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Olusegun Obasanjo
Two former Heads of State, Olusegun Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babangida, as well as the Senate President, David Mark, on Thursday mourned the death of late President Umaru Yar'Adua.

In their condolence messages, they separately described Yar'Adua as courageous, selfless and faithful to the country.

Obasanjo, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday on his way to Beijing, China, said, 'I received the news of Yar'Adua's death with heartfelt sorrow.

'Our prayer is that God grants him repose and condole his family.'

Babangida said that Yar'Adua was great in death, just as he was graceful in his life time.

In a statement issued by his spokesman, Mr. Kassim Afegbua, Babangida said that Yar'Adua battled death like a valiant man, adding, 'he represented our daily struggle in life's bramble forest.'

He said, 'It is pathetic and utterly painful; every death brings with it tears and pain and sorrow of grief and discomfiture.

'We salute his courage. May the Almighty Allah give the family, the nation and the Acting President the strength of mind and of heart to bear this sorrowful end.

'May Allah grant him eternal rest and Paradise in thereafter (Amin).'

Senate President David Mark described the death of Yar'Adua as a monumental loss to the nation.

A statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, quoted Mark as saying that Yar'Adua left a legacy of selfless service that would be difficult to rival.

'The nation has lost an honest leader that meant well for all Nigerians. His record of prudence and administrative excellence, both as a governor and President, will remain evergreen in our memories.

'Yar'Adua was a selfless and committed nationalist who lived an exemplary life that is worthy of emulation.

'He was a rare kind, a patriot and a detribalised leader who was faithful to Nigeria and Nigerians. We shall all miss him,' he said.

He urged Nigerians, especially the immediate family and the people of Katsina State, to take solace in the fact that Yar'Adua lived an exemplary life worthy of emulation.

'To this kind of leader, we all owe it a duty to uphold his legacies, emulate the sanctity of his attributes of honesty, hard work and respect for fundamental human rights and the rule of law.

'These were the attributes Yar'Adua stood for,' he added.

NAN quoted Mark as saying that 'the government and people of Nigeria would ever be appreciative of Yar'Adua's good works and would immortalise him,' adding, 'He did not die in vain.'