Elder-statesman, businessman and retired policeman, Umaru Shinkafi is dead.

Shinkafi died in a hospital in London at about 4:07 p.m. Nigerian time, family sources said on Wednesday.

Mr. Shinkafi, who held the traditional title of Marafan Sokoto, was a native of Zamfara State.

Umaru Shinkafi

He was a Federal Commissioner of Internal Affairs and a presidential aspirant in the third Republic.

He also had an extensive career in military intelligence.

“The body will be flown back to Nigeria tomorrow for burial at Abubakar III burial ground in Sokoto,” one source said today.

Mr. Shinkafi is survived by three wives, and five children. One of his daughters is Zainab, wife of Gov. Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, and another is Hadiza, the wife of Zamfara governor, AbdulAzeez Yari.

Shinkafi would be remembered for his pioneering role in the creation of the National Security Organisation, NSO, the secretive security arm of the Nigerian security apparatus which he headed from 1979 till 1983.

Following his retirement from the police and the NSO, Shinkafi, a trained lawyer, entered into business and eventually into politics and was one of the leading lights of the conservative side of Nigerian politics in the ill-fated Third Republic.

His bid for the presidency in the Third Republic led him to the formation of the defunct Nigerian National Congress, NNC which eventually collapsed into the National Republican Convention, NRC.

The NRC was one of the two political parties created by the Ibrahim Babangida military regime to take control of the political parties from the money bag politicians. The NRC was on the right of centre and espoused conservative ideas.

The NRC ticket was eventually won by the unknown Kano businessman, Bashir Tofa who was backed by Shinkafi after him and fellow grandees were banned by the Babangida administration from participation.

Shinkafi eventually played more of a consultative role in politics and played little role in the politics of the Fourth Republic.

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