Nine federal lawmakers die in three years — what’s going on?

Adeleke

Mustapha Bukar, senator representing Katsina north, died on Wednesday, taking the death toll in the current national assembly to nine in roughly three years.

The first death was recorded even before the inauguration of the national assembly — Ahmed Zanna, re-elected to represent Borno central senatorial district, died a month to inauguration.

While mourning, Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the house of representatives, said: “It’s unfortunate that we have to do this time and time again, our prayer to God is that God should preserve all of us members of the National Assembly. I don’t think it’s ever happened like this before, where we’ve had to bury – to my quick recollection – about three senators and five members of the House of Representatives.”

An analysis by TheCable shows that most of the lawmakers died in their 50s, with only three being above 60. Curiously, too, none of them died from accidents, violence or disasters. All deaths were medically related, some coming “after protracted illness”.

In all, four senators and five reps have died in this dispensation.

AHMED ZANNA (SENATE, APC)

AGE AT DEATH: 59 CAUSE: Terminal ailment

Ahmed Zanna, elected to represent Borno central senatorial district, passed on after his re-election bid in April 2015, but did not live to witness his inauguration as a member of the 8th assembly in June that year. The 59-year-old lawmaker was said to have lost his battle to a terminal ailment.

In 2012, Zana was linked to Boko Haram when a top leader of the sect, Shuaibu Mohammed Bama, was reportedly arrested in his house in Maiduguri.

ISIAKA ADELEKE (SENATE, APC)

AGE AT DEATH: 62 CAUSE: Heart attack

Isiaka Adeleke, senator representing Osun west, died at 62 on the morning of Sunday, April 23, 2017 at Biket Hospital in Osogbo, after suffering a heart attack, although there were controversies on the circumstances.

The three-term senator and a former civilian governor of the state, was described by his colleagues as a calm, principled and responsible gentleman.

Isiaka was replaced by his younger brother, Ademola Adeleke, who contested on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to win the Osun west senatorial district bye-election.

ALI WAKILI (SENATE, APC)

AGE AT DEATH: 58 CAUSE: Sudden (suspected heart attack)

On March 16, 2018, Ali Wakili, lawmaker who represented Bauchi south senatorial district, joined the high and mighty at the Kano wedding of the daughter of Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man. On Saturday morning, he was said to have slumped at his Gwarimpa residence in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The 58-year-old lawmaker, until his death, was the chairman of the senate committee on poverty alleviation and a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). He was also a retired controller of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

MUSTAPHA BUKAR (SENATE, APC)

AGE AT DEATH: 63 CAUSE: Brief illness

Mustapha Bukar is the latest to enter the fray of the departed. The 63-year-old senator representing Katsina north died at about 10am on Wednesday after a brief illness.

He was elected on the platform of the APC in 2015. He was a first time lawmaker. Until his death, Bukar was the chairman senate committee on capital market.

BUBA JIBRIL (HOUSE, PDP)

AGE AT DEATH: 58 CAUSE: Protracted illness

Umar Buba Jibril, deputy majority leader and lawmaker representing Lokoja/Kogi federal constituency in the house of representatives, passed away on Friday, March 30, 2018 after ‘a long protracted illness’.

Fifty-eight-year-old Jibril, a three-time member of the house, was a former speaker of the Kogi state house of assembly.

ELIJAH ADEWALE (HOUSE, APC)

AGE AT DEATH: 65 CAUSE: Sudden (suspected heart attack)

Elijah Adewale, lawmaker representing Ifako Ijaiye constituency of Lagos state, was said to have slumped and died at the early hours of Thursday, July 21, 2016 in his house in Abuja.

The 65-year-old lawmaker, who was reported to have attended the caucus meeting of the house of representatives in the evening of the previous day, died very early on Thursday morning, the following day.

BELLO SANI (HOUSE, APC)

AGE AT DEATH: 51 CAUSE: Protracted illness

Bello, lawmaker representing Mashi/Dvisi federal constituency of Katsina state, passed away on February 15, 2017 at the age of 51.

Abubakar Adamu, an aide to the late lawmaker, said his principal had suffered protracted illness for several months leading to his death.

ABDULLAHI WAMMAKO (HOUSE, APC)

AGE AT DEATH: 50 CAUSE: Brief illness

Wammako, a member of the house of representatives from Sokoto state, died at an Abuja hospital on July 14, 2017 after a brief illness.

A first term lawmaker, he represented Kware/Wammako federal constituency. He contested and won the 2015 parliamentary election under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The deceased 50-year-old lawmaker was a younger brother to Aliyu Wammako, former governor of Sokoto state.

MUSA BABA-ONWANA (HOUSE, APC)

AGE AT DEATH: 50 CAUSE: Undisclosed

Musa, represented Nasarawa/Toto federal constituency of Nasarawa state, on the platform of the APC. He died on March 17, 2016 at the age of 50. The cause of his death was unknown.

He was elected to the house of representatives in 2011 and returned in 2015.    (The Cable)

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