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Elder Statesman, Umaru Dikko Dies In London Hospital
The Chairman, Disciplinary Committee, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Umaru Dikko is dead.
Umaru died at the age of 78 in a London hospital where he had gone to seek treatment from an undisclosed ailment. He has been in the hospital since August 2013.
There had been speculations that his party may replace him as his absence two months after his appointment, had stalled the committee’s work.
The committee’s deputy chairman, King A.J. Turner had acted as the chairman during the time of his absence with the hope that he would recover to take up his duties.
Umaru started active role in governance in 1967, when he was appointed as a commissioner in the old North Central State of Nigeria (now Kaduna State).
He was also secretary of the committee set up by General Hassan Katsina to unite the Northerners after the coup in 1966.
In 1979, Umaru was made Shehu Shagari’s campaign manager in the successful presidential campaign of the National Party of Nigeria, NPN. He later became Nigeria’s Minister for Transportation, a position he held between 1979-1983.
The military coup on December 31, 1983 which overthrew the government of Shagari saw Dikko fleeing into exile in London as well as a few other ministers and party officials of the NPN.
The new military regime accused him of large-scale corruption while in office. It also accused him of embezzling millions of dollars from the nation’s oil revenues.
On July 5, 1984, he was found drugged in a crate at Stansted Airport that was tagged as Diplomatic Baggage, an apparent victim of a government sanctioned abduction. The crate’s destination was Lagos.