President Muhammadu Buhari has once paid tribute to the late President Shehu Shagari and directed that the national flag and other flags should fly at half-mast in military and para-military formations as well as public buildings for three days, starting from December 30.

In a statement personally signed by him, Mr Buhari declared: “The late President represented almost the last link with the government of our founding fathers under 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.

“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.

“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.”

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal, had declared Monday, Dec. 31 a public holiday to enable residents offer special prayers for the repose of the soul of Shagari, who died at the age of 93 and has since been buried in his home town according to Islamic rites. (NAN)

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