The health of the newly appointed Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party, Dr. Umaru Dikko, is giving some members of the party a cause for concern.
Saturday PUNCH learnt on Thursday that Dikko, who was the Minister of Transport during the Second Republic, had gone to seek medical attention for an undisclosed ailment in a London hospital.
Dikko, 77, was recently appointed to head the PDP committee by the party’s National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.
A family source, who pleaded anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media on the issue, confirmed this to one of our correspondents in Kaduna.
The source told our correspondent that the Second Republic minister was indeed receiving medical attention in England following an ailment he was not at liberty to disclose.
The source said, “We learnt he is getting better now and we pray he will be around during Sallah (after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan).
“You know, he has not been feeling well for some time, so he went to England. Maybe he will be back before the Sallah celebration.”
The source, however, could not say which hospital the former minister was receiving treatment.
It was gathered that Dikko is suffering from an ailment often associated with old age. He was first treated for the said ailment a few months ago.
A medical doctor familiar with the case confided in one of our correspondents that “he suffered from the ailment (name withheld) a few months ago, but he made sufficient recovery.
“However, the problem with this particular ailment is that, it often re-occurs, especially if the patient has reached a certain age.”
There are fears that the chairman’s state of health could adversely affect the committee’s work.
It was gathered that the leadership of the party was considering the possibility of asking the committee’s Deputy Chairman, King A.J. Turner, to act as the chairman, if Dikko had failed to return before the inauguration of the panel.
However, the PDP dismissed insinuations that the work of the disciplinary committee would suffer because of Dikko’s state of health.
The Acting Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Tony Okeke, told one of our correspondents on the telephone that the party was hopeful that the former minister would return to the country before the committee’s inauguration.
He said, “The committee has not been inaugurated and I’m sure that before the inauguration is done, he would return to the country and would do a good job.”
Other members of the committee are Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu; Alhaji Shuaibu Oyedokun; Hajiya Nana Ayishat Kadiri; Hussaini Diraki and Senator Emmanuel Agboti (Secretary).