Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja, Seriki Adinoyi in Jos and Femi Ogbonnikan in Abeokuta
Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) on Monday revealed how the former Minister of Internal Affairs, Senator John Shagaya, died in a road accident.
Shagaya, retired Brigadier-General, died last Sunday in an auto crash along Langtang-Pankshin Road in Plateau State.
In a statement, FRSC spokesperson, Bisi Kazeem, confirmed that the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain was on his way to Jos when his vehicle crashed into a tree at 2:25p.m.
Kazeem said FRSC Corps Marshal, Boboye Oyeyemi, had given his condolences to the family “while appealing to other motorists to always avoid whatever could cause mishap on the highways.”
He said: “An FRSC team from Langtang Unit Command was at the scene of the crash almost immediately after the crash.
“He was travelling in a Toyota Land Cruiser SUV with his driver and an orderly from the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
“Preliminary report indicated that the driver lost control and hit a tree making the General to sustain a head injury that eventually led to his death.
“The two injured aides of the late General are currently in Pankshin General Hospital while the corpse of Shagaya has been deposited at the Air Force Hospital Mortuary in Jos.”
Shagaya served as minister of internal affairs under military President Ibrahim Babangida, and represented Plateau South in the senate from 2007-2011.
He was recently appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari as Chairman of the Board of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) in Kuru near Jos.
Meanwhile, more eulogies have continued to be poured on the late former minister as former, President Olusegun Obasanjo, Speaker of the House of Representatives Hon. Yakubu Dogara, Plateau State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong, and his predecessor, Senator Jonah David Jang, have described his passage as tragic.
Obasanjo described as shocking, the death of Shagaya.
In a condolence letter written to Governor Lalong, a copy of which was made available to journalists in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, through his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, Obasanjo noted that the late military administrator served his country meritoriously.
According to him, “I was shocked to receive the sad news of the tragic death of Shagaya.”
The former president 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.
“He will be surely missed by his family members, his community, his state, friends and former colleagues in the military circle.
“May his soul rest in perfect peace and may God console his family, friends and peers,” Obasanjo stated in the letter.
On his part, Dogara in a statement issued by his Special Adviser Media & Public Affairs, Turaki Hassan, described Shagaya as a fine gentleman, reputable elder statesman, distinguished lawmaker and accomplished military officer.
The Speaker who described the late Shagaya’s death as a big loss to Nigeria, said his generation fought to keep Nigeria together.
“We will continue to remember his sacrifices as a military officer who fought in the civil war to keep Nigeria one.”
“We console with his the Shagaya family, people and government of Plateau State over this irreparable loss.”
Also Lalong in as statement signed by his Director of Press, Emmanuel Samuel Nanle, said he received with a grief stricken heart, “the news of the demise of Shagaya, which sad event occurred as a result of a fatal motor accident, on his way back from his home town in Langtang North Local Government.
The governor described the 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 rob the state and country of the wealth of his experience garnered over the years of his meritorious professional military, public service and Business career.
Similarly, Jang, in a letter of condolence to Shagaya’s family, which he personally signed, expressed deep sense of grief over the untimely death of Shagaya, whom he described as an elder statesman, leader, and father to many across the country.
He lamented that, “His demise at a time the country needs his extensive experience and counsel, is especially painful considering his recent efforts toward addressing the seeming incessant killings going on within the Middle-Belt by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
“On behalf of my family, well-wishers, and the people of Plateau North senatorial zone, I am with you throughout this difficult moment of bereavement. May God comfort you, the Taroh nation, the government and people of Plateau State, and the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the letter added.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) expressed sadness over the death of Shagaya,
In a statement issued yesterday by the APC’s National Publicly Secretary , Malam .Bolaji Abdullahi, described the Shagaya as a staunch party man and former Minister of Internal Affairs between 1985 and 1990.
The party condoled with the family of the deceased, the government and people of Plateau State over the sad loss of the statesman who passed on at the weekend following a fatal motor accident.