The chairman, Governing Council and Pro-Chancellor, University of Ilorin, Alhaji Abidu Yazid, has died aged 79.
The Katsina-born economist, who lived in Kaduna, died in Abuja after a brief illness in the early hours of Thursday.
He was buried in his hometown of Katsina on the same day in accordance with Islamic rites.
Hundreds of mourners attended his funeral prayer led by the Katsina Central Mosque Chief Imam, Malam Liman Musdafa, which took place at Rafindadi Quarters of Katsina metropolis at 5pm. He was buried at Danmarina cemetery at 5:30pm. In his condolence message shortly after the funeral prayer, the fifth Waziri of Katsina, Prof. Sani Abubakar Lugga, described the deceased as a great citizen of Katsina and Nigeria who served the country diligently. A childhood friend of the deceased, Malam Sani Balarabe Saulawa, also described him as a very nice man who had no enemies.
One of his family members, Malam Shafi’i Zayyad Rafindadi, said the late Abidu Yazid was a rare gem, adding that the family had lost a role model.
“He was born in 1943 to Malam Muhammadu Yazid. His grandfather was Wazirin Katsina Malam Muhammad Zayyan.
“To us, as a family, he was a role model. He always told us that Hamza Zayyad was his role model, and we, the younger ones, regarded him as our role model.
“He is survived by three wives and children. A very rare gem, a simple and humble gentleman,” Shafi’i said.
Late Abidu Yazid attended Rafindadi Primary School and Provincial Secondary School Katsina. No one has beaten his record up to today in Katsina at the present Dikko College Katsina, which was previously known as Provincial Secondary School Katsina. From there, he went to Kings College, Lagos, where he and the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, were classmates. From Kings College, he proceeded to the London School of Economics, where he had his BSc and Master’s degrees in Economics. He came back to Nigeria and his first place of work was the Ministry of Economic Planning in the then North Central State and then later in Kaduna State. Malam Abidu Yazid singlehandedly prepared the North Central State’s economic development plan during Yakubu Gowon’s administration.
He rose to be the permanent secretary, Cabinet Office, until 1979, when there was a transition to civil rule. The then governor, Balarabe Musa, appointed him Secretary to the Kaduna State Government and Head of Service until he left in 1981.
Together with a cousin, the late Wazirin Katsina Muhammad Zayyad, they formed an investment company in Kaduna. He had turned down many government appointments, but in 2021, he was appointed the Pro-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, the post he held until his death.