The Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, yesterday expressed sadness over the death of former President Shagari, describing him as the last of the First and Second Republic titans.
In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Ilorin, Saraki described the late Shagari as a man of peace who dedicated the greater part of his life to the service of the fatherland.
He noted that Shagari would be remembered for his immense contributions to the political and socio-economic development of the country as well as his peaceful disposition.
He also commiserated with the immediate and larger family of the deceased, the government and people of Sokoto State, and the entire country over the loss of the former President, saying: “Let’s be consoled by the fact that Alhaji Shagari lived his life in the service of God and country.”
“My family and I join the entire nation to mourn the passing of former President, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, who led our nation during the Second Republic.
“He was a quintessential public servant, having served in seven cabinet positions and as a legislator.
“He was the first elected President who was Chief Executive of the country. He dedicated his best years in the service of our nation and its people and will be dearly missed.
“He was a man who worked for the unity of Nigeria and stabilised the country during the 50 months of the Second Republic despite the challenges of the then new presidential system of government operated by the country.
“Since his exit from power, he has remained a silent beacon of strength for the country,” the Senate President stated.
He prayed Allah to grant the soul of the late former President a place among the righteous ones in Aljannah Firdaus and his family, loved ones and the entire country the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Edo State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, joined the mourners of the former Nigerian President yesterday, saying that he played an active role in the growth and development of Nigeria.
Until his death, Obaseki noted, Shagari rendered invaluable support to successive administrations for the upliftment of the country.
He said: “It is with great sadness that I received the news of the passing of former President Alhaji Shehu Shagari.
“As an elder statesman, Shagari maintained a rather quiet and simple lifestyle and was always available to advise the nation’s leaders.
“I commiserate with his family, the government and people of Sokoto State on his passing, and pray that God grants them the fortitude to bear the loss.”
The governor said it was quite regrettable that Nigeria was losing someone like the former president at a time the country needed his wisdom and experience to forge ahead and build a more united nation.