By Cecilia Ijuo
The Senate has called on the Federal Government to immortalise former President Shehu Shagari by naming a national monument after him.
This followed a motion by Sen. Ibrahim Danbaba (PDP-Sokoto) and co-sponsored by eight others.
Presenting the motion, Danbaba said late Shagari who was sworn in as President on Oct.1, 1979 on the platform of National Party of Nigeria (NPN) promoted national unity.
He added that the deceased executed many projects in the agricultural, housing and industrial sectors.
“Shagari returned to his home town in 1986 and lived in the traditional house where he was born until the federal government provided him with a house in Sokoto.
“He had an unblemished public service record spanning over a period of 30 years.
“He was forthright, a nation builder and a distinguished statesman that contributed greatly to the growth and development of democracy in Nigeria,” he said.
The lawmaker said, his loss was a great loss not only to his immediate family but to the entire country.
He urged the Senate to call for a national monument to be named after him.
Contributing, other Lawmakers described the former president as a man of integrity.
Sen. Abdullahi Gumel (APC-Jigawa), described the deceased as a man of noble character, who wanted the best for the country.
The lawmaker, who said he had personal encounters with the deceased, said he was an honest man, who never allowed circumstances to distract him from his responsibilities.
Sen. Shehu Sani (PRP-Kaduna) urged Nigerian leaders to emulate his patriotism and high moral values.
“Nigerians have attested to his character, conduct and personality.
“He exemplified honesty, courage and simplicity. He lived with honour and left with honour.
“He did not make so much noise about his integrity but it was seen from his stewardship and there is a lesson we should learn from this.
“We should learn from the way second republic leaders conducted themselves in the country,” he said.
Sen. Barnabas Gemade (SDP-Benue) described Shagarai as a de-tribalised Nigerian, who gave recognition to Northern minorities.
“Shagari was an unsung hero, a shining example of simplicity and honesty.
“Nigerian Leaders should learn from his integrity and honesty and I urge my colleagues to approve these prayers especially the request to immortalise him,” Gemade said.
In his remarks, the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over plenary, said Shagari was a national leader.
“He was a nationalist without boundaries, who lived in the heart of people. He lives in the minds and heart of the people no matter where they come from.
“That must be a lesson for all of us as leaders. One of his greatest attributes was his commitment to the unity of Nigeria.
“Even when he won an election with his party, he introduced the concept of a coalition to bring about national unity and he extended hand of fellowship to other political parties.
“I think that was his greatest contribution to the unity of the country,” he said.
Ekweremadu said he was a great leader who would be missed dearly.