The President has commiserated with the wife, children and relatives of the former Chief of General Staff, Vice Admiral Mike Akhigbe, who died on Monday.
In a press statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, President Goodluck Jonathan described the late Akhigbe as a courageous officer who served his country patriotically during his career in the armed forces.
President Jonathan also commiserated with the government and people of Edo state, where he hailed from, as well as the officers and men of the Nigerian Navy which Vice Admiral Akhigbe once led as Chief of Naval Staff.
The late Vice Admiral is reported to have battled cancer until he died at the age of 68 in the United States.
Akhigbe Served The Nation– Sambo
“On behalf of the Federal Government, Vice President, Mohammed Namadi Sambo, commiserates with the family, friends and well-wishers of the former Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Mike Akhigbe whose sad demise occurred on Monday in New York.
“Admiral Mike Akhigbe has served this nation selflessly. He was Governor, Chief of Naval Staff and the Chief of General Staff to the Military Administration that ensured the smooth transition from Military to a democratically elected government.”
“He was a disciplined military officer who rose to the peak of his profession by dint of hard work and commitment.
“As a statesman, his invaluable counsel will be greatly missed by us. Indeed his loss is a sad and great one to the country.
The Vice President prayed for the repose of the soul of the deceased and for God Almighty to give the family the courage and fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Akhigbe, A Gentleman– Tambuwal
Meanwhile, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, expressed shock and sadness over the death of former Chief of General Staff, retired Vice Admiral Mike Akhigbe.
In a statement issued in Abuja by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Malam Imam Imam, Tambuwal described Akhigbe as a gentleman officer whose contributions, and that of his peers, towards restoration of democracy in Nigeria in 1999 will remain indelible in the annals of Nigeria’s history.
He said Nigerians will forever remain grateful to the Abdulsalami Abubakar-led regime, which Akhigbe served as the Number 2 officer, for their diligence and commitment to ensuring the return of democracy to the country.
“Nigeria has lost one of its eminent sons. I extend my condolence to his family, Fuga community in Edo State, the Nigerian Navy and Nigerians as a whole,” the Speaker added.
Tambuwal also prayed to the Almighty God to give his family the fortitude to bear the great loss.