By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed great sadness at the news of the passing of the First Executive President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari. President Buhari said, “On behalf of my family, the government and the people of Nigeria, it is with immense sadness that I received the news of the passing away of the First Executive President of Nigeria, Alhaji Shehu Shagari which event happened Friday in Abuja.” The President in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina in Abuja described the death as the departure of a patriot whose life of service and humility was widely acknowledged.
President Buhari recalled part of the birthday message he (Buhari) sent to him last February when he said, “we are enthralled and regaled with the many years of unequalled patriotism, sacrifices and contributions to national development. More specifically, we celebrate the role-modelling qualities of integrity, diligence and humility that have been the hallmark of your visionary leadership.”
President Buhari said he was however, grateful to God that Alhaji Shagari lived to a ripe age and led an exemplary life, which he urged Nigerians of all walks of life to emulate.
Shagari Was the Last of the First and Second Republic Titans — Saraki
President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has expressed sadness over the death of the first elected President of Nigeria, Alhaji Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari who he described as the last of the First and Second Republic titans.
Saraki in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Ilorin, described the late Shagari as a man of peace who dedicated the greater part of his life to the service of the fatherland.
He noted that Shagari would be remembered for his immense contributions to the political and socio-economic development of the country as well as his peaceful disposition.
He also commiserated with the immediate and larger family of the deceased, the government and people of Sokoto State, and the entire country over the loss of the former President as he stated that: “let’s be consoled by the fact that Alhaji Shagari lived his life in the service of God and country.”
“My family and I join the entire nation to mourn the passing of former President, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, who led our nation during the Second Republic. He was a quintessential public servant; having served in seven cabinet positions and as a legislator. He was the first elected President who was Chief Executive of the country. He dedicated his best years in the service of our nation and its people and will be dearly missed.
“He was a man who worked for the unity of Nigeria and stabilized the country during the 50 months of the Second Republic despite the challenges of the then new presidential system of government operated by the country. Since his exit from power, he has remained a silent beacon of strength for the country”, the Senate President stated. He prayed Allah to grant the soul of the late former President a place among the righteous ones in Aljannah Firdaus and his family, loved ones and the entire country the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
We’ve lost a sage, democrat, Says Ekweremadu
The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has expressed deep grief over the death of the Second Republic President, Alhaji Shehu Shagari.
Ekweremadu described the death as “a heavy loss to the nation”, noting that the late politician was a “sage, democrat, and statesman”.
Writing on his social media handles @iamekweremadu, the Senator said: “I received with a heavy heart the news of the passing on the Second Republic President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Shehu Shagari.
“He was a democrat by nature, orientation, and conviction. He was a patriot per excellence, an elder statesman, bridge-builder, servant-leader, and an epitome of humility, who served the nation and humanity most creditably. In and out of office, Alhaji Shagari clothed the Office of the President with decorum and social grace”. Senator Ekweremadu said although the late elder statesman lived to a ripe age of 93, “his wealth of experience and treasury of wisdom would still have been most invaluable in our quest to build the Nigeria of our dreams”.
“I, therefore, send heartfelt condolences to his family, the Government and good people of Sokoto State, President Muhammadu Buhari, and the nation over this irreparable loss. May God grant his soul eternal repose”, he concluded.
Shagari’s passage a sad loss to Nigeria — Wike
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has described the passage of Alhaji Shehu Shagari as a sad loss to the entire country.
In a condolence message on Friday Night, Governor Wike commiserated with the government and people of Sokoto State over the death of the eminent statesman. Governor Wike said President died at a time the entire nation would have benefited from his guidance during an important election circle.
He said that Late Former President Shehu Shagari would be remembered for his patriotic contributions to the development of the country.
Shagari was an active political player, says Amosun
The Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, described the death as the passing of an age in the history of Nigeria. He described the former President as an active political player.
Amosun, in a statement on Friday by his Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Mr. Rotimi Durojaiye, said Shagari had left a most significant stamp in the courageous defence of the country. While praying for the repose of his soul, Amosun said Shagari would be missed by the country and Africa in general. “He was a peacemaker, nation-builder, opinion leader, defender of history and stood with his people till his last breath,” Amosun said.
Jonathan mourns Shagari, says he was a nation builder with a good heart
Former Nigerian President Dr.Goodluck Jonathan has condoled with the family of Alhaji Shehu Shagari and the people of Sokoto State over the demise of the nation’s Second Republic President, describing him as a nation builder who cemented a good relationship between the North and South.
Ex-President Jonathan stated this in a tribute to the nation’s first executive President, noting that Shagari was a patriot who placed service to humanity and fatherland above personal interest.
In a statement by Ikechukwu Eze, the former President’s spokesman, Dr. Jonathan further described Shagari as a nice man with a clean heart who was sincere and selfless in service.
He said: “Late President Shagari was a very nice man with a clean heart. As a President he was humble, sincere and selfless in service. He was in deed a true democrat who left no one in doubt about his loyalty to his country, love for peace, desire for unity and vision for a greater Nigeria.
“Shagari was an exceptional leader and exemplary statesman whose modesty, commitment to common good and deep sense of patriotism will continue to inspire many generations of Nigerians. He will be remembered as a teacher, parliamentarian and President whose model of service was anchored on diligence, broad-mindedness and humility.”
Shagari was an urbane politician — Obi
In his own reaction, the Vice Presidential candidate of the PDP, Mr. Peter Obi described the death of the former President, Alhaji Shehu Shagari as a national loss. Further, Obi said that Shagari’s efforts towards the progress of Nigeria through policies such as “Green Revolution” should spur younger politicians to always work for the good and progress of the country.
Describing Shagari as an urbane, humble, polished and tolerant politician, Obi called on Nigerians to emulate his life of service, patriotism and devotion to ennobling values.
Obaseki mourns Shagari
Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has also mourned the passing of former Nigerian President, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, whose death at the National Hospital, Abuja, was announced yesterday. Alhaji Shagari, aged 93 years, served as Nigeria’s President from 1979 to 1983.
A statement by the Special Adviser, Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie quoted the governor as saying that Shagari played an active role in the growth and development of Nigeria, and until his death, rendered invaluable support to successive administrations for the uplift of the country.
He quoted the governor as saying that “It is with great sadness that I received the news of the passing of former President, Alhaji Shehu Shagari. As an elder statesman, Shagari maintained a rather quite and simple lifestyle and was always available to advise the nation’s leaders. I commiserate with his family, the government and people of Sokoto State on his passing and pray that God grants them the fortitude to bear the loss.”
The governor noted that it was quite regrettable that Nigeria was losing someone like the former president at a time the country needed his wisdom and experience to forge ahead and build a more united nation. According to him, “The former President remains a major shaper of what Nigeria has become today.”
The gentlemanly president has gone Home —Ibori
In his own reaction, former Delta State Governor, Chief James Onanefe Ibori said that Shagari was a gentlemanly President who showed that power, no matter how mighty, could be used moderately. He showed us that a President was first of all a citizen just like every other Nigerian and was only a President to serve the cause of the citizenry.
He said that Nigerians should do well to learn the right lessons that abound in the life of Shagari. Even after leaving office on the first day of 1994, he maintained a dignity that was uncommon in our shores. He gave his advice to the nation or the leaders when it was necessary, always desirous of pointing out the right way in every matter, never forgetting for once that as a man who was voted into the exalted office of the President, the nation had become his constituency.