Abuja, Dec 29 (IANS) Former Nigerian President Shehu Shagari died in the country’s capital city of Abuja on Friday at the age of 93.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Shagari, president of Nigeria’s Second Republic (1979-1983), died at the National Hospital Abuja while receiving treatment for an undisclosed illness.
Shagari’s family immediately announced he would be buried on Saturday in his hometown in the northern state of Sokoto, in accordance with Islamic rites, Xinhua news agency reported.
The former leader, born on February 25, 1925, in Sokoto, 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 post as a federal minister and federal commissioner from 1958-1975 before he was elected president in 1979.
Shagari was dethroned by a coup d’etat that brought in incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari, then as a military head of state.
Buhari described the passing of the former leader as the departure of a patriot whose life of service and humility was widely acknowledged.
The president also said the Shagari was a role model whose qualities of integrity, diligence and humility have been the hallmark of “visionary leadership.”