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Shehu Shagari was born on April 25, 1925, in the northern state of Sokoto. His father, Magaji Aliyu, died when Shehu Shagari was 5 years old, and the future President was reared by his older brother, Muhammadu Bello.
Alhaji Shehu Shagari began his studies at the age of four, and later attended the School of Elimentary in Yabo near Shagari village, and then went to Middle School in Sokoto, and then went to Kaduna College.
Shehu Shagari was educated at Kaduna College, where he received a bachelor’s degree in science, and he subsequently went to Mecca, the Islamic holy city in Saudi Arabia. A Sunni Moslem, he has made the trip several times since.
After graduation from college, Alhaji Shehu Shagari taught in various middle schools as a science and historian for 13 years.
Shehu Usman Shagari became increasingly involved in local politics, and in 1946 he and Malam Gambo Abuja organized a youth group in Sokoto, and supported the elderly as Sir Ahmadu Bello, Ibrahim Gusau and Malam Ahamdu Dabbaba.
In 1948, all parties of the political parties were approved to join the NPC, who later became the party who won the race in 1959.
In 1959, a year before Nigeria’s independence from Britain, Alhaji Shehu Shagari was named Parliamentary Secretary to the Nigerian Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.
Alhaji Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari held various ministerial positions, including economic growth (1960), overseas affairs (1962) and workshops and surveys (1965).
Besides his service in government, Shehu Shagari also was a member of the assembly that drafted the American style Constitution.
Shehu Shagari was acclaimed by literary critics in Nigeria and elsewhere in West Africa for his poetry.
Overthrown By Major General Muhammadu Buhari
Shagari won the 1979 election with the help of his campaign manager, Umaru Dikko.
The campaign had the support of many prominent politicians in the North and among southern minorities.
The party’s motto was “One Nation, One Destiny” and was seen as the party best representing Nigeria’s diversity.
However, on 31 December 1983, Shagari was overthrown by Major General Muhammadu Buhari.
After the coup, Alhaji Shehu Shagari returned home to Sokoto.
Alhaji Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari Family
Alhaji Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari married three wives: Amina, Aishatu, Hadiza Shagari. He has many children.
However, his most visible children are Captain Muhammad Bala Shagari Rtd. and Aminu Shehu Shagari.
On 24 August 2001, his wife, Aisha Shagari, died in a London hospital from a brief illness.
Alhaji Shehu Usman Shagari Titles
In 1962, Shagari was made the Turaki of the Fula Sokoto Caliphate by the Sultan of Sokoto Siddiq Abubakar III. Turaki is a title which translates to the officer at court, referring to the sultan’s court at the palace of Sokoto.
Beyond the Northwest, Shagari also holds the chieftaincy titles of the Ochiebuzo of Ogbaland, the Ezediale of Aboucha and the Baba Korede of Ado Ekiti.
- Alhaji Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari Biography and Profile