Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has described the death of the Alhaji Shehu Shagari, a former President, as a painful exit of a selfless statesman whose simple lifestyle was worthy of emulation.
This is contained in a statement issued on Sunday in Ibadan by Mr Bolaji Tunji, Special Adviser on Communication and Strategy to the governor.
Shagari, a former president of Nigeria in the second republic, died on Friday in Abuja at age 93 during a protracted illness.
Ajimobi said that Shagari had during his tenure as president shunned ostentatious standard of living and ruled the country with the fear of God in spite the relatively bouyant economy.
The governor said that the death of the former president would rob the country of his robust contributions to nation building and democratic norms.
“No doubt, the late president was an example in simplicity and modesty. As a president he lived by example by not amassing wealth or living large in spite the oil boom of the early period of his administration.
“His sterling democratic credentials and patriotism are noteworthy.
“Throughout his political career, during when he served as minister and federal commissioner, as well as a member of the federal House of Representatives before becoming president, he distinguished himself.
“The low-cost housing estate constructed across the country during the regime of Alhaji Shagari remains the template which successive administrations built upon to reduce the country’s huge housing deficit.
“The operation green revolution launched during his tenure, buoyed by mechanised farming and distribution of seeds and fertilisers to farmers nationwide inspired a boom in agricultural production during his regime,” he said.
Ajimobi said that late former president remained untainted and unblemished in spite a variance agenda with his incorruptible and simple lifestyle by some of his lieutenants as well as key party officials.
The governor commiserated with the family of the late president, the people and government of Sokoto State on the departure of whom he called an illustrious grandfather of the nation, praying for the repose of his soul. (NAN)