3 May 2013

Nigeria: 92-Year Old Ex-Minister Ali Monguno Kidnapped

Former Nigerian minister, Shettima Ali Monguno, has been kidnapped in troubled Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

Mr. Monguno, 92, was kidnapped by gunmen as he left the mosque after Jumat prayers on Friday, in the Mafoni Ward area of the city.

Mr. Monguno is a vocal and influential politician and educationist.

The reasons for his kidnap is yet unclear. But the Joint Military Task Force keeping peace in the region had warned earlier in the week that the extremist Boko Haram sect had plans to embark on kidnappings for ransom.

Reacting to the kidnap of the former minister, a journalist, Abdulrafiu Lawal, who knows Mr. Monguno well, said the abduction was an indication that Nigeria had lost its values.

Mr. Lawal said, "Shettima Ali Monguno has done so much for Borno and Nigeria as the country's first petroleum minister who pioneered oil exploration in the Chad basin.

"He retired from public service many years ago,sold his house in Abuja to build a female hostel for University of Maiduguri about seven years ago.

"The only house he has now is the present one near Government House Maiduguri. He also donated all his books to the Borno state library about nine years ago.

"He awards scholarship annually to students in the state, a thing state governments and politicians have only struggled to do.

"Does this harmless elder statesman who served his fatherland selflessly deserved this kind of treatment? We have lost our values."

CORRECTION: Borno state government has informed Premium Times that Mr. Munguno's actual age is 92, not 87 as earlier reported.

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