One of Nigeria’s foremost elder statesman, and former minister of mines and petroleum in the first republic, Shettima Ali Monguno, has passed on.
Mr. Monguno died on Friday at his home in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital. He was 95.
Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, officially announced the demise of the respected nonagenarian through a statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Jidda Shuwa.
The statement said; “It is with a deep sense of loss and profound sadness that we announce, on behalf of His Excellency the Executive Governor of Borno State and the Borno State Government, the passage of our father and distinguished Statesman, Alhaji (Dr.) Shettima Ali Monguno.He died this evening, Friday, 8th July, 2016.
“His burial will, insha Allah (by the grace of God) take place tomorrow, Saturday, 9th July, 2016 at 2pm at his residence, near Government House, Old GRA, Maiduguri.
“May Allah (SWA) forgive his sins and grant him abode in Aljanat Firdaus, and may Allah grant his family and the entire people of Borno State the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.”.
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 function some three years ago, Mr Monguno was the chairman of the Borno Elders Forum.
Before his retirement from public life, the elder statesman did not only witness Boko Haram devouring his dear state, but was also a victim of the outlawed group’s hostility when he was abducted in broad day by gunmen at a mosque where he had gone to pray on Friday, May 3, 2013.
The former President of OPEC was to be freed some three days later when he was found in far away Marte Local government area where government officials and security personnel picked him and brought him home safely and unhurt.
Since then, his GRA Maiduguri home, adjacent the Borno State Government House, remained guarded by armed security personnel.
Mr. Monguno was born in 1926 in his home town Monguno in the present Borno state.
He was said to have attended Monguno primary school, then proceeded to Teachers college, Bauchi and then Katsina.
He also attended the College of Arts, Science and Technology, Zaria, and then the University of Edinburgh.
He was an MP in in 1959. He later became Education Secretary and councillor for education, works and social welfare Borno Local Government 1959-65; Federal minister for Air Force and internal affair 1965-66; federal commissioner for trade and industries 1967-7; minister mines and power, petroleum and energy 1972-75.
He was President of OPEC between 1972 and 1973.
He was also Chairman, Maiduguri Metropolitan Council and member Constituents Assembly in 1977-78.
In 1990 when the military experiment a failed transition to civil rule, he was Presidential Candidate during the Option A4 Elections.
He was the leader of Nigerian delegation to UNCAD II New Delhi in 1968 and member of the country’s delegation to United Nations for over 10 years.
He received keys to the cities of New York, Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Quito, Ecuador; and Lima, Peru.
Mr Monguno also served as Pro-chancellor University of Calabar 1978-80; Pro-chancellor University of Nigeria 1980-84.
He received a national honours from Ethiopia, Republic of Egypt, Sudan and Cameroon in 1970.
He was Trustee, Girl Guides Association of Nigeria 1970-90; a Deputy National Chairman National Party of Nigeria December 1980-84.
He was conferred with National Honour – Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic CFR in 1982.
He was Director, Nigbel Bank Nigeria Ltd, 1988; Chairman, Borno Education Endowment Fund 1986; and an Honorary Road Marshall.
About a decade ago, late Shettima Ali Monguno set a record as one of the largest donors to the Borno state Library board when he relinquished his life collection of books free of charge to the Borno State government.
Within the same period, he was said to have sold his only home in Abuja and used part of the proceed to build a female hostel at the University of Maiduguri as part of his charity work towards advancing girl child education in Borno state.
He is survived by his wife, children and many grand children.