The former presidential candidate under defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) in 1993 Bashir Tofa was buried amidst tears in Kano.
ALL IN ONE reports that the funeral prayer was led by chairman of Kano state Shari’ah commission Sayyadi Bashir Tijjani Usman Zangon Bare-Bari at the resident of Late Tofa located at Gandun Albasa in Kano metropolis.
The funeral prayer was attended by Emir of Kano Aminu Ado Bayero, former governor of Kano state Ibrahim Shekarau, former minister Sabo Nanono, former Special Adviser to former President Sani Abacha and hundreds of mourners.
Late Tofa died in the early hours of Monday at the age of 74 after a protracted illness.
Mr Tofa was the presidential candidate of the National Republican Convention (NRC) in the June 12, 1993 election considered one of Nigeria’s freest elections.
Born in Kano on June 20, 1947, Mr Tofa had his primary education at Shahuci Junior Primary, Kano and continued 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.
Mr Tofa’s sojourn into politics started in 1976 when he was a councillor of Dawakin Tofa Local Government Council. In 1977, he was elected a member of the Constituent Assembly.
During Nigeria’s Second Republic, Mr Tofa was at various times the secretary of the Kano branch of the then ruling party, NPN. He later became the party’s national financial secretary and was a national member of the Green Revolution National Committee.
During the Third Republic, he was part of the Liberal Movement which metamorphosed to the Liberal Convention when it was not registered as a political party. Mr Tofa joined NRC in 1990.
In 1993, when the Ibrahim Babangida administration introduced the Option A4 system, Mr Tofa was elected the presidential candidate of the NRC. During the party primaries, he defeated Pere Ajunwa, John Nwodo and Dalhatu Tafida to clinch the NRC ticket. At the time, his running mate in the election was Sylvester Ugoh, a former governor of the now-defunct central bank of Biafra. Both were members of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN).
Mr Tofa was also a businessman and an industrialist. He was chairman of International Petro-Energy Company (IPEC) and Abba Othman and Sons Ltd. He was also involved as a board member in Impex Ventures, Century Merchant Bank and General Metal Products Ltd.
Mr Tofa, based in Kano, is known for publicly airing his view on issues of national interest.
In February 2021, he published an article on PREMIUM TIMES titled: “The Need To Act Now To Stop the Ethnic Conflagration!”
“There is clearly a nefarious plan by the enemies of this potentially great country to initiate a violent crisis that may lead to its destruction,” he wrote in the article.
Ganduje, Badaru mourn Tofa
Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has mourn the death of late Tofa, whose contributions to Nigeria’s democracy, he said, remained indelible.
In a statement signed by the commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, the governor noted the sacrifices of Tofa, who started taking up leadership responsibilities at an early age, when he was elected councilor in Tofa in his late 20s, and remaining vibrant and dynamic up till the time of his death.
He said as a businessman, trader and philanthropist, Tofa touched the life of many people, especially the down-trodden, and expressed the belief that the legacies of the deceased will be approximated for posterity.
“The legacy of his political beliefs and triumphs will be important footnotes in the literature of Nigeria’s government and politics for generations yet to come.
“He was a great man, a quintessential democrat and outstanding statesman who has left very hold prints both on the politics and political history of Nigeria, “the statement added.
The governor prayed Almighty Allaht grant his soul Aljannah Firdausi and the fortitude for his family, friends and associates to bear the irreparable loss.
Also Governor Muhammad Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State has sent a condolence message to the family of late Tofa over the death of the former Presidential Candidate of the National Republican Convention NRC during the annulled third Republic.
Governor Badaru said he was saddened with the news of the death of Tofa who he described as a statesman, an industrialist, politician as well as community leader who as a member of the Constituent Assembly contributed a lot in drafting the 1979 constitution lived and died in the service of humanity.
The Governor says his death is a great loss not only to his family but the nation in general He pray to Almighty Allah to forgive his shortcomings and grant him eternal rest and the family the fortitude to bear the loss.