Alhaji Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari was the first executive president of the federal republic of Nigeria between the years 1979 and 1983, a period known as the second republic, before his government was overthrown by the military. Nigeria’s Second Republic president, passed on at the age of 93 on Friday, December 28, after a brief illness.
Born on February 25, 1925 to the family of Magaji Aliyu and Mariamu both of Fulani extraction in the northern Nigeria, Shagari attended a primary school in Yabo and later attended Sokoto middle school. He went to Kaduna College, a school originally created to be a teacher training college.
Shagari’s early political career can be traced back to in 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.
Here are facts about the late President Shehu Shagari, the Turaki of Sokoto Caliphate.
- After 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.
- In 1948, the Youth Social Circle of Shagari merged with some other political groups to form the Northern People’s congress, and in the year 1959, they won a national parliamentary election.
- He was appointed parliamentary secretary to the prime minister, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa in 1958, during much of the First Republic until the military coup of January 15, 1966.
- Around the same period also, he was elected to represent his constituency (Sokoto Southwest) in the parliament.
- He was moved to the pensions ministry as the Federal Minister for Pensions in the year 1960-1962. 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 1979 he 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.
- In 1983, Shagari ran for a second four year term and won the general election, but his tenure was cut short by a December 31 military coup staged by then Major General Muhammadu Buhari on December 31 1983 (New Year’s Eve).
- When the military ousted the government, Shagari returned to Sokoto where held the position of a councilor, representing Sokoto native authority.
- After the Nigerian civil war, from 1970-1971, the then military head of state, General Yakubu Gowon appointed Shagari as the federal commissioner for economic development, rehabilitation and reconstruction.
- Shagari’s resurgence in politics began in 1978, when co-founded the National People’s Party with some other northern elites.
- Shagari was made the Turaki of the fula Sokoto Caliphate in 1962 by the Sultan of Sokoto Siddiq Abubakar III.
- In 1986, former President Shehu Shagari was banned from participation in politics for life.