President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday expressed sadness over the death of the former Chief of Defence Staff, retired Lt.-Gen. Joshua Dogonyaro. The president made his feelings known in a statement by his spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja. He described the demise of the late defence chief as “a great loss, not only to the Nigerian military, but also to the country, because of his patriotic sacrifices in defence of its unity and territorial integrity.” The President said: “The death of Dogonyaro comes as a great shock to me because as a soldier, I know what it means to lose such an officer and a gentleman who gave his best in the service of the country.”
The president further described Dogonyaro as a thoroughbred soldier, who professionally distinguished himself in the course of his military career. “Laying down one’s life for the country is one of the greatest sacrifices any citizen can make to his country. General Dogonyaro’s incalculable contributions will be remembered for years to come.”
Meanwhile, as news of General Dongoyaro’s death filtered out yesterday, Plateau State Governor and Chairman, Northern Governors Forum, Simon Lalong, also expressed shock at the death of the former chief of defence staff, who passed away at the age of 80. Lalong in a statement signed by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Dr. Makut Simon Machan, in Jos, said Plateau State and indeed the nation had lost a patriotic and loyal Nigerian, who served with courage, dignity and selflessness. Governor Lalong recalled the achievements of late General Dogonyaro during his career in the army, where he held several command positions and accomplished his assignments with tremendous success.
He said: “Plateau State has lost an elder statesman, whose outstanding achievements in his military career brought a lot of pride and honour to the state. The commitment of the deceased towards the defence of Nigeria’s territorial integrity and well as ensuring its peace and unity stood him out as a soldier of repute whose professionalism continues to inspire many younger ones.” While President Buhari extended his deepest condolences to the Government and People of Plateau State on the passing of ‘this legendary general,’ he prayed to the Almighty God to bless the soul of the departed and grant his family the fortitude to bear the loss.