Lagos – The national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on Friday described late Alhaji Shehu Shagari as a statesman, patriot and political stabiliser who served the country well in different capacities.
Shagari, Nigeria’s second Republic president, died on Friday at the National Hospital, Abuja after a brief illness.
He was 93 years old.
In a statement issued by his Media Officer, Mr Tunde Rahman in Lagos, Tinubu said that Shagari, who entered politics in 1951, served the country in different capacities and served well.
He said that late Shagari particularly helped in advancing the country ‘s democracy and had the temperament for good leadership.
”Former President Shehu Shagari was a decent man and a statesman, who believed in and worked for the unity of this country.
”He served Nigeria in different capacities – administrator, provincial secretary, House of Representatives member, minister in several ministries and president – and in each capacity he did excellently well.
“He contributed his quota to the growth and development of the country.
”In the Second Republic, as the first executive president, his was a moderating voice, a stabilising factor.
”Even within the defunct NPN, with all its reputation, he was of a different type. He wore integrity on his collar like a badge of honour, ” he said.
Tinubu said that late Shagari’s background as a school teacher, his maturity and moderation helped to mould his politics.
“He was true and pure. He was humble and humane. He led a Spartan way of life. He was modest and unpretentious. Truthful and sincere. He was generally a good man.
“He saw the good qualities of his political opponent, late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, he gifted him the highest honor in the land, the GCFR award, ” he said.
Tinubu commiserated with his family, associates, Gov. Aminu Tambuwal, the government and people of Sokoto State.
”Although we never wish our elders leave us, it is nonetheless pleasing that President Shagari left us at an advanced age.
”My condolences to his family and associates. Our prayer is that Almighty Allah grant him Aljannah Fridaus.
”May He also grant the family the strength to live without him and to carry on with President Shagari’s legacies of commitment to national unity and excellence in service.
“I commiserate with Governor Aminu Tambuwal, the government and people of Sokoto State. I commiserate with the Muslim Ulamma in Nigeria and the world.
“May our country be blessed with more of people like President Shagari, ” Tinubu said. (NAN)