President Muhammadu Buhari, former President Olusegun Obasanjo as well as former Abia State governor, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, among others, have expressed sadness over the accident which killed former Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) Commander, former Internal Affairs minister, Senator John Shagaya.
In a tribute by president Buhari, he described the late Shagaya as as a great Nigerian whose legacies will live on in the patriotic work he did as a military officer, who rose to the position of a General and a distinguished senator, who ably represented Plateau South senatorial district.
The president said this in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, yesterday.
Hr also noted that at each step of his distinguished career in national service and politics, “General Shagaya brought his deep convictions and discipline to national, regional and community assignments and was ready to always offer his best to the development and stability of the country.”
On his part, Obasanjo described Shagaya’s death as shocking, in a condolence letter to Plateau State governor, Simon Bako Lalong, a copy which was made available to newsmen, through his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, yesterday.
He further eulogised the late politician for having “served his country meritoriously as a soldier, a military administrator and a lawmaker before he died after a tragic road accident.
Meanwhile, Kalu has expressed sadness over Shagaya’s demise.
He described the deceased as easy going, urbane and dependable, and acknowledged the contributions of the late general to nation-building in different capacities.
The former governor stressed that the late chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was an invaluable asset to the party, especially in Plateau state.
In a statement signed by his Special Adviser, Kunle Oyewumi, Kalu added that he will be remembered for his outstanding qualities.
He said: “I was shocked and pained to receive the news of the demise of General John Shagaya. The deceased was a patriotic Nigerian who built relationships across the nation. He was compassionate, humble and charismatic. The late senator served the country passionately and diligently in various positions. His good legacies will continue to speak for him.
“Our prayers and thoughts are with the entire Shagaya family, during this difficult time.”
The former governor enjoined the deceased’s family to take solace in the fact that their patriarch lived a purposeful life and left behind remarkable legacies.
He commiserated with the government and people of Plateau ztate and the APC and prayed for the repose of Shagaya’s soul.
Also, the APC has commiserated with his family, the government and people of Plateau state over the sad loss of Shagaya.
“We recall his excellent service during his sub-regional assignment as ECOMOG commander. The late Shagaya also had distinguished tenures as minister during the General Ibrahim Babangida military regime and senator between 2007 and 2011, when he moved several motions and initiated bills for the good of the country.
“Indeed, the passage of Shagaya is a great loss to the country, but, we are consoled by the fact that he had a meaningful and impactful life as a soldier, an administrator and lately as a politician, who was driven by the virtues of unity, patriotism, and selflessness…”
In Shagaya’s home state of Plateau, residents were thrown into mourning when news of his death hit town.
Governor Simon Lalong, in a statement by the Director of Press and Public Affairs, Emmanuel Nanle, said the sadden event, which occurred on Sunday, February 11 was shocked and disheartening.
He described Shagaya’s death as “a painful reality that the state will live to contend with; essentially that the vacuum it has created in the top advisory echelon will rub the state and nation of the wealth of experience garnered over the years.
“The governor, in this moment of deep grief surrounding the Shagaya’s family, the Taroh Nation and many friends and associates of the late General, wishes to extend his deepest condolences and assurances of prayers for God’s comforting grace, on behalf of his family, the government and good people of Plateau state.”
Newsmen visited the family’s residence in Jos and observed how sympathisers, relations, military and political associates, visited to condole with the family.
A condolence register has also been opened.
for people to beat him farewell.