How Buhari disappointed us before, after my father’s death — Shagari’s son

NEWS DIGEST – Aminu Shagari, the son of former Nigerian President, Shehu Shagari, has revealed how President Muhammadu Buhari disappointed him and his family before and after the death of his father. 

He made the revelation in an interview with Punch Newspaper.

He said although his late father “forgave his offenders, he never forgot their offences”, referring to how Mr Buhari as an army officer “betrayed” and toppled Mr Shagari in 1983.

Mr Shagari, who was president between 1979 and 1983, passed away on December 28, aged 93. He was removed in a military coup led by Nigeria’s current president, Muhammadu Buhari.

Years after, Mr Buhari was elected as a civilian president in 2015 and is preparing to run for another tenure in 2019.

President Buhari had on December 30 traveled to Sokoto to pay a condolence visit to the family of the former president. 

He also ordered that flags should be flown at half-mast for three days at all military formations and public places in the country.

In the Punch interview published Sunday, Aminu Shagari was asked what lessons he learnt from the irony that the beneficiary of the coup that ousted his father’s administration praised him when he paid a condolence visit to his family. 

In his response, he expressed disappointment in Mr Buhari. He said his father did not get the kind of attention expected from “the person who overthrew his administration”. 

“First, let me say that though our father forgave his offenders, one thing as human beings is that, no matter what, one cannot forget. Till he died, our father did not get the kind of attention expected from the person who overthrew his administration. After all investigations, he didn’t find him culpable,” he said.

“In our own little way, we supported the incumbent President and from the time he became president, I would not say there is any communication between us. I think we should have got more from the person who was close to our father but overthrew his government,” Punch quoted him saying. 

He further explained that his expectations of President Buhari’s visit never materialised as none of them heard any “words of comfort” from the president. 

“When he came, we expected to hear something from him like some words of comfort. But we didn’t hear such because he didn’t say anything. We gave him the condolence register. He only signed and put the date. Personally, I was very disappointed with that. I expected that at least, as Muslim, he would write, ‘May Allah forgive him and may Allah forgive us when our time comes.’ That makes me extremely disappointed in him,” he said. 

Mr Shagari who described his late father as a very humble, gentle, soft-spoken and extremely loving father, said his death was a great loss to him, his family and the country at large. 

The Presidency said he would be immortalised.