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An elder statesman and prominent Nigerian politician, Mr Yesufu Maitama Sule, has been reported dead.

The State Commissioner for Information, Mallam Mohammed Garba, who confirmed the death in a statement, said he died in Cairo during a protracted illness.

"Danmasanin Kano was a rare statesman and an orator who can move mountains with words".

He was also appointed Nigeria's envoy to the United Nations and became the Chairman of the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid.

Sule, died in the early hours of Monday while on admission at a hospital in Cairo, Egypt.

He said the declaration of the work-free day was to enable residents attend the funeral prayer for the late elder statesman which is scheduled to hold on Tuesday, July 4.

"As a young minister in the First Republic, and in other roles in public life, Ambassador Maitama Sule served the people of this country with panache and refreshing optimism".

The Governor prayed Allah to grant the soul of the deceased eternal peace, make Aljanna Firdausi his final abode and grant his family as well as the government and people of Kano state the fortitude to bear the loss.

He was said to have been flown to the Egyptian hospital on Saturday after doctors at Kano's Nasarawa Hospital diagnosed him of pneumonia and chest infection.

Maitama-Sule was a Federal Commissioner for Public Complaints in 1976 and a Presidential candidate under the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) but lost to Alhaji Shehu Shagari in 1979.

He made a decision to contest for the presidency in 1979 under the National party of Nigeria but lost to Shehu Shagari.