Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has described the life of the late Lt-General Donaldson Oladipo Oyeyinka Diya as a great success and accomplishments which would long be remembered after him.
The late former Number Two man under the military administration of late General Sani Abacha from 1994 to 1997, died in early hours of Sunday in Lagos at age 79.
Obasanjo in a release by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi remarked that, with the demise of Diya, there is no doubt, the ranks of the nation’s leadership have been depleted “by the loss of a dedicated and resourceful patriot who served the nation in various capacities as an Army Officer, community leader and a legal practitioner”
The former President said that, “it is noteworthy that in the course of his military service which straddled more than three decades, he acquitted himself as a dedicated officer and a real patriot. From the thick of the Nigerian Civil War to the post-war re-organisation of the Army, he distinguished himself as a seasoned soldier.
“The rare diligence, loyalty and resourcefulness with which he carried out his duties and responsibilities, culminated in his appointment as Commander 31, Airborne Brigade; Military Governor of Ogun State from January 1984 to August 1985; General Officer Commanding 82 Division, Nigeria Army in 1985; Commandant, National War College, 1991–1993; Chief of Defence Staff in 1993 and soon after, Chief of General Staff also in 1993; Vice Chairman of the Provisional Ruling Council in 1994 and later functioned as Nigeria’s Number Two man under the military administration of General Sani Abacha from 1994 to 1997.”
He recalled that General Diya lived a life of utter devotion in the course of public service saying, “I recall as a Military Governor of Ogun State, he made tremendous mark through dedication to duty, loyalty to his fatherland and an impeccable example of incorruptible leadership. He was courageous and quite a disciplinarian and a no-nonsense officer.”
In retirement, Diya contributed to national development as a private businessman, legal practitioner and a provider of employment for many of our people, Obasanjo hinted, stressing, “he is being mourned, therefore, beyond his immediate family and community. I believe the entire nation also shares the pain and grief for the irreparable loss of a distinguished son of Nigeria indeed.”
Obasanjo added that his entire family joined in wishing the late Diya’s family the comfort and solace sorely needed during this period of bereavement and great trial.
“We, however, have cause to thank God that his life was a great success and many of his accomplishments will for long be remembered after him,” Obasanjo was quoted as having said.