President Goodluck Jonathan and former Nigeria Vice President Atiku Abubakar have sent words of courage to members of the family of the second Republic Transport Minister, and recently, chairman of the national reconciliation committee of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Umaru Dikko who died in London late last night after a protracted illness bordering on stroke.
Umaru Dikko, who was a strong political figure in the Shehu Shagari civilian administration (1979-1983), died at the age of 78. He escaped being shipped to Nigeria after he was drugged and crated in Londong in 1984 for what the incoming military government, headed by General Muhammadu Buhari termed, corrupt enrichment.
In his condolence message signed by special adviser on media and publicity, Dr. Reuben bati, President Jonathan noted that late Umaru Dikko played a leading role in the National Party of Nigeria which controlled the Federal Government in that dispensation.
The President said that in spite of advanced age, the late political leader continued to actively contribute to the nurturing and strengthening of democracy in Nigeria until the end of his life.
President Jonathan believed that Umaru Dikko’s significant contributions, especially his life-long advocacy for stronger political parties, greater discipline within political parties and the supremacy of political parties have assured him of a place in the annals of Nigeria’s political development.
Also in his condolence message,issued by his media office in Abuja, Atiku Abubakar described Umaru Dikko as a courageous advocate of rule of law, constitutionality and democracy, adding that despite the public hostility, he had other virtues that Nigerians didn’t seem to appreciate.
According to him, Dikko was a fierce opponent of unconstitutional seizure of power by soldiers even as he recalled that Dikko was the loudest critic of military rule.
Atiku said that the former Minister was singled out for special punishment because he was a vocal critic of the new military rulers of December 1983.
The former Vice President said, although Dikko had his own shortcomings like every other person, he was a passionate democrat that vigorously opposed the take-over of government by unconstitutional means.
He said that Dikko was a lawyer, mathematician and colourful politician whose sense of logic was outstanding.
Atiku Abubakar condoled with the people and government of Kaduna State, the Zazzau Emirate Council and the family of the deceased over the demise of the prominent Northern politician.
What a condolence message from a true democrat Atiku Abubakar, he really
acknowledged the short comings of the late Umaru Dikko and also hails
his courage for his fight for democracy. May his soul rest in perfect peace amen………
May the soul of Alhaji Umaru Dikko who died in London Rest In Peace.