President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed that he will forever be grateful to his former deputy, late Major General Tunde Idiagbon for what he did for him after his government was overthrown in 1985.
Buhari said Idiagbon, who was in Saudi Arabia insisted on returning back to Nigeria, saying, “if they kill him, let them kill me also.”
Speaking when he received former staff who worked with him during his tenure as military Head of State between January 1984 to August 1985 on Sunday night at the State House, Abuja, Buhari commended Idiagbon for what he termed “uncommon loyalty and courage.”
A statement by his media aide, Femi Adesina quoted Buhari as saying: “He was in Saudi Arabia, performing the hajj, when we were removed. The Saudi king said the coup was not just against us, but also against him, since Idiagbon was praying with him.
“He asked him to send for his family to join him in Saudi until it was clear where I was. Idiagbon said no, I want to go back, Your Majesty. If they kill him, let them kill me also.
“He joined the next flight and came back. I think there’s no way you can describe such loyalty, such courage. May his soul rest in perfect peace.”
Buhari also commended his former Aide-de-Camp, Alhaji Mustapha Jokolo, who used his initiative to put the parley together.
Speaking, Jokolo said though the departure of the former staff from government was “unexpected and disappointing, if not regrettable,” the affected people recall the ugly experiences today, “not with bitterness because individually, they had since moved on with their lives, though painfully aware that they were victims of misplaced aggression.”
“The fact that among us today are highly respected Royal Fathers, businessmen, captains of industry, lawyers and other specialists in the professions, and a university professor, speaks volumes that God is good and that values of discipline and perseverance that we imbibed under Your Excellency’s tutelage had not been in vain,” he said.