The Path to the Presidency
In September 1978 the military regime permitted “party politics” to return formally - politicians, have seen, had never in fact completely given up their activities. Shehu Shagari at once declared in his Sokoto house that his ambition was to be elected a Senator in the first “round” of the general elections, due to be held in July the following year. Already, however, members of the new National Movement, which was transformed into the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) when parties were legalised, were saying that they saw him as the only presidential candidate who could both unite their party. And appeal to the whole nation, which would form, as the constitution prescribed, a single constituency for the election of the President. The NPN was the only party to choose its presidential candidate by vote from among a number of aspirants.