By Dirisu Yakubu
Politician and businessman, Gbenga Olawepo Hashim has described the death of former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Obadiah Mailafia as a “great loss to Nigeria and his beloved family that he loved dearly.”
Mailafia died at the National Hospital on Sunday morning at the age of 64.
Olawepo-Hashim in a condolence message to the nation at large said Mailafia was a diplomat, political economist, a minority rights crusader and great voice for the Middle Belt course.
He said: “I just got off the phone with Dr. Bitrous Porgu, President of the Middle Belt Forum to confirm the distressing news popping up on my phone. It is true we have lost Obadiah Malafia,” he said.
Olawepo-Hashim recalled that they were screened together by the elders of the Middle Belt in 2019 Presidential run, stating that “he did remarkably well. His voice on national issues which kept on ringing until the last few days will be missed.”
The late Mailafia ran for the office of the President in the 2019 election on the platform of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) and lost to President Muhammadu Buhari.
He was born on December 24, 1956 in Randa in Sanga Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
His father, Baba Mailafia Gambo Galadima was an evangelist with the Evangelical Reformed Church of Central Nigeria.
Mailafia graduated top of his class at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, in 1978 with a B.Sc. Honours in Social Sciences (Politics, Economics and Sociology). He also had a M.Sc. from the same institution.
He was the chief economist at the Strategic Planning and Budgeting Department of the African Development Bank Group from 2001 to 2005.
Mailafia was recalled home from the African Development Bank to serve as Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria where he distinguished himself remarkably.