Shagari family disowns PDP

Members of the family of former Nigerian President, Alhaji Shehu Aliyu Shagari, have warned leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against dragging his name into the politics of endorsement for their presidential candidate.

A statement from the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Organisation quoted the eldest son of the former President and District Head of Shagari, Captain Bala Shagari (rtd), as saying that his father should be allowed to enjoy a quiet life in retirement.

The statement also quoted Captain Shagari, who holds the traditional title of Sarkin Mafaran Shagari, as saying that it was embarrassing for his elderly father to be dragged into partisan politics, leading to needless invasion of his privacy.

He said that 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 in their endorsement campaign without his express permission just to advance their own interests.

Bala Shagari said his father has not endorsed anybody for the February 2015 presidential election, and that he remains politically neutral, stressing that as a father figure, his father’s role is to pray for the 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 and advised politicians to avoid politics of bitterness, division, intolerance and violence, which he says poses a threat to the nation’s democracy.

It is not the first time an individual or group would deny purported endorsement of President Jonathan for re-election.

The Afenifere Renewal Group had earlier distanced itself from alleged adoption of Jonathan’s candidacy.

An an effort made by popular Igbo businessman, Chief Emmanuel Iwuayanwu, to get the apex Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, to adopt the President as its candidate for next month’s presidential election was also rejected by the group.

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