Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has described the death of the Second Republic President, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, as a painful exit of a selfless statesman whose simple lifestyle is worthy of emulation.
Although the ex-President ruled the country when the economy could be said to be relatively buoyant, he said that Shagari shunned ostentatious standard of living and ruled the country with the fear of God.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Communication and Strategy, Mr. Bolaji Tunji, the Governor said that the death of the former president would rob the country of his robust contribution to nation building and democratic norms.
Ajimobi said, “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 despite 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 mechanized farming and distribution of seeds and fertilizers to farmers nationwide inspired a boom in agricultural production during his regime.”
Although some of his lieutenants and key party officials had agenda that was at variance with his incorruptible and simple lifestyle, the Governor said that the late former president remained untainted and unblemished.
Ajimobi commiserated with the family of the late president, as well as the people and government of Sokoto State on the departure of whom he called an illustrious grandfather of the nation.
The Governor also prayed for the repose of his soul.