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Ex-Nigeria’s top diplomat, Maitama Sule dies in Cairo

Nigeria’s former Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Alhaji Maitama Sule, is dead.

One of his sons, Alhaji Mukhtar Sule, who confirmed the incident to news men told the news men in Kano that his father died in the early hours of Monday in a hospital in Cairo, Egypt.

He said that the man passed on at 87, and left a wife and four children.

A politician and diplomat, Sule was born in Kano in 1929. He started his career as a teacher and was later elected into the Federal House of Representatives in 1954.

In 1958, he was Chief Information Officer to the Kano Native Authority, and in 1959, he was appointed Federal Minister of Mines and Power.

He was a member of Nigeria’s delegation to the Addis Ababa Conference of Independent African States in 1960.

The deceased statesman became Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in 1976 during the tenure of Kurt Waldheim as Secretary-General of the world body.

He was also Federal Commissioner of Public Complaints in 1979 and vied for the ticket of the defunct National Party of Nigeria for the 1979 presidential election, but lost to Alhaji Shehu Shagari.

Sule was also assigned as representative of Nigeria’s President to the Lancaster House Talks on Zimbabwe in London and was also counsel to African Leaders on Zimbabwe crisis.

Former President Shagari appointed him Minister for National Guidance in 1983, a portfolio designed to assist the president in tackling corruption.

When 12 states were created in 1967, Sule became Commissioner for Local Government in his native Kano State. He later moved to the Ministry of Forestry, Co-operatives and Community Development.

He also served the state as Commissioner for Information.

Sule’s hard political view was 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.

He believed in a united Nigeria, always insisting that “everyone has a gift from God’’.

The philosophy formed his opinion that ‘’The Northerners are endowed by God with leadership qualities.

“The Yoruba man knows how to earn a living and has diplomatic qualities. The Igbo man is gifted in trade, commerce, and technological innovation.

“God so created us equally with purpose and different gifts.

“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.’’

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