Oluwatosin Omoniyi She was not as colourful as the first ladies of today but she was by every means the wife of a fomer president of Nigeria. Hadiza was the wife of late former President Shehu Shagari, who ruled Nigeria from October 1, 1979 to December 31, 1983. Hadiza, who also maintains a low profile like her late husband, is not so much known in the public domain.
But on Thursday last week, death snatched her at the age of 80 years. He death was announced in a statement by the former President’s family. She was said to have tested positive for COVID-19 and was receiving treatment at an isolation centre in Abuja before she died.
“We regret to announce the demise of our beloved mother, Hajiya Hadiza Shehu Shagari, the wife of H.E. late President Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari, GCFR (Turakin Sokoto),” said the statement signed by Captain Muhammad Bala on behalf of the family. “We lost her in the early hours of today, 12th August 2021, at about 3:00 am, after battling COVID-19 at the Gwagwalada Isolation Centre in Abuja. Hajiya Hadiza Shehu Shagari was 80 years old.”
Shagari was the first democratically elected Nigerian President after the transfer of power by the military regime of former Head of State, General Olusegun Obasanjo (rtd) – leading to the rise of the Second Republic. Since her death was announced, it is been a rain of tributes from all over the country.
High profile figures, political office holders from the presidency to the governors, have queued up, eulogising the late matriarch of the Shagari family. President Mohammadu Buhari in a statement by his media adviser, Femi Adesina, described Hadiza as a pillar of strength and support, holding forth for the family while her husband busied himself with service to the nation.
He extended condolences to the government and the people of Sokoto State, as well as urged the family to be consoled by the good deeds of Hadiza. A former Governor of Sokoto State, Senator . Aliyu Wamakko (APC-Sokoto), during a condolence visit to the residence of Alhaji Shehu Shagari in Sokoto, described Hadiza’s death as a great loss not only to her family, but to all Nigerians.
A statement by his Media Aide, Hassan Sanyinnawal, said in Sokoto that Wamakko also prayed the Almighty Allah to forgive the deceased, as well as grant her Janatul Firdausi. She was buried on Thursday in Abuja.