List of Nigeria leaders till date

Since Nigeria gained independence, Nigeria has had series of leaders both military and civilian. These leaders shaped Nigeria to what it is today. Obasanjo is the first person to rule both as a Head if state and a civilian President. Here is a list of Nigeria leaders till date



Nnamdi Azikiwe (1960-1966)

Nnamdi Azikiwe was the first President of Nigeria. He was born in November 1904 in Zungeru Niger State. In 1966, Nnamdi Azikiwe handed over to Major Gen. JTU Aguiyi-Ironsi after a military coup in 1966.



Maj. Gen. JTU Aguiyi-Ironsi

Maj. Gen Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi was the first military head of state in Nigeria. He became the military Head of States in January 1966 after the military coup but was assassinated in a counter coup in July 1966.



Gen Yakubu Gowon

Yakubu Gowon was born in 1934. He took over as military Head of State after the assassination of JTU Aguiyi-Ironsi. Yakubu Gowon saw Nigeria through the civil war but was disposed of his office in July 1975 while attending OAU summit in Kampala



Gen Murtala Mohammed

Murtala Mohammed was born in 1938 in Kano State Nigeria. Mohammed became the Head of State after he overthrew Gowon in 1975. Mohammed introduced “Fellow Nigerians” in the Nigerian lexicon. He was referred to as the folks heroes due to his policies as Head of State. He was assassinated in 1976.



Maj. Gen Olusegun Obasanjo

Obasanjo was born in 1937. He became the Head of State after the assassination of Murtala Mohammed in a failed bloody coup. Obasanjo was convinced to take over as Murtala Mohammed successsor. In 1979, Obasanjo successfully handed power to a civilian government paving way for the Secknd Republic.



Alhaji Shehu Shagari

Alhaji Shehu Shagari was born in 1925. He was elected Nigerian President alongside Alwx Ekwueme as his Vice President. He was re elected for a second term in office but was disposed of his power by General Buhari.



Major Gen. Mohammadu Buhari

Maj. Gen. Buhari was born in 1942. Gen Buhari brought an end to the second republic after a successful coup in 1979. Gen Buhari said corruption and decline in the Nigeria economy were the reasons for the coup.



Gen. Ibrahim Babangida

Gen. Babangida was born in 1941. Babangida disposed Gen. Buhari as Military Head of State in 1985 and placed Buhari under house arrest. Babangida handed over to an interim government in 1993.



Chief Ernest Shonekan

Ernest Shonekan was appointed interim government by Ibrahim Babangida after he annulled the June 1993 election which MKO Abiola emerged winner. The third republic was short lived as the interim government was overthrown that same year



Gen. Sani Abacha

Gen Sani Abacha was born in 1943. He was the first person in Nigeria to attain the rank of General without skipping any rank. He overthrew the interim government in a palace coup and put an end to the third republic. He died in 1998



Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar

Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar was born in 1942. He took over power after the death of Gen. Sani Abacha in 1998. He promised to hold elections within a year and hand over power to a civilian government. In 1999, he handed power to Obasanjo



Olusegun Obasanjo

Obasanjo was the first President to serve as both the military head of state and civilian president. He was elected in 1999 under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and in 2003 he was elected for a second term in office. In 2007, he handed power to Umaru Musa Yar’Adua



Umaru Musa Yar’Adua

Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was elected president in 2007 under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). His presidency had a lot of reforms with 7 point agenda. He died on 5th May 2010.



Goodluck Jonathan

Goodluck Jonathan was the Vice President of President Yar’Adua. He became president after the death of President Yar’Adua in 2010. He elected as president in 2011 but lost his re election bid to Mohammadu Buhari in 2015



Mohammadu Buhari

Mohammadu Buhari is the second President to serve both as military Head of States and civilian president. Buhari defeated the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan to be elected President in 2015. In 2019, he was elected for a second term in office.


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