Former Governor Alhaji Abubakar Rimi Dies after Armed Robbery Attack

Sunday, April 4, 2010

By Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano, 04.05.2010

Former governor of Kano State and former presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Abubakar Rimi, has died after an armed robbery attack.

He was reportedly unhurt in the encounter with the robbers around 11pm last night. The robbers were said to have recognized him and decided not to rob him. Instead, they seized his phones so that he would not report to the police. On getting to Kano, he was said to have been in shock. His personal doctor, it was gathered, checked his blood pressure and decided to take him to the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital. He never recovered and was pronounced dead shortly after. His body has been moved to his residence in Kano and will be buried according to Islamic rites this morning.

Initial reports said he was shot in the head in the attack which took place at a village called Darki in Wudil Local Government Area, Kano State, while he was returning from Bauchi State where he had gone for his eldest daughter's wedding.

But it was later revealed that he suffered no gunshot wounds. However, given that his blood pressure had shot up during the attack, he might have suffered a massive stroke, leading to his death.

The radical politician, who was instrumental to the victory of Chief MKO Abiola in the June 12, 1993 presidential election in Kano State, was traveling in a Landcruiser SUV in company with three other persons who are believed to be his relations.

Rimi had become politically reclusive in recent times and led a faction of the PDP in Kano called Garkuwa (Shield). He also staunchly supported President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua.

He was born in 1940 in Rimi Village, Sumaila Local Government Area, Kano State. According to, Rimi attended an instructor's course at the Institute of Administration, Zaria. He obtained a General Certificate of Education (GCE) from the University of London.

In 1972, he did a diploma in International Affairs at the London institute of World Affairs, and later obtained a Master's Degree in International Relations.In January 2006, his wife was killed at his home. His son was among those charged for the murder, but was later released. It was treated as an armed robbery case.

Rimi was co-founder with the late Mallam Aminu Kano and other progressives the People's Redemption Party (PRP). In December 1978, he was elected PRP's Deputy National secretary at the party's first national convention in Lagos. He was the PRP candidate in the 1979 general election and was elected the governor of the old Kano State.

After a disagreement with the party's leader, Alhaji Aminu Kano, he defected to the Nigeria Peoples Party (NPP) in 1983 and resigned as governor "on principle". He lost the governorship election that year to Alhaji Sabo Bakin Zuwo, who ran as the PRP candidate.

In 1993, Rimi was appointed Minister of Communications, and later Chairman of NACB and NSPMC.

He was one of the foundation members of the PDP in 1998. He was the Chairman of the Finance Committee of the party.

He was briefly touted as former President Olusegun Obasanjo's running mate in the 1999 presidential election, but Obasanjo eventually settled for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. Rimi began to openly oppose Obasanjo and ran against him for PDP's presidential ticket in 2003, although the PDP had insisted that the position was zoned to the South.

He later moved to the Action Congress (AC) in 2006, but returned to the PDP in 2007. In December 2008, he called on the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), Professor Maurice Iwu, to resign from office, citing irregularities in the presidential election that brought Yar'Adua to power.


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