The Southern and Middle-Belt Alliance (SaMBA) has expressed great shock and sadness over the sudden death of Former Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Obadiah Mailafia describing the late Financial expert as a relentless freedom fighter for the Indigenes of the Middle Belt.
SaMBA in a statement signed by their spokesman Rwang Pam Jnr. made available to newsmen last night described Dr. Mailafia as the “Martin Luther King Jr.” of Nigeria.
The statement further read: “We are shocked to hear of the demise of former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) , Dr. Obadiah Mailafia this morning, of the 19th September 2021 at the National Hospital, Abuja.
“Dr. Obadiah Mailafia was a freedom fighter for the peoples of middle belt and all oppressed peoples across the country; he always spoke truth to people in power, at risk of his career and life.
“The late financial expert will forever be in the memory of the peoples of Southern and Middle-Belt of Nigeria for his outspokenness and courage.
“SAMBA recalls that on the 14th September 2021 which marked exactly one year of Dr. Mailafia’s invitation by Nigeria’s Security Agency (DSS) over an interview he had granted to a radio station in which he made a wide range of accusations against named individuals for sponsoring terrorist activities, random killings and banditry ravaging the middle belt region of Nigeria.
SAMBA further recalled that late Dr. Mailafia joined partisan politics in 2018 amidst the rise of killings in Southern Kaduna. Despite losing the elections, he maintained his ardent stance as a government critic and severally got into trouble with the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari, one of such incidences was when he alleged that a Northern Governor was a Boko Haram Commander. This caused a ripple and caused him to receive an invitation for “questioning” by the Nigeria Police Force, forcing him to recant his statement.
Regardless, in his last engagement with SAMBA on Saturday, 28th August 2021, when he spoke on the theme: Political alignment between the South and the Middle Belt towards 2023 elections via a zoom meeting hosted by Elombah Television, late Dr Mailafia expressed fear for his life but said he will not stop saying the truth.
“We therefore call for an immediate, transparent and full investigation into the cause of his death, as well as an independent autopsy to be carried out on his body before his burial.”