The Social Democratic Party (SDP), South-West chapter, has described the late former Chief of General Staff, retired Lt.-Gen. Oladipo Diya, as a hero.
The party in a statement on Monday by its South-West zonal secretary, Femi Olaniyi, said Mr Diya said, “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.”
The statement also said the deceased 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,” it added. “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.”
Mr Diya’s son, Sinmi, said his father died on Sunday morning aged 79.
Mr Diya served as military governor of Ogun where he hailed from between January 1984 and August 1985.
He held several military positions before becoming the chief of general staff in 1993, as second in command to military dictator Sani Abacha.
He was the General Officer Commanding 82 Division of the Nigerian Army in 1985 and the commandant of the National War College (1991–1993) before he was appointed as the chief of defence staff.