Nigerians are now in mourning following the death of two-time senator and former minister of commerce, Bello Maitama Yusuf, as Leadership.ng reports.
Sources indicate that the former official, 76, passed away in Kano State early on Friday following a brief, yet unspecified illness.
According to the outlet, Maitama was a well-known Islamic scholar who held significant posts in the Nigerian government over the course of multiple decades.
Between the years of 1980 and 1982, he was the Minister of Interior, a tenure that was followed by his time as Minister of Commerce, which stretched between 1982 and 1983.
Maitama's time in the Senate began in 1999, and he represented the Jigawa South-West area in the National Assembly until 2007.
That term of service was conducted under the banner of the All People's Party, which is no longer in existence.
Though he made a significant name for himself in the world of politics, Maitama was also a highly successful businessman starting from an impressively early age.
Soon after completing his studies at North Gate University in Washington, he founded a construction company known as Quartz Integrated Services Nigeria Limited.
Also sitting on the boards of several other construction companies, Maitama quickly amassed substantial wealth, eventually joining the ranks of the world's billionaires.
In addition, Maitama was a lawyer, spent time serving as chief registrar at the Chief Magistrate's Court situated in Kano, and also was named acting minister of Youth, Sports, and Culture for a time, rounding out what was already a rather full resume.
Nigerian President Bola Tinubu issued a statement expressing sadness over the death of the former senator and offering condolences to his loved ones.
“A true believer in Nigeria's unity and stability, Senator Maitama Yusuf contributed immensely to the socio-economic development of this country. In the public service, he was selfless. He was dedicated to effective service delivery in order to improve the lives of Nigerians,” the communication read.
The president went on, “Nigerians will fondly remember and honor his memory, particularly for the courageous and pivotal role he played in countering attempts by anti-democratic forces to undermine the country's democracy by seeking to extend the constitutional term limits of elected leaders.”
The Jigawa State government echoed those sentiments, issuing a statement of its own, saying, “Bello was a lawyer, a politician, a well knowledgeable man, who distinguished himself in selfless service to God, nation, and humanity. His contribution to national unity, democracy will remain indelible in history.”