The former executive Governor of Kano State, Alhaji Abubakar Rimi died yesterday April 4, 2010. He died as a result of a heart attack that followed and encounter with armed bandits who robbed him and his co-travelers who were returning to Kano following a trip to Bauchi State.
According to reports monitored on VOA Hausa, the robbers did not touch him but severely beat up his younger brother. The whole experienced was said to have shocked him and died of heart failure at the Kano General Hospital after doctors struggled in vain to save his life.
Rimi, born in 1940 was to become a member of the Nigerian parliament from the mid seventies down to the later part of that decade. He became the first civilian governor of Kano State in 1979 with his tenure ending in 1983 when the party insisted in keeping with the Kano tradition of ensuring that a Governor does not run for more that a single tenure of four years.
The death of Abubakar Rimi, one of Nigeria’s finesse politicians has again underscored the reality that only ignoble people live long. He died fighting for the removal of the immunity clause in the Nigerian constitution that protects governors from legal prosecution while in office, saying that it has worked to encourage corruption in the country. He advocated for the death penalty against corrupt officials as it is in China. Rimi also stood against the constitutional powers that allowed governors to set up their state’s electoral commissions, arguing that it worked against the entrenchment of true democracy at the grassroots as the ruling parties in the state often won grassroots elections one hundred per cent.
He was no friend of traditional rulers as he stood against their clumsy practice of using their influence for corruptly enriching themselves with the resources of the local councils usually in collusion with governors.
A comment on the life of Abubakar Rimi cannot be complete without reference to his humor. He was one of the most humorous political leaders in Nigeria. When the late Wazirin Jos, D B Zang died in 2008, Rimi described him as Nigeria’s greatest democrats, having died on May 29th, Nigeria’s democracy day.
May his soul rest in peace, Amen.