Bashir Tofa, Former Presidential Candidate, Dies At 74

File photo: Bashir Tofa


The former presidential candidate of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC), Bashir Tofa, is dead.

Tofa died in the early hours of Monday at the age of 74.

A close relative of the deceased who confirmed the news to Channels Television said Tofa died at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital after a protracted illness.

Tofa was the presidential candidate of the NRC in the June 12, 1993 election. During the election, Tofa squared off against MKO Abiola of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the presumed winner of the election. But the Babangida regime annulled the election.

Although the official results of the election were never released by Babangida’s government, Tofa was apparently defeated in the presidential election by his rival Moshood Abiola. Babangida was forced to step down in August 1993 after protests calling for the results of the election.

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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. He also attended City of London College from 1970 to 1973.

Tofa’s sojourn into politics started in 1976 when he was a councilor of Dawakin Tofa Local Government Council, in 1977, he was elected a member of the Constituent Assembly.

During the Nigerian Second Republic, Tofa was at various times the secretary of the Kano branch of 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, Tofa joined NRC in 1990.

In 1993, when the Babangida administration introduced the Option A4 system, Tofa was elected the presidential candidate representing Kano.

During the party primaries, he defeated Pere Ajunwa, Joe Nwodo, and Dalhatu Tafida to clinch the NRC ticket. At the time, he was an ally of Halilu Akilu, the security chief at the time. His running mate in the election was Sylvester Ugoh, an Igbo and 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.