Ex-presidential aspirant Shinkafi dies in London
Mr. Shinkafi, who held the traditional title of Marafan Sokoto, was a native of Zamfara State.
Elder-statesman, businessman and retired policeman, Umaru Shinkafi is dead.
•Buhari, Tambuwal, Dogara mourn, as Shinkafi, a former Director-General of the Nigerian Security Organisation (NSO), now Department of State Service (DSS), between October 1979 and November 1983, was flown abroad in January after a health relapse.
House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara has commiserated with the government and people of Zamfara State and other Nigerians on the death of Alhaji Shinkafi.
In a statement by his spokesman, Turaki Hassan, the Speaker described the death of the elder statesman as a huge loss to the nation.
Dogara said Shinkafi was a true democrat who contributed immensely towards the restoration of democracy in 1999.
He said: “In all his years in the public service, the late Shinkafi distinguished himself as a patriot, committed and dedicated Nigerian.
“He served the nation with distinction as a lawyer, police officer, Federal Commissioner of Internal Affairs and intelligence chief in the NSO before joining politics.”
The Speaker said the late Shinkafi was a bridge-builder, who lived exemplary live worthy of emulation.
He was a Federal Commissioner of Internal Affairs and a presidential aspirant in the third Republic. He also had an extensive career in military intelligence. “The body will be flown back to Nigeria today for burial at Abubakar III burial ground in Sokoto,” one source said yesterday.
Until his death, Mr. Shinkafi 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.
According to sources reported by the nation news, the late Marafan Sokoto initially received treatment at St. Nicholas Hospital and Reddington Hospital, both in Lagos, before his referral to London.
A top source, who spoke in confidence, said: “We lost Shinkafi in London at 4 p.m (yesterday). He was flown to in January with some members of his immediate family and three medical doctors.
“In the last six months, he had been battling with ill-health. But it has pleased Allah to call him home. From Allah we came and unto Him we shall return.
Shinkafi would be remembered for 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. Following his retirement from the police and the NSO, Shinkafi, a trained lawyer, entered into business and eventually into politics and was one of the leading lights of the conservative side of Nigerian politics in the ill-fated Third Republic.
He was a leading presidential aspirant of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) in 1992 before the military regime of ex-President Ibrahim Babangida aborted the primaries.
But he succeeded in becoming the vice-presidential candidate to Chief Olu Falae in the All Peoples Party (APP) and Action for Democracy (AD) alliance in 1999.
The alliance was defeated at the poll in 1999 by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which fielded Olusegun Obasanjo/Atiku Abubakar.
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday commiserated with the government and people of Zamfara State on the passing away of one of Alhaji Shinkafi.
In a statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President described the late politician, administrator and technocrat as an expert whose contributions to the development of the security architecture of Nigeria remained indelible.
The President urged other Nigerians to carry on from where the late Shinkafi left off.
He urged his family, friends and associates to take solace in the fact that the late Shinkafi played the parts assigned to him diligently, conscientiously and patriotically.
Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal, in a condolence message by his spokesman, Malam Imam Imam, described the late Shinkafi as a distinguished legal luminary, security expert, politician with conscience and great community leader and mobiliser.
Tambuwal said: “Marafa’s death has closed a chapter in the life of one Nigeria’s most valuable public officers who made his mark in both public and private sectors. He was a truly passionate Nigerian whose invaluable contributions to issues of national interest will be greatly missed.
“His law office served as a training ground for many aspiring lawyers in Sokoto State and beyond.”