One of Nigeria’s elder statesmen and former minister of mines and petroleum in the first republic, Alhaji Shettima Ali Monguno, is dead. He was aged 90.
He died on Friday at his home in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
Borno State government announced the death of the nonagenarian through a statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Jidda Shuwa.
The late former minister was buried at the Gwange Cemetery in Maiduguri on Saturday.
The burial was preceded by a funeral prayer led by the Chief Imam of Borno, Alhaji Laisu Ibrahim, at the palace of the Shehu of Borno in Maiuguri, withthousands of sympathisers, including Governor Kashim Shettima, former governors of the state as well as former ministers and heads of parastatal agencies attending the burial.
President Muhammadu Buhari, on Saturday, described Monguno as “one of the finest statesmen and political actors Nigeria ever had and who would always remain fountains of inspiration in life and death.”
According to a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the president on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, in Abuja, in a condolence statement issued on his behalf by a Federal Government delegation led by Major-General Babagana Monguno (retd) to the burial in Maiduguri on Saturday, Buhari said the late elder statesman ranked among the most respected public figures in Nigeria while in office and while in private retirement life.
The president recalled that in the course of his public service as a parliamentarian and a Federal Minister of Air Force and Internal Affairs during the First Republic, the late Shettima Monguno “had left behind a legacy of untainted and unblemished career”, which he said should be emulated by Nigerian leaders at all levels.
Mr Monguno, a former presidential candidate during the 1990 option A4 political arrangement, was known in the last three decades as a philanthropist who committed his time and resources to charity through his Shettima Ali Monguno Foundation that focussed mainly on the education of poor children especially the girl child.
Until his final retirement from public functions some three years ago, Mr Monguno was the chairman of the Borno Elders’ Forum.
The deceased was born in 1926 in Monguno, Borno
He attended Monguno primary school, Teacher’s College Bauchi and Katsina, College of Arts, Science and Technology Zaria, Moray House college of Education and the University of Edinburgh.
He was a Federal Commissioner for Trade and Industries between 1966 and 1971 and Minister for Mines and Power, Petroleum and Energy between 1972 to 1975.
Monguno also served as President of OPEC fron 1972 to 1973.
The government delegation included the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, the Minister of the FCT, Mohammed Musa Bello and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity Garba Shehu.
The government delegation was received at the funeral by governor, Shettima and the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Shehu Abubakar ibn Garbai al-Amin al-Kanemi. both of whom described the presidential gesture as a consolation and a source of inspiration. The bereaved family expressed their appreciation for the presidential delegation.
He is a detribalised Nigerian, worthy ambassador —Saraki
Meanwhile, the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, on Saturday expressed sadness over the death of one of the last set of the nation’s founding fathers, elder statesman, Alhaji Shettima Ali Monguno, who he described as a detribalised Nigerian and worthy ambassador.
Saraki, in a statement by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Abuja, noted that Monguno would be sorely missed considering his giant political strides and contributions to the building of the Nigerian nation, starting from his birth place, Monguno, in Borno State to all the nooks and crannies of the country.