Former SGF, Gidado Idris, dies at 82

A former Secretary to the Government of the Federation during the military regime of General Sani Abacha, Alhaji Gidado IdrisA former Secretary to the Government of the Federation during the military regime of General Sani Abacha, Alhaji Gidado Idris is dead.

According to the family source, said the late SGF died on Friday night at the age of 82 after a brief illness.

A very rare civil servant, Idris, served his country for 42 years.

Born into the royal Idris family in the ancient city of Zaria, he rose to the highest pinnacle of civil service before retiring in 1999.

Soft spoken and highly principled, he cultivated a high degree of friendship from the lowest to the highest, across the country. He is like an encyclopedia of events with accurate dates. He remembers all and forgets nothing.

A trusted aide to the late Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello,  the premier of Northern Nigeria. He was in-law to the former President Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari.

On the directive of Sir Ahmadu Bello, Idris drafted and typed the dethronement letter of the former Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammad Sanusi, the father of the present Emir, in August 1963.

After the death of General Sani Abacha on June 8 1998, it was Gidado Idris as the Secretary of the Armed Forces Ruling Council in his position as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation who conducted the stormy meeting of the council where General Abdulsalami Abubakar emerged as the new Head of State in the early hours of June 9 1998 in Abuja.

Idris was a product of the Institute of Administration, Zaria and that of University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. He was appointed District officer for Benue, Sardauna and Adamawa provinces which in the present day Nigeria will be regarded as Governor.

He later became private and personal Secretary to the late Premier, Sir Ahmadu Bello. He served as Permanent Secretary in Kaduna state from 1971 to 1975. He 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 the Presidential System of Government in 1979.

After the overthrow of the Presidential system of Government he was appointed Secretary and Director of Administration of the National Institute of Strategic Affairs in Kuru near Jos. 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 General Sani Abacha took over in November 17, 1993, he 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.

Very Urbane and shy, Idris is a workaholic. His value has not declined even in retirement. Before his death, he was always seen in the company of Alhaji Yahaya Salami, Senator Dangana Ndayako amongst other. He played golf on regular basis at IBB golf club with his friends such as Alhaji Ibrahim Hamza, Alhaji Yayale Ahmed, Alhaji Babagana Kingibe and others.

Late Gidado left behind many children and grand children.

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