Shagari was disappointed his friends overthrew his government
Aminu Shagari, a lawyer, is a member of the House of Representatives and son of former President Shehu Shagari, who died penultimate Friday at 93. Aminu talks about his father in this interview with ADENIYI OLUGBEMI in Sokoto
How did your father feel that the military administration, headed by the current President, Muhammadu Buhari, truncated his rule?
He felt very disappointed because the military should ordinarily protect the civilian administration but it turned against the people and overthrew his government. He felt more disappointed because those involved in that coup were the closest to him. His administration promoted most of them to the positions they occupy today. That is the painful part. But at the end of it all, he forgave them all.
What lessons did you learn from the irony that the beneficiary of that coup that ousted your father’s administration praised him when he paid a condolence visit to his family?
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.
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.
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.