Former military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, has eulogised former President Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari, saying he was a detribalised Nigerian.
Babangida also said in a condolence message on the death of Shagari, released on Friday night, that the deceased was also a democrat and bridge builder.
In the message, which he personally signed, Babangida extolled the virtues of the first civilian president in the Second Republic, saying: “Shehu Shagari was a great patriotic leader and an accomplished gentleman, at first a teacher, an administrator, a technocrat and an honest decent unassuming simple Nigerian Leader.
“He will be remembered for his tolerance and politics of peace without bitterness. President Shehu Shagari was a nationalist who never showed any discrimination due to ethnicity or religion and was a very dependable bridge builder.”
The former military president said: “To keep his (Shagari) memory alive Nigerian politicians and indeed all fellow Nigerians must put to practice all his ideals of peace and party politics without rancour, irrespective of any form of provocation.”
Babangida, therefore, urged all persons vying for political office “to emulate him and keep alive the political principles of the late Turakin Sokoto, Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari, the quintessential public servant who was Beckoned to Serve”.
General Babangida prayed for the repose of the soul of the deceased and urged “the entire nation, his Family, Sokoto State and indeed the Sokoto Caliphate will accept his passing with equanimity”.