Nigerians have taken to the social network site, Twitter, to mourn a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Obadiah Mailafia, who died in the early hours of Sunday.
Mailafia, who was a newspaper columnist died at the age of 64 at the Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital, Abuja after a brief illness.
Daily Trust reports that a cousin to the economist, who pleaded anonymity, said when they spoke two days ago, the former CBN deputy governor explained that he was having malaria and catarrh.
He added that Mailafia told him he had to switch off his main number because people were disturbing him on that line.
According to the cousin, who resides in Jos, Plateau State capital, after they finished talking, he (the cousin) wished him a quick recovery and thanked him for the assistance he rendered him last week.
”Only for me to get a call today’s church service that he has passed on,” he was quoted as saying.
Ace journalist, Eniola Akinkuotu, on his verified Twitter handle also revealed that the former CBN deputy governor told him he was ill when they spoke on Friday.
”A sad day. My good friend Dr Obadiah Mailafia passed on at the age of 64. Never knew this would be our last interview where you explained why CBN refusal to sell to BDCs wouldn’t work. We spoke on Friday. You said you weren’t well. We fixed another interview for next week but…” he tweeted.
Mailafia was a fierce critic of the Buhari’s administration and had faulted government actions and policies especially, on worsening security and economy.
His controversial interview with Lagos-based radio station Naija Info earlier in the year where he alleged that a sitting Northern governor was the commander of Boko Haram terrorists endeared him to many Nigerians.
He had also alleged that the government the ad a hand in the widespread killings going on the North, win arning that he got good intel from repentant bandits that insurgents had a plan to start a Civil War in Nigeria by 2022.
He was subsequently invited for questioning by the Department of State Services in Jos three times, which made him raise the alarm about his safety.
The news of Mailafia’s demise has thrown many Nigerians into mourning while some who have reacted expressed skepticism about his death being natural.
Former presidential aide, Reno Omokri, called for an independent investigation to the death of Mailafia, describing it as ”fishy”.
Omokri in a video urged the family of the deceased to call for an independent probe into the circumstances leading to his demise.
”Obadiah Mailafia’s Passing Is Fishy and Should Be Independently Investigated,” he tweeted.
”Who killed Obadiah Mailafia? An independent autopsy should be conducted and findings made public, this is not natural,” one @its_Bugatti tweeted.
Another Twitter user, @Basil_ukas said; ”Obadiah Mailafia’s death really hit me. RIP soldier.”
@IkukuomaC stated; ”Rest in peace Dr. Obadiah mailafia We would always have you in our heart as a hero that never shied away in speaking the truth even when it became a scarce commodity….jee nke ọma.”
Sir Ariyo-Dare Atoye said; ”The death of Obadiah Mailafia is quite devastating and painful. Very sad. Rest in valour, the Titan of the minorities. We have lost a courageous man.”
”Mr Obadiah Mailafia one of the strongest voice in Middle Belt has been reported dead this morning, He was a brave man to exposed the Fulani Islamic jihadist Nigeria government secrets. May his memory be a blessing to his family,” Chibueze Uchem said.