Thursday, 27 August 2020
Who was the first president of Nigeria? Do you know all the Nigerian leaders from independence till date? Find out the full list of Nigerian presidents and head of states that have ruled Nigeria.
Nigeria is a federal republic, and there are 36 states. As a federal republic, Nigeria is governed by a president. Currently, according to the constitution of Nigeria, a president can only serve for two terms in office. Each term runs for four years. But things have not always been like that. Nigeria has had series of leaders over the past years. She has gone through different power transitioning which has impacted and shaped the country into the way it is today. Here is a list of all Nigerian presidents since Independence.
From 1960 to 1963 the head of states under the Nigeria independence Act 1960 was Queen of Nigeria, Elizabeth II, who was also monarch of the United Kingdom and other common-wealth states.
The Queen was represented by Governor-Generals whose rule began in Nigeria as at when the Southern and Northern Nigeria protectorate were merged in 1914 by Sir Federick Lugard from 1914 to 1963 when Nigeria became a republica, the following names were the number one persons in Nigeria;
- Sir Federick Lugard, he ruled from 1st January, 1914 to 8th August, 1919. He ruled for 5 years.
- Sir Hugh Clifford took over from Sir Lugard, he ruled from 8th August, 1919 to 13th November, 1925. He ruled for 6 years.
- Sir Graeme Thomson was the third colonial Governor-General; he began his reign from 13th November, 1925 to 17th June, 1931. He also ruled for 6 years.
- Sir Donald Cameron took charge the leadership of Nigeria from Sir Thomson on 17th June, 1931 to 1st November, 1935. He leads Nigeria for 4 years.
- Sir Bernard Bourdillon ruled from 1st November, 1935 to 1943,. He’s stay was the longest, 8 years in all.
- Sir Arthur Richards took over from 1943 to 5th February, 1948. His stay was for 5 years
- Sir John Macpherson continues from where Sir Richards stops on 5th February, 1948 to 1st October, 1954. He began another term of one year from 1st October, 1954 to 1st June 1955 to make it 7 years in office.
- Sir James Wilson Robertson was the last British Colonial Lord in Nigeria; he took charge from 15th June, 1955 to 16th November, 1960 to make it 5 years.
With independent granted to Nigeria in 1960, the first Nigerian Governor-General emerged;
Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe became the first non-British (Nigerian) and the last Governor-General of Nigeria. He ruled form 16th November, 1960 to 1st October, 1963 when Nigeria became a Republic.
Under the new republic the 1963 constitution (the first for Nigeria as a republic) replaces the monarchy system of government with the presidency.
- Nnamdi Azikiwe became the first Nigeria head of states; he took office from 1st October, 1963 to 16th January, 1966. He spent 2 years and 107 days in office.
The first military coup d’etat on 15th January, 1966 allowed the military to take over the leadership of the country;
- Major-General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi started leading Nigeria from 16th January, 1966 to 12th July, 1966. He ruled for 177 days
- General Yakubu Gowon took over from 1st August, 1966 and left 29th Jully, 1975. He spent 8 years 362 days in office.
- General Murtala Muhammed began his rule from29th July, 1975 to 13th February, 1976. He ruled for 199 days.
- Major-General Olusegun Obasanjo took over from General Murtala, his reign in office was from 13th February, 1976 to 1st October 1979. He was in office for 3 years 258 days.
- Shehu Shagari was next in line to lead Nigeria; he leads from 1st October, 1979 to 31st December, 1983. He was there for 4 years 91 days.
- Major-General Muhammadu Buhari, took office from 31st December, 1983 to 27th August, 1985. He took charge for 1 year 239 days.
- General Ibrahim Babangida, ruled from 27th August, 1985 to 26th August, 1993. He was there for 7 years 364 days.
- Ernest Shonekan who has the least of reigns in office (83 days) took over from 26th August, 1993 to 17th November, 1993.
- General Sani Abacha became the head of states from 17th November, 1993 to 8th June, 1998. He spent 4 years 203 days in office.
- General Abdulsalam began his reign from 8th June 1998 to 29th May, 1999. He spent 355 days in office.
- Olusegun Obasanjo again from 29th May, 1999 begins to lead Nigeria. He spent 8 years ending on 29th May, 2007.
- Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was next in line; he took office from 29th May, 2007 to 5th May, 2010. He spent 2 years 341 days.
- Goodluck Jonnathan, came into office from 5th May, 2010 to 29th May, 2015, he was there for 5 years 25 days.
- Muhammadu Buhari took office again from 29th May, 2015 and still remain till date (incumbent).