List of heads of state of Nigeria

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This is a list of the heads of state of Nigeria , from independence in 1960 to the present day.

Nigeria Federal republic in West Africa

The Federal Republic of Nigeria, commonly referred to as Nigeria, is a federal republic in West Africa, bordering Niger in the north, Chad in the northeast, Cameroon in the east, and Benin in the west. Its coast in the south is located on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean. The federation comprises 36 states and 1 Federal Capital Territory, where the capital, Abuja is located. Nigeria is officially a democratic secular country.

Contents

From 1960 to 1963 the head of state under the Nigeria Independence Act 1960 was the Queen of Nigeria, Elizabeth II, who was also monarch of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms. The Queen was represented in Nigeria by a Governor-General. Nigeria became a federal republic under the Constitution of 1963 and the monarch and Governor-General were replaced by a ceremonial President. In 1979, under the 1979 Constitution, the President gained executive powers, becoming head of both state and government. Since 1994, under the 1993 Constitution and the current 1999 Constitution, the head of state and government has been called the President. [1] .

Queen of Nigeria

From 1960 to 1963, Elizabeth II was Queen of Nigeria: Nigeria was an independent constitutional monarchy. She was also the monarch of the other Commonwealth realms, including the United Kingdom.

Elizabeth II Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms

Elizabeth II is Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms.

Monarchy of the United Kingdom constitutional monarchy of the United Kingdom and its overseas territories

The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy of the United Kingdom, its dependencies and its overseas territories. The current monarch and head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who ascended the throne in 1952.

Monarch (1960–1963)

The succession to the throne was the same as the succession to the British throne.

Succession to the British throne Law governing who can become British monarch

Succession to the British throne is determined by descent, sex, legitimacy, and religion. Under common law, the Crown is inherited by a sovereign's children or by a childless sovereign's nearest collateral line. The Bill of Rights 1689 and the Act of Settlement 1701 restrict succession to the throne to the legitimate Protestant descendants of Sophia of Hanover who are in "communion with the Church of England". Spouses of Roman Catholics were disqualified from 1689 until the law was amended in 2015. Protestant descendants of those excluded for being Roman Catholics are eligible.

QueenReignRoyal House Prime Minister
PortraitNameStartEndDuration
1 Queen Elizabeth II in March 2015.jpg Elizabeth II
(1926–)
1 October 19601 October 19633 years, 0 days Windsor Balewa

Governor-General

Standard of the Governor-General of Nigeria Flag of the Governor-General of Nigeria (1960-1963).svg
Standard of the Governor-General of Nigeria

The Governor-General was the representative of the monarch in Nigeria and exercised most of the powers of the monarch. The Governor-General was appointed for an indefinite term, serving at the pleasure of the monarch. Since Nigeria was granted independence by the Nigeria Independence Act 1960, rather than being first established as a semi-autonomous Dominion and later promoted to independence by the Statute of Westminster 1931, the Governor-General was appointed solely on the advice of the Nigerian cabinet without the involvement of the British government, with the sole of exception of James Robertson, the former colonial governor, who served as Governor-General temporarily until he was replaced by Nnamdi Azikiwe. In the event of a vacancy the Chief Justice would have served as Officer Administering the Government.

A Dominion was the "title" given to the semi-independent polities under the British Crown, constituting the British Empire, beginning with Canadian Confederation in 1867. "Dominion status" was a constitutional term of art used to signify an independent Commonwealth realm; they included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland, South Africa, and the Irish Free State, and then from the late 1940s also India, Pakistan, and Ceylon. The Balfour Declaration of 1926 recognised the Dominions as "autonomous Communities within the British Empire", and the 1931 Statute of Westminster confirmed their full legislative independence.

Statute of Westminster 1931

The Statute of Westminster 1931 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and modified versions of it are now domestic law within Australia and Canada; it has been repealed in New Zealand and implicitly in former Dominions that are no longer Commonwealth realms. Passed on 11 December 1931, the act, either immediately or upon ratification, effectively both established the legislative independence of the self-governing Dominions of the British Empire from the United Kingdom and bound them all to seek each other's approval for changes to monarchical titles and the common line of succession. It thus became a statutory embodiment of the principles of equality and common allegiance to the Crown set out in the Balfour Declaration of 1926. As the Statute removed nearly all of the British Parliament's authority to legislate for the Dominions, it had the effect of making the Dominions fully sovereign nations in their own right. It was a crucial step in the development of the Dominions as separate states.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria or CJN is the head of the judicial arm of the government of Nigeria, and presides over the country's Supreme Court and the National Judicial Council The current Chief Justice is Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad who was controversially appointed on the 25th January 2019 by the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in acting capacity, pending the determination of the trial against Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen the former Chief Justice, by the Code of Conduct Tribunal. The Supreme Court of Nigeria is the highest court in Nigeria and its decisions are final. The Chief Justice of Nigeria is nominated by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria upon recommendation by the National Judicial Council and is subject to confirmation by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The CJN holds office at the pleasure of the Nigerian constitution and can only be removed from office by death or on attainment of age 70 whichever occurs first or by impeachment by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which requires a super majority of the members of the Nigerian Senate

Governor-GeneralTerm of officeMonarchPrime Minister
PortraitNameTook officeLeft officeDuration
1 No image.svg Sir James Robertson
(1899–1983)
1 October 196016 November 196046 daysElizabeth II Balewa
2 No image.svg Nnamdi Azikiwe
(1904–1996)
16 November 19601 October 19632 years, 319 daysElizabeth IIBalewa

First Republic (1963–1966)

Under the 1963 Constitution, the first constitution of the Republic of Nigeria, the President replaced the monarch as ceremonial head of state. The President was elected by Parliament for a five-year term. In the event of a vacancy the President of the Senate would have served as Acting President.

The President of the Nigerian Senate is the presiding officer of the Senate of Nigeria, elected by its membership. The Senate President is second in line for succession to the Nigerian presidency, after the Vice President of Nigeria. The current President of the Senate is Dr. Bukola Saraki.

PresidentTerm of officePolitical party
(at time of election)
Prime Minister(s)
PortraitNameTook officeLeft officeDuration
1 No image.svg Nnamdi Azikiwe
(1904–1996)
1 October 196316 January 1966
(deposed.)
2 years, 107 days National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons Balewa

Military rule (1966–1979)

Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu led a coup d'état in 1966 which overthrew President Azikiwe and his government.

Patrick Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu, was born on 26 February 1937 in Kaduna and died in a mysterious circumstance on 29 July 1967 in Nsuka sector during the Nigeria Civil War.

The Nigerian military juntas of 1966–79 and 1983–98 were a pair of military dictatorships in Nigeria that were led by the Nigerian military, having a chairman or president in charge.

Head of StateTerm of OfficeMilitary
PortraitNameTook officeLeft officeDuration
2 No image.svg Major-General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi
(1924–1966)
16 January 196629 July 1966
(assassinated.)
194 daysFederal Military Government
3 No image.svg General Yakubu Gowon
(1934–)
1 August 196629 July 1975
(deposed.)
8 years, 362 daysFederal Military Government
4 No image.svg General Murtala Mohammed
(1938–1976)
29 July 197513 February 1976
(assassinated.)
199 daysFederal Military Government
5 Obasanjo 1978.gif Major-General Olusegun Obasanjo
(1937–)
13 February 19761 October 1979
(resigned.)
3 years, 258 daysFederal Military Government

Second Republic (1979–1983)

Under the 1979 Constitution, the second constitution of the Republic of Nigeria, the President was head of both state and government. The President was elected by for a four-year term. In the event of a vacancy the Vice President would have served as Acting President.

PresidentTerm of officePolitical party
(at time of election)
PortraitNameTook officeLeft officeDuration
6 President Sharari cropped.jpg Shehu Shagari
(1925–2018)
1 October 197931 December 1983
(deposed.)
4 years, 91 days National Party of Nigeria

Military rule (1983–1993)

Major-General Muhammadu Buhari led a coup d'état which overthrew President Shagari and his government.

Head of StateTerm of OfficeMilitary
PortraitNameTook officeLeft officeDuration
7 Muhammadu Buhari 2015-07-21.jpg Major-General Muhammadu Buhari
(1942–)
31 December 198327 August 1985
(deposed.)
1 year, 239 days Supreme Military Council
8 Ibrahim Babangida (cropped).jpg General Ibrahim Babangida
(1941–)
27 August 198526 August 1993
(resigned.)
7 years, 364 days Armed Forces Ruling Council

Third Republic (1993)

The Third Republic was the planned republican government of Nigeria in 1993 which was to be governed by the Third Republican constitution.

The constitution of the Third Republic was drafted in 1989, when General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB), the military Head of State, promised to terminate military rule by 1990 – a date which was subsequently pushed back to 1993. IBB lifted the ban on political activity in the spring of 1989, and his government established two political parties: the center-right National Republican Convention (NRC) and the center-left Social Democratic Party (SDP). Gubernatorial and state legislative elections were conducted in December 1991, while the presidential election was postponed till 12 June 1993 – due to political unrest. M. K. O. Abiola, a wealthy Yoruba businessman, won a decisive victory in the presidential elections on the SDP platm.

PresidentTerm of officePolitical party
(at time of election)
PortraitNameTook officeLeft officeDuration
9 Ambassador Bob Dewar with Ernest Shonekan (3509232597) (cropped).jpg Ernest Shonekan
(1936–)
26 August 199317 November 1993
(deposed.)
83 days Independent

Military rule (1993–1999)

General Sani Abacha led a coup d'état which overthrew President Shonekan and his government.

Head of StateTerm of OfficeMilitary
PortraitNameTook officeLeft officeDuration
10 No image.svg General Sani Abacha
(1943–1998)
17 November 19938 June 1998
(died in office.)
4 years, 203 daysProvisional Ruling Council
11 Abdulsalami Abubakar detail DF-SC-02-04323.jpg General Abdulsalami Abubakar
(1942–)
8 June 199829 May 1999
(resigned.)
355 daysProvisional Ruling Council

Fourth Nigerian Republic

Under the fourth Constitution of the Republic of Nigeria, the President is head of both state and government. The President is elected by for a four-year term. In the event of a vacancy the Vice President serves as Acting President.

Status
  Denotes Vice President acting as President
PresidentTerm of officePolitical party
(at time of election)
PortraitNameTook officeLeft officeDuration
12 Olusegun Obasanjo 2001-05-10 (002).jpg Olusegun Obasanjo
(1937–)
29 May 199929 May 20078 years, 0 days People's Democratic Party
13 Umaru Yar'Adua 2007-06-07.jpg Umaru Musa Yar'Adua
(1951–2010)
29 May 20075 May 2010 [2]
(died in office.)
2 years, 341 days People's Democratic Party
14 Goodluck Jonathan 2014-08-05.jpg Goodluck Jonathan
(1957–)
5 May 201029 May 20155 years, 25 days People's Democratic Party
15 Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (cropped).jpg Muhammadu Buhari
(1942–)
29 May 2015 Incumbent3 years, 270 days All Progressives Congress

Living former heads of state

NameTerm/ReignOfficeDate of birth
Elizabeth II 1961–1963Queen of NigeriaApril 21, 1926 (age 92)
Yakubu Gowon 1966–1975Military rulerOctober 19, 1934 (age 84)
Olusegun Obasanjo 1976–1979
1999–2007
Military ruler
President of Nigeria
March 5, 1937 (age 81)
Ibrahim Babangida 1985–1993Military rulerAugust 17, 1941 (age 77)
Ernest Shonekan 1993President of NigeriaMay 9, 1936 (age 82)
Abdulsalami Abubakar 1998–1999Military rulerJune 13, 1942 (age 76)
Goodluck Jonathan 2010–2015President of NigeriaNovember 20, 1957 (age 61)
Muhammadu Buhari 1983-1985

2015-

Military Ruler

President of Nigeria

December 17, 1942 (age 76)

Related Research Articles

President of Nigeria Head of state and head of Nigerian government

The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is the head of state and head of the national executive of Nigeria. The President of Nigeria is also the commander-in-chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces. The President is elected in national elections which take place every four years. The first President of Nigeria was Nnamdi Azikiwe, who took office on October 1, 1963. The current President, Muhammadu Buhari took office on May 29, 2015 as the 15th President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi Nigerian soldier

Johnson Thomas Umunnakwe Aguiyi-Ironsi was a senior Nigerian military officer and the first Nigerian Military Head of State. He seized power in the ensuing chaos following the 15 January 1966 military coup, serving as the Nigerian Head of State from 16 January 1966 until his assassination on 29 July 1966 by a group of mutinous Northern army soldiers who revolted against his government in what was popularly called the July Counter Coup.

First Nigerian Republic Governance in Nigeria

The First Republic was the republican government of Nigeria between 1963 and 1966 governed by the first republican constitution.

Third Nigerian Republic

The Third Republic was the planned republican government of Nigeria in 1993 which was to be governed by the Third Republican constitution.

Federation of Nigeria African country from 1960 to 1963

The Federation of Nigeria was a predecessor to modern-day Nigeria from 1954 to 1963. It was an autonomous region until independence on 1 October 1960.

References

  1. "Past Presidents & Heads of State". StateHouse, Federal Republic of Nigeria.
  2. Goodluck Jonathan was Acting President from 9 February to 5 May 2010

3. "List of All Nigerian Presidents Since Independence". Amala.ng. 2018-09-18. Retrieved 2018-09-19.