The first military regime in Nigeria started in January 15th 1966, which was staged by five (5) Majors led by Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu. It was a bloody military coup in the annals of Nigeria’s politics. Prominent Politicians including the Prime Minister, Alhaji Tafawa Balewa, Premier of Western Region, S.L. Akintola, the Minister of Finance, Chief Festus Okotie Eboh, Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Premier of the Northern Region and many other top ranking officers in the armed force were killed.
This coup brought General Aguiyi Ironsi to power. On July 29th 1966, a counter coup was staged by Northern officers in the army and Aguiyi Ironsi Government was toppled and he was killed. Then Col. Yakubu Gowon took over from him. July 29th 1975 Coup brought an end to the 9 years rule of Yakubu Gowon when he was busy attending O.A.U. summit in Kampala Uganda. General Murtala Mohammed who was the coup leader took over as the Head of State. General Murtala Mohammed was assassinated in an aborted coup led by Lt. Colonel Buka Suka Dimka on February 13, 1975. General Olusegun Obasanjo the next in command to Murtala Mohammed took over as the Head of State. General Olusegun Obasanjo eventually handed over power to a democratically elected Government of President Shehu Shagari on 1st October, 1979.
On December 31st 1983, the civilian government was terminated by a coup headed by General Mohammed Buhari. On August 27th 1985, General Ibrahim Babangida, the Chief of Staff to Mohammed Buhari took over from him and became the President and Commander In-Chief of the Armed Forces. On December 1985, unsuccessful coup was led by late General Mamma Vatsa. Then on April 1990, another unsuccessful coup was led by late Major Gideon Orka. However, Babangida retired from the army after handing over in 1993. He set up an interim government with Chief Ernest Shonekan as the Head of State. Late general Abacha sacked the interim government and assume the Military Head of State of Nigeria. Abacha died on the 8th of June 1998 and was succeeded by General Abdulsalam Abubakar, who eventually handed over power to a democratically elected President on 29th May, 1999.
- Account for the coming of the military into Nigeria’s politics.
- Why was February 13 1975’s, coup regarded as aborted?
REASONS FOR MILITARY INTERVENTION IN POLITICS
- When the process of changing political leadership is in doubt, the military may intervene.
- Politicization of the army.
- Nepotism, tribalism and favoritism which pervert justice.
- Regional differences; Differences among regions were so acute as to precipitate crises leading to direct assumption of power.
- Mismanagement of the national economy e.g Alhaji Shehu Shagari.
- Corruption and abuse of office by political leaders in the 1st and 2nd
- Clumsy handling of census exercise e.g Nigeria in 1962 and 1963 census.
- Lack of free and fair election e.g Western Nigeria election of 1965.
- Long stay in office; Most Nigerian leaders want to make themselves life president.
- Bad administrations in Nigeria have contributed to frequent coups that occurred in the country.
Give five reasons for military intervention in Nigeria’s politics.
ACHIVEMENTS OF MILITARY REGIME IN NIGERIA
- Preservation of the unity of Nigeria; the civil war was fought in order to preserve the unity of Nigeria.
- Infrastructural development; such as construction of roads, bridges, air ports and establishment of institutions.
- The creation of more states which gives room for self determination by different ethnic groups in the country.
- The National Youth Service Corps (N.Y.S.C.) was established to foster unity among the different ethnic groups in Nigeria.
- The military brought about a positive change in the Nigeria’s foreign policy.
- The establishment of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) by Gowon and Eyadema.
- Changing in the pattern of driving; this was done on 2nd April, 1972.
- Creation of a new federal capital territory by the military administration of Murtala/Obasanjo.
- Teaching hospitals, Polytechnics, College of Education and Universities were established.
- Highlight 5 achievements of military regime in Nigeria.
- State the pattern of driving before 1972.
- Mention the names of the officers that were killed during the first bloody military coup in Nigeria.
- How has bad administration contributed to military intervention in politics?
- The first military coup in Nigeria took place on (a) Jan. 15, 1965 (b) Feb. 15,1966 (c) Jan. 15, 1966
- The first military coup in Africa happened in (a) Egypt (b) Nigeria (c) Ghana
- Who handed over power to a democratically elected president in 1979? (a) Murtala Mohammed (b) Olusegun Obasanjo (c) Gen. Buhari
- ____ was the military President between 1985- 1993 (a) Gen. Yakubu Gowon (b) Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (c) Gen.Olusegun Obasanjo
- ____ is associated with military rule (a) Popular consent (b) Accountability (c) Decrees
- What are the characteristics of the military rule?
- Describe the structure of the military rule
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