UMARU DIKKO BURIED

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. Jenny Hafsat Dikko, the British-born widow of late Alhaji Umaru Dikko, former Minister of Transport during the Shehu Shagari’s administration, yesterday, accused the Nigerian and British governments of conniving to take the body of her husband out of London without her knowledge. This was even as the former federal Commissioner for Information and South South leader, Chief Edwin Clark, said he had been badly hit by the death of Alhaji Dikko. Mrs Dikko, who arrived Kaduna with the two children she had for the late politician shortly after his corpse had left for Zaria, said she had agreed with Dikko that his remains be buried wherever he died. Shortly after the corpse left, there was a drama. She wept profusely with the two children, complaining that both governments tricked her and brought the corpse back to Nigeria. Jenny, however, said she boarded the next available flight when she discovered what happened, which was why she could get to Kaduna before the burial. Ambassador Aminu Wali, believed to be the closest friend of late Dikko, pacified the woman, took her and the children into his jeep and drove them to Zaria to be part of the remaining burial rites. Burial The body of late Dikko was eventually buried at the Baan Zazzau burial ground in Zaria at about 2.30p.m. after the Janniazah (Muslim burial rites), with only very few dignitaries present. The body of the former minister had earlier arrived his Kaduna around 8:30a.m. yesterday, in a dark ambulance owned by Convinniance Undertakers, from the Abuja International Airport. He was shrouded in white and laid on a mat outside his home for sympathisers to pay their last respects. A motley crowd of mostly family members, very close family friends and political associates of the late national Chairman, Disciplinary Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, gathered in his house, to put final touches to the burial arrangement before the corpse was finally moved to Zaria by 11:30a.m. Only eight vehicles escorted Dikko’s corpse on its 65 kilometre journey to its final resting place. At Zaria, Dikko burial rites took place at the Palace of the Emir of Zaria, observed by sizeable crowd amid tight security. Roll call The Chief Imman of Zaria Central Mosque, Sheik Kashimu Awal, led the prayers, which lasted for less than 10 minutes, before the burial which was witnessed by representatives of President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Murkhtar Yero: Dr. Taminu Turaki, Minister of Special Duties, and Alhaji Ishaq Hamza, Secretary to the Kaduna State Government, respectively. The rites were delayed for about two hours after it was announced that Vice President Namadi Sambo, was on his way to pay his last respects. He could not make it eventually. No member of the national or state Assemblies from Kaduna State or PDP attended the burial. Clark mourns Meanwhile, Chief Clark said yesterday he had been badly hit by the death of former Minister of Transport, Alhaji Dikko, pointing out that both of them had been friends since 1968. Clark’s condolence message read: “The news of the recent demise of my long standing friend, compatriot and political associate, Alhaji Umaru Dikko, came as a jolting shock. “It is true that he had been facing health challenges, and I have been in personal and phone contacts with him in recent past to express my concern and share my prayers with him over his illness. All the same, his death has hit me very badly. “Alhaji Umaru Dikko and I went a long way, as far back as 1968, when he was Commissioner for Finance in the old North Central State and I, Commissioner for Education and later Commissioner for Finance in the old Midwestern region. “Later, my friend Dikko became the Commissioner for Information, thus our interactions intensified even more. “I, nay Nigeria, will miss a rare humane and progressive compatriot in Alhaji Dikko, as much as his family would; but our hearts go to his wives, children, family.”

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