Zanna Bukar Dipcharima

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Zanna Bukar Sulloma Dipcharima (d 1969) was a popular Bornu politician who served in the House of Representative from 1954-1966 and was later the leading member in the federal cabinet meetings following the death of the Prime Minister in January, 1966. He later led the NPC government in Lagos to pledge support to the military administration of Johnson Aguiyi Ironsi.

Dipsharima was made the district head of Yerwa in 1956 and conferred with the title of Zanna. In 1958, he was appointed as the minister of Commerce and Industry and later in 1964, he was re-allocated to the ministry of Transport.

Early life and education

Dipcharima was born in 1917 to the family of Lawan Ali Dipcharima. He attended the Elementary School, Dikwa, the Middle School, Maiduguri and then proceeded to the Katsina Higher Training College where he specialised in Geography, English and History. From 1938-1946 he was a teacher and then joined NCNC. However, in 1948, he left politics to work for John Holt as a manager.

Career in politics

Dipcharima was an early entrant to politics and joined NCNC, the major existing political party in 1946 after the enactment of the Richards Constitution which allowed more indigenous political participation. In 1947, along with NCNC leader, Azikiwe, Adeleke Adedoyin and Olorun Nimbe and a few others, he was part of the delegation on tour in London and also to make claim, objections to certain acts in the Richards Constitution. According to Zik, the mission sought to object to the principle of the constitution which subverts the democratic condition of the country and belittle the powers of the traditional rulers. Other objections were:

  • To demand the repeal of certain sections, which were the Public Lands Acquisition Ordinance and Amendment; Crown Land Ordinance and Amendment, Mineral Ordinance and Appointment and Deposition of Chiefs Ordinance and Amendment, all of 1945
  • Human Rights. To request for the repeal of clauses which deny the basic human rights of the Nigerian citizens.
  • To Spotlight certain acts of maladministration with a view to their immediate amelioration
  • To demand the immediate steps for self-government. (1)

In 1954, Dipcharima left John Holt and joined the political scene for the second time, this time he was affiliated with the dominant party in the North, the Northern Peoples Congress. He was elected as a Native Authority councilor in charge of Prisons and the Police and later as a member of the Federal House of Representatives. He was became the president of the Nornu province of the NPC. As a member of the House, he was appointed as the parliamentary secretary for the minster of Transport in 1956. He was later made a minister without portfolio the following year and in 1958, the minister of Commerce and Industry. He succeeded K.O. Mbadiwe as the minister, after the latter resigned over a conflict with Azikiwe. As minister of Commerce, he announced the government's support for a motion suspending trade with the apartheid ruled South Africa and sought fairer terms of trade for African nations.

Electoral history

1959 Yerwa constituency election

  • Zanna Bukar Dipcharima NPC - 20,081
  • Sherif Dikwa NEPU - 3,037
  • Mr Sherif AG - 1,781


"Nigeria has always been called a model of democracy. Now we may become the model of military coups."


  • (1)George Padmore. 'May Be Second India ', The Chicago Defender, Sep 27, 1947. p. 15