Gidado Idris, Former SGF, Dies at 82 after Protracted Illness


By Bennett Oghifo

Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mallam Gidado Idris, GCON, is dead. He was 82.

Family sources told THISDAY last nigth that the highly distinguished retired civil servant died yesterday at an Abuja hospital after a protracted illness.

Mallam Idris, who served Nigeria for forty-two years in different capacities, rose to the highest position in the civil service before retiring in 1999.

He was born into the royal Idris family in the ancient city of Zaria on March 15, 1935.

The late Idris was a trusted aide of the late Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello, the first premier of Northern Nigeria. Unfortunately, he had the misfortune of identifying the corpse of the late premier and that of his wife, Hajia Yanguwan who was also killed with him during the 1966 coup.

With others, late Idris arranged a befitting burial for the late premier according to Muslim rites.

He was educated at the Institute of Administration, Zaria and the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. He was District officer for Benue, Sardauna and Adamawa provinces, which in the present day Nigeria will be equivalent to governor.

He later became Private and Personal Secretary to the late Ahmadu Bello. He served as Permanent Secretary in Kaduna state from 1971 to 1975. Late Idris was appointed Secretary of the Constitution Drafting Committee in 1975 and in 1976, he was also appointed Secretary of the Constituent Assembly.

He was appointed first Clerk of the National Assembly in 1979.

Between 1984 and 1986, he was appointed Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Police Affairs.

Between 1986 and 1988, he became the Chairman of Productivity, Prices and Income board. Shortly after, he became Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation.

When late Abacha took over in 1993, late Idris became the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance and a few months later, he was appointed the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, a post he held till he retired in 1999.

  • Omooba Adekunle Orafidiya

    Northerners and Government work! They always cross from their LGs to the federal civil service.

    • Toby

      They have fraudulently mastered the act of diagonal progression.

      • Scatter

        Nigerian northerners “have fraudulently mastered the act (sic) of diagonal progression”, OK. While you have “fraudulently mastered” the art of 419, prostitution, bad manners, dishonesty and drug dealing?

    • Scatter

      Asinine comments like this says more about the writer than the subject.

      Gidado Idris, according to the report above, was educated at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and the University of Leeds, United Kingdom. Yet you still, in your appalling ignorance and prejudice, falsely asserted that he crossed over to federal service from Local Government — as do his fellow Nigerian northerners. This is inspite of the report saying Mr Idris was a “Permanent Secretary in Kaduna State from 1971 to 1975” before he joined the federal service.

      With shockingly primitive and prejudiced mindset like yours, it is no surprise that the country has remained a hopeless case for progress. Go hide your face in shame, and stop polluting the public space with your dangerously infantile and absurd prejudices.

      • Omooba Adekunle Orafidiya

        Mr. “asinine comments like this SAYS….” I stand by my post. You are at liberty to drink hemlock if you feel so strongly against my comment.

        • Scatter

          I expect you would. Like the French Bourbons, you learn nothing, and forget nothing!

          But at least try and address the issues.

          • Omooba Adekunle Orafidiya

            Screw you and your unsolicited advice.

          • Scatter


          • Scatter

            With a little bit of good home training or basic education, you could have saved yourself the trouble of this infantile tantrum.

          • Omooba Adekunle Orafidiya

            Stick that comment up the smelly orifice half way up (or down) your mum’s anatomy.

  • Jon West

    He identified the bodies ,and buried the Sardauna and his wife. What a great achievement!!

    • Scatter

      The paper simply reported a statement of fact, saying Mr Idris had the “misfortune” of having to identify the body of his slain boss and that of the latter’s wife. So how does does the question of “great achievement” or not arise?

      In any case, I suspect you are either too young or ignorant or both to appreciate the historical context, meaning and import of the statement and circumstances in which the late Sir Ahmadu Bello was buried.