7 Notable Events In President Shehu Shagari’s Political Career
When his grandson Bello Shagari announced his death via a saddening tweet, the reactions to the news suggests a revered man has passed on.
The feeling suitably draws motivation from years of public service remembered in history as meaning a good and bad time for Nigeria. It is still obvious the trace of the president’s influence in the country.
1. Ghana Must Go
On November 18, 1969, the government of Kofi Busia of Ghana, announces the Alien Compliance Order, that sought to evict foreigners blamed for his country’s economic misfortunes out of the country.
The reverse is the case 14 years later when President Shehu Shagari issues an executive order demanding illegal immigrants to leave Nigeria or risk getting arrested. The order given in 1983, reportedly affects over 1 million Ghanaians who are forced to leave the country and made to deal with restricted access in Benin Republic journeying back to their homeland.
2. The economic crisis of the 1980s
During this period, Nigeria nurses challenges with a financial problem bothersome to the country.
It is largely blamed on excessive dependence on oil revenues. In response, President Shagari cuts down on government spending to lesson the gravity of the economic difficulty which reportedly led to the expulsion of aliens from Nigeria in 1983. Unfortunately, his tactics failed to prevent a coup that removed him from power on December 31, 1983.
3. Overthrown in a moral coup
The problems with a drop in oil prices, deepening financial crisis and an allegation of corruption under Shagari’s government led to a military coup reportedly carried out by Major General Muhammadu Buhari full of aspiration to clean the system.
This change in power produced a stunted second republic under the deceased. It lasted from October 1, 1979, to December 31, 1983, when he was removed.
4. Released from detention in 1986
Three years after the military coup, President Shehu Shagari is allowed to go free after getting cleared in corruption investigation. The aftermath will mean his inactivity in the political scene.
5. A speedy rise since joining politics in 1951
In the third year since joining politics in 1951, Shagari enjoys fast growth in his career. He gets elected to his first public office as a member of parliament in 1954, representing Sokoto Westat the Federal House of Representatives.
From this position, he shoots up to the role of Permanent Secretary to Sir Tafawa Balewa, the first Prime Minister of Nigeria, who serves in office from October 1, 1960, until January 15, 1966.
Shehu Shagari is recorded as serving in the role of a Federal Minister for seven times.
6. Involvement in party Politics
When the late president ventured into politics in the year 1951, he quickly becomes the secretary of his party, the Northern People’s Congress formed in Sokoto, Nigeria in June 1949.
He holds this position until 1956. This opened him up to more roles in government.
7. The path to 1979 presidency
A year after joining a new party, the National Party of Nigeria, Shehu Shagari a founding member, is picked to become its presidential candidate in 1978.
He goes on to win in an election, making him the President and Head of State.
By the end of his first term, he runs again for office in 1983 and becomes victorious. But a coup reportedly carried out by Major General Muhammadu Buhari causes his tenure to be a short romance.