Yesterday, March 22, Sunday, the internet was abuzz with reports that the former president, Alhaji Shehu Usman Shagari, had passed away.
Legit.ng can authoritatively tell you that the rumoured death of the former president has been dismissed by his family members.
According to Tribune, Dr Atiku Nuhu Koko, the personal assistant the Shehu Shagari foundation, has described the news of Shagari's death already circulating on the online media as untrue. Koko said: "Shagari is alive."
Shagari, it would be recalled, celebrated his birthday on February 25, with all the former heads of states in Sokoto.
Update: Former President Shehu Shagari on March 23, 2015, Monday, addressed journalists in Sokoto to dismiss Sunday’s rumour of his death, advising Nigerians to give peace a chance during and after the general elections in the overall interest of national unity and growth.
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Who Is Shehu Shagari?
Shehu Shagari ruled Nigeria between 1979-1983, with Alex Ekwueme as his vice president. He was known to have made housing, industry, transportation and agriculture as the major goals of his administration, particularly in early on during the oil boom.
His administration completed the Delta Steel complex in 1982, and spent hundred of millions of dollars on the Ajaokuta Steel complex and the steel rolling mills.
He launched road networks across the country and initiated a program to foster the use of mechanical machinery in farming.
The Shagari administration was however plagued by allegations of corruption, including allegations of electoral fraud in the 1983 election.
This, coupled with a decline in world oil prices, a deterioration in the national finances, and endemic religious and political violence lead to the regime becoming deeply unpopular with the citizens.
Shagari was overthrown by General Muhammadu Buhari in a military coup on December 31, 1983. Shagari never forgive Gen Muhammadu Buhari for ousting him out of power.
He always blames Buhari for ousting a democratically elected administration under the guise of fighting corruption. He has never publicly supported Buhari's presidential aspirations, even despite a warm meeting last month.