The first civilian governor of Borno State, Alhaji Mohammed Goni, has died at the age of 78.
A close family source who confirmed the passing of the elder statesman said he died at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital at about 8 p.m. on Wednesday from an undisclosed illness.
In 1979, Goni was elected as the first civilian governor of the old Borno State on the platform of the Great Nigeria Peoples Party 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 to counter the propaganda being pumped out by the Nigerian Television Authority at the time.
Before the 1983 elections, he defected to the Unity Party of Nigeria, running unsuccessfully for reelection against the Nigerian People’s Party candidate, Sheikh Jarma.
Considered by many as one of the best governors of the state, Mr Goni continued to enjoy the respect and admiration of the people for his past glory.
He contested for the governorship of Borno state in 2011 under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and lost the keenly contested election to former governor Kashim Shettima, now a senator.