Military dictatorship in Nigeria

The military dictatorship in Nigeria was a period when members of the Nigerian Armed Forces held power in Nigeria from 1966 to 1999 with an interregnum from 1979 to 1983. The military was able to rise to power often with the tacit support of the elite through coup d'états. Since the country became a republic in 1963, there has been a series of military coups in Nigeria.

Federal Republic of Nigeria
(1966; 1966–1999)
Republic of Nigerianote
  • 1966–1979
  • 1983–1993
  • 1993–1999
Motto: "Peace, Unity, Freedom"[1]
"Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress"[1]
(1978–1979; 1983–1993; 1993–1999)
Anthem: Nigeria, We Hail Thee[1]
Arise, O Compatriots[1]
(1978–1979; 1983–1993; 1993–1999)
Location of Nigeria
(1966–1979; 1983–1991)
(1991–1993; 1993–1999)
Largest cityLagos
Common languages
Head of State/ President 
• 1966
Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsib
• 1966–1975
Yakubu Gowon
• 1975–1976
Murtala Mohammed
• 1976–1979
Olusegun Obasanjo
• 1983–1985
Muhammadu Buhari
• 1985–1993
Ibrahim Babangida
• 1993–1998
Sani Abacha
• 1998–1999
Abdulsalami Abubakarc
Chief of Staff / Vice President 
• 1966
Babafemi Ogundipe (first)
• 1998–1999
Mike Akhigbe (last)
LegislatureNone (rule by decree)
Historical eraCold War
15 January 1966
• Unification Decree[2]
24 May 1966
28 July 1966
• Federal system restored[3]
31 August 1966
30 May 1967
30 July 1975
13 February 1976
1 October 1979
31 December 1983
27 August 1985
17 November 1993
29 May 1999
1991[4]923,768 km2 (356,669 sq mi)
• 1991[4]
CurrencyNigerian pound
Naira (₦)
(1973–1979; 1983–1993; 1993–1999)
Time zoneUTC+1 (WAT)
Driving sideleft (until 2 April 1972)[5]
ISO 3166 codeNG
Preceded by
Succeeded by
First Nigerian Republic
Second Nigerian Republic
Second Nigerian Republic
Third Nigerian Republic
Fourth Nigerian Republic
Today part ofNigeria
  • ^a Formal name of the country from 24 May to 31 August 1966.[2][3]
    ^b as Head of the Federal Military Government
    ^c as Chairman of the Provisional Ruling Council
    ^d until 15 January 1970
    ^e Bakassi peninsula; governed by Nigeria until 2008

Background edit

The military dictatorship in Nigeria began with the coup d'état of 1966 which was planned and executed by a group of revolutionary Nigerian nationalist officers started as a small rebellion military cell under Emmanuel Ifeajuna. Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu was the face of the coup attempt, which involved five other army majors: Timothy Onwuatuegwu, Chris Anuforo, Don Okafor, Adewale Ademoyega and Humphrey Chukwuka. It operated as a clandestine movement of junior officers during the post-independence period of 1960–1966. The plot received support from left-wing intellectuals, who rejected conservative elements in society, like the traditional establishment of Northern Nigeria and sought to overthrow the First Nigerian Republic.

Military regimes edit

Major General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi was made the Head of the Federal Military Government of Nigeria, serving for six months before being overthrown and assassinated in the 1966 Nigerian counter-coup.

Aguiyi-Ironsi was succeeded by General Yakubu Gowon, who established a Supreme Military Council. Gowon held power until July 1975, when he was overthrown in a bloodless coup.

Brigadier (later General) Murtala Mohammed succeeded Gowon. Months later, in February 1976, Mohammed was assassinated by Buka Suka Dimka and others in a violent coup attempt. The plotters failed to kill Olusẹgun Ọbasanjọ, who then succeeded Murtala Mohammed as the head of state. The Supreme Military Council was formally dissolved when Ọbasanjọ handed power to the elected Shehu Shagari, ending the military regime and establishing a Nigerian Second Republic.

The Second Republic was overthrown in the 1983 Nigerian coup d'état and was succeeded by Muhammadu Buhari, who established a new Supreme Military Council of Nigeria as Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. Buhari ruled for two years, until the 1985 Nigerian coup d'état, when he was overthrown by General Ibrahim Babangida.

General Ibrahim Babangida was promulgated as the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and established the Armed Forces Ruling Council. His rule was the longest serving peaceful administration typified as the military off dictatorship of the 20th century. Babangida promised a return of democracy when he seized power, but he ruled Nigeria for eight years, when he temporarily handed power to the interim head of state Ernest Shonekan in 1993.

In 1993, General Sani Abacha overthrew the Interim National Government and appointed himself Chairman of the Provisional Ruling Council of Nigeria.

Transition to democracy edit

After Abacha's death in 1998, General Abdulsalami Abubakar took over and ruled until Olusẹgun Ọbasanjọ again became head of state (via the 1999 presidential election), ending the junta and establishing the Fourth Nigerian Republic.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d 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. ^ a b c Bah, Abu Bakarr (2005). Breakdown and Reconstitution: Democracy, the Nation-state, and Ethnicity in Nigeria (1st paperback ed.). Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books. p. 108. ISBN 9780739109540.
  3. ^ a b c Gould, Michael (2011). The Struggle for Modern Nigeria: The Biafran War 1967–1970. I.B. Tauris. p. 116. ISBN 9780857730954.
  4. ^ a b 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.
  5. ^ "Right-Hand/Left-Hand Driving Customs (mostly the change from Left to Right)".