Former Nigerian President Shehu Shagari dies at 93

December 29, 2018 - 3:15 am

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Shehu Shagari, Nigeria's second president, whose tenure was sandwiched between two military rulers in an era rocked by coups, has died. He was 93.

Nigeria's current President Muhammadu Buhari, who unseated Shagari 35 years ago, says he mourns "the departure of a patriot, who served Nigeria with humility, integrity and diligence."

Shagari had an ambivalent relationship with the military, which initially favored his ascension to power but held him in solitary confinement for three years after toppling his government.

Shagari beat regional political veterans in a hotly contested election in 1979. The polls followed 13 years of military rule by four different men.

On New Year's Eve of 1983, a group of military plotters toppled his government, describing Shagari's administration as "inept and corrupt" in a radio announcement.

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