The Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN) has commiserated with the family of the first Executive President of Nigeria, Alhaji Shehu Aliyu Shagari, who passed on Friday.
In a statement signed by the party’s Director General for the 2019 Presidential Campaign, Mr. Lanre Oyegbola and the ANN’s Presidential Candidate, Mr. Fela Durotoye, described the death of the second republic president as a fatal blow to the country.
Describing the late Shagari as a leader per excellence, he said the former president was a democrat who contributed immensely to the political and economic development of Nigeria in no small measure. He said that his fatherly advice and experience would have been more useful especially as Nigeria moves closer to another general elections.
Durotoye also condoled with the people of Sokoto State, including the Governor, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, and asked God to give those he left behind the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
The nonagenarian, whom many described as a technocrat and an unassuming Nigerian, reportedly died while he was receiving medication at the National Hospital, Abuja.
The presidential candidate, however, urged Nigerian politicians to emulate Shagari’s sterling qualities, whom he said played politics without bitterness or hatred. He said the deceased was a dependable bridge builder who fought for peace and tolerance across religions and ethnic groups.
“Nigeria and indeed Africa has lost a statesman and democrat. He was patriotic, transparent, honest, selfless and fair to all.” Durotoye said. He said the types of Shagari were now scarce in today’s politics, especially those in different public offices.
Born on February 25th, 1925, Shagari served as the first Executive President of Nigeria in the Second Republic (1979–1983), following the handover of power by the military government under General Olusegun Obasanjo. But before then he had served as a cabinet minister and federal commissioner, respectively.