10 things you should know about Late Alhaji Shehu Shagari
Former President Shehu Shagari until late Friday had being one of the surving Nigerian leaders whose wealth of Knowledge and experiences have been helping immeasurably in shaping the scheme of things in the country. His dead yesterday at the National hospital Abuja has been a collosal lose to the nation in dire need of professional direction in its journey to civil and democratic rule. As the nation mourns the exit of this great leader, the following are what you should know about the second republic president.
Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari was a Nigerian politician who served as the only president of Nigeria’s second republic between 1979 and 1983.
He was born in 1925 in the northern Shagari village, a village said to have been founded by his great-grandfather, Ahmadu Rufa’i.
Shehu Usman Shagari started his political career in 1951, when he became the secretary of the Northern People’s Congress in Sokoto, a position he held until 1956.
In 1954, Shehu Shagari was elected into the first public office as a member of the federal House of Representative for Sokoto west. In 1958, Shagari was appointed the parliamentary secretary 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’s 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.
In 1978, Shehu Shagari was a founding member of the National Party of Nigeria. In 1979 Shagari 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 31 December 1983, Shagari was overthrown by Major General Muhammadu Buhari.
During the oil boom, Shagari made Housing, Industries, Transportation and Agriculture the major goals of his administration. In transportation, he launched some road networks across the country. He also initiated a program to foster the use of mechanical machinery in farming. This initiative favored large scale farmers in order to produce mass products. Shagari also created a low cost housing scheme.
Credit: Daily Trust