town alive.
She said the elder statesman dedicated his entire life to the service of the nation and had a dream of a better Nigeria.
Many residents wore gloomy faces on Sunday evening when some of his relations posted the condition of his health on the social media, saying he needed prayers.
A family source, Nura Sheriff, confirmed the news of his death Monday morning in a press statement.
Maitama-Sule was a Federal Commissioner for Public Complaints in 1976 and a Presidential candidate under the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) but lost to Alhaji Shehu Shagari in 1979.
He was also appointed Nigeria’s envoy to the United Nations and became the Chairman of the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid.
In 1983, Maitama-Sule became the Minister for National Guidance, a position that accorded him more national and international recognition.
He died at the age of 87 at an Egyptian Hospital in Cairo, leaving behind a wife and four children; having raised several other children within and outside his family.