UPDATED: Elder statesman Maitama Sule is dead

Former Nigeria Permanent Representative to United Nations, Alhaji Maitama Sule died in a Cairo Hospital at the age of 89 years. In 1976, he became the Federal Commissioner of public complaints, a position that made him the nation's pioneer ombudsman. In early 1979, he was a presidential candidate of the National Party of Nigeria but lost to Shehu Shagari. He was appointed Nigeria's representative to the United Nations after the coming of civilian rule in September 1979. While there he was chairman of the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid. 03282/3/7/17/Jones Bamidele/NAN

A two-time minister and former Nigerian Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Yusuf Maitama Sule, is dead.

He was 88 years old.

Mr. Sule, also known by his traditional title, Danmasanin Kano, died in the early hours of Monday while on admission at a hospital in Cairo, Egypt.

He was flown to the Egyptian hospital on Saturday after doctors at Kano’s Nasarawa Hospital diagnosed him of pneumonia and chest infection.

A close associated of the late politician told PREMIUM TIMES that Mr. Sule’s remains would be flown to the country on Tuesday and the funeral prayers would take place at Kano Emir’s Palace by 4 p.m.

Mr. Sule was minister of mines and power during the first republic administration of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, and was minister for national guidance in 1983.

In 1976, his former student, Murtala Mohammed, appointed him to head a newly established ombudsman body, Public Complaints Commission.

Born in 1929 in the old city of Kano, Mr. Sule was famous for his oratory and flamboyance.

In the 1979 transition to civil rule, Mr. Sule vied for the presidential ticket of the National Party of Nigeria, NPN, losing to his opponent, Shehu Shagari, in a controversial re-run.

In what was seen as a move to take the flamboyant politican out of the political cycle, Mr. Sule was appointed ambassador by then President Shagari and posted to the United Nations.

While at the UN, he chaired the United Nations Standing Committee Against Apartheid then ravaging South Africa.


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