Mr. Shagari will turn 88 on Monday
Northern governors have paid tribute to the former president, Shehu Shagari, who turns 88 on Monday, describing him as a statesman of uncommon pedigree.
The chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, and governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, said Mr. Shagari, who has since retired to a private life since leaving office as president in 1983, “demonstrably advertised probity and accountability and placed top most premium on the values and virtues of constitutional democracy”.
In a statement signed by Mr. Aliyu’s spokesperson, Danladi Ndayebo, the forum said Mr. Shagari’s life symbolizes a rejection of the corrupting influences that distract leaders’ commitment to serving the people.
“Shagari’s politics eschews bitterness. Even opponents concede that he is a disciplined man whose life symbolizes a rejection of the corrupting influences that distracts the commitment of some leaders to improving the lot of the common man,” the statement said.
“The former Nigerian leader is a statesman of uncommon pedigree that we see as a tower of strength in the cause of liberty and our democracy. We identify with him as the greatest statesman around today. Shagari is not only the example that we all should follow, but he is truly a living legend,” the statement added.
The forum said the former president left legacies in critical sectors of the economy, nation-building and national reconciliation, agriculture, national security, foreign policy, education, health and oil and gas development. Others are solid minerals development, tourism etc.