Former President of Nigeria, Shehu Shagari died on Friday, December 28, at the age of 92 in Abuja

He died at National Hospital, Abuja after a brief illness

In memory of him, we examine the life and times of one of Nigeria’s most unassuming politicians. 

Bounce News complied 10 things you probably didn’t know about  Shagari

1.    Shagari was born in 1925 in the northern Shagari village founded by his great-grandfather, Ahmadu Rufa'i, who was also the Village Head, and took the name Shagari as his family name

2.    He attended a primary school in Yabo, and later attended Sokoto middle school, from where he went to Kaduna College, a school originally created to be a teacher training college.

After the college, Shagari became a science teacher at the Sokoto middle school in 1953-1958 from there, he moved to Zaria Middle School.  He later became a headmaster of a primary school in Argungu.

3.    Shagari’s early political career can be traced back to 1946, when he and Mallam Gambo Abuja jointly formed the Youth Social Circle, a political organisation that operated in Sokoto. The movement was supported by some northern elites of that time like Ahmadu Bello, Ibrahim Gusau, and Mallam Ahamdu Dabbaba.

In 1948, the Youth Social Circle of Shagari merged with some other political groups to form the Northern People's congress,

4.    Shagari entered full politics in 1951, when he became the Secretary of the Northern People’s Congress in Sokoto, Nigeria, a position he held until 1956. Hecontested for the first time in 1959 and won a parliamentary seat.

5.    He was Principal Secretary to Prime Minister , Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa during much of the First Republic until the military coup of January 15, 1966.

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Shagari and Buhari

6. After the Nigerian civil war, from 1970-1971, Shagari was appointed by the military Head of State General Yakubu Gowon as the federal commissioner for economic development, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

7. Shagari served as the first and only President of Nigeria's Second Republic (1979–1983), after the handover of power by General Olusegun Obasanjo's military government. He merely wanted to become a Senator but that GOD made him a President.

As President, he deported more than 2 million Ghanaians. Hence the phrase, 'Ghana must go'

He conducted one of the most rigged elections in the history of the nation in 1983.

8.   On December 31 1983, on New Year's Eve, President Shagari was overthrown by then Major-General Muhammadu Buhari who later became Nigeria’s Head-of-State and incumbent President.

9.    In 1986, President Shagari was banned from participation in politics for life. The ban was not lifted until his death on Friday.

10. After Shagari was booted out of office, he had no house anywhere in Nigeria not even in Sokoto. He lived in his family house in Yabo. It was because of  this that former Head of State, General Sani Abacha created the Department for Former Heads of State in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation. The department caters for the welfare of former Presidents and Heads of States of the country.

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