Obadiah Mailafia, former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has died at 64.
Mailafia died at Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital, Abuja, on Sunday morning.
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One of his cousins spoke with the deceased two days before he died.
The cousin, who pleaded anonymity because the family did not authorise him to speak on their behalf, said when they spoke, the former CBN deputy governor explained that he was having malaria and cattarh.
He said Mailafia told him he had to switch off his main number because people were disturbing him on that line.
According to the cousin, after they finished talking, he (the cousin) wished him quick recovery and thanked him for an assistance he rendered him last week.
“Only for me to get a call today’s church service that he has passed on,” he said.
The cousin, who resides in Jos, Plateau State capital, said though Mailafia had a house in Jos, he did not reside there.
It was in Jos that he granted a radio station an interview where he alleged that a serving governor was a commander of Boko Haram.
Mailafia had also alleged that during the COVID-19 lockdown, insurgents were moving and distributing arms and ammunition across the country, and that they were moving up and down as if there was no lockdown.
This made the Department of State Services (DSS) invite him to its Jos office where he was interrogated thrice.
The fierce critic of the Buhari administration was born on December 24, 1956 in Randa village, Sanga Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
Meanwhile, a political lobby and advocacy group, the Southern and Middle-Belt Alliance (SaMBA) has expressed great shock and sadness over the sudden death of Dr Mailafia.
The group called for an immediate, transparent and full investigation into the cause of his death, as well as an independent autopsy to be carried out on his body before his burial.
In a statement signed by their spokesman Rwang Pam Jnr. on Sunday, SaMBA described Mailafia as the “Martin Luther King Jr.” of Nigeria and as a relentless freedom fighter for the indigenes of the Middle Belt.
The group, in the statement, expressed shock over the demise of the former deputy governor of the CBN on the 19th September 2021 in Abuja.
Similarly, the Middle Belt Forum (MBF) has expressed sadness over his death.
The National Publicity Secretary of the forum, Dr. Isuwa Dogo, said in a statement that Mailafia’s death at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital Gwagwalada, Abuja, was “shocking and a big blow”.
Dogo said the forum was inspired by his altruistic disposition and contributions to national development and remained proud of his footprints on the political, economic and social sands of the nation.
“Arising from various enquiries from Nigerians over the circumstances of his death, the forum wishes to state as follows: That Dr Mailafia arrived Abuja last Sunday September 12, 2021 from Akure (Ondo State) and was received at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport by his wife.
“On arrival at home, the wife noticed he was not in the best of health conditions and seemed to be suffering from malaria. After three days of treatment without signs of improvement, he went to the CBN Hospital on Friday September 17, 2021,” the statement on his last moment read in part.
From Dickson Adama (Jos) Abbas Jimoh, John C. Azu (Abuja)