Umaru Dikko

Umaru Dikko
Umaru Dikko

Umaru Dikko; controversial politician in Nigeria and chief strategist of the National Party of Nigeria in the Second Republic, and federal minister of transport in President Shagari’s cabinet. After the 1983 coup which displaced his boss, Dikko confronted the General Buhari regime and was reported by the government press as having threatened to recruit mercenaries to get rid of Buhari. On July 5, 1984, attempt was made to kidnap Umaru Dikko who fled Nigeria to Britain at the time of Buhari’s coup. Dikko was seized at gunpoint in London and was later discovered drugged and lying in a crate at London’s Stansted airport ready to be transported back to Nigeria. The incident provoked a major diplomatic row between Britain and Nigeria though the Nigerian authorities repeatedly denied that they had any connection with the incident[i]. Dikko remained in exile till 1994 when he was welcomed by General Abacha who took power the year before.

In spite of his anti-military government stance the decade before, Dikko criticised NADECO‘s confrontational stance against General Abacha[ii]. He also disfavored popular advocacies of the media like the Sovereign National Conference, which he argued will pose problems concerning modalities for determining constituent nationalities in Nigeria[iii].


[i] TheWeek July 7, 2003

[ii] Dateline December 14, 1995

[iii] Tell April 10, 2000

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer