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The president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is the
head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state Foakes, pp. 110–11 " he head of statebeing an embodiment of the State itself or representatitve of its international persona." in its unity and ...
and
head of government The head of government is the highest or the second-highest official in the executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony, autonomous region, or other government who often presides over a cabinet, a g ...
of the
Federal Republic of Nigeria Nigeria ( ), , ig, Naìjíríyà, yo, Nàìjíríà, pcm, Naijá , ff, Naajeeriya, kcg, Naijeriya officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa. It is situated between the Sahel to the north and the Gulf of ...
. The president directs the
executive branch The Executive, also referred as the Executive branch or Executive power, is the term commonly used to describe that part of government which enforces the law, and has overall responsibility for the governance of a state. In political system ...
of the
federal government A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity characterized by a union of partially self-governing provinces, states, or other regions under a central federal government (federalism). In a federation, the self-govern ...
and is the commander-in-chief of the
Nigerian Armed Forces The Nigerian Armed Forces (NAF) are the combined military forces of Nigeria. It consists of three uniformed service branches: the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, and Nigerian Air Force. The President of Nigeria functions as the commander-in-chie ...
. The offices, powers, and titles of the head of state and the head of government were officially merged into the office of the presidency under the 1979 Constitution of Nigeria. Executive power is vested in the president. The power includes the execution and enforcement of federal law and the responsibility to appoint federal executive, diplomatic, regulatory, and judicial officers. Based on constitutional provisions empowering the president to appoint and receive ambassadors and conclude treaties with foreign powers, and on subsequent laws enacted by the
House A house is a single-unit residential building. It may range in complexity from a rudimentary hut to a complex structure of wood, masonry, concrete or other material, outfitted with plumbing, electrical, and heating, ventilation, and air condi ...
, the presidency has primary responsibility for conducting foreign policy. The president also plays a leading role in federal legislation and domestic policymaking. As part of the system of checks and balances, the Constitution gives the president the power to sign or
veto A veto is a legal power to unilaterally stop an official action. In the most typical case, a president or monarch vetoes a bill to stop it from becoming law. In many countries, veto powers are established in the country's constitution. Veto p ...
federal legislation. The president is directly elected in national elections to a four-year term, along with the
vice president A vice president, also director in British English, is an officer in government or business who is below the president (chief executive officer) in rank. It can also refer to executive vice presidents, signifying that the vice president is on ...
. Muhammadu Buhari is the 15th and current president of Nigeria, having assumed office on 29 May 2015.


History

On 1 October 1960,
Nigeria Nigeria ( ), , ig, Naìjíríyà, yo, Nàìjíríà, pcm, Naijá , ff, Naajeeriya, kcg, Naijeriya officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa. It is situated between the Sahel to the north and the Gulf of G ...
gained independence from Britain. An all-Nigerian Executive Council was headed by a
Prime minister A prime minister, premier or chief of cabinet is the head of the cabinet and the leader of the ministers in the executive branch of government, often in a parliamentary or semi-presidential system. Under those systems, a prime minister is ...
, Alhaji Sir
Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (December 1912 – 15 January 1966) was a Nigerian politician who served as the first and only Prime Minister of Nigeria upon independence. Early life Abubakar Tafawa Balewa was born in December 1912 in modern-day ...
. On 16 November 1960, Nnamdi Azikiwe became the first governor-general of a federation of three regions of the north, east and west, with
Lagos Lagos ( Nigerian English: ; ) is the largest city in Nigeria and the second most populous city in Africa, with a population of 15.4 million as of 2015 within the city proper. Lagos was the national capital of Nigeria until December 1991 f ...
as the Federal Capital. Each of the regions was headed by a premier with a governor as ceremonial head. The governors and governor-general represented the Queen of Nigeria,
Elizabeth II Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; 21 April 1926 – 8 September 2022) was Queen of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms from 6 February 1952 until her death in 2022. She was queen regnant of 32 sovereign states during ...
. On 1 October 1963, Nigeria became a Federal Republic thereby abolishing its monarchy, but remained a member of the
Commonwealth of Nations The Commonwealth of Nations, simply referred to as the Commonwealth, is a political association of 56 member states, the vast majority of which are former territories of the British Empire. The chief institutions of the organisation are the ...
. An amendment to the 1960 Independence Constitution replaced the office of the
governor-general Governor-general (plural ''governors-general''), or governor general (plural ''governors general''), is the title of an office-holder. In the context of governors-general and former British colonies, governors-general are appointed as viceroy t ...
with that of the president. Nnamdi Azikwe was sworn into that office on 1 October 1963. The office at that time was primarily ceremonial, and the main duties of the president were on such things as receiving foreign dignitaries and opening Parliament. In a January 1966 failed coup d'état, a group of army officers, led by Major Chukwuma Nzeogwu, overthrew the central and regional governments, killed the prime minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, and tried to take control of the government. Nzeogwu was countered, captured, and imprisoned by General
Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi Johnson Thomas Umunnakwe Aguiyi-Ironsi (3 March 1924 – 29 July 1966) was the first military head of state of Nigeria. He seized power during the ensuing chaos after the 15 January 1966 military coup, which decapitated the country's leaders ...
. General Aguiyi-Ironsi was named Military Head of State. In July 1966, a group of northern army officers revolted against the government, killed General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi, and appointed the army chief of staff, General
Yakubu Gowon Yakubu Dan-Yumma 'Jack' Gowon (born 19 October 1934) is a retired Nigerian Army general and military leader. As Head of State of Nigeria, Gowon presided over a controversial Nigerian Civil War and delivered the famous "no victor, no vanquis ...
as the head of the new military government. In 1975, General Yakubu Gowon was deposed and General Murtala Mohammed was the head of the Federal Military Government of Nigeria until his assassination in 1976. On his death, the chief-of-staff, Supreme Headquarters (equivalent to a vice-president) general
Olusegun Obasanjo Chief Olusegun Matthew Okikiola Ogunboye Aremu Obasanjo, , ( ; yo, Olúṣẹ́gun Ọbásanjọ́ ; born 5 March 1937) is a Nigerian political and military leader who served as Nigeria's head of state from 1976 to 1979 and later as its pres ...
assumed office of head of state in a meeting of the Supreme Military Council, keeping the
chain of command A command hierarchy is a group of people who carry out orders based on others' authority within the group. It can be viewed as part of a power structure, in which it is usually seen as the most vulnerable and also the most powerful part. Milit ...
established by Murtala Muhammed in place. Gen. Obasanjo was responsible for completing the democratic transition begun by his predecessor, which culminated in an election in August 1979. In 1979, Nigeria adopted a federal presidential constitution. The presidency became an executive post, with powers similar to those of its American counterpart. The legislature was a bicameral
National Assembly In politics, a national assembly is either a unicameral legislature, the lower house of a bicameral legislature, or both houses of a bicameral legislature together. In the English language it generally means "an assembly composed of the repr ...
, comprising a Senate and
House of Representatives House of Representatives is the name of legislative bodies in many countries and sub-national entitles. In many countries, the House of Representatives is the lower house of a bicameral legislature, with the corresponding upper house often ca ...
. In October 1979, after more than 13 years of military rule, Nigeria returned to democratic rule. The National Party of Nigeria emerged victorious in the presidential election and Alhaji Shehu Shagari became the first democratically elected president. On 31 December 1983, the military overthrew the Second Republic. Major General Muhammadu Buhari emerged as the chairman of the Supreme Military Council (SMC), the new head of state. In August 1985, General Buhari's government was peacefully overthrown by the Army chief of staff, Major General
Ibrahim Babangida Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (born 17 August, 1941) is a retired Nigerian Army general and politician. He served as military president of Nigeria from 1985 until his resignation in 1993. He rose through the ranks to serve from 1984 to 1985 as ...
. Babangida became the president and chairman of the Armed Forces Ruling Council. In August 1993, General Babangida stepped down and chose an interim government to replace him. Ernest Shonekan was named as interim president. General Sani Abacha seized power from Shonekan in November 1993 and became the president and chairman of the Provisional Ruling Council. On 8 June 1998, General Abacha died at the presidential villa in the Nigerian capital, Abuja. Major General
Abdulsalami Abubakar Abdulsalami Abubakar (; born 13 June 1942) is a Nigerian statesman and retired Nigerian Army general who served as the ''de facto'' President of Nigeria from 1998 to 1999. He was also Chief of Defence Staff between 1997 and 1998. He succeed ...
became the new president and chairman of the Provisional Ruling Council. On 29 May 1999 Major General Abdulsalami Abubakar stepped down, and the former military head of state,
Olusegun Obasanjo Chief Olusegun Matthew Okikiola Ogunboye Aremu Obasanjo, , ( ; yo, Olúṣẹ́gun Ọbásanjọ́ ; born 5 March 1937) is a Nigerian political and military leader who served as Nigeria's head of state from 1976 to 1979 and later as its pres ...
, became the civilian president. Obasanjo served two terms in office. In May 2007, Alhaji Umaru Yar'Adua was sworn in as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the 13th head of state of Nigeria. Yar'Adua died on 5 May, 2010 in the presidential villa, in
Abuja Abuja () is the capital and eighth most populous city of Nigeria. Situated at the centre of the country within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), it is a planned city built mainly in the 1980s based on a master plan by International Pla ...
, Nigeria. On 6 May 2010 Vice President Goodluck Jonathan was sworn in as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the 14th head of state. On 29 May 2015 Muhammadu Buhari was sworn in as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the 15th head of state after winning the general election.


Eligibility

Chapter VI, Part I, Section 131 of the constitution states that a person may be qualified for election of the office of the president if: * They are a citizen of Nigeria by birth; * They have attained the age of 35 years; * They are a member of a political party and is sponsored by that political party; * They have been educated up to at least School Certificate level or its equivalent. A person who meets the above qualifications is still disqualified from holding the office of the president if: * They have voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a country other than Nigeria (except in such cases as may be prescribed by the
National Assembly In politics, a national assembly is either a unicameral legislature, the lower house of a bicameral legislature, or both houses of a bicameral legislature together. In the English language it generally means "an assembly composed of the repr ...
) or they have made a declaration of allegiance to such other country; * They have been elected to such office at any two previous elections; * Under the law in any part of Nigeria, they are adjudged to be a lunatic or otherwise declared to be of unsound mind; * They are under a sentence of death imposed by any competent court of law or tribunal in Nigeria or a sentence of imprisonment or fine for any offence involving dishonesty or fraud or for any other offence, imposed on them by any court or tribunal or substituted by a competent authority for any other sentence imposed on them by such a court of tribunal; * Within a period of less than ten years before the date of the election to the office of President they have been convicted and sentenced for an offence involving dishonesty or they have been found guilty of the contravention of the Code of Conduct; * They are an undischarged bankrupt, having been adjudged or otherwise declared bankrupt under any law in force in Nigeria or any other country; * Being a person employed in the civil or public service of the Federation or of any State, they have not resigned, withdrawn or retired from the employment at least thirty days before the date of the election; or * They are a member of any secret society; * They have been indicted for embezzlement or fraud by a Judicial Commission of Inquiry or an Administrative Panel of Inquiry or a Tribunal set up under the Tribunals of Inquiry Act, a Tribunals of Inquiry law or any other law by the federal or state government which indictment has been accepted by the federal or state government respectively; * They have presented a forged certificate to the
Independent National Electoral Commission The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was established in 1998 and is the electoral body which oversees elections in Nigeria. History Regulation and administration of elections The administration of democratic elections in Nig ...
.


Oath of office

The
Constitution of Nigeria The Constitution of Nigeria is the written supreme law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Nigeria has had many constitutions. Its current form was enacted on 29 May 1999 and inaugurated the Fourth Nigerian Republic. History Nigeria's st ...
specifies an oath of office for the president of the federation. The oath is administered by the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria or the person for the time being appointed to exercise the functions of that office:


Living former presidents

, there are five living former presidents:
Yakubu Gowon Yakubu Dan-Yumma 'Jack' Gowon (born 19 October 1934) is a retired Nigerian Army general and military leader. As Head of State of Nigeria, Gowon presided over a controversial Nigerian Civil War and delivered the famous "no victor, no vanquis ...
,
Olusegun Obasanjo Chief Olusegun Matthew Okikiola Ogunboye Aremu Obasanjo, , ( ; yo, Olúṣẹ́gun Ọbásanjọ́ ; born 5 March 1937) is a Nigerian political and military leader who served as Nigeria's head of state from 1976 to 1979 and later as its pres ...
,
Ibrahim Babangida Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (born 17 August, 1941) is a retired Nigerian Army general and politician. He served as military president of Nigeria from 1985 until his resignation in 1993. He rose through the ranks to serve from 1984 to 1985 as ...
,
Abdulsalami Abubakar Abdulsalami Abubakar (; born 13 June 1942) is a Nigerian statesman and retired Nigerian Army general who served as the ''de facto'' President of Nigeria from 1998 to 1999. He was also Chief of Defence Staff between 1997 and 1998. He succeed ...
, and Goodluck Jonathan. The most recent death of a former president was Ernest Shonekan (served from August to November 1993), on 11 January 2022 aged 85.


Presidents by time in office

This is a list of each president in order of term length. This is based on the difference between dates; if counted by number of calendar days, all the figures would be one greater except for
Olusegun Obasanjo Chief Olusegun Matthew Okikiola Ogunboye Aremu Obasanjo, , ( ; yo, Olúṣẹ́gun Ọbásanjọ́ ; born 5 March 1937) is a Nigerian political and military leader who served as Nigeria's head of state from 1976 to 1979 and later as its pres ...
and Muhammadu Buhari who would have two more days, as they served on two non-consecutive periods. Of the 13 presidents, only two,
Olusegun Obasanjo Chief Olusegun Matthew Okikiola Ogunboye Aremu Obasanjo, , ( ; yo, Olúṣẹ́gun Ọbásanjọ́ ; born 5 March 1937) is a Nigerian political and military leader who served as Nigeria's head of state from 1976 to 1979 and later as its pres ...
and Muhammadu Buhari, served for multiple periods.


Residence

The President of Nigeria lives and works in the Aso Rock Presidential Villa.


See also

* List of governors and governors-general of Nigeria * List of heads of state of Nigeria * Nigerian presidential inauguration * Prime Minister of Nigeria * List of Nigerian presidents by age


References

{{Heads of state and government of African states
Nigeria Nigeria ( ), , ig, Naìjíríyà, yo, Nàìjíríà, pcm, Naijá , ff, Naajeeriya, kcg, Naijeriya officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa. It is situated between the Sahel to the north and the Gulf of G ...
Politics of Nigeria Government of Nigeria 1963 establishments in Nigeria