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Mutawalin Bida, Alhaji Hassan Lemu

Mutawalin Bida, Alhaji Hassan Lemu, OON, iconic private secretary to the late premier of Northern Nigeria, Alh (Sir) Ahmadu Bello, Sardauna of Sokoto, has died recently, at the age of 87. He attended Lemu Elementary School (1939-41), Niger Middle School, Bida (1942-44) and Kaduna College (1945-48). He was appointed Third Class Clerk in Northern Nigeria Secretariat in 1949 and rapidly rose to become instructor at Clerical Training College, Zaria (now Institute of Administration, ABU, Zaria), Assistant District Officer, Provincial Secretary, Permanent Secretary, and Secretary to the Military Government (acting), in Kano and North Western States. At the age of 31, he became acting permanent secretary, Ministry of Justice. He became full-fledged permanent secretary in 1974, after a stint as acting secretary to the military government in Kano State, in the wake of 1967 creation of states. When Niger State was created in 1976, he became the chairman/chief executive officer of Niger State Water Board, a position he left in 1979. The same year, he became the state commissioner for works and housing. He played the following roles in subsequent years: member, Code of Conduct Bureau, chairman, Kaduna Polytechnic Governing Council, member, Arewa House Project, member, Niger State Local Government Elections Tribunal (1997), and member, Bida Emirate Zonal Zakkat Committee. In recognition of his sterling services in public domain, he was awarded Niger State Merit Award in 1997 by the Niger State government. His civil service career spanned work in Nigeria and United Kingdom, where he worked in the Office of the Commissioner of Nigeria and Office of the Commissioner for Northern Nigeria, the first in 1954 and the other in 1957.

He was appointed Honorary Peace Ambassador, representing Niger State, under the National Peace Forum, in 2003 and served on the body until his death.

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