Nigerian military juntas of 1966-1979 and 1983-1998
The two Nigerian Military Juntas of 1966-1979 and 1983-1998 were a pair of military dictatorship
Military dictatorship
A military dictatorship is a form of government where in the political power resides with the military. It is similar but not identical to a stratocracy, a state ruled directly by the military....

s in the African country of Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

 that were led by the Nigerian Military
Military of Nigeria
The Nigerian Armed Forces are the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The military has active duty personnel in three armed services, totaling approximately 85,000 troops and 82,000 paramilitary personnel. Its origins lie in the elements of the Royal West African Frontier Force that...

, having a chairman or president in charge.

First Junta (1966–1979)

The first one began on January 15, 1966, when Major Chukwuma Nzeogwu and some group of Majors overthrew current president Nnamdi Azikiwe
Nnamdi Azikiwe
Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe , usually referred to as Nnamdi Azikiwe and popularly known as "Zik", was one of the leading figures of modern Nigerian nationalism who became the first President of Nigeria after Nigeria secured its independence from the United Kingdom on 1 October 1960; holding the...

 in a coup d'état
Coup d'état
A coup d'état state, literally: strike/blow of state)—also known as a coup, putsch, and overthrow—is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to replace the deposed government with another body; either...

, and declared himself Head of the Federal Military Government of Nigeria
President of Nigeria
The President of Nigeria is the Head of State and head of the national executive. Officially styled President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces. The current President of Nigeria is Goodluck Jonathan.-History:On October 1, 1960, Nigeria gained...

. Aguiyi-Ironisi was then overthrown and murdered in a coup the same year by General
A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

 Yakubu Gowon
Yakubu Gowon
General Yakubu "Jack" Dan-Yumma Gowon was the head of state of Nigeria from 1966 to 1975. He took power after one military coup d'etat and was overthrown in another...

, who held power until 1975 when he was overthrown in a bloodless coup by a group of soldiers that wanted to return civilian rule to Nigeria. Brigadier
Brigadier is a senior military rank, the meaning of which is somewhat different in different military services. The brigadier rank is generally superior to the rank of colonel, and subordinate to major general....

 (later General) Murtala Mohammed
Murtala Mohammed
General Murtala Ramat Mohammed born was a military ruler of Nigeria from 1975 until his assassination in 1976.-Role during 1960s coups:...

, who succeeded General Gowon, was not directly involved in this coup, but did help round up soldiers for the coup. A year later, in 1976, Mohammed was assassinated in a violent coup, and Olusẹgun Ọbasanjọ then succeeded Mohammed. Three years later, in 1979, Ọbasanjọ handed power down to Shehu Shagari
Shehu Shagari
Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari, Turakin Sakkwato served as the President of Nigeria's Second Republic , after the handover of power by General Olusegun Obasanjo's military government....

, who ended the military regime, and installed a second Nigerian republic.

Second Junta (1983–1998)

Shagari, however, was overthrown in a bloodless coup in 1983, and succeeded by Muhammadu Buhari
Muhammadu Buhari
Muhammadu Buhari was a military ruler of Nigeria and an unsuccessful candidate for president in the 2003, 2007 and 2011 presidential elections...

, who was appointed Chairman of the Supreme Military Council of Nigeria and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces by the junta. Buhari ruled for two years, until 1985, when he was overthrown by General Ibrahim Babangida
Ibrahim Babangida
General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida CFR DSS mni , popularly known as IBB, was a Nigerian Army officer and military ruler of Nigeria...

, who appointed himself with the position of President of the Armed Forces Ruling Council of Nigeria. Babangida promised a return of democracy when he seized power, which barely took place during the Babangida regime. He ruled Nigeria until 1993 when he temporarily handed power to the interim head of state Ernest Shonekan
Ernest Shonekan
Ernest Adegunle Oladeinde Shonekan is a British trained Nigerian lawyer, industrialist, politician and traditional chieftain. He was appointed as interim president of Nigeria by General Ibrahim Babangida on 26 August 1993. Babangida resigned under pressure to cede control to a democratic government...

, being part of his promise to return democracy. Two months later, however, Shonekan was overthrown by General Sani Abacha
Sani Abacha
General Sani Abacha was a Nigerian military leader and politician. A Kanuri from Borno by tribe, he was born and brought up in Kano, Nigeria. He was the de facto President of Nigeria from 1993 to 1998....

, with former President Babangida conveniently involved with a visit to Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

. Abacha appointed himself Chairman of the Provisional Ruling Council of Nigeria. After Abacha's death in 1998, General Abdulsalami Abubakar
Abdulsalami Abubakar
General Abdulsalami Alhaji Abubakar is a Nigerian general who was President of Nigeria from June 9, 1998 until May 29, 1999. He succeeded Sani Abacha upon Abacha's death. It was during Abubakar's leadership that Nigeria adopted its new constitution on May 5, 1999, which provided for multiparty...

 took over, and ruled until 1999 when Olusẹgun Ọbasanjọ again became head of state (via an election), and ended the junta. Olusegun Obasanjo ruled until 2007 and then passed it down to another democratically elected president Umaru Musa Yar'adua
Umaru Musa Yar'Adua
Umaru Musa Yar'Adua was the President of Nigeria and the 13th Head of State. He served as governor of Katsina State in northern Nigeria from 29 May 1999 to 28 May 2007. He was declared the winner of the controversial Nigerian presidential election held on 21 April 2007, and was sworn in on 29 May...

 who ruled Nigeria until his death in 2010.

See also

  • Nigerian First Republic
    Nigerian First Republic
    The First Republic was the republican government of Nigeria between 1963 and 1966 governed by the first republican constitution.-Founding :...

  • Nigerian Second Republic
    Nigerian Second Republic
    The Second Republic was the republican government of Nigeria between 1979 and 1983 governed by the second republican constitution.- Founding :...

  • Nigerian Third Republic
    Nigerian Third Republic
    The Third Republic was the planned republican government of Nigeria in 1993 which was to be governed by the Third Republican constitution.- Founding :...

  • Nigerian Fourth Republic
    Nigerian Fourth Republic
    The Fourth Republic is the republican government of Nigeria. Since 1999 it has governed the country according to the fourth republican constitution. It was in many ways a revival of the Second Republic, which was in place between 1979 and 1983 and suffers many of the same problems, such as multiple...

  • Politics of Nigeria
    Politics of Nigeria
    Nigeria is a Federal Republic modeled after the United States, with executive power exercised by the president and with influences from the Westminster System model in the composition and management of the upper and lower houses of the bicameral legislature. However, the President of Nigeria is...

  • Military of Nigeria
    Military of Nigeria
    The Nigerian Armed Forces are the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The military has active duty personnel in three armed services, totaling approximately 85,000 troops and 82,000 paramilitary personnel. Its origins lie in the elements of the Royal West African Frontier Force that...

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