How Baru, NNPC’s 18th GMD, died 3 years after losing son, sister, mother


  • Buhari, Sylva, Kyari mourn


The immediate-past Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Maikanti Kachalla Baru, died three years after losing a son, mother and sister. He was 60.

His successor, Mallam Mele Kolo Kyari, who announced this in a Tweet, stated that Baru died at an Abuja hospital on the night of Friday, May 29.

He has been sick before then but an accompanying statement from NNPC stated that he died after a brief illness.

His death has attracted condolences from President Muhammadu Buhari and the minister of state for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, who collectively expressed sympathy with family and friends of the former Group Managing Director.

Kyari also extolled the virtues of the deceased.

“My brother, my friend and my mentor, Dr. Maikanti Kachalla Baru, immediate past GMD of NNPC died late last (Friday) night.

“He was an exemplary character and disposition. May Allah forgive him and have mercy upon him,” Kyari said.

Baru who, Kyari, described as a brother died would be buried according to Islamic rite.

A death too many

His (Baru’s) death is shocking, no doubt, but what is perhaps more tragic is that it is another tragedy in a string of tragedies in the Baru family.

Before he passed, he lost three immediate members of his family; his mother, sister and son —all in one year!

Mohammed, his son, died in May, 2017, while in Dubai. At the time, he was studying at the American University, Sharjah.

Baru lost him about two weeks after his sister died in the same month. The former NNPC GMD was preparing to depart Nigeria for the 2017 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Texa, United States, when death struck his sister.

Also, he was at the time still mourning Fatima Baru, his mother, who died in her hometown in Misau local government area of Bauchi state.

His mother passed away after a brief illness at the age of 102, leaving behind five children and over 50 grandchildren.

On July 8, 2019, Baru bowed out as the 18th GMD of the NNPC.

A goodbye forever!

At his valedictory session, he spoke of his high hopes for the NNPC and appreciated all those who supported him during his over 1,000 days in office.
While addressing guests at the event, Baru had told Kyari: “Every good parent wants to see his children be better than him; I can’t be better than you. The success of turning around the fortunes of NNPC is success for all of us.”
To the management team and staff of the NNPC, he had said: “Today is the perfect time for me to say goodbye and take my leave, as I watch and count the successes the corporation will be recording in years to come … long live NNPC, long live Federal Republic of Nigeria, bye bye for now.”
Baru breathed his last on May 29.

*Buhari, Sylva, Kyari mourn*

In a statement by Femi Adesina, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, the president praised Baru for his contribution to the oil sector and the NNPC, saying the former GMD ‘worked very hard to initiate reforms in virtually all departments of the of the corporation.’

The statement reads, “President Muhammadu Buhari condoles with family, friends and professional colleagues of former Group Managing Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Kachalla Baru.

The President also commiserated with the government and people of Bauchi State, management and staff of NNPC over the passing of the former GMD, who, he said, worked very hard to initiate reforms in virtually all departments of the corporation, bringing it up to speed with global trends and best practices.

“President Buhari acknowledges Dr Baru’s contributions to ensuring stability in the oil sector in Nigeria, with a more guaranteed supply and predictable price regime that weakened unscrupulous parallel marketers, especially during festive seasons.”

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, also yesterday joined teeming Nigerians to mourn the passing on of former Group Managing Director (GMD) of the NNPC Dr. Maikanti Kachalla Baru, who died at the age of 60 after a brief illness.

In a statement signed by the GGM/SA Media to the minister, Garba Muhammad, he described the late Baru as a technocrat who would be largely missed by the Oil And Gas community and the  Nation at large.

“The Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum (HMSP) H.E. Timipre Sylva received, with shock and sadness, the unfortunate news of the passing on of former Group Managing Director (GMD) of the NNPC Dr. Maikanti Kachalla Baru.

“The HMSP wishes to express his profound sympathies and condolences to late Baru’s family; and to friends and associates of the late Dr. Baru.”

*How 18th GMD died – NNPC*

The NNPC, a corporation Baru headed for three, also stated its regrets to announce the demise of its former GMD, Friday night.

“Dr. Baru, a consummate Mechanical Engineer, died after a brief illness,” NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs, Dr. Kennie Obateru stated this in a release on Saturday.

The release said NNPC Group Managing Director, Mallam Mele Kyari expressed shock over the sudden death of Dr. Baru who was the 18th Group Managing Director of the Corporation.

Mallam Kyari described him as a man ‘of exemplary character and disposition.’

Dr. Baru, 60, who was at the helm of the Corporation from July 4th 2016 to July 7th 2019 died after a brief illness in an Abuja hospital.


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