Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari Friday commiserated with the family of Prof. Emmanuel Edozien, the Economic Adviser to former President Shehu Aliyu Shagari, who passed on at the age of 82.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said Buhari joined friends and associates in mourning the renowned economist, businessman and boardroom guru, whose contributions to nation building, both in the private and public sector, he said, would always be remembered.
“As an academic, the President salutes Prof. Edozien’s commitment to a studious life and many years of research on issues that directly impact on lives, praying that his invaluable investments in humanity will continue to resonate.
“President Buhari prays for peaceful rest for the soul of the departed, and God’s comfort for the family,” the statement said.
At the height of the perceived mismanagement of the economy in 1982, the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the presidential candidate of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) at the August 1979 election, had written Shagari, who was ruling on the platform of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN), that the economy was in bad shape and advised Shagari to do something about it.
But Edozien fired a salvo, dismissing Awolowo’s submission as baseless.
According to him, the economy of Nigeria was as solid as the rock of Gibraltar. Shagari, in his reaction, described Awolowo as a prophet of doom.
But convinced of what he was saying, Awolowo said he could bear with Shagari who was not an economist for trivialising his call, but added that the claim of Edozien, a notable economist, that nothing was wrong with the economy was unacceptable.
Therefore, he challenged him to an open debate on the state of the economy.