by Dare Lawal
Just yesterday, the family of the late Ondo governor, Adekunle Ajasin, cautioned the PDP from using their dad’s name in campaigning or alleging that he was jailed by APC candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, when he was head of state. They also said that their dad forgave the former head of state before he died.
Today, it is the Shehu Shagari family making a similar plea to the PDP.
According to a statement released by the oldest son of former President Shehu Shagari, and the District Head of Shagari, Captain Bala Shagari (retired),PDP leaders need 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 him needless distractions into his private life in retirement.
According to retired Captain Shagari, 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 permission 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. 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, former President Shehu Shagari.
He however advised politicians to avoid politics of bitterness, division, intolerance and violence, which he posed a threat to Nigeria’s democracy.