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Buhari mourns as ex-Ogun State Governor, General Diya loses wife

President Muhammadu Buhari has penned an emotional tribute to former Military Governor of Ogun State and former Vice-President, Lieutenant General Oladipo Diya following the demise of his wife on Monday.

Otunba (Chief) Mrs Deborah Folashade Diya (JP) died in an unnamed hospital at aged 66 following a brief illness, Olawale Adekoya – a special adviser to the family confirmed.

Lt. General Diya was second in command to the late military dictator, Sani Abacha between 1993 and 1997 until he was indicted in an alleged coup plot.

Prior to his appointment in Abuja, the Odogbolu-born elder statesman succeeded Chief Olabisi Onabanjo as the Military Governor of Ogun State, and he directed the affairs of the Gateway State between January 1984 and August 1985.

“The song is ended, but the melody lingers on. With grief in our hearts but gratitude to Almighty God, we announce the transition onto eternal glory of Otunba (Chief) Mrs Deborah Folashade Diya (JP), wife of His Excellency, Lt. Gen. Oladipo Diya, (retd) GCON, MNI; whose death occurred on Monday, May 18, 2020. She was aged 66,” the statement read.

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”Madam Deborah Folashade Diya was preparing and looking forward to her 66th birthday ‘celebration on May 23rd 2020 (this week). But as man proposes, God disposes; six days ago, she took ill and was taken to the hospital, where she took her last breath on Monday, May 18.

”Otunba Folashade Deborah Diya dedicated her life to the emancipation of humanity and service of the Almighty God.

“She was a devout Christian, a loyal and dedicated wife, a loving mother, an alluring grandmother and a passionate chorister at United African Methodist (Evangelical) Church, Abule Ijesha, Yaba, Lagos. She was a chorister who sang and danced for the Lord all the way.

”Fondly called Mumsie, Chief (Mrs) D.F. Diya was a model of love, compassion and generosity until her very last moments. Her mission was one that made a great difference in the lives of many people.

“She was a silent operator who always made things work out positively: disciplined, focussed and straight forward.

“In spite of her privileged position as the wife of a former Military Vice President in the country, she didn’t live the life of celebrity or ostentation. Rather, she adopted a humble life of dedication to God.”

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President Buhari reacted to the death of Chief Deborah Diya and described her as a devout christian who was committed to helping people in a statement released by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

“President Muhammadu Buhari commiserates with former Chief of General Staff, Lt. Gen. Oladipo Diya, over the passing of his wife, Chief Deborah Folashade Diya, praying that the almighty God will comfort the family,” the presidential statement read.

“The President joins family members, friends and associates of Chief Folashade Diya, particularly members of the United African Methodist (Evangelical) Church, in mourning the devout Christian, who dedicated her time on earth to serving God, and working for the good of others.

“President Buhari affirms that the wife of the former Chief of General Staff lived to encourage and inspire many on faith in God, demonstrating love, kindness and generosity through focus on helping the underprivileged, and counselling many.

“The President prays that the soul of the departed will find rest in God.”

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