The Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) has paid tribute to the first Executive President of Nigeria,Alhaji Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari who attains 88 years of age on Monday, describing him as a statesman of uncommon pedigree.
Chairman of the forum and Governor of Niger State, Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu said, as Nigeria’s first Executive President, Shagari demonstrably advertised probity and accountability and placed topmost premium on the values and virtues of Constitutional democracy.
In a statement signed by Aliyu’s Chief Press Secretary, Danladi Ndayebo, the forum said Shagari’s life symbolizes a rejection of the corrupting influences that usually distract leaders’ commitment to improving the lot of the common man.
“Shagari’s politics eschews bitterness. Even opponents concede that he is a disciplined man whose life symbolises a rejection of the corrupting influences that distracts the commitment of some leaders to improving the lot of the common man,” the statement said.
“The former Nigerian leader is a statesman of uncommon pedigree that we see as a tower of strength in the cause of liberty and our democracy. We identify with him as the greatest statesman around today. Shagari is not only the example that we all should follow, but he is truly a living legend,” the statement added.
The forum said Shagari left legacies in critical sectors of the economy: Nation-building and national reconciliation, Agriculture, national security, foreign policy, education, health and oil and gas development. Others are solid minerals development, tourism etc.
The forum said it is proud to be associated with the achievements of the former Nigerian leader,especially his contribution to the deepening of the nation’s democracy.
It then prayed God to grant former President Shagari excellent health, courage and many more years of selfless service to Nigeria and humanity.