Posted by Garba Ahmad, Kaduna | 1 July 2014 | 4,206 times
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan this afternoon led tributes for one-time Transport Minister, Alhaji Umaru Dikko, a chieftain of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) until his death this morning in a UK hospital.
Jonathan in a statement by his media adviser Reuben Abati described Dikko as a “prominent politician and elder statesman,” saying that he received the news of his death with sadness.
“The President extends sincere commiserations to the family, friends and political associates of the former Minister of Transport during the Second Republic who also played a leading role in the National Party of Nigeria which controlled the Federal Government in that dispensation.
He joins them in mourning the renowned political leader who, in spite of advanced age, continued to actively contribute to the nurturing and strengthening of democracy in Nigeria until the end of his life,” the statement said.
“President Jonathan firmly believes that Alhaji 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. He prays that God Almighty will receive Alhaji Umaru Dikko’s soul and grant him eternal rest,” Abati added.
In Dikko’s home state Kaduna, Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero expressed deep sadness over his death at the age of 78.
In a statement by his Director General Media and Publicity, Malam Ahmed Maiyaki, Governor Yero described the demise of Umaru Dikko as a great loss not only to Kaduna State but to the entire country.
He said “the death of Umaru Dikko will create a huge gap in our march towards evolving a stable democratic nation, especially at this critical time when his experience and guidance is needed by present and future generations of Nigerian leaders.”
The governor also described Dikko as a dogged patriot “one who dedicated most part of his lifetime fighting for democracy and civil justice in Nigeria. Future generations of Nigerians will not forget the role played by the late Dikko in stabilising the nation especially in the trying period after the first military coup in 1966.”
While condoling the immediate family of the deceased, Governor Yero urged them to take solace in the fact that the late Dikko has left enduring legacies as an excellent politician, elder statesman and former federal minister.
He said “at this trying moment, our hearts and prayers are with the immediate family of our departed elder statesman, who has left us in a state of shock and deep sorrow.”
On its part, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) in a statement issued in Kaduna by its National Publicity Secretary, Muhammad Ibrahim, described Dikko as “a principled and colourful politician of repute, a nationalist and an elder statesman,” as well as “a veteran broadcaster, patriot and bridge builder in the cause of Nigeria’s unity.”
“ACF, the North and indeed Nigeria have lost an illustrious citizen who stood for the indivisibility and corporate existence of the country. We mourn the death of Alhaji Umaru Dikko and pray that Almighty Allah grant him eternal rest in Aljannah Firdaus,” Ibrahim said in the statement.
•Photo shows late Umaru Dikko
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