Modern-day Nigeria has been the site of numerous kingdoms and tribal states over the millennia.
The modern state originated from British colonial rule beginning in the 19th century, and the merging of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate and Northern Nigeria Protectorate in 1914.
As of 2015, Nigeria is the world’s 20th largest economy, worth more than $500 billion and $1 trillion in terms of nominal GDP and purchasing power parity respectively.
The giant of Africa has seen 15 Heads of State (military rulers inclusive) and 7 democratic Presidents.
But how well do you know your past presidents, their birth origin, dates of birth, successors and predecessors? Our feature focus beams the light on Nigeria’s democratic presidents.
1. Nnamdi Azikiwe
Born on the 16th of November 1904, in Zungeru, Northen Nigeria, now in Niger State. Nigeria’s first president under the first republic was sworn into office at age 59 and lasted in office for 2years, 104 days. He died in 1996 in Enugu State at age 91.
2. Shehu Shagari
91 year old Turakin Sakkwato was born on the 25th of February, 1925 in Shagari, Sokoto State, and served as the second President of Nigeria’s Second Republic (1979–1983), after the handover of power by General Olusegun Obasanjo’s military government. His tenure as Nigeria’s President lasted for 4 years and 91 days.
3. Ernest Shonekon
Born on the 9th of May 1936 in Lagos State Nigeria, his tenure as president or transitional administrator under the third Nigerian republic lasted for only 84 days as a palace coup led by General Sani Abacha forcefully dismantled the remaining democratic institutions and brought the government back under military control on 17 November 1993.
4. Olusegun Obasanjo
Born on 5th of March 1937 in Abeokuta, Ogun State. He became Nigeria’s 4th president after serving the country as military head of state from 13 February 1976 to 1 October 1979. He was sworn into office as President on the 29th of May 2009 and ran two tenures each consisting of 4 years before handing over to his successor Shehu Yar’Adua.
5. Umaru Shehu Yar’Adua
Born in Katsina, Katsina State on the 6th of August 1951, was the 5th President of Nigeria and the 13th Head of State of the giant of Africa. He died in service from pericarditis and prior to the sad incident ran the office for 2 years, 341 days.
6. Goodluck Jonathan
Born on the 20th of November 1957 in Ogobia, Bayelsa State, the Nigerian president occupied the office for 5 years, 25 days. He served as vice president under the Shehu Yar’Adua regime and assumed office as president after the passing on of the then President of Nigeria, making him the 6th president of Nigeria.
7. Muhammadu Buhari
The 7th and current president of the federal republic of Nigeria has been in office for just 286 days. He was Head of State of Nigeria from 31 December 1983 to 27 August 1985, after taking power in a military coup d’état. Mr. President was born on the 17th of December 1942 at Daura Local Government of Katsina State.