By Adekunle Aliyu and Henry Umoru
ABUJA- SENATE President, Dr. Bukola Saraki has described the late former President of Nigeria, Alhaji Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari as the last of the first and second Republic titans.
Also the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, mourned former president , Alhaji Shehu Aliyu Usman Shagari.
Saraki who expressed sadness over the death of the first elected President of Nigeria, Shagari, however described the late Elder statesman as a man of peace who dedicated the greater part of his life to the service of the fatherland
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Ilorin, Saraki 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.
Nigeria has lost a father, true democrat – Dogara
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu , has mourned former president , Alhaji Shehu Aliyu Usman Shagari.
Dogara in a condolence message to Nigerians, stated that the former president was a true democrat and an icon of transparency.
“We have lost a father, man of peace, true democrat, patriot and a nationalist.
“He led an exemplary life of service to God and country worthy of emulation, he was a president for all Nigerians irrespective of tribe, religion or region.
“President Shagari led Nigeria with dignity and honour and respected the independence of the legislature and judiciary in the second republic under the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN).
He was a bridge builder and one of the major highlights of his presidency was the alliance he formed between the NPN and the Nigerian Peoples Party (NPP) in accordance with his politics of give and take.
“His demise is a big loss to Nigeria and all lovers of democracy on the African continent.
“When anti-democratic forces truncated his government, President Shagari took it in good faith and continued to play the role of an elder statesman and father without grudge or bitterness.
“His death came at a time we are in dire need of his elderly wisdom and counsel as we navigate the most challenging pace as a nation.
“We extend our heartfelt condolences to his immediate family, especially his eldest son, Hon Aminu Shagari, who is our colleague in the House of Representatives, the people of Sokoto state, the Sultanate Council and government of Sokoto over this irreparable loss.