The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Sunday, March 26, 2023 mourned the passing of Lt. Gen. Oladipo Diya, who served as Chief of General Staff from 1993 to 1997 and Vice Chairman of the Provisional Ruling Council in 1994 under the Abacha regime.
He hailed the departed elder statesman “for his love, belief and loyalty to the country,” adding that “his contributions to the nation will never be forgotten.”
“Diya was known for his brilliance, exceptional organisational skills and discipline, and he displayed these virtues in the important roles he held in office as a military officer,” a statement signed by Buhari’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, read on Sunday afternoon.
The statement is titled ‘President Buhari pays tribute to General Diya’.
Diya, 79, passed away in the early hours of Sunday, as announced by his son, Oyesinmilola Diya.
The announcement read, “On behalf of the entire Diya family home and abroad; we announce the passing on to glory of our dear husband, father, grandfather, brother, Lt-General Donaldson Oladipo Oyeyinka Diya (retd).
“Our dear daddy passed on to glory in the early hours of March 26, 2023. Please keep us in your prayers as we mourn his demise in this period. Further announcements will be made public in due course.
Born April 3, 1944 at Odogbolu in Ogun State, Diya joined the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna and fought during the Nigerian Civil War.
He was appointed Chief of General Staff in 1993 and Vice Chairman of the Provisional Ruling Council in 1994.
As the Chief of the General Staff, he was second in command and the de facto vice president of Nigeria under General Sani Abacha from 1994 to 1997.
According to Adesina, the President pays tribute to General Diya’s bold and courageous career in the Nigeria military and dedicated service to the country as General Officer Commanding, 82 Division, Commandant, National War College (1991–1993), Chief of Defence Staff and Military Governor of Ogun State from January 1984 to August 1985.
“The President recalls that Diya was known for his brilliance, exceptional organizational skills and discipline, and he displayed these virtues in the important roles he held in office as a military officer.
“The President salutes the former Chief of General Staff for his love, belief and loyalty to the country he cherished so much and fought gallantly on the frontlines to defend her unity,” he added.
Buhari sent heartfelt condolences to Diya’s family, friends and colleagues, on behalf of the Federal Government.
He also prays that General Diya’s soul finds rest with his Creator, and may his contributions to the nation never be forgotten.