President Muhammadu Buhari and Former Nigerian ruler, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida have expressed sadness at the passing away of Alhaji Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari.
Shagari, the First Executive President of Nigeria, died on Friday, December 28.
He died at the National Hospital in Abuja after a brief illness.
In his message, President Buhari described Shagari as an unparalleled patriotic leader.
Similarly, a former military ruler, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida has said Nigeria and Africa as a whole have lost a great leader.
IBB said Shagari will be remembered for his tolerance and politics of peace without bitterness.
He described Shagari as a statesman and democrat full of wisdom, counsel, honesty, and transparency.
Below are the full official statements of President Buhari and IBB.
“PRESIDENT SHAGARI WAS A MAN OF UNPARALLELED PATRIOTISM AND HUMILITY – PRESIDENT BUHARI
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed great sadness at the news of the passing away 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 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 is however, grateful to God that Alhaji Shagari lived to a ripe age and led an exemplary life, which he urges Nigerians of all walks of life to emulate.
“Nigerians held him in the highest esteem even when he was out of office until his demise and will forever miss his wise counsels.”
He prayed that Almighty God will comfort the family of the ex-president and all those who mourn him and will grant the soul of the late nonagerian eternal rest.
Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)
December 28, 2018″
“IBB CONDOLENCE TO THE NATION ON THE PASSING OF PRESIDENT SHEHU USMAN ALIYU SHAGARI, GCFR
With deep heart and sympathies I wish to express my heartfelt condolences to the Family of the first civilian Executive President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Turakin Sokoto, Alhaji Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari, GCFR who passed on today, Friday, 28 December 2018 at the National Hospital after a protracted illness.
My heart and prayers go to his Family, the government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Sokoto Caliphate and Sokoto State.
Nigeria and indeed Africa has lost a statesman and democrat whose wisdom, counsel, presence and experience and his sterling qualities of honesty and transparency are needed in these very trying moments of our national life.
President Shehu Shagari was a great patriotic leader and an accomplished gentleman, at first a teacher, an administrator, a technocrat and an honest decent unassuming simple Nigerian Leader.
He will be remembered for his tolerance and politics of peace without bitterness. President Shehu Shagari was a nationalist who never showed any discrimination due to ethnicity or religion and was a very dependable bridge builder.
To keep his memory alive Nigerian politicians and indeed all fellow Nigerians must put to practice all his ideals of peace and party politics without rancour, irrespective of any form of provocation.
I urge all persons vying for political office to emulate him and keep alive the political principles of the late Turakin Sokoto, Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari, the quintessential public servant who was “Beckoned to Serve”.
I pray for the repose of his soul in Jannatul Firdaus. I pray that the entire nation, his Family, Sokoto State and indeed the Sokoto Caliphate will accept his passing with equanimity.
General Ibrahim Babangida, GCFR
Former President Federal Republic of Nigeria
Friday, 28 December 2018″