Names of Nigerian Presidents From 1960 till Date: Nigeria is obviously the biggest nation in Africa. We are called the giant of Africa because we are the most populated and recognized African country. Currently, Nigeria practice a presidential system of government (headed by a person known as the president). Over the years, the country has been led by men who, in one way or the other, contributed to the growth and development of the country. In fact, if not for the great works of our past leaders, there wouldn’t have been any place known as Nigeria.
Conversely, there is a need to keep remembering these leaders for their good works. But the only way to do this effectively is through documentation. When we pen down our history and keep it for our unborn children to read, the good works of our great leaders will continue to be remembered.
In this article, i will be showing you the names of Nigerian presidents from 1960 till date. Thus, if you really want to know the people that brought Nigeria to the level it is today, this article has detailed information on that. I enjoin you to read carefully as i will list the past presidents of Nigeria since her independence.
Past Nigerian presidents since independence (1960 – 2019)
Below are the names of Nigerian presidents from 1960 till date:
- Sir Nnamdi Azikiwe – 1 October 1963 – 16 January 1966
- Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari – October 1, 1979 – December 31, 1983
- Chief Ernest Adegunle Oladeinde Shonekan – 26 August 1993 – 17 November 1993
- Olusegun Mathew Okikiola Aremu Obasanjo – 29 May 1999 – 29 May 2007
- Umaru Musa Yar’Adua – 29 May 2007 – 5 May 2010
- Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan – 5 May 2010 – 29 May 2015
- Muhammadu Buhari – 29 May 2015 till date
Okay! There you have the name of all the Nigerian presidents since independence. Nonetheless, if you still need more information about these leaders, keep reading as i will disclose more about each of the name mentioned above. You can watch the video of this article below:
Note: This article contains only the names of past PRESIDENTS OF NIGERIA since independence (1960). Please note that military heads are not mentioned here.
Sir Nnamdi Azikiwe
In office: 1 October 1963 – 16 January 1966
Date of birth: 16th November, 1904
Education: Howard University, Lincoln University and University of Pennsylvania
Sir Nnamdi Azikiwe was the first ceremonial president of Nigeria. He was popularly referred to as “Zik“. Sir Nnamdi Azikiwe is known as the father of Nigerian Nationalism because his works contributed greatly to the independence of Nigeria in 1960.
It will surprise you to know that Sir Nnamdi Azikiwe was removed from office in the 1966 military coup led by Chukwuma Nzeogu, and he was the most prominent politician to avoid assassination after the coup. He was once the chancellor of University of Lagos from 1972 to 1976. More so, Nnamdi Azikiwe played active role in the establishment of the country’s indigenous university (University of Nigeria, Nsukka).
Subsequently, Chukwuma Nzeogwu was overthrown by Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi. After ruling for some time, Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi decided to introduce unitary system of government into Nigeria. For this reason, northern army officers revolted against the government and killed him. They appointed Yakubu Gowon as the new military leader. The military continued to exchange leadership power between themselves until the time of Shagari.
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Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari
In office: October 1, 1979 – December 31, 1983
Birth: February 25, 1925
Education: Teachers Training College, in Zaria, Kaduna, Nigeria
Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari is the first elected president of the federal republic of Nigeria. After the power tussle and military coup that followed Azikiwe’s regime, Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari emerged as the first democratic elected president of the country. His vice president was Alex Ekwueme.
Evidently, Shehu Usman Shagari entered politics in 1951. He was one of the post respected persons in NPN (National Party of Nigeria). Even before he was elected president of Nigeria, he was actively participating in the development of Nigeria. For instance, between 1959 – 1960 he did great things as the minister of economic development in the country. It will surprise you to know that Shagari was a one time governor for the World Bank and a member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) committee of twenty.
Unfortunately, the first democratic elected president of the federal republic of Nigeria was overthrown by General Muhammadu Buhari in a military coup on 31 December 1983. This marked the inception of another military dictatorship in Nigeria.
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Chief Ernest Adegunle Oladeinde Shonekan
In office: 26 August 1993 – 17 November 1993
Birth: 9 May 1936 (age 83)
Education: University of London
It was Babangida’s military regime that gave birth to this government. As a result of the pressure mounted on him to hand over power to a civilian government, Babangida handed over power to another president. Apparently, Chief Ernest Adegunle Oladeinde Shonekan was the first lawyer to become the president of Nigeria. Before he was appointed into power, Shonekan was the chief executive of the United African Company of Nigeria PLC, a large Nigerian conglomerate.
Coupled with Chief Ernest Adegunle Oladeinde Shonekan regime was Moshood Abiola as the vice president of the country. They two worked together until the military intervened again. In fact, Chief Ernest government only lasted for 3 months. It was followed by Sani Abacha’s military government which lasted from 17 November 1993 – 8 June 1998. Sani Abacha was very prestigious in the military at that time. Researchers posit that he is the first Nigerian soldier to attain the rank of a full star General without skipping a single rank.
Olusegun Mathew Okikiola Aremu Obasanjo
In office: 29 May 1999 – 29 May 2007
Birth: 5 March 1937
Education: Mons Cadet School, Aldershot, England; Royal College of Military Engineers.
Olusegun Mathew Okikiola Aremu Obasanjo is a well known political figure in Nigeria even till today. He is popularly called Baba Africa. Obasanjo became the president of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007. His vice at that time was Shehu Musa Yar’Adua. It will surprise you to know that before and during his regime as president, he was and adent member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). According to research, President Obasanjo spent most of his first term travelling abroad. He was able to win at least some Western support for strengthening Nigeria’s nascent democracy.
Frankly speaking, this man contributed greatly to the growth and development of Nigeria. Though, he was a dictator during his military regime, he still did great things as president.
Umaru Musa Yar’Adua
In office: 29 May 2007 – 5 May 2010
Birth: 16 August 1951
Education: Ahmadu Bello University
Umaru Musa Yar’Adua took over power from Obasanjo after he was declared the winner of the controversial Nigerian presidential election held on 21 April, 2007. He was the former governor of Kastina state before becoming the president of the country. It will surprise you to know that Yar’Adua took over from this father who was also an ardent politician. In fact, he (his father) was the National Vice chairman of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN).
Even before becoming the president of the federal republic of Nigeria, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua has been contributing to the development and growth of the country. He was a member of the 1988 Constituent Assembly. Sadly, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua died as a result of a sickness which he traveled outside the country to treat. On returning back to the country (24 February,2010), his vice president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan took over power as the president of the country.
Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan
In office: 5 May 2010 – 29 May 2015
Birth: 20 November 1957
Education: University of Port Harcourt
Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan is a one time governor of Delta state and president of the federal republic of Nigeria. He was the vice president during Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s regime. After the death of Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, ex-president Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan promised to continue implementing the seven-point agenda policy framework of the former president. During his regime, the country had one of the best leaders in the world. However, due to the incessant security problem, some citizens criticized his government for not being able to handle the problem.
In 2015, president Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan lost the 2015 presidential election to Muhammadu Buhari. He pacificly handed over power to the newly elected president and said “Nobody’s ambition is worth the blood of any Nigerian.” Currently, Goodluck Jonathan is the chairperson of the newly inaugurated International Summit Council for Peace (ISCP). He is also known as the ambassador of peace.
In office: 29 May 2015 till date
Birth: 17 December 1942
Education: Nigerian Military Training College, Mons Officer Cadet School
Muhammadu Buhari is the current president of the federal republic of Nigeria. He assumed office in 2015 through the All Progressives Congress (APC), defeating the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. To some citizens, President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime is a failed one. However, some citizens posit that he is doing very well as president of the country. Prof. Yemi Osibajo (a professor of law) is the vice president in this regime. It may interest you to know that President Muhammadu Buhari is a one time Governor of Bornu state (3 February 1976 – 15 March 1976).
Muhammadu Buhari hails from Daura, Katsina State. According to research, he is from a fulani family and his father died when he was still 4 years old. His government is hell bent on eliminating corruption in the country. In fact, the government introduced a whistle-blowing policy with a 2.5%-5% reward on the 21st of December, 2016. This policy was to facilitate the fight against corruption in the country.
By way of conclusion, i will must let you know that this article won’t end here. From time to time, i will keep updating it with more interesting information. Meanwhile, i hope you enjoyed reading this information. Yeah! I know you did. Kindly scrow to the comment section now and tell me what you think about these leaders i just mentioned. Which of them do you think was the best? Let me know please!
Edeh Chukwuemeka Samuel is a certified Mediator and Conciliator in Nigeria. He is currently a student at the Faculty of Law, University of Nigeria. Samuel is bent on disseminating authentic information to every part of the world.