Alhaji Bashir Othman Tofa, the Presidential Candidate of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC), died in the early hours of Monday after a brief illness, according to a family source.
Our Correspondent recalls that Tofa was Chief MKO Abiola’s major challenger, the presume winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election shrouded in controversy and annulled by the military government led by General Ibrahim Babangida.
Alhaji Mohammed, one of the deceased’s relatives who confirmed the demise of the politician cum businessman, said Tofa died while on admission in the hospital, adding that he had been there for sometime.
Born in kano on 20 June 1947, Tofa began his educational journey at Shahuci Junior Primary, City Senior Primary School between 1962 and 1966 and proceeded to Provincial College,all in Kano and later capped it up at City of London College.
In terms of career progression, the deceased started with Royal Exchange Insurance company where he worked from 1967 to 1968 but went into politics in 1976, when he won as councilor, Dawakin Tofa Local Government Council, Kano.
He later became a member, Constituent Assembly and at the Nigerian Second Republic in 1977, he became secretary, Kano state chapter of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) and later, its National financial Secretary.
But in 1990, he left NPN to join the National Republican Convention (NRC) and three years later, became the president candidate of the party in the June 1993 general elections but lost to Chief MKO Abiola.
Abiola, also deceased, was the presumed of that election adjudged as the freest and most transparent poll in the political history of Nigeria.
Apart politics, the late Tofa also made significant impact in the economy of Nigeria as a businessman and an industrialist, chairing many companies such as International Petro-Energy Company (IPEC) and Abba Othman and Sons ltd besides being a board member of many other business ventures.
A muslim of kanuri extraction, the late Tofa was married and the marriage is blessed with children.
Edited by Felix Ajide