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Buhari vows to institute ‘suitable memorial’ in honour of late Shagari

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has said the federal government would, “in due course”, establish a befitting memorial in order to immortalise Shehu Shagari, Nigeria’s first Executive President, who passed away on Friday.

According to his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, President Buhari said this on Sunday during his condolence visit to the deceased’s family.

“I received the very sad news of the passing away of Alhaji Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the president stated in a letter to the Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal, read at the event.

“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 Executive 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.”

Victor Oye, national chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) had, on Saturday, urged the government to immortalise the former president by naming a national monument after him.

Meanwhile, certain government facilities are already named after Shagari, including the Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, Shehu Shagari Complex, Three Arms Zone, Abuja, and Shehu Shagari Way in Maitama, Abuja.

A similar project initiated by the Federal Government in Onitsha to immortalise the late Nnamdi Azikiwe, the country’s first president, was completed only after 22 years, in September 2018.

Shehu Shagari passed away on Friday evening while admitted at the National Hospital, Abuja, during a brief illness. He was 93 years old.

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