His grandson, Nuradeen Mahe, who confirmed his death, told newsmen in Sokoto that the late President died at 6:40 p.m. and his remains would be flown to Sokoto for burial on Saturday according to Islamic rites.
The National Public Relations Officer of NANS, Mr Bestman Okereafor, gave the condolence message in a statement issued in Enugu on Friday.
Okereafor said: “The attention of the National leadership of the apex students governing body, NANS, has been drawn to the demise of Nigeria’s first elected president, who served between 1979-1983, Alhaji Shehu Shagari.
“NANS is joining the Federal Government, all Nigerians both home and in Diaspora and the Shagari family in bidding the former president farewell.
“No doubt Shagari was a patriotic elder statesman worthy of emulation considering how he had continuously given responsive representation to the people.
“For example In 1954, he won a seat at the general election to represent Sokoto South-West Constituency, and four years later, he was appointed parliamentary secretary to the Prime Minister, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.
“In 1960, he was appointed Minister of Economic Development, and then Minister of Internal Affairs in 1962.
“In 1965 he was Minister of Works and Survey (1965), until Jan. 15, 1966, when a bloody military coup cut short that regime.
” When the military government of Gen. Yakubu Gowon took over after a counter-coup, Shagari was appointed Commissioner of Economic Affairs and later Commissioner of Finance’’.
The NANS spokesman recalled that at the birth of the Second Republic in 1979, a reluctant Shagari emerged the presidential candidate of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN), won the election and was sworn-in on Oct. 1 that year.
“It is worthy of note to state that Shagari assembled the best set of Nigerians into his cabinet, suggesting that he was willing to change track and tactics to move the nation in the right direction,’’ he said.
He added that Shagari was simply an embodiment of humility and decency.
“May his gentle soul rest in peace, even as we pray to God to grant him eternal rest,” he said.