Vice Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Peter Obi, has described the death of former President of Nigeria, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, as a national loss with so many lessons and challenges for Nigeria.
Obi, representing Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, spoke on Sunday while in Sokoto with former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, to commiserate with the family of Shehu Shagari; the Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal and the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar.
While answering questions from journalists, Obi said that a careful perusal of the Presidency of Shagari revealed a lot of hidden lessons. His words: “Besides the lesson in patriotism and hard work, Shagari showed us that humility, care and love should be essential parts of leadership, which is the hallmark of Atiku’s philosophy of leadership.”
Obi, who described Shagari as “an urbane, compassionate, tolerant, polished politician and a leader worthy of emulation”, said some of the programmes he embarked on while leading the country, such as his “Green Revolution”, were conceived in good faith.
On the challenges posed by Shagari’s death, Obi said that the Generation of Shagari are gradually passing out in obedience to the law of birth and death and that such development was a challenge to the youth to brace up for leadership positions. Insisting that Atiku Presidency understood the development very well, Obi said that the imperatives of generational shift informed Atiku’s decision that his Cabinet would be made up of over 40% women and youths if elected into office.
Recalling the excellent working relationship with his then Vice President, Dr Alex Ekwueme, Obi said that 2019 would make it 40 years since a person from the South-East partook in the Presidency, which was largely because of Shehu Shagari and that the people remained eternally grateful to him.