The Social Democratic Party (SDP), South West chapter, has described the late former Chief of General Staff, Lt.-Gen. Oladipo Diya (rtd.), as a hero.
The party in a statement on Monday by its South West Zonal Secretary, Mr Femi Olaniyi (aka Ferrari), said that the late Chief of Staff to ex-Military Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, would be remembered for being a stabiliser and lover of the people.
Olaniyi, the current Chairman of SDP in Lagos State, said that Diya, who passed on early Sunday morning, would be remembered for his patriotism, love and services to the nation.
He said that the deceased would be remembered for the role he played during the June 12 struggle, where he stood by the people and their mandate.
According to him, when late MKO Abiola contested the presidential election under the platform of SDP and Diya stood his ground for the party and the late MKO.
“The late Lt-Gen. Oladipo Diya is our hero and his contributions to national development and the military are numerous. He was a seasoned military officer with admirable administrative capabilities in the various functions he served the country. He was a committed and selfless Nigerian.
“We receive with a rude shock the death of Diya. It was a colossal loss to the people of Ogun State, Southwest and the entire country as a whole,” Olaniyi said.
He also described late Diya as a notable statesman who made invaluable contributions to nation-building.
“The late Diya was known for standing on the side of the people. We cannot easily forget his brilliance, bravery and discipline which he shows in many offices he occupied as a military officer. Diya’s love and loyalty to the country is huge. His passion for the unity of the nation and well-being of the masses cannot be over emphasised. He fought gallantly on the frontlines to defend the nation’s unity,” Olaniyi stated.
He prayed God to grant the family, the people and the Government of Ogun the fortitude to bear the loss.
The late Gen Diya’s son, Sinmi, said his father passed on early on Sunday morning at the age of 79.
The former number two citizen served as Military Governor of Ogun where he hailed from between January 1984 and August 1985. He held several military positions before becoming Chief of General Staff in 1993, as second in command to the late Military Head of State, late Gen. Sani Abacha.
He became General Officer Commanding 82 Division, Nigeria Army in 1985; he was Commandant, National War College (1991–1993) before he was appointed as Chief of Defence Staff.