‘Shagari’s 35 apolitical years qualified him best statesman’
Late former President Shehu Shagari’s choice of remaining apolitical for 35 years since leaving office in 1983 made him one of Nigeria’s best qualified statesmen since the second republic, Governors of the 19 northern states have said.
Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, who is chairman of the northern states’ Governors forum, stated this in a statement he personally signed on behalf of the forum and emailed to newsmen yesterday in Maiduguri.
He said since leaving office in December 1983, late former President Shagari made the rare and bold choice of staying out of partisan politics in Nigeria, despite his immense popularity in the country.
According to him, Shagari opted to remain a statesman and a father of the nation and he maintained such a dignified position till his died, making exactly 35 apolitical years.
The Governor noted that in all these years, Shagari measured his words and actions as a peaceful and unifying leader and “to cap it up, Shagari died in Abuja, the nation’s capital which symbolizes our nationalism and unity.”
The statement said “Although he died at a time his wise counsel was needed, he has bequeathed to us, his documented lifetime of statesmanship, good character, calmness, and selfless interest in the unity and prosperity of Nigeria.”