Monday, May 2, 2016

Former Nigerian ambassador Hamzat Ahmadu passes away at 92

One of the nation's exemplary diplomats, Amb. Hamzat Ahmadu, died yesterday at a private hospital in Lagos.

It was learnt from family sources that prayers for the deceased and interment would be performed this morning by 10:00 a.m. at the Sultan's Palace, in Sokoto, according to Islamic rites.

Reacting to the news of the death, the Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, described Ahmadu as an accomplished diplomat and technocrat.

Tambuwal also described him as peace-loving and committed family man who gave invaluable contributions to the unity and development of Nigeria.

"As an elder statesman, his wise counsel served both the older and younger generation of leaders not only in Sokoto, but in Nigeria as a whole," a statement from the Governor's Office by Malam Imam Imam, quoted Tambuwal as saying.

Ahmadu, who until his death was a consultant to the Editorial Board of The Guardian , started his working career with the Nigerian Secretariat, Kaduna Provincial Office, Kano and Lugard Hall, Northern Nigerian Legislature Kaduna, before he proceeded to the United Kingdom for further studies.

Ahmadu rejoined the Colonial Administrative Service at the end of his studies in 1958 and served as Private Secretary to the Premier of Northern Nigerian Foreign Service.

It is of note that besides his diplomatic postings, Ahmadu had the distinction of serving as Principal Secretary to three of Nigeria's Heads of State, Major Gen. Aguiyi-Ironsi, Gen. Yakubu Gowon and Murtala Muhammed (1966-1975).

On July 20, 1987, he was appointed Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary to the United States of America. As one of Nigeria's most senior Foreign Service Officers, Ahmadu had a most distinguished diplomatic career of serving as Ambassador to the then USSR (Soviet Union) and the then German Democratic Republic (1975-1978); Ambassador to the Kingdom of Netherlands (1978-1981); and Ambassador to the Republic of the Cameroun (1982-1984), and High Commissioner to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. He also had diplomatic postings to London and Bonn.

He played a major role in formulating, managing and implementing Nigeria's foreign policy, having served as Permanent Secretary and Head of the Diplomatic Service (1986-1987); Director-General of African Affairs (1984-1985); Director-General of Protocol (1981-1982); Director, Asia Division (1965-1966); and Director of Africa, Consular and Treaties Division (1964-1966).

Amb. Ahmadu was married and had children. His hobbies included reading .He spoke English and Arabic and was conversant with German and French.

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