Remains of former President Shagari buried in Sokoto

The remains of Nigeria’s second republic president, Shehu Shagari, have been laid to rest on Saturday at his hometown in Shagari Local Government Area of Sokoto State.

Mr Shagari died on Friday at the age of 93 at the National Hospital, Abuja.

His remains were received by the state governor, Aminu Tambuwal, at Sultan Abubakar III International Airport Sokoto at about 1: 00 p.m.

He was later buried according Islamic rights in his house at about 3:25 p.m.

The funeral prayer was led by chief Imam of the National Mosque, Shehu Galadanchi and dignitaries that attended included Wazirin Sokoto, Sambo Junaidu as well as Governors of Kebbi and Zamfara States, Atiku Bagudu and Abdulaziz Yari, respectively.

Others were state, Yahaya Abdudkarim, Sokoto deputy governor, Manniru Dan’iya, Sen. Aliyu Wamakko, Emir of Argungu, Sama’ila Mera.

The Federal Government delegation at the funerals was led by Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami and Minister of Commerce, Trade and Investment, A’isha Abubakar.

Mr Mustapha described late Mr Shagari as a humble leader who contributed immensely to democracy in Nigeria.

The SGF enjoined Nigerians to emulate his good qualities and condole the people of Sokoto State and Nigerians in general.

The General Commanding Officer, GOC, 8 Division, Nigerian Army, Maj. Gen. Stevenson Olabanji, led the military processions at the funeral.

In his condolence messages, the state governor, Aminu Tambuwal, condoled the family of Mr Shagari, people of Sokoto State and Nigeria at large.

Mr Tambuwal described the death as a great loss and prayed Allah to grant him eternal bliss.

He said Mr Shagari was a national and international statesman, who made unparalleled contributions to the development of education, as a teacher at basic level and President of Nigeria.

He said Mr Shagari’s administration witnessed social and economic advancement, setting the pace for the nation’s industrialisation, particularly through the establishment of the Ajaokuta Steel Rolling Mill.

He said that Mr Shagari’s Presidency played a frontline role in the independence of Zimbabwe in 1980 and the anti apartheid struggle in South Africa.

Sen. Aliyu Wamakko (APC-Sokoto) also recalled the agricultural programme – the Green Revolution – by late President Shagari.

He described late Mr Shagari’s death as a great loss, especially his sterling virtues of unrivalled humility, piety and patriotism.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that prayers were offered to the departed soul and the SGF extended federal government’s condolences to deceased family, people of Sokoto and Nigerians at large.

The deceased held traditional title of Turakin Sokoto and is survived by several children and grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Shagari was President of Nigeria from 1979 to 1983 and was toppled three months into his second term in office following a military coup.

The former leader was born February 25, 1925 in Shagari in Sokoto State.

After his early education, he worked as a teacher for a brief period before entering politics in 1951.

In 1954, he was elected to the Federal House of Representatives.

He served seven times in a ministerial or cabinet posts as a Federal Minister and Federal Commissioner from 1958–1975, before he was elected President in 1979.

He won a disputed re-election in 1983 that accelerated a military coup three months later after he was sworn in and the economy was on a precipitous decline.

NAN