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MKO Abiola’s opponent in ’93 presidential election, Tofa, is dead

One of the leading candidates in the 1993 Presidential election, Alhaji Bashir Tofa, has died at the age of 74.

He was the flagbearer of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) and a major challenger of MKO Abiola of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the controversial June 12, 1993, presidential election, annulled by the military government of General Ibrahim Babangida.

Family sources said the former presidential candidate died in the early hours of Monday after a protracted illness.

“Alhaji Bashir Tofa died after being admitted in hospital for some time,” one of the deceased’s relations, Alhaji Muhammad, said.

Tofa was born in Kano to a Kanuri family on June 20, 1947.

He had his primary education at Shahuci Junior Primary, Kano, and then continued studies at City Senior Primary School in Kano. From 1962 to 1966, he attended Provincial College, Kano.

After completing his studies at the Provincial school, he worked for Royal Exchange Insurance company from 1967 to 1968. From 1970 to 1973, he attended City of London College.

Tofa’s sojourn into politics started in 1976 when he was a councilor of Dawakin Tofa Local Government Council, in 1977, he was elected a member of the Constituent Assembly.

During Nigeria’s Second Republic, Tofa was at various times the secretary of the Kano branch of NPN, and the party’s national financial secretary. He was also a national member of the Green Revolution National Committee.

During the Third Republic, He was part of the Liberal Movement which metamorphosed to Liberal Convention when it was not registered as a political party, Tofa joined NRC in 1990.

In 1993, when the Babangida administration introduced the Option A4 system, Tofa was elected the presidential candidate representing Kano.

During the party primaries, he defeated Pere Ajunwa, Joe Nwodo and Dalhatu Tafida to clinch the NRC ticket. He was an ally of Halilu Akilu, the security chief at the time.

His running mate in the election was Sylvester Ugoh, a former governor of the defunct Central Bank of Biafra. Both were members of the defunct National Party of Nigeria.

Tofa was defeated in the presidential election by his rival Moshood Abiola, but the official results were never released by Babangida’s government.

Babangida was forced to step down in August 1993 after protests calling for the results of the election.

Tofa was also a businessman, an oil trader and an industrialist.

Written by ExpressDay

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