Delta State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan has expressed deep condolences to the people and Government of Kaduna State on the passing away of elder statesman and one time Minister of Transport, Alhaji Umaru Dikko.
In a statement signed by Mr Felix Ofou, his Press Secretary, the Governor described the late minister as a nationalist who lived and was willing to sacrifice his life for the unity and survival of Nigeria.
Said he: “The late Alhaji Umaru Dikko will be remembered for his unusual candour and contributions in politics. Though sometimes controversial and misunderstood in the past, you cannot take away the fact that he was a true nationalist and who was ready to put down his life for the unity and survival of the country”.
Governor Uduaghan also remarked that Dikko’s death signified the end of an era of colourful politics when politicians were noted for flamboyance and intelligent contribution to national discourse as against what obtains now wherein people pull down others irrespective of their potentials or quality of what they have to offer.
He therefore urged politicians to embrace the “live and let live” philosophy of the late elder of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and prayed God to give the Dikko family, as well as government and people of Kaduna State the fortitude to bear the loss.
Umaru Dikko was born in 1936, in Wamba and passed away on Tuesday, July 1 in a London hospital at the age of 78.
He was a prominent Northern Nigerian politician, a trusted adviser to President Shehu Shagari and the Nigerian minister for Transportation from 1979-1983 during the Second Republic.
In 1984, he played the central role in the Dikko Affair; he was found drugged in a crate at Stansted Airport that was being claimed as Diplomatic Baggage, an apparent victim of a government sanctioned kidnapping. The crate’s destination was Lagos.
Before his death, he was said to have been sick for “quite some time” and suffered three strokes in a row.