Alhaji Bala Shagari, the eldest son of late former President Shehu Shagari, has clarified that his father held no grudges against President Muhammadu Buhari for the 1983 coup before his death on Friday, December 28, at the National Hospital in Abuja.
On December 31, 1983, When Shagari had just won the second term in office, he was sacked and overthrown from his government by a band of soldiers who immediately named the then Major General Muhammadu Buhari as his replacement.
Leaders of the coup cited official corruption on a grand scale and a worsening economy as reasons why they kicked Shagari out of Dodan Barracks, Lagos—at the time Nigeria’s seat of power.
Bala Shagari clarified while speaking to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that his father held no grudges against Buhari for the coup, before his death. He said:
“My father told us that he had pardoned everyone (including Buhari).”
Shortly after his death, Buhari described Shagari as”a patriot, who served Nigeria with humility, integrity, and diligence. Nigerians held him in the highest esteem even when he was out of office, until his demise, and will forever miss his wise counsels”.
On Sunday, December 30, 2018, Buhari led a delegation to Shagari’s home for a condolence visit. There, the president promised to immortalize Shagari.
“The Federal Government will in due course institute a suitable memorial to the late former President. May his soul rest in peace.”
Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Nigeria’s first executive president, was born on February 25, 1925. He was 93 years of age when he died.
He has since been buried in accordance with Islamic rites.