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Babagana Monguno’s special gift for Soyinka


Wole Soyinka Mongunno’s portrait

The truth is that no matter how specific to military life a defence top brass’ training was, time also instilled in them soft skills.

This applies to President Muhammadu Buhari’s National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd).

This Borno State-born amiable, detribalised and accomplished Nigerian army officer with an intimidating resume, has held different prestigious positions in the Nigerian Army, including Commander, Guards Brigade; Deputy Commandant, National Defense College; Chief of Defense Intelligence (CDI); Chief of Defense Logistics and Commander, Training and Doctrine Command before his retirement.


As a combatant regular officer, he was once recommended for the Chief of Army Staff position. Apart from his successful military career, Monguno is also an artist, as he draws and plays saxophone.

He put one of those special soft skills to use last weekend when, as part of the week-long celebration of Prof. Wole Soyinka’s 85th birthday, the retired officer took time to personally sketch different portraits of the Nobel Laureate and presented the framed piece of work to the octogenarian literary giant in Lagos.

Soyinka, it was gathered, really enthralled by the work of art, expressed appreciation to the NSA: “It’s fascinating and nice for the NSA, Gen. Monguno, to take time to make the sketches. I am pleasantly surprised. Thank you General,” he was quoted as saying.

It was gathered that Soyinka is one of very few Nigerians Monguno revers. Besides, Monguno is a brother to all, as he has several Christian friends and as a Kings College, Lagos alumnus, he interacts well with friends, feeling at home while in their company and addressing everyone as brother.

Monguno holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture, a Masters degree in Internal Relations and PhD from a United Kingdom university.

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