Nigeria’s former Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Sule, who is Dan Masanin Kano, is dead.
He died on Monday morning in a hospital in Cairo, Egypt following a brief illness, a statement released by Alhaji Ashiru Shariff, his close aide said.
Late Maitama Sule served Nigeria in various capacities.
He was a politician, acclaimed orator and diplomat.
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 aspirants of the National Party of Nigeria but lost the ticket to Alhaji Shehu Shagari.
He was appointed Nigeria’s representative to the United Nations after the coming of civilian rule in September 1979.
After, the re-election of President Shagari in 1983, Alhaji Sule was made the Minister for National Guidance, a portfolio designed to assist the president in tackling corruption.
He is believed to be 85 years old as could be ascertained from the interview he granted to popular northern-based newspaper.
“In 1949 when we formed the NPC, I was made its first vice-president. I was only 20 years old then.”
Public Complaints Commission (Wikipedia)
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
In 1983, he 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 Sule, who had acquired a solid reputation as a tough UN representative, when he was chairman of a UN 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 as a major reason for the incursion.