NGILERUMA, Alhaji Muhammadu

NORTHERN MINISTER OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND NIGERIA'S FIRST PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE TO THE UN. By all account this man was an icon andpioneer who scored afirst in all his endeavours.A Kanuri, born in Maiduguri of the old Borno Province in 1908, Mohammed Ngleruma went to school at the age of seven years. He was among children chosen by the Education Department when thefirst Provincial'School'was opened in Maiduguri in 1915. In 1926 he was sent to the Katsina College. Hence he was one of the first batches of Northerners to receive formal Western Education. Alhaji Mohammed's working career started as ateacher of the Borno Middle School. Afteraperiod asateacher, he entered the Borno Native Administration as the Chief Scribe, Head of the Bomo Native Authority Central Office when it was opened forthefrrsttime in 1934.He was also the Clerk to the Shehus Council. Because the reigning Shehu of Borno was too old to attend meetings of the House of Chiefs in Kaduna, Alhaji Mohammed was one of three Borno Native Administration officials to represent him in the House. He thus had the opportunity of attending all the meetings of the House of Chiefs during the early 1930 's. He acquired atremendous experience by'meetingtheleadingfirstclassChiefssuch as the late SultanofSokoto, Hassan Dan Ma'a^u, the late Emir of Kano, Alhaji Abdullahi Bayero, the late Emir of Katsina Alhaji Muhammed Dikko, and many others. Alhaji Mohammed visited Lagos in 1938 when he accompanied the Shehu of Borno during his first visit to Lagos. In 1942 because of his brilliant performance as an Arabic Scholar Alhaji Mohammed was appointed Wall of Borno. On him rested the responsibility for advising the Shehu on legal matters for many years. Tor a considerable time he was better known as the Walt of'Borno. He served on the Commission of Inquiry into Conditional Sales and Black Marketing' in Nigeria in 1948. Thus he was able to visit all three regions of Nigeria. In 1946 he was appointed to serve in the Commission headed by aformer Chief Commissioner of the Northern Region, Sir Eric Thompstone, to inquire into the living conditions of destitute pilgrims in the MiddleEast. Again, he scored another first when the first legislative Assembly under the Richards Constitution was established in the Northern Region in 1947. He was one of the Northerners to be elected into the House representing Borno Province, having been elected by allthe Native Authority Councils in the Province.
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