APGA, SDP mourns Shagari, says he’s a great Patriot

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APGA mourns Shagari, Kwentoh

The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has described the death of the death of former President Shehu Shagari as the end of an unforgettable era and a national loss.

The National Chairman of APGA, Dr. Victor Ike Oye, who mourned the death of Shagari, also expressed sadness over the death of the National Organizing Secretary of the party, Akunwata Mike Kwentoh, describing it as ‘irreplaceable’.

Dr. Oye lamented what he called, “The death of an iconic politician who played politics with fineness, candour, integrity and without bitterness”.

He recalled that between 1979 and 198, when Shagari held office as Nigeria’s Second Republic President, as one of the most peaceful and progressive in the annals of the country, urging today’s politicians to emulate his humility and honesty in leadership.

The APGA boss recalled his personal encounter with Shagari when he (Shagari) visited PRODA (Project Development Agency) in Enugu in 1982 where he expressed strong conviction that Nigeria would one day become a global power in technology.

“I was personally present as he discussed the expansion of PRODA with the agency’s director then, Prof. Gordian Ezekwe. Unfortunately, Shagari’s plan to advance the cause of Nigeria’s technological development was aborted by the December 31, 1983 coup,” Oye said in a statement signed on his behalf by the party’s National Director of Publicity, Mr. Ifeanacho Oguejiofor.

He urged the Federal Government to sustain the vision of the late President by devoting more resources to research in order to promote technical and technological education in the country; and to also name a national monument after him although some national institutions bear his name, as a way of immortalizing him.

In a separate condolence message, Dr. Oye expressed shock at the death of the National Organizing Secretary of the party, Akunwata Mike Kwentoh, describing it as ‘irreplaceable’.

Dr. Oye who said he never expected the news of Kwentoh’s demise that he was very sick, said he was pained that Kwentoh died when his commitment and experience were most needed.

“Kwentoh was a strong pillar to our party and we would miss his wise counseling and dexterity,” Oye said.

He recalled the short telephone exchange he had with the deceased last week and that nothing in his voice betrayed his sudden exit.

He prayed God to grant his soul eternal repose and the family the courage to bear his loss.

Meanwhile the Social Democratic Party (SDP) has described the late former President Shehu Shagari as a great patriot who fought hard not just for peace and unity of Nigeria but also for the social economic development of the country.

The SDP, in a statement issued on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alfa Mohammed, expressed grief that Nigeria had lost another outstanding leader the country has ever produced.

The party, which said the deceased would be remembered for his patriotism, sacrifices and contributions to national development, added that his integrity, diligence to duty and examplary leadership stlye would continue to be a reference point whenever the history of Nigeria is being relived.

The party expressed sympathy to the entire family of the deceased and the country at large for the monumental loss, saying that ‘he will be missed greatly’.

The SDP prayed to the Almighty God to grant his soul rest and his family as well as the entire country the fortitude to bear the loss.

“It was with a heavy heart that I received the sad and shocking news of the death of yet another eminent personality, elder statesman and former President of Nigeria, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, whose demise occurred on Friday in Abuja after a short illness

“As an elder statesman, the late Shagari during his life time led an examplary lifestlye that eschewed all forms of discrimination, ethnic, tribal and religious sentiment.

“This was reflected in the great role he played in the emancipation of Zimbabwe and the fight against apartheid in South Africa decades ago.

“As the First Executive President of Nigeria, the late Alhaji Shehu distinguished himself with act of selflessness during his services to the nation,” the statement further read..