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Buhari orders flags to fly at half mast for three days as Shagari is laid to rest

Valentine Chinyem



The remains of the Second Republic President, Alhaji Shehu Aliyu Shagari were yesterday laid to rest according to Islamic rites.

Shagari who died on Friday after a brief illness, at the National Hospital, Abuja, was aged 93.

His body was laid to rest in Shagari town, his country home, shortly after the funeral prayers led by the former vice chancellor of Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Professor Shehu Galadanci.

At about 12:55p.m, the remains of the late president arrived at the Sultan Abubakar III International Airport, Sokoto, aboard a presidential aircraft marked 5N-FGZ.

It was received by the state governor, Alhaji Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, alongside former Governor Attahiru Bafarawa and members of the State Executive Council.

The body later departed for Shagari town, about 35 kilometers from the state capital, in a motorcade conveyed in the Nigerian Air Force ambulance belonging to the NAF-119 Forward Base, Sokoto.

On arrival at about 2:15p.m, the body was received by the family members and sympathisers before it was interred at his residence.

President Muhammadu Buhari sent a Federal Government delegation led by Mr. Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Federal Government.

The delegation comprised the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh and Minister of Trade and Investment/Women Affairs, Aisha Abubakar.

Other members of the federal government delegation included the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika and Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu.

Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal; Kebbi State GovernorAtikuAbubakar and their Zamfara State counterpart, Governor Abdulaziz Abubakar Yari, were among the early callers.

Others were former governors of Sokoto State, Alhaji Yahaya Abdulkareem, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, Senator Aliyu Wamakko and former INEC chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega.

The members of the Sultanate Council were represented by the Sultan, Alhaji Sa’ad Muhammadu Abubakar, Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Muhammadu Sama’ila Mera; while the Emir of Gwandu was represented by Alhaji Idris Koko Madawaki.

However, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that flags fly at half-mast in military and paramilitary formations, as well as public buildings for three days, starting from Sunday, December 30, 2018.

Buhari who spoke in a statement, paid tribute to Shagari, saying their interaction at the National Council of State made them come to appreciate each other.

“Over the years, through interaction at the Council of State, he and I came to understand and appreciate each other, whatever the differences we may have had in the past.”

“The late President represented almost the last link with the government of our Founding Fathers under Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. He was also the first elected President of Nigeria.

“The late Alhaji Shagari was a man of many parts: teacher, local authority administrator, politician, minister, and finally President. He served his country with dedication and moderation.”

“On behalf of the Federal Government, myself and family, I send my condolences to the people of Nigeria, particularly to the late President’s family and the Government and people of Sokoto State. May his soul rest in peace.”