Junaid Mohammed

Junaid Mohammed, a Second Republic federal lawmaker, says President Muhammadu Buhari is unqualified to give a tribute to late ex-president Shehu Shagari.

Shagari’s time on earth ended on Friday, December 28, at the age of 93.

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The former Nigerian leader died at the National Hospital in Abuja, the nation’s capital, according to his grandson, Bello Shagari, who announced Shagari’s death on Twitter.

Shagari was Nigeria’s first elected president from October 1979 to December 1983. His government was taken over by the military, led by current president Muhammadu Buhari.

Presidency Mourns Shehu Shagari
Ex-President Shehu Shagari & President Muhammadu Buhari

He was subsequently detained, alongside his deputy, Alex Ekwueme, by Buhari in 1984.

And in his reaction to Shagari’s demise, Buhari, speaking through his top media aide Femi Adesina, said: “On behalf of my family, the government and the people of Nigeria, it is with immense sadness that I received the news of the passing away of the First Executive President of Nigeria, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, which event happened on Friday in Abuja.”

“More specifically, we celebrate the role modelling qualities of integrity, diligence and humility that have been the hallmark of your visionary leadership,” Buhari added.

However, Mohammed, in an interview, faulted the president’s tribute.

He said: “Quite a number of the people who would claim to be his friends were actually his enemies and they contributed tremendously to bringing down that government and in making it impossible for us to have a meaningful democratic dispensation years after his departure from office.”

As far as the elder statesman is concerned, Buhari “contribute so much in bringing down a government and bringing down a man who had nothing to gain, even though he had poor eyesight and was in poor health.

”He [Shagari] was in his late 60s then – you (Buhari) cannot say, from 1984 till now, you got along well. How did you get along well?”

He also said: “No matter what you say about the Shagari administration, he knew how to retire from public service quietly, with a tremendous amount of nobility and self-respect. You have to give him that.”