Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari was the first president of the federal republic of Nigeria between the years 1979 and 1983, a period known as the second republic, before his government was overthrown by the military.
Shagari was born on February 25, 1925 to the family of Magaji Aliyu and Mariamu both of Fulani extraction in the Northern Nigeria.
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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 teacher training college.
After the college, Shagari became a science teacher at the Sokoto middle school in 1953-1958 from there, he moved to Zaria Middle School. He later became a headmaster of a primary school in Argungu.
He was also a member of the federal scholarship board from 1954-1958.
Shagari’s early political career can be traced back to in 1946, when he and Mallam Gambo Abuja jointly formed the Youth Social Circle, a political organisation that operated in Sokoto.
The movement was supported by some northern elites of that time like Ahmadu Bello, Ibrahim Gusau, and Mallam Ahamdu Dabbaba.
In the year 1948, the Youth Social Circle of Shagari merged with some other political groups to form the Northern People's congress, and in the year 1959, they won a national parliamentary election.
In the year 1958, Shehu Shagari was appointed parliamentary secretary to the prime minister, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.
Around the same period also, he was elected to represent his constituency (Sokoto Southwest) in the parliament.
He was moved to the pensions ministry as the Federal Minister for Pensions in the year 1960-1962. From 1962-1965, Shagari was made the federal minister for internal affairs.
From 1965 up until the first military coup in January 1966, Shagari was the federal minister for works.
When the military ousted the government, Shagari returned to Sokoto where held the position of a councilor, representing Sokoto native authority.
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After the Nigerian civil war, from 1970-1971, the then military head of state, General Yakubu Gowon appointed Shagari as the federal commissioner for economic development, rehabilitation and reconstruction.
Shagari’s resurgence in politics began in 1978, when co-founded the National People’s Party with some other northern elites.
In 1979 he was chosen by the party as the presidential candidate for general election that year, which he won becoming the president and head of state of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
In 1983, Shagari ran for a second four year term and won the general election, but his tenure was cut short by a December 31 military coup staged Major General Muhammadu Buhari.
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