Many Nigerians have expressed deep shock over the death of former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr. Obadiah Mailafia.
The 64-year-old development economist died at the National Hospital Abuja on Sunday morning.
Luka Binniyat, spokesman for the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) had said Mailafia, who took refuge in Makurdi, Benue state, following alleged persistent harassment by the Department of State Services (DSS), fell sick on Saturday and was rushed to an Abuja hospital where he was pronounced dead on Sunday.
The former deputy governor, who was the Presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in the 2019 election, was a known government critic and had advocated for public sector and exchange rate reforms.
Mailafia was born on December 24, 1956, in the Sanga Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
He later graduated top of his class at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, in 1978 with a BSc.
Mailafia was appointed deputy governor of CBN in 2005 from the African Development Bank (AfDB) where he served as the chief economist responsible for Strategic Planning and Corporate Reporting.
A known critic of the Muhammadu Buhari-led government, the deceased was detained for several hours by the DSS over some allegations he made on the security situation in the country in 2020.
Mailafia had during a radio programme alleged that repentant Boko Haram members had revealed to him that a serving Northern governor was a commander of the terrorist group.
Early in the month of September, he described the alleged fulanisation of Nigeria as real, just as he disclosed that there was an ongoing plot by Buhari’s administration to foist an alleged Fulani and Islamic agenda on Nigerians.
Speaking in Akure during a special session organised by Forum for Good Governance Towards Revival for All Nations (TRANS 21) with the theme “The Role of the Church in Nation Building”, Mailafia alleged that the present administration in Nigeria was pushing for the Islamisation and Fulanisation of the country.
Mailafia had said, “The kind of Islam that is coming from Sahara is dangerous. They want to take over your land and enslave you. Christians must rise to protect it. They want to take over your land and enslave you.
“In the North East alone, more than 3,000 churches have been destroyed, more than 400 priests and pastors have been killed. Last year, the CAN chairman of Adamawa was beheaded, even after a ransom was paid. We have been told that the so call bandits, who should not be called bandits because bandits do not bring down military aircraft.
“No bandit has the capacity to bring down military aircraft. No bandit has the power to attack Nigeria Defence Academy which is the premier institution for the training of armed forces. No bandit has the capacity to do that, only terrorists have the capacity to do that.
“We are being told that this terrorists are part of the insurgency because they did these kidnappings to raise money in order to fund the insurgency.”
Reacting, some Nigerian on Twitter alleged that he was killed for being vocal against the current administration.
Below are some reactions:
They have finally murdered the Man who spoke truth to power on Boko Haram, Bandits and Fulani Herdsmen and as it is now, it is actually not a joke anymore. – @AimThaMachine_
He said this in 2020. By 2021 bandits are already in the cities kidnaping Emirs, attacking university staff Qtrs, university students, military officers even the NDA was attacked etc. It’s difficult to rubbish late Dr. Obadiah’s claims. – @MrAgohTiza
OMG! What a great loss! The fight for freedom continues while you’re in the other side of the world. Rest On The Great One! – @oscarjay_5050
He knew he could become a target yet he was willing to to pay the price. My hero RIP – @officialNGI
All I can say is God do not let them win. This man revealed a lot unknown to us, if truly he died then it’s so easy to add everything together, nobody can be dumb anymore from this point…there was a reason God gave him boldness to speak out, at least we are aware now! – @MarkOtabor