He was the African Democratic Congress’s Presidential candidate in the 2019 election, and he was a well-known government critic who advocated for public-sector and exchange-rate reforms.
Mailafia was born on December 24, 1956 in Kaduna State‘s Sanga Local Government Area.
He later graduated first in his class from Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria in 1978 with a B.Sc. Social Sciences with Honours (Politics, Economics, and Sociology). He also holds an M.Sc. from the same college
He later won a French Government Scholarship to France, where he earned a Certificate in French Language and Civilisation from the University of Clermont-Ferrand in 1985.
Mailafia later moved to the United Kingdom as a Foreign and Commonwealth Office Scholar at Oriel College, where she earned a DPhil from the University of Oxford in 1995.
In 2018, he entered partisan politics in response to the rising number of killings in Southern Kaduna.
Despite his defeat, he remained an outspoken critic of the government and landed in hot water with security forces when he claimed that a governor from the country’s north is the leader of the Boko Haram terror group.
The DSS called Mailafia’s remarks “fake news” intended to instill “unnecessary tension” in the country.
He was summoned several times by the police and the Department of State Security, forcing him to retract his statement.
Mailafia claimed that he was harassed and intimidated unnecessarily while attending one of the DSS’s invitations.
“I’m not sure why I’ve been invited again; it has nothing to do with politics. I spoke as a citizen of this country who cares about its people.
“I am the voice of thousands of voiceless people; Muslim youths have taken me as their voice, Christian youths have taken me as their voice; thousands of people have been killed in this country, in Borno, in Yobe, in Adamawa, in Katsina, in Daura, in Birnin-Gwari, in Zamfara, in Niger, in Southern Kaduna, in Benue, in Plateau, all over the country.
“Just the other day, in Bayelsa, a pregnant woman was killed. I am the voice of the holy martyrs, and if I perish, I perish.”
Mailafia, a true patriot. – Ortom
Governor Samuel Ortom, on behalf of the government and people of Benue State, has deeply sympathized with the family and the entire leadership of the Middle Belt over the death of former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, Dr Obadiah Mailafia.
Dr. Mailafia died on Sunday, September 19, 2021, at the Gwagwalada General Hospital in Abuja, according to reporters.
Reacting, the Governor in a statement released on Monday, described the sudden demise of the renowned banker as shocking and unfortunate.
Ortom noted that the nation would greatly miss the indepth contributions of Mailafia in the economic and political spheres of Nigeria, particularly at a time the country needed patriots in tackling the myriad of challenges confronting it.
“Dr Mailafia who has been under scrutiny and harassed by security agencies over his comments and stand on the killings in Southern Kaduna will be remembered, not only for standing for justice for his people in that region but other marginalized people in Nigeria for fairness and justice.
“I’m saddened that much of the many ills the deceased spoked and worked against in collaboration with other comrades to enthrone peace and brotherliness have not been achieved, owing to deliberate bottlenecks created by certain individuals within the corridors of power.
“I pray that God grants the soul of Dr Obadiah Mailafia eternal rest and his family, as well as all other comrades in the struggle for justice the strength to bear the loss,” the Governor said.