President Muhammadu Buhari led other Nigerians in mourning the deceased Second Republic president yesterday.
In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President expressed great sadness at the news of the passing away of the ex-President.
“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 happened Friday in Abuja,” the statement said.
It described Shagari’s death as “the departure of a patriot whose life of service and humility was widely acknowledged.”
Buhari recalled part of the birthday message he sent to the late Shagari 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 said he was, 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,” the statement added.
The President prayed the Almighty God to comfort the family of the ex-president and all those who mourn him, and grant the soul of the late nonagenarian eternal rest.