By Abraham Olatokunbo
The Shehu of Dikwa, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Muhammad El-Kanemi II is dead.
The throne, Shehu of Dikwa is a first class and one of the most prominent in Borno State.
A statement on Saturday announcing his demise by the Borno State Commissioner of Information, Babakura Abba-Jato read: “His Royal Highness, the Shehu of Dikwa Alhaji Muhammad ibn Masta El-Kanemi II has answered the call of almghty Allah in the early hours of today in Abuja.”
The deceased born in 1946 was crowned as the Shehu of Dikwa after another emirate was created out of the then Dikwa Emirate in 2008.
According to the statement the late Shehu, a season school administrator, civil servant and politician died in a private hospital after a protracted illness.
The statement said his body is expected in Maiduguri from Abuja.
He left behind wives children and many relatives.
Abba-Jato revealed that the governor of the state, Prof. Babagana Zulum has had to cut short his official engagements in Southern Borno in honour of the departed monarch.
He said: “He (the governor) has prayed to Almighty Allah for the repose of his soul, his family and the entire Dikwa emirate fortitude to bear the loss as the royal father’s death is a loss to the entire state and the country at large.”
As at the time of filing this report officials of the state government led by the governor are preparing for the Shehu’s funeral scheduled for 5pm Sunday.
it was however not clear if the funeral will be held in Maiduguri or in Dikwa, some kilemoteres away from Maiduguri.
Meanwhile, Senator Kashim Shettima, immediate past governor of Borno, now Senator representing Borno central, part of which is the late Shehu’s territory, has joined leaders in condolences.
Shettima said. “He (the late monarch) is the last of the great Titans; one of the torchbearers of education in the Region; an Icon of stability, maturity, exemplary leadership and generosity of spirit in Borno and Nigeria as a whole.”
He said: “My condolences go to the family, Dikwa Emirate & the Government and People of Borno State.”