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Bangsamoro 'Wali' dies, 81

BANGSAMORO NEWS UPDATES • 10:00 AM Mon Feb 6, 2023
Nash B. Maulana
Shiek Khalifa Nando, Bangsamoro “Wali” (Photo from BARMM)

COTABATO CITY - THE Wali of the Bangsamoro Government passed away at a hospital in Davao on Sunday. Sheikh Khalifa Nando was 81, his family said.

The title Wali is an elder guardian of the top level of leadership of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), as provided under Republic Act 11054, the Bangsamoro Organic Law. 

“Wali” in Arabic means “guardian” or “custodian” or “protector.”

His remains were brought to his house in Barangay Kayaga, Buluan in Maguindanao del Sur, a few kilometers from the town proper, where he was interred in simple Islamic ceremonies.

Omar Ampatuan, the son in-law of the Wali said Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim had asked Nando’s family for the joint-hosting of friends and relatives in a tribute gathering at a place and date to be announced later.

Nando, a graduate of the Al-Azhar University in Cairo in the early 1960s co-founded the Moro Islamic Liberation Front with Ustadz Salamat Hashim along with several others, who like him, have become permanent members of the MILF Central Committee.

People who knew him closely described him as soft-spoken, gentle with words even in his conduct of public dialogue.

“It is with a deep sense of loss that we express our condolences and sympathy to the family of Shiek Khalifa Nando, the Wali of the Bangsamoro on his return to the mercy of Allah today. The Wali is the symbolic Head of the Bangsamoro Government and his demise is a loss not only to his family but to the entire Bangsamoro nation,” BARMM spokesman Naguib Sinarimbo said.

Sinarimbo said Shiek Khalifa was one of the pioneers, together with some students in Cairo, Egypt of “modern day Bangsamoro resistance against oppression and injustices. He led some of the most epic efforts in strengthening the Bangsamoro resistance movement and a constant source of wisdom and advize in the transition to peace and governance of the MILF.”

The Wali, Sinarimbo said, had been very active “even during these past few months in carrying out his role as symbolic head of the Bangsamoro Government and in visiting Bangsamoro communities in the islands and even in northern Luzon.”

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