By Salisu Sani-Idris and Ismaila Chafe
Former Secretary to the Government of Federation (SGF), Alhaji Gidado Idris, who died on Friday night in Abuja, was buried at Gudu Cemetery in FCT on Saturday amid tears and prayers from families and the Muslim community.
The former SGF died in Abuja at the age of 82 after a brief illness.
The burial, which was concluded at around 3 p.m., was attended by the Secretary to the Government of Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha and Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, among others.
Other dignitaries included the former Deputy President of Senate, Sen. Ibrahim Mantu, former FCT Minister, Alhaji Aliyu Modibbo, former SGF, Babagana Kingibe, the Executive Secretary, Abuja National Mosque, Alhaji Ibrahim Jega.
Also at the burial were Maj. Hamza Almustapha, former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to late Military Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha and former Gov. Babangida Aliyu of Niger.
SGF Boss Mustapha said the deceased was among the brilliant technocrats produced by the country over the years.
He described him as “an embodiment of generous spirit, hard work and an experienced public servant.”
He said the late former SGF was endowed with institutional memory of the things that happened in the course of Nigeria’s journey to nationhood.
He also described late Gidado as humble, thorough and a simple man who was very accessible to whomever stepped into his office as SGF.
“I believe he was endowed with institutional memory of the things that happened in the course of Nigeria’s growth as a nation.
“The death was a huge loss to the family and the nation at large,” he said.
Former Nigeria’s Ambassador to the UK, Amb. Sarki Tafida, who expressed shock over the sudden death of Gidado, also said it was a huge loss to the nation.
He said “when I got the news, I was shocked but I know that life is in the hands of God and Allah can take one’s life at anytime.”
The eldest son of the deceased, Alhaji Ali Gidado, described his father as a devoted family man and principled civil servant who taught his children to fear Allah wherever they found themselves.
The Minister of Interior, Alhaji Abdulraman Dambazau, the Chairman, Jaiz Bank Board of Directors, Alhaji Umar Mutallab, Alhaji Mamman Daura, President Muhammadu Buhari’s uncle, were among personalities at the funeral prayer at the National Mosque, Abuja.
Idris, who hailed from Zaria in Kaduna State, was appointed SGF in 1993 and he retired in 1999 after a civil service career that started before Nigeria’s independence.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has described the death of Malam Idris, as a big loss to the nation.
The President, in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina in Abuja on Saturday, expressed sadness at the passing on of the octogenarian.
He said “being a highly experienced and quintessential technocrat who traversed the different stages of the political evolution of the country, Gidado’s wise counsel will surely be missed.”
The President added that the deceased, in addition to rising to the pinnacle of his public career as SGF, served several civilian and military administrations meritoriously as federal permanent secretary.
He said Gidado left inspiring imprints.
He, therefore, enjoined current and upcoming civil and public servants to emulate the cherished values of hard work, discipline, professionalism and integrity which the late distinguished nationalist embodied.
He commiserated with the family and associates of the deceased and prayed that God would comfort them.