Alhaji Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari, GCFR a Second Republic President of Nigeria, is dead.
According to a Channels Television report, Shagari died at the National Hospital Abuja on Friday after a brief illness.
The former president was 93.
“His demise was announced on Twitter by both the governor of Sokoto, Aminu Tambuwa and the former president’s grandson, Bello Shagari,” reported the television station on its website.
The governor wrote: “I regret to announce the death of former President Shagari who just passed away at National Hospital Abuja.”
Similarly, Bello wrote, ”I regret announcing the death of my grandfather, H.E Alhaji Shehu Shagari, who died right now after brief illness at the National Hospital, Abuja.”
Born on February 25, 1925, he was a Nigerian politician and school teacher who 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. Shagari also served seven times in a ministerial or cabinet post as a federal minister and federal commissioner from 1958–1975.
Made the Turaki, that is an officer at court, of the Fula Sokoto Caliphate in 1962 by the Sultan of Sokoto Siddiq Abubakar III, he held the chieftaincy titles of the Ochiebuzo of Ogbaland, the Ezediale of Aboucha and the Baba Korede of Ado Ekiti.
He worked as a teacher for a brief period before entering politics in 1951 and in 1954 was elected to the Federal House of Representatives.
Shagari started his education in a Quranic school and then went to live with relatives at a nearby town, where from 1931-1935 he attended Yabo Elementary School. In 1936-1940, he went to Sokoto for middle school, and then from 1941-1944 he attended the Teachers Training College, in Zaria, Kaduna.
He worked as a visiting teacher at Sokoto Province from 1953 and as a member of the Federal Scholarship Board from 1954-1958.
Shehu Usman Shagari entered politics in 1951, when he became the secretary of the Northern People’s Congress in Sokoto, Nigeria, a position he held until 1956.
In 1954, Shehu Shagari was elected into his first public office as a member of the Federal House of Representative for Sokoto west. In 1958, Shagari was appointed as parliamentary secretary (he left the post in 1959) to the Nigerian Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and that year he also served as the Federal Minister for Commerce and Industries.
From 1959 to 1960, Shagari was redeployed to the Ministry for Economic Development, as the Federal Minister for Economic Development. From 1960 to 1962, he was moved to the Pensions ministry as the Federal Minister for Pensions. From 1962-1965, Shagari was made the Federal minister for internal affairs. From 1965 up until the first military coup in January 1966, Shagari was the Federal minister for works.
In 1967 he was appointed as the secretary for Sokoto province of the Education Development Fund. From 1968-1969, Shagari was given a state position in the North Western State as commissioner for establishments.
Following the Nigerian civil war, from 1970 to 1971, Shagari was appointed by the military head of state General Yakubu Gowon as the federal commissioner for economic development, rehabilitation and reconstruction.
From 1971 to 1975 he served as the Federal commissioner (position now called minister) of finance. During his tenure as the commissioner of finance for Nigeria, Shagari was also a governor for the World Bank and a member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) committee of 20.
In 1978, he was a founding member of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) and a year later in 1979, was chosen by the party as the presidential candidate for general election that year, which he won becoming the president and head of state of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Shagari ran for a second four-year term in 1983 and won the general election, however, on December 31, 1983, Shagari was overthrown by Major General Muhammadu Buhari.