1975 Nigerian coup d'état

The 1975 Nigerian coup d'état was a bloodless military coup which took place in Nigeria on 29 July 1975[1][2] when a faction of junior Armed Forces officers overthrew General Yakubu Gowon (who himself took power in the 1966 counter-coup). Colonel Joseph Nanven Garba announced the coup in a broadcast on Radio Nigeria (which became FRCN in 1978).[3] At the time of the coup, Gowon was attending the 12th Organisation of African Unity (OAU) Summit in Kampala, Uganda. The coup plotters appointed Brigadier Murtala Mohammed as head of state, and Brigadier Olusegun Obasanjo as his deputy.[4][5][6] The coup was motivated by unhappiness of junior officers at the lack of progress Gowon had made in moving the country towards democratic rule, while Garba's role as an insider is credited with ensuring that the coup was bloodless.[2]

1975 Nigerian coup d'état
Location Nigeria AU Africa.svg
DateJuly 29, 1975

Coup succeeds.


Nigeria Military government

Armed Forces faction

Commanders and leaders
Yakubu Gowon Joseph Nanven Garba
Murtala Mohammed
Olusegun Obasanjo

Mohammed, whose policies and decisiveness won him broad popular support and elevated him to the status of a folk hero,[7] stayed in power until 13 February 1976 when he was assassinated during a coup attempt. Obasanjo succeeded him as head of state.[8]


  1. ^ "Gowon Ousted in Nigeria; Coup Ends Nine‐Year Rule". The New York Times. 30 July 1976. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  2. ^ a b Omoigui, Nowa (2006-07-11). "Military Rebellion of July 29, 1975: The Coup Against Gowon". Retrieved 2006-07-28.
  3. ^ "End of a Diplomatic Guru". Online Nigeria. 2002-06-14. Retrieved 2006-07-28.
  4. ^ Falola, Toyin; Heaton, Matthew (2008). A History of Nigeria. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521681575.
  5. ^ Ndaeyo Uko, Romancing the Gun: The Press as a Promoter of Military Rule, Africa Research & Publications, 2004. ISBN 978-1592211890
  6. ^ Solomon Obotetukudo (2011). The Inaugural Addresses and Ascension Speeches of Nigerian Elected and Non-elected presidents and prime ministers from 1960-2010. University Press of America. pp. 66–68.
  7. ^ Clapham, Christopher (1985). Third World Politics: An Introduction. Routledge. ISBN 0-7099-0757-5.
  8. ^ Siollun, Max (2009). Oil, Politics and Violence: Nigeria's Military Coup Culture (1966–1976). Algora. p. 193. ISBN 9780875867090.