Adieu, MD Yusuf, Former IGP, Elder Statesman
ALHAJI Muhammadu Dikko Yusuf, the Katsina-born former Inspector-General of Police, popularly called MD Yusuf, is dead. He died aged 85 years.
Family sources said the late police boss died in his house in Abuja after a protracted illness on Wednesday. He was buried by 2pm on Thursday in Katsina municipal.
The late MD Yusuf served as Inspector General of Police from 1976 to 1979. He was chairman of Nigeria LNG in 1994 when a consortium led by Halliburton was bidding for a contract to construct an LNG export facility in competition with the United States corporation, Bechtel.
He was also a politician. He headed the Grassroots Democratic Movement during the period of transition to democracy launched by General Sani Abacha in 1997–1998. The organization had a left wing orientation.
In 2000, he became chairman of the Northern cultural and political association, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACM).
After the April 2003 elections, both Muhammadu Buhari of the All Nigerian People’s Party (ANPP) and Yusuf, who had run as presidential candidate of the Movement for Democracy and Justice (MDJ), challenged the election victory of President Olusegun Obasanjo. However, in June 2003, Yusuf said defeated contestants who were not ready to go to court should accept their defeat in good faith.
In November 2003, Yusuf said the grant of asylum by President Olusegun Obasanjo to the deposed Liberian president, Charles Taylor could not be defended on the ground of either justice or commonsense, and was therefore impeachable.
President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday extended his heartfelt condolences to the government and people of Katsina State, Yusuf’s family as well as the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF).
The President, in a statement, said he shared their grief as they mourn the eminent Nigerian who served his country dutifully throughout his successful career in the Nigerian Police, and later on, as a political leader and elder statesman.
The President said he believes that MD Yusuf, as he was fondly called by his friends and associates, will long be remembered for his outstanding political courage and determination during Nigeria’s transition to democracy after years of military rule.
He recalled that as leader of the Grassroots Democratic Movement at that time, the late MD Yusuf embodied some of the best values of bravery and patriotism and prayed that Almighty Allah would grant his soul eternal rest and comfort all who mourn him.
In his own reaction, the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) described Yusuf as
an indomitable democrat and his death as a great loss to Nigeria’s democratic struggle.
Buhari in a press statement signed by Garba Shehu, Directorate of Media and Publicity, All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Organisation recalled Yusuf’s role in Nigeria’s democratic struggle during the military politics of self-succession, which brought to the fore his courage to speak even if he was standing alone.
According to Buhari, despite the constriction of the democratic space, the late MD Yusuf was the only politician who established his own political party to challenge a military self-succession agenda.
He added that only a courageous democrat like the late MD Yusuf could have taken that personal risk.
He prayed to Allah to forgive Yusuf’s shortcomings and reward his good deeds with Aljannah (Paradise).
Yusuf is survived by his wife, children and grand-children.
Yusuf, born on November 10, 1931, died on Wednesday after a brief illness. He was the police IG between July 30, 1975 and 1979.
He was seconded to the Police Force as an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) in 1962.
Mr. Yusuf obtained his Elementary, Middle Schools and higher educational qualifications at Katsina Provincial School, Katsina, School for Arabic Studies, Kano, 1947, Institute of Administration, Zaria (1952 – 1953) and Christ Church College (Oxford University).
Among his numerous honours, the former police chief held the Nigeria Police Medal, Commander of the order of the Federal Republic, Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger.
After his retirement from the Nigeria Police Force, Mr. Yusuf held various national appointments such as the Chairman of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd in 1994, Chairman, Central Working Committee of the Arewa Consultative Forum, a northern cultural and Socio-political association (2001), and Chairman, Presidential Committee on Nigeria Police Force reform.
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