Monday, 31 December 2018

Drama As Buhari Declines To Write Comments On Shagari's Condolence Register

It was drama yesterday in Sokoto as President Muhammadu Buhari wrote only his name and date in the condolence register in honour of former President Shehu Shagari, who passed on Friday and was buried on Saturday. Shagari, who died at 93, was President of Nigeria between 1979 and 1983. He was overthrown in a coup d’état that brought in Buhari to power as military head of state, three months after he (Shagari) was sworn in for a second term.

Although the President had, on Saturday, paid tribute to the late former president through a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, he wrote only his name – M. Buhari – and date – 30/12/ 2018 in the condolence register, when he visited the Sama road, Sokoto residence of Shagari to condole with members of his family.

Buhari, who was accompanied on the visit by Governors Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto) and Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Senator Aliyu Wamakko and Sokoto State deputy governor, Alhaji Mannir Dan-Iya, among others, however, presented a letter of condolence to the family, which was read by Tambuwal, who rode in the same car with him.

But, former President Goodluck Jonathan, wrote in the condolence register: “I called with King A. J. Turner, Hon Tobias James, former governor of Anambra State and now the PDP vice presidential candidate, Peter Obi, to condole with the family and state on the death of our former president. “H. E. Alhaji Shagari was a man with pure heart. He was a good leader who meant well for our country. He served in various capacities and made significant contribution to the growth and development of Nigeria.

He did his best as a president from 1979-1983. May his soul rest in peace.” Buhari’s visit was cheered by a crowd chanting: “Nigeria Sai Maigaskiya” meaning Nigeria is for a truthful person. The President joined sympathisers and family members to offer special prayers led by the Chief Imam/Administrator of the National Mosque, Prof. Shehu Galadanchi, for the repose of Shagari’s soul. Promising to immortalize Shagari, Buhari said through the condolence letter read by Tambuwal that the Federal Government will, in due course, institute a suitable memorial to immortalize the late president.

The letter further read: “I received the very sad news of the passing away of Alhaji Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. “This, indeed, is a grievous loss, which will be felt throughout Nigeria, irrespective of any difference. The late Alhaji Shagari was a landmark figure, being virtually our last link to the post-independence government of Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, and the first elected Executive President of Nigeria. “Please convey to his immediate family, the government and the people of Sokoto State my heartfelt condolences on the passing away of this great statesman.

Source:New Telegraph

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