President Muhammadu Buhari and ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo have paid tribute to the late Lt-General Oladipo Diya who died in the early hours of Sunday.
In separate statements, President Buhari and Obasanjo hailed his exemplary character and commitment to the nation.
“The President recalls that Diya was known for his brilliance, exceptional organizational skills, and discipline, and he displayed these virtues in the important roles he held in office as a military officer,” presidential aide Femi Adesina said in a statement on behalf of his principal.
“The President salutes the former Chief of General Staff for his love, belief, and loyalty to the country he cherished so much and fought gallantly on the frontlines to defend her unity. On behalf of the Federal Government, the President extends heartfelt condolences to Diya’s family, friends, and colleagues.”
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For Obasanjo, the death of the former military governor of Ogun State has further depleted the nation’s leadership, according to a statement from the former president’s Special Assistant on Media Kehinde Akinyemi.
Obasanjo was quoted as describing the deceased “as a dedicated officer and a real patriot. From the thick of the Nigerian Civil War to the post-war re-organisation of the Army, he distinguished himself as a seasoned soldier.
“The rare diligence, loyalty, and resourcefulness with which he carried out his duties and responsibilities, culminated in his appointment as Commander 31, Airborne Brigade; Military Governor of Ogun State from January 1984 to August 1985; General Officer Commanding 82 Division, Nigeria Army in 1985; Commandant, National War College, 1991–1993; Chief of Defence Staff in 1993 and soon after, Chief of General Staff also in 1993; Vice Chairman of the Provisional Ruling Council in 1994 and later functioned as Nigeria’s Number Two man under the military administration of General Sani Abacha from 1994 to 1997.”
“I recall as a Military Governor of Ogun State, he made a tremendous mark through dedication to duty, loyalty to his fatherland, and an impeccable example of incorruptible leadership,” he added.
“He was courageous and quite a disciplinarian and a no-nonsense officer.”