Second Nigerian Republic

Last updated
Federal Republic of Nigeria

Motto: "Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress" [1]
Nigeria (orthographic projection).svg
Capital Lagos
Common languages English  · Hausa  · Igbo  · Yoruba  · Ijaw and other regional languages
Christianity  · Islam  ·Traditional beliefs
Government Federal presidential republic
Shehu Shagari
Vice President  
Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme
Legislature National Assembly [2]
 Upper house
 Lower house
House of Representatives
Historical era Cold War
1 October 1979
31 December 1983
1981 [3] 923,768 km2 (356,669 sq mi)
Currency Nigerian naira
Time zone UTC+1 (WAT)
Driving side right
ISO 3166 code NG
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Flag of Nigeria.svg Nigerian military junta
Nigerian military junta Flag of Nigeria.svg
Today part ofFlag of Nigeria.svg  Nigeria
Flag of Cameroon.svg  Cameroon a

The Second Nigerian Republic was a brief formation of the Nigerian state which succeeded the military governments formed after the overthrow of first republic.



Contested elections and political turbulence in the Western region ended Nigeria's First republic in 1966 with the overthrow of the government by majors of the Nigerian army. A unitary style of government was subsequently decreed into law. [4] After a counter-coup six months later, the country was drawn to a civil war between federal forces and Biafran forces(Eastern region). Just before the war, 12 new states were created from the four regions. After the victory of federal forces in 1970, the country began a period of economic boom fueled by increasing oil production and rising oil prices. The Nigerian governing structure was further broken up with the creation of smaller states in 1976, bringing the total number of states to 19. [4]

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.

Founded (1979)

Following the assassination of Nigerian military Head of State, General Murtala Mohammed in 1976, his successor General Olusegun Obasanjo initiated the transition process to terminate military rule in 1979. A new constitution was drafted, which saw the Westminster system of government (previously used in the First Republic) jettisoned for an American-style Presidential system. The 1979 constitution mandated that political parties and cabinet positions reflect the "federal character" of the nation — Political parties were required to be registered in at least two-thirds of the states, and each state was required to produce at least one cabinet member.

Murtala Mohammed Nigerian politician and general

Murtala Rufai Ramat Muhammed was the military ruler of Nigeria from 1975 until his assassination in 1976.

Olusegun Obasanjo Nigerian politician

Olusegun Mathew Okikiola Aremu Obasanjo, GCFR, Ph.D. (; Yoruba: Olúṣẹ́gun Ọbásanjọ́[olúʃɛ̙́ɡũ ɒ̙básandʒɒ̙́]; born 5 March 1937) is a former Nigerian Army general who was President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007. Obasanjo was a career soldier before serving twice as his nation's head of state: He served as a military ruler from 13 February 1976 to 1 October 1979, and as a democratically elected president from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2007. From July 2004 to January 2006, Obasanjo also served as Chairperson of the African Union.

Constitution of Nigeria

The Constitution of Nigeria is the supreme law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

A constituent assembly was elected in 1977 to draft a new constitution, which was published on September 21, 1978, when the ban on political activity was lifted. In 1979, five political parties competed in a series of elections in which Alhaji Shehu Shagari of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) was elected president. Obasanjo peacefully transferred power to Shagari, becoming the first head of state in Nigerian history to willingly step down. All five parties won representation in the National Assembly. In August 1983 Shagari and the NPN were returned to power in a landslide victory, with a majority of seats in the National Assembly and control of 12 state governments. But the elections were marred by violence and allegations of widespread vote rigging and electoral malfeasance led to legal battles over the results. [5] In the widely monitored 1979 election, Alhaji Shehu Shagari was elected on the NPN platform. On October 1, 1979, Shehu Shagari was sworn in as the first President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The military carefully planned the return to civil rule putting in place measures to ensure that political parties have broader support than witnessed during the first republic. But there was also uncertainties, like the first republic, political leaders may be unable to govern properly bringing another batch of new military rulers. [4]

Shehu Shagari President of Nigeria

Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari, was a Nigerian politician who served as the first and only President of Nigeria's Second Republic (1979–1983), after the handover of power by General Olusegun Obasanjo's military government. Shagari also served seven times in a ministerial or cabinet post as a federal minister and federal commissioner from 1958–1975.

National Party of Nigeria Nigerian political party

The National Party of Nigeria (NPN) was the dominant political party in Nigeria during the Second Republic (1979–1983).

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 government of the Federal Republic 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.


Presidents during the Nigerian Second Republic
Shehu Shagari October 1, 1979 - December 31, 1983 NPN

Political parties

The Nigeria Advance Party was a progressive political party during the Second Nigerian Republic, registered for the 1983 elections. Headed by lawyer Tunji Braithwaite, known for his opposition and as a lawyer, the party was the only new political organization allowed to field candidates for the 1983 elections. The party was composed of southern Nigerian intellectuals favoring a reformist government.

The Nigerian Peoples Party (NPP) was one of the major political parties that contested elections in the Nigerian Second Republic. The party was made up of three major groups: the Lagos Progressives, Club 19, and the Nigerian Council of Understanding. The Lagos progressives included some Lagos based NCNC politicians such as Adeniran Ogunsanya, T.O.S. Benson and Kola Balogun. The National Council of understanding was led by Waziri while Club 19 had Matthew Mbu, Solomon Lar, Omo Omoruyi, Paul Unongo, Antonio Fernandez and others as members.

Peoples Redemption Party Nigerian political party

The People's Redemption Party was a political party in Nigeria. The Second Republic incarnation of the Northern Elements Progressive Union and the Fourth Republican incarnation of a similar namesake, the party was created by the supporters of Mallam Aminu Kano after his withdrawal from the National Party of Nigeria. The PRP was highly regarded as a progressive left of center political party. Some well known members of the party included Governors Abubakar Rimi, Balarabe Musa, Sabo Bakin Zuwo, Michael Imoudu, Dr. Edward Ikem Okeke, Bala Usman, Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila, Sule Lamido and Chinua Achebe — who served briefly as Deputy National President in the early 1980s.

Political activism

Tai Solarin, an educationist, mounted public podiums regularly to speak-out in defiance of what he strongly felt were the negative views of the Second Republic government. Another such activist was Ayodele Awojobi, a professor of Mechanical Engineering, who filed several lawsuits and organised political rallies in protest of the Nigerian election results that returned Shehu Shagari, the incumbent, as president in the Second Republic - he strongly believed the results were widely rigged.

Tai Solarin Nigerian educator and author

Augustus Taiwo "Tai" Solarin was a Nigerian educator and author. He established the famous Mayflower School, Ikenne, Ogun State in 1956. In 1952, Solarin became the principal of Molusi College, Ijebu Igbo, a post he held till 1956 when he became the proprietor and principal of Mayflower School.

Ayodele Oluwatuminu Awojobi, also known by the nicknames "Dead Easy", "The Akoka Giant", and "Macbeth", was a Nigerian academic, author, inventor, social crusader and activist. He was considered a scholarly genius by his teachers and peers alike. He quickly advanced in his field to become the youngest professor in mechanical engineering at the University of Lagos, Nigeria in 1974. Earlier the same year, he became the first African to be awarded the degree of Doctor of Science (DSc) in mechanical engineering at the then Imperial College of Science and Technology, London – a degree only exceptionally and rarely awarded to a scholar under the age of 40.


On December 31, 1983, the military overthrew the Second Republic. Major General Muhammadu Buhari, became the military leader of the new government, citing charges of corruption and administrative incompetence as reasons for military intervention. Buhari emerged as the leader of the Supreme Military Council (SMC), the country's new ruling body. President Shagari was placed under house arrest, and several of his cabinet members were either jailed or exiled. The Buhari government was peacefully overthrown by the SMC's third-ranking member General Ibrahim Babangida in August 1985. Babangida gave misuse of power, violations of human rights by key officers of the SMC, and the government's failure to deal with the country's deepening economic crisis as justifications for the takeover. During his first days in office, President Babangida moved to restore freedom of the press and to release political detainees being held without charge. As part of a 15-month economic emergency plan he announced pay cuts for the military, police, civil servants and the private sector. President Babangida demonstrated his intent to encourage public participation in decision-making by opening a national debate on proposed economic reform and recovery measures. The public response convinced Babangida of intense opposition to an economic recovery package dependent on an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan.

Muhammadu Buhari Nigerian president

Muhammadu Buhari is a Nigerian politician currently serving as the President of Nigeria, in office since 2015. He is a retired major general in the Nigerian Army and previously served as the nation's head of state from 31 December 1983 to 27 August 1985, after taking power in a military coup d'état. The term Buharism is ascribed to the Buhari military government.

In justice and law, house arrest is a measure by which a person is confined by the authorities to their residence. Only those with a house are allowed to be sentenced to arrest in their residence. Travel is usually restricted, if allowed at all. House arrest is an alternative to being in a prison while pretrial or sentenced.

Ibrahim Babangida Head of State of Nigeria

Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, is a retired Nigerian Army General who was President of Nigeria from 27 August 1985 to 26 August 1993. He previously served as the chief of army staff from January 1984 to August 1985. Babangida was a key player in most of the military coups in Nigeria.

See also

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The history of Nigeria can be traced to prehistoric settlers (Nigerians) living in the area as early as 1100 BC. Numerous ancient African civilizations settled in the region that is today Nigeria, such as the Kingdom of Nri, the Benin Empire, and the Oyo Empire. Islam reached Nigeria through the Borno Empire between and Hausa States around during the 11th century, while Christianity came to Nigeria in the 15th century through Augustinian and Capuchin monks from Portugal. The Songhai Empire also occupied part of the region. Lagos was invaded by British forces in 1851 and formally annexed in 1861. Nigeria became a British protectorate in 1901. Colonization lasted until 1960, when an independence movement succeeded in gaining Nigeria its independence.

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Fourth Nigerian Republic

The Fourth Republic is the republican government of Nigeria. Since 1999 it has governed the country according to the fourth republican constitution. It was in many ways a revival of the Second Republic, which was in place between 1979 and 1983 and suffers many of the same problems, such as multiple ministries which made policy planning difficult. Nigeria adopted the constitution of the Fourth Republic on May 29, 1999.

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Cabinet of Shehu Shagari

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  1. 1 2 Ugorji, Basil (2012). From Cultural Justice to Inter-Ethnic Mediation: A Reflection on the Possibility of Ethno-Religious Mediation in Africa. Outskirts Press. p. 183. ISBN   9781432788353.
  2. "The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1979)" (PDF). p. 21.
  3. Oshungade, I. O. (1995). "The Nigerian Population Statistics" (PDF). 1995 Directory of Nigerian Statisticians. 2: 58. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 February 2013.
  4. 1 2 3 Bridget, Broom (August 29, 1978). "Critical Times Ahead". Financial Times (London).
  5. Falola, Toyin, and Julius Omozuanvbo Ihonvbere. The Rise and Fall of Nigeria's Second Republic, 1979-1983. London: Zed Books, 1985