The Presidential Candidate of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) and main challenger to MKO Abiola in the June 12, 1993 presidential election, annulled by the military government of General Ibrahim Babangida, Alhaji Bashir Tofa, is dead.
Family sources said the 74-year-old former presidential candidate died in the early hours of Monday after a protracted illness.
“Alhaji Bashir Tofa died after being admitted in hospital for some time,” one of the deceased’s relations told TheCable.
Details of his death were still sketchy as of the time of filing this report.
Tofa was born in Kano to a Kanuri family on June 20, 1947.
During the Third Republic, He was part of the Liberal Movement which metamorphosed to 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.
Tofa was apparently defeated in the presidential election by Abiola, but the official results were never released by Babangida’s government. Babangida was forced to step down in August 1993 after protests calling for the results of the election.
Tofa was also a businessman, an oil trader and an industrialist. He was chairman of International Petro-Energy Company and Abba Othman and Sons Limited.