Biography Of Shehu Shagari: First Democratically Elected President of Nigeria

This is the Biography of Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari,Turakin Sokoto, first democratically elected President of Nigeria.


Shehu Shagari was born on February 25, 1925 to the family of Magaji Aliyu and Mariamu both of Fulani origins in Northern Nigeria. When Shehu Shagari was four years old, he was registered into a Quranic School. After that, he attended a primary school in Yabo, and later attended Sokoto middle school, from where he went to Kaduna College, a school originally created to be a training college for teachers. 

After attending college, Shehu Shagari got a job as a science teacher at the Sokoto Middle School. He later taught at Zaria Middle School after which he became the headmaster of a primary school in Argungu.

In 1946, Shehu Shagari and Mallam Gambo Abuja jointly formed the Youth Social Circle, a political organization that operated in Sokoto. Some Northern Elite of that time like Ahmadu Bello, Ibrahim Gusau, and Mallam Ahamdu Dabbaba supported the movement.

In 1958, Shehu Shagari was appointed parliamentary secretary to the Prime Minister, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. Around that surrounding period, Shagari was also elected to represent his constituency (Sokoto Southwest) in the parliament.

In 1948, the Youth Social Circle of Shehu Shagari merged with some other political groups to form the Northern People’s Congress, and in 1959, the Northern People’s Congress won a national parliamentary election. Between 1960 and 1962, Shehu Shagari was made the minister of Economic Development and minister of Internal Affairs respectively. In 1965, he became the minister of Works and Survey.

ALSO READ  5 Popular Unsolved Assassinations in Nigeria’s History Exposed (Photos)

In 1979, Shehu Shagari won the presidential election and became the first democratically elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria between 1979 and 1983, before his government was overthrown by the military.

When the military sacked Shagari’s government, he returned to Sokoto where he held the position of a Councilor, representing Sokoto Native Authority. In 1970, Yakubu Gowon made Shagari the minister of Economic Affairs and also, minister of Finance.

Shehu Shagari married three wives, Aishatu, Amina and Hadiza Shagari. Aishatu Shagari died in 2001 in London after a brief illness.

News Update: Alhaji Shehu Shagari Dies At The Age Of 93

The news of the death of former president Alhaji Shehu Shagari was first announced by the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal via his official twitter handle @AWTambuwal on Friday.

“I regret to Announce the death of former President Shehu Shagari who just passed away at National Hospital Abuja. May his Soul Rest in Peace,” Tambuwal tweeted.

He died on Friday evening at the National Hospital Abuja. Shagari’s death later was confirmed by his grandson that the first democratically elected president of Nigeria died after a brief illness at 7.04pm that same day.

Those present when he passed away were Governor Tambuwal, his sons, Hon. Aminu Shagari and Major Bala Shagari rtd.

Facts About The Late Shagari (1925-2018)

  • Shagari was Nigerian President from 1979 to 1983 when his government was overthrown by a military coup.
  • Shehu Shagari’s great-grandfather founded the village from which the family took its name.
  • He was elected to represent his constituency (Sokoto Southwest) in the parliament.
  • Shagari was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, in 1958.
  • In 1959, he was made the Minister of Economic Development, and Minister of Internal Affairs.
  • He later became the Minister of Works and Survey in 1963.
  • In 1970, the then head of state, General Yakubu Gowon, made Shagari the Federal Commissioner for Economic Development, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction.
  • He later served as Federal Commissioner for Finance under Gowon.
  • Shagari emerged the winner of the 1979 election and became the first executive President of Nigeria under the National Party of Nigeria (NPN).
  • By December 31, 1983, led by Maj. Gen. Muhammad Buhari. Shagari was consequently placed under house arrest and banned from politics.
ALSO READ  How to get Your Payoneer Debit MasterCard In Nigeria



The Author


I am Maduawuchi, the Editor of Nigerian Infopedia. I am a Biochemist, I love God, I love my family and I love my life. Writing is natural to me that's why I love what I do... Captain, Leader, Motivator, Brother and Friend. Saved by Grace alone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.