Former Transport Minister, Umaru Dikko dies at 78

A former Minister of Transportation during the Second Republic, Umaru Dikko, is dead.
He died in the early hours of Tuesday in a London Hospital at the age of 78.
Dikko, until his death, was the Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party.
He, however, did not function well in the position as a result of his ill health.
Because of this, his deputy, who was also a former Minister of Transportation, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, had been the one briefing journalists anytime the committee sat and decided on any issue.
Dikko was a Nigerian politician and was an adviser to President Shehu Shagari. He was also the Nigerian Minister for Transportation from 1979 to 1983.
Dikko was born in Wamba. He started playing a role in the nation’s governance in 1967, when he was appointed as a commissioner in the then North Central State of Nigeria (now Kaduna State). He was also secretary of a committee set up by General Hassan Katsina to unite the Northerners after a coup n 1966.
In 1979, he was made Shagari’s campaign manager for the successful presidential campaign of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN).
After a military coup on December 31, 1983 that overthrew the government of Shagari, Dikko fled into exile in London along with a few other ministers and party officials of the NPN.
The new military regime accused him of large-scale corruption while in office, in particular of embezzling millions of dollars from the nation’s oil revenues.
On July 5, 1984, he played the central role in the ‘Dikko Affair’; he was found drugged in a crate at Stansted Airport that was being claimed as a diplomatic baggage, an apparent victim of a government sanctioned kidnapping.
The crate’s destination was Lagos.

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