Should I just go straight to the point on who was the first civilian president of Nigeria?
Well, it would be unfair if I do not make clear some certain things, so as to help you understand the differences between a Civilian Rule and the Military Rule.
The Civilian Rule is the control of government by the Civilian political leadership to engage in the strategic decision making of the country.
On the other hand, the Military Rule is the control of government by the military authorities or forces with the power to take over the administration of law in a country.
You need to know that during the military rule, part of the constitution of a country is being suspended, which has the possibility of affecting the rights of the citizens and it also makes them more powerful to act ultra vires.
Meanwhile, during a civilian rule, the government is closer to the people and the citizens have their complete rights as it works in accordance with the rule of law.
Now that you know the differences between a Civilian government and a Military government, then I would like to quickly tell you who a Civilian President is.
A Civilian president is someone who belongs to a political democratic entity and has been elected by the people so as to guide and control the affairs of the country.
Assuredly, in this post, you would get to know who the First Civilian President in Nigeria was, as you continue reading.
Who Is the First Civilian President of Nigeria?
Alhaji Shehu Shagari is the First Civilian President of Nigeria in the Year 1979 and ended his tenure in 1983 due to a military coup intervention.
So many people think General Olusegun Obasanjo is the First Civilian President of Nigeria, which is wrong.
General Olusegun Obasanjo was the one under the Military Government that handed over power to a civilian leader, which is the person of Alhaji Shehu Usman Shagari and therefore makes him the First Civilian President of Nigeria.
Generally, Nnamdi Azikwe could have been the First Civilian President of Nigeria but during that period, Nigeria wasn’t really running a presidential system of government and there were no executive functions.
Therefore, Alhaji Shehu Shagari could be described as the First Civilian President of Nigeria and the 6th on our list of Nigerian presidents.
He was born on the 25th of February in the year 1925 and he passed away on the 28th of December, 2018.
Shehu Shagari was a founding member of a political party called “The National Party of Nigeria”, which made him find necessary supports to run for election as a presidential candidate.
He is being regarded as the First Civilian President of Nigeria because he was the first democratically elected president in Nigeria.
Who Was Shehu Shagari’s Father?
The name SHAGARI originated from Shehu Shagari’s great-grandfather which was also passed to him by his father, whose name was ALIYU SHAGARI. Aliyu Shagari had 6 children in which Shehu Shagari was among.
Aliyu Shagari was a farmer, a herdsman, a trader and was also the village head of his time among the Fulani Tribe.
Sadly, Aliyu Shagari didn’t get to raise Shehu Shagari for a long time because he died 5 years after Shehu Shagari’s birth.
Then, the responsibility was passed to Aliyu Shagari’s eldest son, Bello Shagari to raise Shehu Shagari as a young child.
Achievements of Shehu Usman Shagari
Alhaji Shehu Shagari engaged in different aspects of political activities and occupation when he was alive.
Before he became the First Civilian President of Nigeria, he had already worked as a Teacher at the Sokoto Province for 5 years, not long after he graduated from Teachers Training College, Kaduna in 1952.
Shehu Shagari got his first taste of real politics when he was elected as the Secretary of the Northern People’s Congress in Sokoto, 1951.
Later, he was elected as a member of the Federal House of Representatives for the Western part of Sokoto in 1954.
Shehu Shagari was also named the parliamentary secretary to Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, who was the Prime Minister of Nigeria during that time.
Before Shehu Shagari became the first Civilian President of Nigeria, he had already assumed a lot of ministerial responsibilities and posts.
He was the Federal Minister of Commerce and Industries for a year and was also appointed as the Federal Minister of Economic Development for a year as well and he was in Office from the year 1959-1960.
Alhaji Shehu Shagari was being appointed the Federal Minister of pensions in the year 1960.
As time went on, he got another post of being the Federal Minister of Works between the years 1965-1966.
He also became the Federal Minister of Internal Affairs spending 3 years in office between the years 1962-1965.
Shehu Shagari had also assumed the post of Federal Commissioner for Finance as he succeeded Chief Obafemi Awolowo and ended his tenure in 1975.
Finally, his greatest achievement was in 1979 when he democratically elected as the First Civilian President of Nigeria after the handing over of power by General Olusegun Obasanjo, who was in control of the Military government during that time.
It also made him the 6th president of Nigeria in history but his tenure ended as the president in 1983 by a military coup which was led by General Muhammadu Buhari.
In addition to Shehu Shagari’s achievements, while he was in power and in offices, he made a tangible impact on Nigeria as a Country as he enhanced the easy use of Transportation by making provisions for good roads and a good transportation system in general.
He also made an impact on the Nigerian Agriculture by providing and enhancing the use of Mechanical types of machinery and equipment, to ensure good and adequate farming or Agricultural system in Nigeria.
Summary Notes On The First Civilian President of Nigeria
Before the assumed position of Alhaji Shehu Shagari as the First Civilian president of Nigeria, Nigeria had previously been ruled and controlled by the Militar.
This has led to the rule of arbitrariness in Nigeria due to the suspension of some parts of the Nigerian Constitution and perhaps giving them all the power they needed to control the country their own way.
But with the handing over of power by General Olusegun Obasanjo, who was the Military leader of Nigeria during that time, made it possible for a democratic government under the control of a Civilian leader “Shehu Shagari” who was proudly referred to as the First Civilian President of Nigeria.
With all that you’ve read above, I am sure you know who the First Civilian president of Nigeria was, and how he got elected into office by his continuous hard work.
Shehu Shagari had served his country, Nigeria, by dearly taking up the position to secure the rights of Nigerian citizens. You could also do something to assure the greater good of Nigeria.