The eldest son of President Shehu Shagari, who ruled Nigeria in the Second Republic, Captain Bala Shagari (retired), has advised leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party to stop dragging his father’s name into the endorsement politics of their presidential candidate and allow his father enjoy the quiet life of his retirement.
Bala Shagari, who holds the traditional title of Sarkin Mafaran Shagari, said in a statement that it is embarrassing for his elderly father to be dragged into partisan politics, which brings needless distractions into his private life in retirement.
According to the retired captain, while his father would continue to pray for the peace, unity and stability of Nigeria, it is wrong for any political party or group of politicians to use his name to advance their own interests in their endorsement campaign without his permission.
Bala Shagari said his father has not endorsed anybody for the February 2015 presidential election, and that he remains politically neutral. He explained that as a father figure, his father’s role is to pray for peace, unity and stability of Nigeria.
The District Head of Shagari said any endorsement of candidate or candidates of any party might compromise the neutrality and integrity of his father. He advised politicians to avoid politics of bitterness, division, intolerance and violence, which, he warned, pose a threat to Nigeria’s democracy.