Bala Shagari, the eldest son of late President Shehu Shagari has expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari over condolence visit to the family in Sokoto.
The eldest son told newsmen on Sunday in Sokoto, Sokoto state, that the family was happy with the visit and Buhari’s pledge to immortalize the late president.
Mr Bala, who is the District Head of Shagari town in Sokoto, however, said he would not comment on Buhari’s pledge until it was fulfilled.
Late Shagari, aged 93, died on December 28 at the National Hospital, Abuja and was buried on Saturday at Shagari, his hometown.
Mr Shagari was President of Nigeria from 1979 to 1983. He was dethroned by a coup d’etat that brought in Muhammadu Buhari to power as military head of state, three months after he (Shagari) was sworn in for second term.
He said that the late president did not leave any will beside the directive that he should be buried at his home, Shagari.
According to Mr Bala, the directive was strictly observed and implemented as his remains were buried at Shagari town, on Saturday.
He acknowledged that the Sultan had offered that the late president should be buried at Hubbare, where Shehu Usman Danfofio was laid to rest.
“We acknowledged it but late Shagari had told us that he should be buried in Shagari town and even indicated a specific location, so we have to comply with his will,” he added.
According to him, his father had no grudge against Mr Buhari or anyone because “Shagari told us he had pardoned everyone.”
He explained that the late president’s absence at functions was due to his ill-health, saying that was why he stayed in Sokoto and Shagari town before he died.
Earlier, President Buhari condoled with the wives and children of late Shagari at the deceased residence on Sama road in Sokoto.
During the visit, Prof. Shehu Galadanci led the prayers for late Shagari.
He also prayed to God to change the mindset of those spreading hate and disunity among citizens as well as those individuals or organisations working against the laudable and pro-human policies and programmes of the Buhari administration.
Buhari was accompanied by Governors Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi, Sen. Aliyu Wamakko and Sokoto State Deputy Governor Alhaji Mannir Dan-Iya, among others.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the visit was cheered by crowds chanting; “Nigeria Said Maigaskiya” meaning Nigeria is for a truthful person.
The Federal Government’s delegation led by Secretary to the Federation, Boss Mustapha, had earlier attended the late president’s funeral on Saturday in Shagari town.
The deceased held the traditional title of Turakin Sokoto, was born on Feb. 25, 1925 in Shagari, in Shagari Local Government Area of Sokoto state.
After his early education, he worked as a teacher briefly before he became politician in 1951. In 1954, he was elected to the Federal House of Representatives.
He served seven times as a federal minister and federal commissioner from 1958–1975, before he was elected president in 1979.