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    Nigeria has a new president. Former Finance Minister Alhaji Shehu Shagari has been elected to?

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    Nigeria has a new president. Former Finance Minister Alhaji Shehu Shagari has been elected to lead Africa's most populous nation. A new government is due to be installed on October 1.

    SYNOPSIS: Mr. Shagari, a fifty-four-year-old Moslem who trained as a teacher was clear at the start of the campaign about the importance of the poll.

    Here Mr. Shagari campaigns in the northern part of Nigeria where most of the support for his National Party of Nigeria is based It was in this region, according to Lagos Radio, that he gained the required 25 percent of the vote in 10 Nigeria's 19 states.

    Mr. Shagari was the youngest of five candidates in a election that was the last of a series of polls to guide Nigeria back to Parliamentary Democracy after 13 years of military rule. His degree of popularity, especially in the northern region, was sufficient to satisfy the Federal Electoral Commission that he fulfilled the stringent provisions of a 1977 electoral decree. Mr. Shagari's main opponent Chief Obafemi Awolowo of the United Party of Nigeria won a quarter of the votes in only six states. None of the other candidates approached Mr. Shagari's popularity.

    The new President was a close associate of Nigeria's last elected leader, Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafewa Balewa, who was killed in a military coup early in 1966.

    Civilian rule was the aim of a four-year programme adopted in 1975 by the officers who overthrew former ruler General Yakubu Gowon. Before his election Mr. Shagari outlined his priorities for the civilian government.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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