One time presidential aspirant and an elder-statesman, Umaru Shinkafi is dead.
He reportedly died in a hospital in London at about 4:07 p.m. Nigerian time, family sources revealed on Wednesday.
Shinkafi, a businessman and retired policeman, was a Federal Commissioner of Internal Affairs and a presidential aspirant in the third Republic.
The Zamfara state-born politician had an extensive career in military intelligence and held the traditional title of Marafan Sokoto. He is survived by three wives, and five children. One of his daughters is Zainab, wife of Gov. Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, and another is Hadiza, the wife of Zamfara governor, AbdulAzeez Yari.
Things he will be remembered for would be his pioneering role in the creation of the National Security Organisation, NSO, the secretive security arm of the Nigerian security apparatus which he headed from 1979 till 1983.
After his retirement from the police and the NSO, Shinkafi, a trained lawyer, entered into business and subsequently into politics where he was one of the leading lights of the conservative side of Nigerian politics in the ill-fated Third Republic.
His desire to become the president of Nigeria in Third Republic led him to the formation of the defunct Nigerian National Congress (NNC) which later collapsed into the National Republican Convention (NRC).
The NRC and Social Democratic Party (SDP), were the two political parties created by the Ibrahim Babangida military regime to take control of the political parties. The NRC ticket was won by Kano businessman, Bashir Tofa who was backed by Shinkafi after he was banned along with others by the Babangida administration from participation.
According to a source, “The body will be flown back to Nigeria tomorrow for burial at Abubakar III burial ground in Sokoto.”
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