A top Nigerian politician, businessman and author, Alhaji Bashir Othman Tofa, is dead.
Family sources said he died in a Kano hospital in the early hours of Monday after being admitted for some days.
Rumours of Tofa’s death had circulated in the social media at least a day before he gave up the ghost but were debunked by family members.
A source told New Citizen that he was placed in a ventilator yesterday when his condition worsened.
The late Tofa was best known for running for his presidential candidature under the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) in 1993, becoming the major challenger to the Social Democratic Party’s Moshood Abiola.
Abiola won the controversial June 12, 1993 election, which was subsequently annulled by the Babangida military government.
Born in Kano on June 20, 1947, Tofa was educated at Shahuci Junior Primary School and City Senior Primary School, both in Kano, and attended Provincial College, Kano, from 1962 to 1966.
He worked for Royal Exchange Insurance Company from 1967 to 1968 and attended City of London College from 1970 to 1973.
Tofa went into politics in 1976 and won election as a councilor for Dawakin Tofa Local Government Area. A year later, he was elected a member of the Constituent Assembly which drafted the 1979 Nigerian Constitution.
During the Second Republic, he was the secretary of the Kano branch of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) and eventually became the party’s national financial secretary.
During the Third Republic, he was part of the Liberal Movement which metamorphosed to Liberal Convention.
When the Liberal Convention was not registered as a political party, Tofa joined the NRC in 1990, eventually emerging as its presidential candidate.
He continued to serve as an elder statesman both in the politics of his native Kano State and the north.
He also ran his businesses, serving as chairman of International Petro-Energy Company (IPEC) and Abba Othman and Sons Ltd.
Tofa was also the author several books of fiction and a book of the science of the Qur’an.