FG Promises to Immortalise Shagari

  • SGF to head committee to determine honour

By Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Sokoto disclosed federal government’s plan to institute a suitable memorial for the immortalisation of the Nigeria’s first democratically-elected President, Alhaji Shehu Shagari.

Shagari passed on last Friday at the National Hospital, Abuja at 93.

Buhari, according to a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, made the promise when he paid a condolence visit to the family of the late former president.

According to Adesina, the president’s promise was contained in a letter addressed to Sokoto State governor, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, and read by the governor at the event.

The letter, according to Adesina, 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 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.

“The federal government will in due course institute a suitable memorial to the late former president.

“May his soul rest in peace.”

Although the president did not state the nature of the immortalisation, a top presidential source told THISDAY in confidence that it was not the sole responsibility of the president to immediately come up with how Shagari would be immortalised.

According to him, the president would later hand the responsibility to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, who in collaboration with a team led by the SGF would eventually recommend how the late ex-president would be immortalised.