Bala Shagari, the eldest son of late former President Shehu Shagari, who died on 28 December, 2018 at age 93, revealed that the decision to bury the late president in his private residence in Shagari town in Sokoto State was in accordance to his will.
He stated this while speaking with journalists in Sokoto on Sunday.
Shagari who died at the National Hospital in Abuja was buried on Saturday. He was the Second Republic and first Executive President of Nigeria.
Mr. Bala said that his father as the Turaki Sokoto was offered to be bury at the Hubbare cemetery, the burial site of late Jihadist, Usman Dan Fodio, and other sultans and members of the Sultanate Council, but his will had to be respected.
“Although there was an offer from the Sultan that the remains of the late President should be buried at the Hubbare cemetery, his will must be respected.
“He willed to be buried beside his son, the late Abdulrahman, at his Shagari residence which was carried out yesterday. There was no last word from him as he had stopped talking for a long time due to poor health.”
He further noted that his father died without having malice against anybody, adding that he had forgiven everyone who offended him before his death.
“He had forgiven everybody before his death and the only reason why he was not attending functions was because of his Ill-health as he hardly went out for some period.”
Among top dignitaries who paid tribute to the late president were President Muhammadu Buhari, Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, Governor Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State, Senator Aliyu Wamakko, and many others.
Buhari in his condolence message read by Governor Tambuwal said that the federal government would institute a suitable memorial in honour of the late president.
“The Federal Government will in due course institute a suitable memorial to the late former President. Please accept our conferences.”
He further described Shagari as a “landmark figure; being virtually our last link with the first independent government and the first executive elected President of Nigeria.
Former President Shagari led Nigeria 1 October 1979 – 31 December 1983, but his government was however overthrown following a coup against his government by General Muhammadu Buhari.
Buhari had in December 2014, during the buildup of the 2015 general election said that he did not regret ousting President Shehu Shagari through a military coup.
He stated this in an interview on Channels TV with Seun Okinbaloye.
“No. I am not sorry because I mentioned why we did it and we proved our case. When reminded that the coup veered Nigeria of the course of democratic advancement he said; “So, when you are a democracy, you are entitled to steal the country dry and put our people in a pauperised position, destroying institutions and destroying infrastructure?”
He however following the death of Shagari described him as a man of integrity.
“I mourn the departure of a patriot, who served Nigeria with humility, integrity and diligence. Nigerians held him in the highest esteem even when he was out of office until his demise, and will forever miss his wise counsels,” President Buhari said.