Artist Celebrates Nigeria’s 58th Independence with Illustration of Past Heads of State


Nigerian Illustrator and Artist, Sef Adeola, in celebration of Nigeria at 58, created a series of illustrated portraits of all the leaders in the country’s history.

The series features Tafawa Balewa, the country’s first Prime Minister, Nnamdi Azikiwe, the country’s first president, Shehu Shagari, the president during the second republic, and all the presidents in the last 18 years of the third republic: Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, Goodluck Jonathan, and Muhammadu Buhari.

It also features the heads of government during the different military regimes – Major General Aguiyi-Ironsi, General Yakubu Gowon, General Murtala Mohammed, Major General Olusegun Obasanjo, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, General Ibrahim Babangida, General Sani Abacha, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, as well as head of interim government in 1993 Ernest Shonekan.

He made use of soft magenta, pastel blue, gray, ink black, and pastel red (to adorn the uniforms of the military generals), he said.

See them below:

balewa portrait smaller

Tafawa Balewa: Prime Minister 1990 – 1996 (Assassinated)

azikiwe illustration smaller 1

Nnamdi Azikiwe: 1963 – 1966 (Deposed)

c ironsi portrait smaller 1

Major General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi: January 1966 – July 1966 (Assassinated)

D gowon portrait smaller 1

General Yakubu Gowon: 1966 – 1975 (Deposed)

e murtala portrait smaller

Murtala Muhammed: 1975 – 1976 (Assassinated)

f obasanjo portrait smaller 2

Major General Olusegun Obasanjo: 1976 – 1979 (Resigned)

g shagari portrait smaller 1

Shehu Shagari: 1979 – 1983 (Deposed)

h buhari portrait smaller

Major General Muhammadu Buhari: 1983 – 1985 (Deposed)

i babangida portrait smaller

General Ibrahim Babangida: 1985 – 1993 (Resigned)

j shonekan portrait smaller 1

Ernest Shonekan: August 1993 – November 1993 (Deposed)

k abacha portrait smaller

General Sani Abacha: 1993 – 1998 (Died in Office)

L abdulsalami portrait smaller

General Abdusalami Abubakar (1998 – 1999 (Resigned)

m obasanjo portrait smaller 1

Olusegun Obasanjo: 1999 – 2007

n yar adua portrait smaller

Umaru Musa Yar’adua: 2007 – 2010 (Died in Office)

o jonathan portrait smaller 1

Goodluck Jonathan: 2010 – 2015

p buhari portrait smaller 1

Muhammadu Buhari: 2015 – Present

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