Tuesday, 4 July 2017


President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday sent a personal letter of condolence to the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, on the death of elder statesman, Alhaji Maitama Sule.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed this in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja.
Shehu said Buhari, in the letter he personally signed, expressed profound shock over Sule’s death and described it as a “heavy loss.”
The presidential spokesman said the letter would be delivered by the Federal Government delegation to the burial committee, as constituted by the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo.

The letter read, “I have heard this morning, the death of the venerable Alhaji Maitama Sule, Dan Masanin Kano, and one of Nigeria’s famous sons.

“Although I knew he was in poor health for some time, his death, nonetheless, came as a profound shock.

“As a Minister in the First Republic, he was one of those who assisted our Founding Fathers, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello and Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, to fashion Nigeria politically and lay the grounds of national co-existence.

“Maitama Sule was blessed by God with a wonderful voice and outstanding eloquence.

“He served with distinction in the First Republic, the Second Military regime, as well as the Second Republic, without him being tainted with the remotest hint of scandal.

“As a person, I found him personable with unceasing good humour.

“Nothing personified his faith more than the fact that, on losing his sight, he did not retreat in himself sulking on account of his ill-fortune.

“Quite to the contrary, he honoured virtually all invitations extended to him and spoke as usual with singular eloquence and unparalleled wit.

“In my discussions with him, I greatly valued his counsel, and I never ceased to be amazed by his concern for the well-being of his country rather than his personal interests.

“Let me extend my sincere condolences to Your Excellency, family and friends, the Government and people of Kano, and Nigerians as a whole, for this most heavy loss.

“We shall not soon see the like of him. May God forgive his sins and admit him to Paradise, Amin.”



Dr. Maitama Sule’s was born in 1929 in Kano state and had so many children, he was a school teacher in his early career, was elected in 1954 to the Federal House of Representatives. In 1958 he became the Kano Native Authority’s Chief Information Officer and in 1959 the Federal Minister of Mines and Power, serving until the military delegation to the Addis Ababa Conference of Independent African States in 1960 and was also a member of the first Nigerian delegation to the United Nations the same year. 
When Nigeria created states in 1967, he became Commissioner for Local Government, then moved to the Ministry of Forestry, Co-operatives and Community Development and finally to that of Information.

At Public Complaints Commission: The rise of economic nationalism during the 1970s led to the enactment of a decree stipulating minimum requirements for local content in many companies doing business in Nigeria. 
To capitalize on the benefits of indigenous control of the economy, many permanent secretaries, federal commissioners, state governors and their cronies established firms to conduct business with the government. It was with the intent of patching the revolving door and to stem small time corruption that the public complaints commission was created in 1975. 
It was meant to hear and tackle complaints fielded by the common man in a simple and efficient manner. Maitama Sule, as head of the commission was known to have taken his job seriously, partly because he was a potent political commodity and had a lot to gain from the good will of the people when a transition to civilian rule was in place. As a result of the commission’s effort, corruption during the period was temporarily curtailed.

After, the re-election of President Shagari in 1983, Maitama Sule was made the Minister for National Guidance, a portfolio designed to assist the president in tackling corruption. He as a major reason for the incursion returned to a familiar role, this time under a democratic government as the head of a ministry to tackle corruption. 
The new but short-lived ministry was created solely to invest time in an ethical re-orientation of Nigerians. Maitama, who had acquired a solid reputation as a tough U.N representative, when he was chairman of a U.N. special committee on apartheid was asked to lead the ministry. However, his appointment was not satisfactory to critics. Shagari’s administration was removed by a coup, with the coupists citing corruption

. Alhaji Yusuf MAITAMA SULE, became Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations, who presented his credentials to Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim. Maitama Sule’s was also assign as representative of the President of Nigeria to the Lancaster House Talks on Zimbabwe in London and also Counsel African Leaders On Zimbabwe Crisis.

A former Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Sule who was part of the delegates to the Lancaster talks that ushered in black rule in Zimbabwe, has called on African leaders to be honest, just and fair in seeking a lasting solution to the Southern African Country political crisis.

In his words, “I do hope that the African leaders would summon courage and be honest enough to tell President Robert Mugabe what he should have done and tell him what he has done wrong. Because unless we tell ourselves the truth, we will never get out of the woods, we will have to do that”.
Alhaji Sule who spoke extensively on several other issues on Voice of Nigeria Current Affairs Programme “Global Guest On VON” told a team of journalists that it was necessary that African leaders realize the need to promote good governance, rule of law and other democratic norms.

He said that without free, fair elections and peaceful environment for people to freely express their rights, the sustainability of Democracy would be under threat in Africa. A former Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Sule who was part of the delegates to the Lancaster talks that ushered in black rule in Zimbabwe, has called on African leaders to be honest, just and fair in seeking a lasting solution to the Southern African Country political crisis.

The retired Diplomat who had been involved in high profile peace negotiations across the world also recalled his involvements in finding solution to the Sudan crisis in the 60s adding that lack of trust and injustice has been stalling progress in achieving peace in the Central African Country.

He was quoted as saying that “It is like the case of Sudan in 1964, I led the Nigerian delegation to the conference of Southern Sudan with the rest of Sudan. I told them look, unless you exalt yourself to do justice, be fair with one another and patient with one another, you will never get out of the woods”.

When he was asked about Nigeria politics and democracy, he said in his own view and as an advocated of change, the current system of governance is to reflect the peoples way of life and other critical issues in our national life. The elder statesman who served as minister under Shagari’s administration, said rather than stick to the western form of democracy which has proved very ineffective, our leaders should summon the courage to midwife a workable model that is indigenous and in tune with practical realities.

“What Nigeria needs now is good leadership to develop and excel. Nigeria wants good leaders not rulers, for it to take its pride of place in Africa, a country without good leadership cannot have good government,” he said.

Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Sule

Chairman of the UN Special Committee Against Apartheid, 1981-1983
Speeches and Statements on Apartheid

International Year of Mobilization for Sanctions against South Africa, 11 January 1982
Southern Africa: “The time to act is now”, An appeal to the British people, March 1982
Pan Africanism and the Struggle for Liberation in South Africa and Namibia, 22 March 1982
International Year of Mobilization for Sanctions against South. Opening Address at Asian Regional Conference for Action Against Apartheid, Manila, 24 May 1982b

Campaign for the release of South African Political Prisoners, 11 October 1982
Twenty Years of United Nations Special Committee Against Apartheid 1982.

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