Lt-General Donaldson Oladipo Oyeyinka Diya, Chief of General Staff (CGS) under the late military Head of State, General Sani Abacha, is dead.
Born on April 3, 1944, he would have been 79 years in about eight days.
Diya, who previously served as Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), was also Military Governor of Ogun State from January 1984 to August 1985.
He served the Nigerian Army from 1964 to 1997.
His death was announced on Sunday morning by Prince Oyesinmilola Diya, a lawyer, on behalf of the family.
In a statement, Diya was said to have died in the early hours of Sunday.
The statement reads in part: “Our dear Daddy passed onto glory in the early hours of 26th March, 2023.
“Please keep us in your prayers as we mourn his demise in this period. Further announcements will be made public in due course.”
The top military officer hailed from Odogbolu, Ogun State.
Diya served under Abacha as CGS until his
arrest for treason in 1997.
Abacha died in office on June 8, 1998 and General Abdulsalami Abubakar, who succeeded Abacha, subsequently released him.
In his reaction, former Ogun State Governor from 2003 to 2011, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, said a great Nigerian, who played active roles in the affairs of the nation, was gone.
Daniel, an engineer, who is going to represent Ogun East Senatorial District in the 10th National Assembly on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), said, in a statement, that “Ogun State has lost an illustrious son”.
The statement reads: “The sad demise of General Oladipo Diya (rtd) is a landmark in the history of our country.
“He played his part as a military strategist and Chief of General Staff and his stabilising role during the military era will never be forgotten.
“General Diya, as Military Administrator of Ogun State, was exemplary in the enforcement of the War Against Indiscipline with focus on a cleaner environment. He will surely be missed by a lot of people for different reasons and especially for his statesmanship.
“I share in the grief of his family members and by friends and associates. I had close personal experiences and relationships with General Diya in and out of public office.
“I pray for his repose to get eternal rest in the bosom of his Creator as I pray for strength for his family to be able to bear this painful exit.
“May his soul rest in peace”.
Otunba Engr Gbenga Daniel, FNSE