Third Nigerian Republic

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

Republicanism is a representative form of government organization. It is a political ideology centered on citizenship in a state organized as a republic. Historically, it ranges from the rule of a representative minority or oligarchy to popular sovereignty. It has had different definitions and interpretations which vary significantly based on historical context and methodological approach.

Nigeria Federal republic in West Africa

Nigeria, officially the Federal Republic of 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. The constitution defines Nigeria as a democratic secular country.


Founded (1993)

The constitution of the Third Republic was drafted in 1989. General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB), the military head of state, promised to end military rule by 1990. This date was subsequently pushed back to 1993. In the spring of 1989, IBB lifted the ban on political activity in, which had been in place since the coup of 1983 [1] The conference[ citation needed ] established two political parties: the center-right National Republican Convention (NRC) and the center-left Social Democratic Party (SDP). The parties were required to draw from a national rather than regional or tribal basis. Gubernatorial and state legislative elections were conducted in December 1991. The civilian governors elected in this balloting took office in January 1992.

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.

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.

The presidential election was postponed until 12 June 1993 due to political unrest. MKO Abiola, a wealthy Yoruba businessman, won a decisive victory in the presidential elections on the SDP platform, [2] defeating Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention. Abiola won even in his northern opponent's home state. Abiola won in the national capital, Abuja, the military polling stations, and in over two-thirds of Nigerian states. Men of northern descent largely dominated Nigeria's political landscape after independence and the win by Abiola, a southern Muslim, remains unequaled today. IBB said years later that he now regards the decision to annul the election as unfortunate given its consequences. But he still believes he did the right thing, he said, because he had specific information about plans to overthrow the Abiola government and it seemed pointless to turn the country over to civilian rule if there would be a military coup within months. He acknowledged the irony of the Sani Abacha coup in the light of this claim but maintained that the military overthrow of the civilian government that succeeded him was precisely the outcome he had been trying to avoid.

Moshood Abiola Businessman, politician, publisher

Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, GCFR was a Nigerian Yoruba businessman, publisher, politician and aristocrat of the Yoruba Egba clan, he was the Aare Ona Kankafo of the Yoruba land. MKO Abiola ran for the presidency in 1993, for which the election results were annulled by the preceding military president Ibrahim Babangida because of allegations that they were corrupt and unfair. Abiola was awarded the GCFR posthumously on 6 June 2018 by President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigeria's democracy day was changed to June 12.

Yoruba people Ethnic group of West Africa

The Yorùbá people are an African ethnic group that inhabits western Africa. The Yoruba constitute about 44 million people in total. The majority of this population is from Nigeria, where the Yorùbá make up 21% of the country's population, according to the CIA World Factbook, making them one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa. Most Yoruba people speak the Yoruba language, and is the language with the largest number of native speakers.

Bashir Othman Tofa is a Nigerian politician. A Hausa Muslim who hails from Kano State, Tofa was the National Republican Convention (NRC) candidate in the annulled Nigeria's June 12, 1993 presidential election, which was organised by the military government of General Ibrahim Babangida.


Presidents-Elect during the Nigerian Third Republic
MKO Abiola June 12, 1993 SDP

Political parties

The National Republican Convention was a Nigerian political party established by the government of General Ibrahim Babangida and ultimately disbanded by the incoming military regime of General Sani Abacha in 1993.

The Social Democratic Party of Nigeria, commonly known as the SDP, was established as a center-left political organization. It was created by former President Ibrahim Babangida via a desocracy project meant to form two detribalized political parties - one slightly to the left and one to the right. During the Nigerian Third Republic it was seen as a moderate party attractive to young radical intellectuals and socialists. In its manifesto, it called for concerted efforts to improve welfare and fight for social justice.


On 23 June 1993, IBB had the election annulled, [3] This threw the country into chaos. "Many Yoruba have long resented the domination of Nigeria's political life by the mostly northern Hausa-Falani ethnic group, and were ecstatic when one of their own, Mr. Abiola, appeared to have won the recent balloting," commented the New York Times. [3] Great Britain responded to the announcement by freezing aid and withdrawing military assistance. [4] IBB eventually bowed to pressure from his inner circle and resigned from office on 23 August 1993. Ernest Shonekan, a Yoruba business man, and the head of IBB's transition team, assumed the office of the presidency as the head of the interim national government. Shonekan was unable to manage the political turmoil which ensued in the post IBB months.

Ernest Shonekan Nigerian lawyer, former interim president

Chief Ernest Adegunle Oladeinde Shonekan is a British-trained Nigerian lawyer, industrialist, politician and traditional chieftain. He was appointed as interim president of Nigeria by General Ibrahim Babangida on 26 August 1993.

Shonekan's caretaker government was quietly removed from office by Minister of Defence, General Sani Abacha on 17 November 1993. On 11 June 1994, president-elect Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, declared himself president and went into hiding. The Abacha administration hunted Abiola down and arrested him on charges of treason. [5] Abiola remained in prison until he died in 1998.

The Minister of Defence of Nigeria is a senior cabinet official in the Nigerian Federal Executive Council in charge of the Nigerian Ministry of Defence. The Defence Minister's main responsibility is to manage all branches of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to maintain a modern, competent, and professional military force for the protection of the national territory, maritime interests, airspace, and constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Sani Abacha Military leader, politician

Sani Abacha was a Nigerian Army officer and dictator who served as the de facto President of Nigeria from 1993 until his death in 1998. He is also the first Nigerian soldier to attain the rank of a full star General without skipping a single rank.

Treason Crime against ones sovereign or nation

In law, treason is criminal disloyalty to the state. It is a crime that covers some of the more extreme acts against one's nation or sovereign. This usually includes things such as participating in a war against one's native country, attempting to overthrow its government, spying on its military, its diplomats, or its secret services for a hostile and foreign power, or attempting to kill its head of state. A person who commits treason is known in law as a traitor.

See also

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  1. Pita Ogaba Agbese (1990). "Impending Demise of Nigeria's Third Republic". Africa Today. Prospects for Democracy in Africa: Approaches from Below and from Above. Indiana University Press. 37 (3): 23. JSTOR   4186667.
  2. Adebanwi, Wale; Obadare, Ebenezer (2010-07-06). Encountering the Nigerian State. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN   9780230109636.
  3. 1 2 Kenneth B. Noble (June 24, 1993). "Nigerian Military Rulers Annul Election". New York Times.
  4. Richard Dowden (June 23, 1993). "Babangida annuls presidential election: Britain freezes aid as Nigeria military pulls back from democracy". The Independent.
  5. Ojo, Bamidele A. (1998-01-01). Nigeria's Third Republic: The Problems and Prospects of Political Transition to Civil Rule. Nova Publishers. ISBN   9781560725800.

Further reading