President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered that flags should fly at half staff in military, para-military formations and public buildings as a mark of respect for former President Shehu Shagari who died on Friday, aged 93.
He was buried in Shagari, Sokoto on Saturday, in accordance with Islamic rites. A high-powered Federal Government delegation led by Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the Federation, attended.
President Buhari who yesterday described Shagari’s death as the departure of a patriot whose life of service and humility was widely acknowledged, said the flags should be lowered for three days, from tomorrow.
In a statement he personally signed, President Buhari declared: “The late President represented almost the last link with the government of our Founding Fathers under Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. He was also the first elected President of Nigeria.
“The late Alhaji Shagari was a man of many parts: teacher, local authority administrator, politician, minister, and finally President. He served his country with dedication and moderation.
“Over the years, through interaction at the Council of State, he and I came to understand and appreciate each other, whatever the differences we may have had in the past.
“On behalf of the Federal Government, myself and family, I send my condolences to the people of Nigeria, particularly to the late President’s family and the Government and people of Sokoto State. May his soul rest in peace.”
On Friday, President Buhari recalled part of the birthday message he sent to 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.”