John Shiklam in Kaduna
The Kaduna State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Andrew Jonathan Nok, is death.
Aged 55, Nok was said to have died in the early hours of tuesday.
He was said to have been down with an undisclosed ailment and was on admission at an Abuja hospital.
He was discharged last week, but passed on in the early hours of yesterday.
A a professor of biochemistry and former Dean in the Faculty of Science at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Nok was earlier appointed as the Commissioner of Health and Human Services by Governor Nasir El-Rufai in July, 2015.
He was later moved to the education ministry following a cabinet reshuffle.
A renowned scientist, with notable discoveries to his name, he was said to be the first scientist in the world to discover the gene responsible for an enzyme which causes sleeping sickness.
In 2009, he was among five candidates that applied for the position of the Vice Chancellor of ABU and was said to have come top in the selection process, scoring 81 per cent, but he was denied the position allegedly on religious and ethnic sentiments.
He was a Fellow, Nigerian Academy of Science, Fellow, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Fellow, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and Lady Davis Fellows, among several others.
Meanwhile, Governor El-Rufai has described the late Nok as one of the best Nigeria had produced.
In a statement by Samuel Aruwan, his spokesman, El-Rufai said, Nok was very committed to the service of Kaduna state and was a pillar of his cabinet.
He said the deceased was a man of intellect, ability and deep conviction who will be sorely missed.
â€œNok was a pillar of the cabinet, a man as distinguished in learning as he was a capable administrator, adept at getting things done and dedicated to the progress of the state.
â€œHe was one of the best this country has produced, and one of the most committed persons to have served Kaduna State.
â€œHe was steadfast, rigorous and very successful in implementing our project to improve Health and Education in the state. He will be sorely missedâ€ the statement said.
The governor, alongside members of the State Executive Council had visited the family of the late commissioner to commiserate with them over the loss.