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Diya: Military mourns, state funeral planned by Ogun

Lt. Gen. Oladipo Diya, the late former Chief of General Staff, passed away on Sunday at the age of 78. The military high command has launched a memorial page.

Gen. Lucky Irabor, the chief of the military staff, expressed his sadness at Diya’s unexpected passing at the time.

In a statement on Monday, by the Director, of Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Tukur Gusau, the CDS said Diya’s impact was felt by the military.

The statement said, “The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, CFR, has expressed sadness over the sudden death of former Chief of General Staff, Lt. Gen. Oladipo Diya (retd.).  who was also the fifth Chief of Defence Staff, died on Sunday, March 26, 2023.

“Gen. Irabor, on behalf of himself and members of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, join millions of Nigerians and other well-wishers to mourn the former Chief General Staff. The CDS extends its deepest condolences to the family of the late Gen. Diya and the good people of Ogun State.”

Irabor described Diya as “a complete gentleman and a thoroughbred General and elder statesman who has made positive impacts on the Armed Forces of Nigeria he served meritoriously for 33 years and the nation in general.”

The statement said, “A condolence register is opened at Defence Headquarters for the general public to register their condolence over the sad exit of the late General.”

Meanwhile, Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, on Monday, paid a condolence visit to the Lagos residence of the late Diya, who was formerly Military Governor of Ogun.

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The governor, who described Diya’s death as a great loss to Ogun  State and Nigeria, announced that the deceased would be given a state burial.

This was according to a statement on Monday by the governor’s media aide, Kunle Somorin.

The statement quoted Abiodun as describing the deceased as “a man of many parts.”

He acknowledged his commitment to his community, especially in the Odogbolu Local Government Area, adding that the history of Ogun State would not be complete without the mention of his name.

“Abiodun, while praying for the repose of the soul of the deceased, announced that a committee made up of some State Executive Council members would be set up to liaise with the family to give the former military governor of the state a befitting burial,” the statement said.

Responding on behalf of the family, one of the sons of the late General, Oyedamola, thanked the governor for showing concern for the family at this time, saying that his father while alive, had a deep affection for the present administration because of its good works.

Also, the Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, on Monday commiserated with Diya’s family.

In a condolence message, Shaibu recalled his detention experience with Diya in Jos.

He said, “Let me place on record that General Diya belonged to the respected club of the nation’s retired top military brass who served assiduously in defense and protection of the territorial integrity of our dear country.

“In Jo’s State Security Services facility, we were both detained. I was detained and arrested for organizing the Nigerian student body in a national movement called “Abacha Must Go” against Gen. Abacha’s authoritarian rule. General Diya was imprisoned for an alleged attempt to overthrow Abacha, the country’s military ruler at the time.

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“I can tell with certainty that throughout our brief but unforgettable interaction in detention, he displayed an extraordinary degree of cordiality, friendliness, conviviality, and a high degree of joviality.”

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