Umaru Shimkafi, Marafan Sokoto laid to rest. Allah Ya gafarta mishi
Foremost national security chief, elder statesman, vice-presidential candidate in the 1999 presidential election, and presidential aspirant in the Third Republic, Alhaji Umaru Shinkafi, at the age of 79.
The deceased, who held the title Marafan Sokoto and hailed from Shinkafi Local Government Area in Zamfara State, died Wednesday evening at Harefield Hospital, Middlesex in the United Kingdom after a protracted illness.
Sources in the palace of the Sultan of Sokoto revealed that the deceased passed away in the company of his wives, children and extended family members.
He was buried in accordance to Islamic rites.
Born in Kaura Namoda, Zamfara State in January 1937, Shikafi attended Sokoto Middle School and later Barewa College, Zaria. He obtained a degree in Law after his secondary school education, and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1974.
After a career in the Nigeria Police Force, the deceased held the post of Federal Commissioner for Internal Affairs before his appointment as the Director General of the National Security Organisation (NSO) – the precursor to the Department of State Services (DSS) – under the Shehu Shagari administration.
He would be remembered during his time as the head of Nigeria’s security apparatus of forewarning former President Shagari of the impending coup plot to overthrow his government, but the then president failed to heed the warning.
Shagari was overthrown by then Major-General Muhammadu Buhari on December 31, 1983, effectively truncating the Second Republic.
He was later to throw his hat into the ring as a presidential aspirant on the platform of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) in 1992.
He again contested as Chief Olu Falae’s running mate on the All Peoples Party/Alliance for Democracy platform in the 1999 presidential election, but lost to the duo of Olusegun Obasanjo and Atiku Abubakar.
He was at some point the Chairman of the International Bank for West Africa (later the defunct Afribank Plc and Mainstreet Bank Limited which was acquired by Skye Bank Plc in 2014).
The late Marafan Sokoto was the elder brother to the former governor of Zamfara State, Mamuda Shinkafi.
He was also the Pro-chancellor of the Sokoto State University and the in-law to Zamfara State Governor Abdulaziz Yari and Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State.
He is survived by three wives and five children. One of his wives, Hajiya Lubabatu, is the daughter of late Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Premier of the defunct Northern region.
His first daughter Aisha Umaru Shinkafi is currently the Zamfara State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry.