Cablegate: Vp Candidate and Former Senate President Okadigbo

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

261022Z Sep 03



E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (U) Embassy learned early September 26 that former Senate
President and ANPP Vice Presidential candidate Chuba Okadigbo
passed away in the early morning hours. No official
announcement has been made as of mid-morning September 26.

2. (U) In spite of rumors already beginning to circulate, it
appears that he died of natural causes. Okadigbo took part
in the massive political rally in Kano on September 23 and is
reported to have suffered from exposure to the heat during
the event (septel). He traveled from Kano to Abuja with his
running mate Muhammadu Buhari in anticipation of attending
the electoral tribunal hearing from September 25 (septel) on
the ANPP's case against President Obasanjo and the PDP. His
doctor advised against exerting himself, however, so he
remained at his residence where he later passed away.

3. (U) COMMENT: In Nigeria, everything is assumed to be a
conspiracy in the absence of any proof to the contrary.
Politically, his death is not significant to Buhari's efforts
to force the GON to hold new elections. His body is at the
government hospital in Abuja, but the ANPP could try to stage
an event similar to the rally prior to the April 2003
elections commemorating the assassination of Marshall Harry,
one of Buhari's leading southern Nigeria supporters.

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