By Henry Umoru
ABUJA—THE Senate, Wednesday, urged the Federal Government to immortalize former Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group, ECOMOG, Commander and ex- Senator who represented Plateau South, General John Shagaya, by naming a national monument in his honour.
The Senate, which also observed a minute silence in honour of their former colleague, resolved to send a high powered delegation of lawmakers to condole with the family, the people and government of Plateau State.
Resolutions of the Senate yesterday were sequel to a motion by Senator Jeremiah Useni, PDP, Plateau South, entitled, Demise of Senator John Nanzip Shagaya OFR (2nd September, 1942 – 11th February, 2018).”
It was co-sponsored by Senators Jang Jonah David (Plateau North)?; Joshua Dariye Chibi (Plateau Central); Theodore A. Orji (Abia Central); Barnabas Gemade (Benue North-East: Akume George (Benue North West) and Shuaibu Lau (Taraba North).
Presenting the motion, Senator Useni said: “The Senate notes with heavy heart and a deep sense of loss, the demise of Senator John Nanzip Shagaya, former senior military officer who was involved in a ghastly motor accident on the 11th of February, 2018 while returning to Jos from Langtang;
“It notes also that Senator John Shagaya was born on September, 2nd 1942 to Mallam Sikji Miri Wazhi (alias Shagaya) and Mrs. Maryamu Zwancit. He attended Junior Primary School at Nyer, and Sudan United Mission Primary School, Langtang and later the Nigeria Military School (N.M.S) Zaria between 1960-1964;
“The Senate notes further that Senator John Shagaya after graduation, was posted to 3 Marine Commando when he gained his commission as Second Lieutenant. He participated with the Marine Commando in the Nigeria Civil War (1967–1970).
”His later appointments included Grade Three staff officer-Nigeria Army School of Infantry, Jaji, Director of Cadets-Nigerian Defence Academy, Director-Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, Brigade Commander-9 Mechanized Infantry Brigade, Military Secretary-Army Headquarters, and General Officer Commanding-1st Mechanized Infantry Division.
“Senate is aware that under the Military government of General Ibrahim Babangida, Shagaya was Federal Minister of Internal Affairs, a member of the Armed Forces Ruling Council and a member of the Police Council. He also served as Chairman of the committee set up in 1987 to decide on Nigeria’s membership of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, OIC.”
“It is aware also that through dint of hard work, dedication and commitment to professionalism, Senator John Nanzip Shagaya was appointed Field Commander in the ECOMOG Peacekeeping Force in Liberia in September 1993, relieving Major General Tunji Olurin;
“It notes that he was elected Senator on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in April 2007 to represent Plateau South Senatorial District and served as the Vice Chairman, Committee on Solid Minerals. He sponsored the National Climate Change Commission Bill.
“It observes that Senator John Shagaya was a proud Awardee of National and several prestigious military awards such as: Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR); ECOWAS Distinguished Service Medal; Republic of Liberia’s Distinguished Service Star Nigerian Armed Forces Medal; Distinguished Service Star;
“Observes that as Chief of Army Staff, he doggedly canvassed and undertook reforms aimed at preserving apolitical Army with a deep sense of professionalism. It is on record that he did not accept any political appointment throughout his work life;
“Aware that his demise is a great loss to the people of Plateau South Senatorial District in particular, Plateau State and Nigeria, and the West African sub-region at large;
“Convinced that late Senator John Shagaya was indeed a great man who served Nigeria with everything he had. He gave his all both in his youth and old age to the service of Nigeria and thus deserves to be accorded the utmost national respect even in death.”