Tributes and encomiums have continued to pour in following the passing of Edo North leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Usman Shagadi.
He died on Wednesday, May 13, 2020, at the age of 84.
The Osimua of Auchi Sacred Kingdom has been described as a progressive and an inspiring leader who would be sorely missed.
Among those who paid tribute to Alhaji Shagadi are Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, Yerimah of Auchi Sacred Kingdom, Tony Momoh, and former Deputy Governor of Edo State, Dr. Pius Odubu.
Others are Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, former Minister for Works, Engr Chris Ogiemwonyi, and former governorship candidate in Edo, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
‘HE CARED DEEPLY FOR HIS COMMUNITY’
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, described the late Edo North APC leader as a courageous and upright leader who cared deeply for his community.
He prayed that Allah grants Alhaji Shagadi’s family the fortitude to bear the loss.
“I received the news of the passing of Alhaji Usman Shagadi with a heavy heart,” Obaseki said on Twitter.
“While working with him as the leader of the @OfficialAPCNg in Edo, I found him to be a leader who cares deeply for his community. He was courageous, upright and truthful.
“I pray that the Almighty Allah grants Alhaji Shagadi’s family the fortitude to bear the great loss.”
‘ALHAJI SHAGADI QUITS’
In his tribute, Yerimah of Auchi Kingdom, Tony Momoh, shared the fond memories they both had together.
He noted that Alhaji Shagadi would be missed by his political associates.
“Auchi Sacred Kingdom early this morning lost one of its most celebrated social and political icons, Alhaji Asimu Usman Shagadi,” Momoh said.
“The Osimua of Auchi Sacred Kingdom was 84.
“He will be missed by his political associates in Edo State and the south south geopolitical zone.
“I personally have kept over the years the fond memories of what happened behind the scenes when white district officers visited Otaru Momoh Jimah Momoh (1945 -1955). Shagadi was always at his elbow, with Ebois Momoh who died some months ago.
“Any time I called Shagadi, I would say ‘give me the water no hot’, meaning ‘give me water that is hot’.
“How excited were we that white men could speak our language! Many more such expressions effortlessly flowed from Shagadi. And how we envied him and Ebois who were the closest male servants of the Otaru. Although all those stories excited us and we believed them, it took years for me to know that they were all made up by Shagadi.
“My source of recall of these fond memories of the young growing up is gone, but I stand in the recognition that all of us on earth have our departure passes and must board the flight that should take us home at that time settled before we came.
“Our prayer should be that we worked hard enough while here to be proud to say over there, ‘oh God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, I thank you for my time in school on earth. I did my best to follow the paths explained to us by your called ones. Forgive me my sins and smoothen my journey home to Paradise…'”
He prayed that Allah forgives Shagadi his sins.
‘HE LIVED A VERY PRODUCTIVE LIFE’
Former Deputy Governor Edo State, Dr. Pius Odubu, also joined in to pay tribute to late Shagadi while commiserating with his family.
In a statement he personally signed, he noted that his presence was felt as one of the pillars in his senatorial district and a bridge builder in the entire state.
“I wish to commiserate with the family of late Alhaji Usman Shagadi who passed on to the great beyond on Tuesday 12th May, 2020,” he said.
“Alhaji Usman Shagadi’s transition is indeed a colossal loss to all, as he was a great person not just to us in Edo State but Nigeria at large. He was indeed a politician of very great standing who contributed to the successes of our party from the very beginning.
“He will be greatly missed by members of his family, friends and political associates.
“In fact, his solid political interventions in the Edo political space was unquestionable, he will remain in our hearts as one of the founding fathers of our great party. His presence was felt like one of the pillars in Edo North Senatorial district and a bridge-builder in Edo State.
“Even as we mourn his transition, let us also be consoled by the fact that he lived a very productive life.
“I pray that Almighty Allah will grant the family the fortitude to bear the loss.”
‘SHAGADI WAS A GRASSROOTS MOBILISER, POLITICAL GIANT’
Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, paid a glowing tribute to late Shagadi.
He described him as a grassroots mobiliser and a political giant.
“I am greatly saddened to hear about the death of a political ‘iroko’, Alhaji Usman Shagadi,” the minister said.
“He was one of the most prolific and experienced politicians of our time. He was a political giant, and an articulate political leader who made lasting contributions to the development of our state.
“Alhaji Shagadi was always full of life, blessed with exceptional wit and a great sense of humour and charisma.
“He was admired by people across all sections of society, including those who did not agree with him politically.
“During his long political career, Alhaji Shagadi was an embodiment of participatory political leadership, and he was a grassroots mobiliser.
“A fine and large-hearted personality, Alhaji Shagadi was always ready to help anyone and everyone.
“His intelligence, sagacity, and astuteness had no match. He was also a committed and very religious man.”
“Alhaji Shagadi’s seminal contribution to our polity will be remembered for a long time to come.”
Agba extended his heartfelt condolences to members of the Shagadi family, political associates and his “numerous admirers in this moment of grief.”
“May Almighty Allah grant him eternal rest,” he added.
‘HE WAS A GOOD ADMINISTRATOR AND OUTSTANDING PARTY MAN’
Former Minister for Works, Engr Chris Ogiemwonyi, described the demise of Alhaji Shagadi as a sad occurrence which has left a gaping hole among the ranks of party leaders in his senatorial district.
In a statement he personally signed, Ogiemwonyi noted that the world has lost a powerful force.
He condoled with his family while praying to Allah to give them the fortitude to bear their loss.
“I was deeply saddened this morning, when I learnt of the demise of our great leader Alhaji Usman Shagadi,” the former minister wrote.
“The world has indeed lost a powerful force who represented peace and democracy. An eminent politician, a good administrator and an outstanding party leader.
“No doubt, his death has left a gaping hole among the ranks of Edo North party leaders. However, he leaves behind a solid foundation for others to build upon.
“I convey my heartfelt condolences to his family and children. I pray the Almighty Allah to give them the strength to bear this great loss with courage and fortitude. May his soul rest in peace.”
‘HE INSPIRED THOUSANDS THROUGH HIS UNWAVERING COURAGE’
Former governorship candidate in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, in his tribute, described Alhaji Shagadi as a principled leader who did not waver and inspired thousands of people he led during his lifetime.
Ize-Iyamu hailed him as a true progressive who played a notable role in building his party from an opposition to a ruling party.
He noted that Alhaji Shagadi would be sorely missed, while praying that the Lord consoles the family he left behind.
“I join the people of Edo State particularly those from Edo North to mourn the loss of Alhaji Usman Shagadi,” the former governorship candidate said.
“Alhaji Usman Shagadi was a great political leader who inspired and led thousands of people through his unwavering courage, bravery, and unyielding insistence on doing that which is good and fair.
“He was a principled leader whose word was his bond, a rare trait in the political arena.
“He was there at the beginning when progressives across the nation stood together to form the AC, ACD, ACN and then the APC, and he played a notable role in building the party from a conscientious voice of opposition to a ruling party making good its promises to the people across different levels of government.
“While we will all sorely miss him and mourn his departure, we remain grateful to God for the life he lived and are confident that his example will live on.
“May the Lord console his family and give them strength at this time.”