Nigerien Labour minister Mohamed Ben Omar

Nigerien Labour minister , Mohamed Ben Omar, has died, his party said, without stating the cause of death.

He died Sunday at the main hospital of the capital Niamey.

His Social Democratic Party confirmed his death via Whatsapp.

Niger has recorded 750 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 35 deaths and 518 discharged.

President Mahamadou Issoufou said he learned the news of Omar’s death with a “heavy heart”.

Omar was born 1 January 1965, in the south-central town of Tesker.

He founded the PSD, which is allied with Issoufou’s Party for Democracy and Socialism.

Issoufou’s labour minister since 2017, Omar began his political life in 1999 under president Mamadou Tandja.

He served in parliament and various ministerial roles in the poor Sahel nation.

Omar strongly supported a constitutional amendment that allowed Tandja to prolong his second term by three years in 2009.

However, a military junta overthrew Tandja the following February.

Before he created the PSD, Omar was part of the Rally for Democracy and Progress, the party of Tandja’s predecessor Ibrahim Bare Mainassara.

Mainassara who was assassinated in 1999 by members of his own bodyguard.