From Dianabasi Effiong
Former Nigeria’s Military Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, has expressed his condolences to the family of the first civilian President of Nigeria, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, who died on Dec. 28. Shagari passed on at the National Hospital after protracted illness, according to media reports.
Babangida said the deceased would be remembered for his tolerance and politics of peace without bitterness, adding that Shagari’s ideals of peace and party politics without rancour, should be emulated by Nigerians.
He stated: “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.”
“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,” he stated.
Babangida expressed his condolences in a statement he endorsed and made available to journalists on Friday in Minna.
Babangida urged all those vying for political office to emulate him and keep alive the political principles of the late Turakin Sokoto, whom he described as the quintessential public servant 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,” Babangida stated.