By Kolade Adeyemi, Jos
The remains of late Lt-Gen. Joshua Dogonyaro was on Friday laid to rest in his home town in Langtang, Plateau state.
Dogonyaro, who died on Thursday, May 13 in Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) after a brief illness, was buried in his family compound in Pajat, Langtang town after a funeral service at COCIN Central, Langtang North.
President Muhammadu Buhari, represented by Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen Bashir Magashi (rtd), said the government received the news of Dogonyaro’s death with great shock and pain.
Buhari described Dogonyaro as a “fearless and gallant soldier,” who contributed immensely to the unity and peace of Nigeria.
“He was a patriotic and thorough soldier, who sacrificed for this nation and his many attributes will remain for many years to come.
“Lt-Gen. Dogonyaro’s contributions to the stability of ECOWAS region will not easily be forgotten nor his God fearing life lived after retirement from the military.
“These alone are enough reasons his people, the nation and international community will greatly miss such a Galant and great man, who had given his all for us in spite of all odds.
“As a nation, we must do all we can to honour him even in his death as he will forever greatly be missed, ” Buhari said.
The president, who presented a letter of condolence to the family, prayed God to grant his soul eternal rest with the Lord God Almighty.
Also speaking, Liberian President, Mr George Weah, said Dogonyaro would forever remain a household name in Liberia for safeguarding Morovia and saving lives during Liberia’s trying times.
“Because of his doggedness and sacrifice, he brought to an end the 1989 civil war in our nation which endeared us to honour him with Grand Commander award,” Weah said through Mr Francis James, an aide of Liberia’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Al-Hassan Conteh.
Also speaking, Gov. Simon Lalong described Dogonyaro as a down to earth disciplinarian, leader and mentor, who helped in the building not only the Nigerian nation but other nations within the West African region.
Lalong said that with the great impact the late general had on the Plateau and Nigeria, the state government will greatly miss his wise counsel on security matters in the state.
“We are, as a government, resolved to deal with criminality on the Plateau with all seriousness for the peace that would bring about the desired growth and development of the state and the nation.
“His disciplinary and determination in handling assignments, his patriotism and courage are lessons we can learn from the late General to entrench peace and unity,” Lalong declared.
Responding, late Dogonyaro’s wife, Esther gave glory to God for the life he lived as a child of God even to his last breathe, saying the family was not crying but mourning his departure.
She thanked the federal and state governments, military, the Church and well wishers for their show of love to the family in celebrating Dogonyaro’s glorious exit.
In his message during the funeral service, the officiating Clergy, Rev Sylvester Dachomo, in charge of COCIN Headquarters Church, Jos, warned against careless living noting that death is inevitable.
Dachomo, who took his texts from Rev:11-24, 21:7-8 and Jn 5:3 reminded Nigerians about the expected end of the World, which all must prepare for, especially “where we shall spend our eternity.”
According to him, “only God shall judge the whole world, and therefore we should fear Him and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and saviour and become His sons and daughters as it’s written in Jn 1: 22.”
He warned that there would be no repentance in death so “we should prepare our ways with God before death comes calling on us at the unknown time.”