8 Facts About the Man Who Knew Shagari Would Be Overthrown in 1983

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When the death of Umaru Maikaura Ali Shinkafi was announced, the name might not have made any meaning to some young Nigerians.

For the older generation, it probably brought back memories. Top Nigerian politicians including President Muhammadu Buhari have expressed their sadness at the death of  Shinkafi, who will be buried at Hubbare, a burial site for Sokoto’s pious and noble.

INFORMATION NIGERIA brings you 8 very interesting facts about him.

1.Shinkafi, who died on Wednesday at the Harefield Hospital, Middlesex, UK, from multiple organ failures, was born in Shinkafi, Zamfara state, to a princess from Kaura Namoda, same state, in January 1937. His father, Ali Bisije, was from Gashua, Yobe state, but Shinkafi was his preferred hometown.

2.He attended Sokoto Middle School, and later Barewa College, Zaria, before studying law at the University of Lagos. He was called to the bar in 1974. He was soon made minister of internal affairs in an acting position.

3.He was married to Yewande from Abeokuta, Ogun state, and two other wives, who had five children altogether.

4.The Marafan Sokoto as he was also known was the vice-presidential candidate of Olu Falae in the All Peoples Party (APP)/Alliance for Democracy (AD) alliance (effectively today’s All Progressives Congress, APC) in 1999, although they lost to the Olusegun Obasanjo/Atiku Abubakar ticket fielded by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ticket.

Now back to the past;

5.A few weeks to the execution of the coup which brought Muhammadu Buhari, a major-general, to power, Shinkafi resigned as head of the National Security Organisation (NSO) to attend to his “health”. NSO was the predecessor of today’s Department of State Services (DSS). It was created by decree no. 27 of 1976 by the government of Olusegun Obasanjo, then a lieutenant general

6.The rumour was that he was frustrated by the inaction of the Shagari government over the intelligence he provided.

7.According to Shinkafi, the NSO indeed informed Shagari that a coup was in the works. The former chief spy made this public in trying to defend himself against accusations by Umaru Dikko, the powerful minister of transport under Shagari, that the NSO withheld information.

About Boko Haram

8.In January 2012, Shinkafi issued a strong statement asking for the creation of state police to tackle Boko Haram and other modern crimes. The statement was titled: “State Police: A policy option for current insecurity”.


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