By Henry Umoru
PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan and erstwhile military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, Wednesday, mourned the late Admiral Augustus Aikhomu as a patriot who put his interest in the service of the nation. Babangida in his reaction said it was shocking that the man who shared his vision for Nigeria died amidst the joy of his seventieth birthday.
A statement by the Presidency stated: “President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has received, with shock and sadness, the news of the death of Admiral Augustus Aikhomu, Rtd, Nigeria’s Chief of General Staff from 1986 to 1993.
Admiral Aikhomu’s life was defined by the values of hard work and commitment; he was a conscientious and dutiful officer who was in all respects admirably equipped for his roles in the military and in the larger society. Even in retirement, Admiral Aikhomu continued to offer his services to Nigeria.”
Babangida in his reaction in a statement issued on his behalf by his spokesman, Prince Kassim Afegbua, Babangida said: “I have lost a confidant, the nation has lost a patriot and Africa has lost a complete gentleman.
The timing of his death brings to me double jeopardy, while I am supposed to be celebrating the joy of my birthday, the sudden death of my close and highly dependable ally has jolted me out of my innermost sensibility.”
I am at pain to render this condolence because Augustus as I fondly called him was not just a friend, a professional colleague, a dependable ally, but was also a brother, a confidant and highly reliable and trusted Nigerian who gave me and the government we ran the fullest loyalty that anyone can show.”