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.