By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Marie-Therese Nanlong & Daud Olatunji
ABEOKUTA—Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Ex-Military President, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (retd), Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, and other eminent Nigerians have described as shocking, Sunday’s death of a former military administrator and National Assembly member, Senator John Shagaya.
Others who lamented his death are Minister of Interior, General Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd) and former Sports Minister, Chief Damishi Sango and former governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, as well as All Progressives Congress, APC.
Obasanjo through his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, yesterday in a condolence letter to the Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong, noted that, “I was shocked to receive the sad news of tragic death of Senator John Shagaya.”
The former President eulogized the late politician for having “served his country meritoriously as a soldier, a military administrator and a lawmaker.”
On his part, IBB said: “I received with great shock the sudden demise of one of the brilliant retired military officers, General John Shagaya this Sunday from a ghastly motor accident. Late General Shagaya until his death had been an ardent supporter of the unity of Nigeria as a nation and a peace builder irrespective of ethnicism, tribalism and religious bigotry
Similarly, Governor Lalong in a statement by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Emmanuel Nanle said he received “with a grief stricken heart, the news of the demised of Distinguished Senator, General John Shagaya (retd), which sad event occurred as a result of a fatal motor accident, on his way back from his home town in Langtang North Local Government on Sunday, the 11th of February, 2018.
Also, APC while describing him as “a staunch party man and former Minister of Internal Affairs between 1985 and 1990”, in a statement by its spokesman, Bolaji Abdullahi, recalled Gen. Shagaya’s “excellent service during his sub-regional assignment as Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group ECOMOG Commander.
For General Dambazau, late Shagaya was a statesman and a national icon, who contributed immensely to nation-building both as a military professional and a politician.
Ezeife in a condolence message in Abuja, said: “I am pained very discouragingly by the death of John Shagaya. He is one of the very few who think Nigerian and would not hesitate to call a spade a spade. From the North, he was in league with Lamido, the Emir of Kano, Balarabe Musa of Kaduna, most of the time, Dangiwa Umar.”
Similarly, Chief Sango, described late Shagaya as “One of the brightest stars Plateau ever produced. It is difficult to believe that my good friend, Shagaya is gone. He was a very fine military man and a very bold and frank politician.”