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…Gov Abiodun mourns Diya’s death
General Donalson Oladipupo Diya(Rtd) a former military Governor of Ogun State and Vice President of Nigeria, passed on in the early hours of today .
The sad news of the 78 years old former Chief of Defence Staff under military head of state of General Sani Abacha, an Odogbolu elder state man was announced by Barrister Oyesinmilola Diya, on behalf of the family.
He was appointed Military Governor of Ogun State from January 1984 to August 1985, and became General Officer Commanding 82 Division, Nigeria Army in 1985, and then Commandant, National War College (1991–1993) before his appointment as Chief of Defence Staff.
He was appointed Chief of General Staff in 1993 and Vice Chairman of the Provisional Ruling Council in 1994.
As Chief of the General Staff, he was the de facto Vice President of Nigeria during the military junta from 1994 until his arrest.
It was alleged that in 1997 Diya and dissident soldiers in the military planned to overthrow the regime of late Gen Sani Abacha.
The alleged coup was uncovered by forces loyal to Abacha, and Diya and his cohorts were jailed. Diya was tried in a military tribunal and was given the death penalty.
Upon the death of Abacha in 1998, Oladipupo Diya was pardoned by the late Head of State’s successor, Gen Abdusalami Abubakar(Rtd)
The governor of Ogun State have sent his condolences on the demise of late Oladipupo Diya.
In a statement by Kunle Somorin, the governor’s spokesman, Prince Abiodun described the departed army General as a seasoned administrator, gentleman and officer whose contributions to the development of the security architecture of Nigeria would remain indelible, adding that others carried on where he left and Ogun State would not forget Diya’s role in its history.
The governor recalled that the deceased who apart from being a former de facto Number Two Citizen in the country was also a military governor in Ogun State.
“He was couragrous and daring, quick-witted and patriotic. Gen. Diya played frontline roles in the evolution and development of the state and his activities in the military, in part led to the eventual return and enthronement of democracy in the country In 1999.”
He called on the family members, friends and associates of the departed leader who hailed from Odogbolu in the Ogun East Senatorial District of the State to take solace in the fact that the late soldier-statesman played the parts assigned to him by providence diligently, conscientiously and patriotically meritoriously.
While praying Almighty God to grant the late Diya’s soul eternal rest, Gov. Abiodun also enjoined Nigerians to emulate the good virtues that he left behind.