By Bode Olushegun
The death has occurred of Alhaji Muhammadu Goni, the first civilian governor of old Borno state, comprising present Borno and Yobe states.
He died on Wednesday after a brief illness. Goni was aged 78.
According to Wikipedia, Muhammadu Goni was born in 1942 in Kareto, Mobbar Local Government Area, Borno State.
He attended Maiduguri Middle School (1953–55), Borno Provincial Secondary School (1956–61) – they are now Government College, Maiduguri, Provincial Secondary School, Kano (1962–63) and the Institute of Administration, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (1964–67), where he gained a BA (Administration), specialising in international affairs.
In 1977, he transferred to the Nigerian National Supply Company (NNSC).
In April 1979, Goni resigned from the National Supply Company and joined politics.
He was elected as the first civilian governor of the former Borno State, on the platform of the Great Nigeria People’s Party (GNPP), and was in office from October 1979 to September 1983.
He was also part of the Progressives Coalition led by Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
Goni founded the Borno Radio Television (BRTV) to counter the propaganda which was being pumped out of the Federal Government owned and sponsored Nigeria Television Authority (NTA).
In retrospect, his period of office was considered one of achievement when compared with his successors.
He was a member of the committee that drafted the 1995 Constitution.
In the April 2003 general elections he ran on the United Nigeria People’s Party (UNPP) platform as vice-presidential candidate with Jim Nwobodo as the presidential candidate.
In January 2011 he was elected by PDP delegates in Borno state to be their gubernatorial flag-bearer in the April 2011 elections. He later lost in the election to young Kashim Shettima of the ANPP.
He would be remembered for great achievements in Borno in the areas of industrialization, education, health, infrastructure development and road construction.