- Describe him as dependable public servant
FORMER President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has commiserated with the family of Alhaji Umaru Shinkafi who passed away yesterday, describing the late Marafan Sokoto as a committed patriot who served his nation diligently. The former President, who made this known in a condolence message to the family of the late politician and the entire people of Sokoto and Zamfara States, also described Shinkafi as a democracy enthusiast who helped return the nation to civilian rule. A statement signed by the Media Aide to Dr. Jonathan, Mr. Ikechukwu Eze quoted him as further saying: “Umaru Shinkafi was a dependable public servant and high achiever who was driven by an inherent belief in the unity and peaceful coexistence of our people. “It is this belief that underscored his selfless commitment to sensitive national assignments where he gave his best shot to the task of improving the security profile architecture of the nation. “He also etched his name in the annals of national idols by acquitting himself as an accomplished democracy enthusiast who fought to bring an end to military rule and ensure the triumph of people power in our great country.” He was a decent and disciplined politician – Atiku Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar describes the late Marafan Sokoto and a former presidential aspirant, Alhaji Umaru Shinkafi as a remarkably decent and disciplined politician who would be greatly missed by Nigerians. In a condolence message issued in Abuja by his media office, former Vice President Abubakar recalls that the late Marafan Sokoto was one of the most intelligent, visceral and deeply informed and principled politicians he had ever known. According to Atiku, the late Umaru Shinkafi was so independent minded that he and his political associates were denied registration by the General Sani Abacha military government, and that the deceased was never timid to forcefully express his opinion on national issues. The Turakin Adamawa says Shinkafi would be greatly remembered as “one of the brightest stars in the galaxy of Nigerian politics for his total commitment to democracy and the rule of law.” He explains that the deceased always inspired respect not only for being a repository of knowledge, but also for being a consummate public servant and one of the best of his generation.” He also condoles the Shinkafi family, the people and governments of Sokoto and Zamfara over the death of the Marafan Sokoto. Atiku prays to Allah to grant Shinkafi an eternal rest in peace. Also, Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has stated that the death of Alhaji Umaru Ali Shinkafi came at a time when his experience, frank disposition, wise counsel and political sagacity were most needed by a nation faced with several challenges. Saraki in a statement by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu, stated that late Shinkafi, who was Marafan Sokoto, was an accomplished public servant as a top policeman, a leading political light who contributed so much to the political programmes that led to the birth of the present republic, a professional who did well as a legal practitioner and a former Minister of Internal Affairs and head of the nation’s former secret service, then known as Nigeria Security Organisation, NSO. “The Marafan Sokoto was a consummate politician who had large followership across the country. He was a bridge builder. He was revered by his supporters and opponents. A man who will always say the truth at every point. He helped in mentoring many political office holders now occupying top positions in government at various levels. “He was also a man who embodied the tradition of his people and that is why he held the important title of Marafa in the Sultan’s council. “With his diverse and extensive experience in the area of security, his advice would have been useful in tackling the different security issues confronting our country at this point. Incidentally, Alhaji Shinkafi was not a man who shied away from contributing to issues of national development. “His absence will be sorely missed by all and sundry. I pray that Almighty Allah grant him a place among the righteous ones in Aljannah Firdaus. May Allah also grant members of his immediate family, his political family, the people and government of Zamfara and Sokoto States the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss”, Saraki stated. Meanwhile, Sokoto State Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has said that Alhaji Umaru Shinkafi, Marafan Sokoto, who died Wednesday afternoon at a London hospital was a true statesman whose selfless and meritorious service to God, country and humanity was felt by all, In a message of condolence issued in Sokoto by his spokesman, Malam Imam Imam, Tambuwal described Shinkafi as a distinguished legal luminary, security expert, politician with conscience and great community leader and mobiliser. “Marafa’s death has closed a chapter in the life of one Nigeria’s most valuable public officers who made his mark in both public and private sectors. He was a truly passionate Nigerian whose invaluable contributions to issues of national interest will be greatly missed. “His law office served as training ground for many aspiring lawyers in Sokoto State and beyond. While condoling his immediate family, the people and government of Zamfara State and the Sultanate Council of Sokoto, Tambuwal prayed to God to grant the deceased eternal rest. Shinkafi, 79, died at the Harefield Hospital, Hill End Road, Harefield, Middlesex, in the United Kingdom Wednesday afternoon after a prolonged illness. Sources at the Palace of Sultan of Sokoto indicate that the deceased passed away in the company of his wives, children and extended family members. His body is on its way to Nigeria, and will be buried on Friday after burial rites are conducted according to Islamic injunction. He was born in Kaura Namoda, Zamfara State in January 1937. He attended Sokoto Middle School, and later Barewa College, Zaria. He was called to the Bar in 1974. He was acting Federal Commissioner of External Affairs and headed a number of OAU mediation commissions. Shinkafi served as the pioneer head of the Nigeria Security Organisation (NSO). He was at one time the Chairman of International bank for West Africa. Since 2012, he served as the Pro Chancellor of Sokoto State University. The remains of late Umaru Shinkafi, who died Wednesday at a London Hospital, will be interred Friday after the Islamic funeral prayer to be held at the Sultan Bello Mosque in Sokoto. A statement issued by a senior counsellor in the Caliphate and Magajin Garin Sokoto, Alhaji Hassan Danbaba, said the Janaza prayer will be held immediately after the Jumaat prayers at the mosque located just outside the Sultan’s Palace. “Marafa’s remains will arrive Sokoto Friday morning. The Janaza rites will be held after the jumaat prayers, after which he will be interred at the Hubbare here in Sokoto. “This is to correct the impression that the prayer and the internment will be held outside Sokoto,” the statement added. Shinkafi, who holds the traditional title of Marafan Sokoto, died at the Harefield Hospital, Hill End Road, Harefield, Middlesex, in the United Kingdom Wednesday afternoon after a prolonged illness.