Our Government will immortalize Shagari, says Buhari on condolence visit in Sokoto


File: From left: Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor of Kebbi State, Senator Atiku Bagudu and Captain Bala Shagari, when President Buhari pays condolence visit to the family home of former President Shehu Shagari in Sokoto on Sunday December 30, 2018.

President Muhammadu Buhari has promised that his government, in due course, will immortalise the country’s First Executive President, Alhaji Aliyu Usman Shehu Shagari, who died on Friday December 28, 2018, aged 93.

This was disclosed in Sokoto on Sunday by the President while paying a condolence visit to the Shagari family.

In a letter to the Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, read by the governor at the event, the President stated:

“I received the very sad news of the passing away of Alhaji Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“This, indeed, is a grievous loss, which will be felt throughout Nigeria, irrespective of any difference. The late Alhaji Shagari was a landmark figure being virtually our last link to the post-independence government of Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa , and the first elected Executive President of Nigeria.

“Please convey to his immediate family, the government and the people of Sokoto State my heartfelt condolences on the passing away of this great statesman.

“The Federal Government will in due course institute a suitable memorial to the late former President. May his soul rest in peace.”

President Buhari had arrived Sokoto State to condole with the family, people and government over the death of the former President.

The President was received at the Sultan Abubakar III Airport Sokoto by Governor Tambuwal, his deputy Manir Dan-Iya, Governor of Kebbi State Senator Atiku Bagudu, and former Governor of Sokoto State Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wammako.

Also on ground to receive the President were traditional and religious leaders as well as his admirers and supporters.

Buhari, who had earlier paid tribute to the late President, went to the family compound of the deceased in the Sokoto City to offer his condolences.

The president had on Saturday directed that the national flag and other flags should fly at half-mast in military and para-military formations as well as public buildings for three days, starting from today.

The president gave the directive in a statement personally signed by him and issued in Abuja by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.

“The late President represented almost the last link with the government of our founding fathers under Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. He was also the first elected President of Nigeria.

“The late Alhaji Shagari was a man of many parts, teacher, local authority administrator, politician, minister, and finally President. He served his country with dedication and moderation.

“Over the years through interaction at the Council of State, he and I came to understand and appreciate each other whatever the differences we may have had in the past.

“On behalf of the Federal Government, myself and family, I send my condolences to the people of Nigeria, particularly to the late President’s family and the government and people of Sokoto State. May his soul rest in peace.”

The remains of the former president, who died at the age of 93 on Friday at the National Hospital Abuja, was laid to rest at his village, Shagari on Saturday, according to Islamic rites.

Shagari was president from 1979 to 1983 and won second election before being dethroned by a coup d’etat that brought in Muhammadu Buhari as military head of state.

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