Second Republic President: Shehu Shagari

The overthrow of the government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari by the military in December 1983 marked the end of Nigeria’s second democratic dispensation. It also ushered in the military government led by Major – General Muhamadu Buhari and Brigadier Tunde Idiagbon. For Nigerians, another era of despair was perceived to be over. History will judge the stewardship of the Shagari administration. As with most changes from democratic to military regimes in Africa, Buhari cited alleged troubles and a declining economy of the Second Republic as reasons for the change of government.

The Buhari – Idiagbon leadership at the beginning declared “WAR AGAINST INDISCIPLINE” (WAI). It asserted to itself the role of a corrective regime. Mass arrest, detention and jail terms for several politicians accused of corruption followed. But the WAI crusade soon crossed applauded boundaries with the arrest of journalists and numerous others not accountable for the social decay and economic problems. Draconian decrees were enacted, some with retroactive force. The regime became dictatorial in outlook and soon fell out of favour with mainstream Nigerians, and was overthrown by Gen Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida in a bloodless coup in August 1985.

For a start, Babangida endeared himself to Nigerians as an affectionate and considerate leader. He also released political detainees and assured that public opinion would guide his Armed Forces Ruling Council. As usual, the public soon demanded a return to civilian government to which Babangida responded in the affirmative. His announcement of a transition programme in 1986 raised hopes. His plan to hand – over to a civilian government in 1990 was applauded nationwide. The transition plan was scrapped with a shift to 1993 as hand – over date. The military would dictate the pace of the transition plan without input from the civil society constrained to watch from the sidelines.

President Ibrahim Babangida

The AFRC went ahead to announce the creation of two political parties: the Social Democratic Party (SDP), and the National Republican Convention (NRC). Politicians were denied a free hand in the formation of political parties. Besides, many prospective contestants woke up one morning to find their names among a long list of banned politicians in this transition programme. Babangida took further steps to get the 1979 Constitution modified by a handpicked Constituent Assembly. Elections were held into local government councils, state legislatures and governorship positions.

In a swift turn around Babangida voided the 1992 primaries to the presidential elections, banned all the participating politicians and slated new Presidential elections for June 1993 between two Pro-Government candidates: Chief MKO Abiola of SDP and Alhaji Bashir Tofa of the NRC.

He schemed out measures that would lead to failed Presidential elections capitalizing on the age-old North/ South divide in Nigerian politics. Babangida expected a stalemated election result that would suit his purpose. To his chagrin, MKO Abiola had a landslide victory over Bashir Tofa in an unusually free, fair and peaceful election, devoid of all rancour.

M.K.O Abiola acknowledging cheers after the 1993 Presidential Elections

 But before the result could be announced Babangida annulled it. The entire nation came agog with protests. That miscalculation was his undoing, and eventually forced him out of office when he stepped aside in August 1993.

Chief Earnest Shonekan: Ousted interim government President

He inaugurated an Interim National Government (ING) headed by Chief Ernest Shonekan, a Yoruba businessman, apparently to appease Abiola’s ethnic roots. From the very start, Shonekan’s government faced opposition from all sides. In November, barely three months in office the ING was overthrown by General Sani Abacha, Babangida’s right-hand man and Defence Minister. The military was back in the helm of rulership in Nigeria.

General Sani Abacha

The reaction of Nigerians was spontaneous towards a perceived bleak political future. Numerous questions were raised from all quarters across the nation as to why Nigeria should remain one corporate union. Many outstanding politicians clamoured for a break-up of the country. Yet several others called for restraint while exploring other avenues to forge forward in these trying times. Some called for a confederation with a weakened centre and a separate army and police forces. Abroad, the country’s image was denigrated through condemnations and isolation. The Abacha regime was high handed and without regard for the rule of law. The press was routinely gagged; individual liberties were flagrantly undermined, and human rights abuses knew no bounds. Abacha resorted to excessive use of force as an instrument of coercion. Violence was adopted as a weapon and means of governance. Protesters were killed in numbers as the government in it’s crude extreme resorted to the use of helicopter gunships to tackle the unrest.

Opposition from Nigerians increased both from within and those who fled into self-exile. Over time the government faced increased isolation from the international community. In the prevailing atmosphere of uncertainty Chief MKO Abiola declared himself president, was arrested in 1994 and later died in jail four years later, precisely in 1998.

 Abacha, though an absolute dictator, had promised to embark on a transition to civilian rule but was not sufficiently tactful like his predecessor, Babangida. He indeed embarked on a programme that would ensure him as the civilian successor to his military government. He intensified the use of force to drive his plans through to reality until he suddenly died in June 1998.

 On the economic front, Abacha and his loyalists used the national treasury as their personal estate and that of family members.

General Abdusalam Abubakar

General Abdusalam Abubakar, a member of his junta, was appointed to replace him. His first reaction was a promise to put the nation on track to civil rule. Furthermore, he freed political prisoners, brought Abacha’s reign of terror to an end. The image of the country improved abroad, and sanctions were relaxed. On the economic front, questions remained unanswered as the economy remained sluggish. Abdusalam followed his laid out time table to a civilian government. Political life flourished as many political activists in exile returned with high expectations to participate in the political process.

President Olusegu Obasanjo: Third Republic President

Numerous political parties were established, with three being the most outstanding: the People’s Democratic Party ( PDP) the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and the All People’s Party (APP). At the end of active political participation involvement by numerous Nigerians, elections were held from January to March 1999 into local government councils, state legislatures and the National Assembly along with those for governorships. The presidential election held in February and was closely monitored by international observers. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo of PDP who as Head of State in 1976-79 and also midwived the last transition from the military rule, was declared the winner.  A new Constitution adopted by the Abdusalam Government in 1999 became operational effective from October 1.

Previous articleThe Crisis in the Middle East – Any Possible Solution?
My interest and love for blogging in the area of political and economic developments were cultivated during my days at Government College Ughelli. We had a set of very committed and dedicated teachers from the UK, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. There were two American Peace Corps members along with a handful of Africans. In April 1970 we watched a documentary on John F Kennedy. That documentary inspired me greatly. The following day I visited the College library for more information. I went through a large stack of The Readers Digest. I also stumbled across another international journal, The English Listener. Upon graduation from college and while at the University of Ibadan, l read American Time Newsweek magazines regularly. My bias was for International Relations. This background has proved an invaluable asset to me in my years of teaching and contributing articles to media organizations as a freelance writer and encouraged me to set up a blog:


  1. I seriously love your site.. Excellent colors & theme.
    Did you create this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as I’m trying to create my
    very own blog and would like to find out where you got this from
    or exactly what the theme is named. Kudos!

  2. You’re so cool! I do not think I’ve read anything like that before.
    So wonderful to find somebody with a few original thoughts on this subject
    matter. Really.. thanks for starting this up.
    This website is one thing that is required on the web, someone
    with a little originality!

  3. I have to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this blog.
    I really hope to see the same high-grade content from you later on as well.
    In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my very own site now 😉

  4. Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It if truth be told was a leisure account it.
    Look complicated to more delivered agreeable from you! By the way, how could we be
    in contact?

  5. Thanks for the marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed reading it, you will be a great author.
    I will be sure to bookmark your blog and may come back later in life.
    I want to encourage you to continue your great posts, have a nice weekend!

    My web blog delta 8

  6. I was suggested this blog by my cousin. I am not sure
    whether this post is written by him as no one else know
    such detailed about my problem. You are amazing!

  7. I’m impressed, I have to admit. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both
    educative and amusing, and let me tell you, you’ve hit
    the nail on the head. The problem is something which not enough men and women are speaking intelligently about.
    I’m very happy that I came across this during my hunt
    for something regarding this.

    My webpage :: slot online

  8. Hi there, I do think your blog could be having internet browser
    compatibility issues. Whenever I take a look at your
    blog in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in IE, it has
    some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to provide you with a quick heads up!
    Aside from that, wonderful blog!

    Check out my webpage :: buy thc gummies (

  9. Have you ever considered about including a little bit more than just
    your articles? I mean, what you say is fundamental and all.
    However think about if you added some great visuals or video
    clips to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent
    but with images and video clips, this blog could certainly be one of the best in its
    field. Fantastic blog!

    Take a look at my blog: buy thc gummies

  10. If some one desires expert view concerning blogging then i propose him/her to go to see this blog, Keep up
    the fastidious job.

    Also visit my web blog best delta 8 gummies;,

  11. I think that everything published made a bunch of sense.
    However, what about this? suppose you were to create a killer headline?
    I am not saying your information isn’t good, but what if you added a post
    title that makes people want more? I mean THE NIGERIAN MILITARY AND GOVERNANCE 1983 – 1999 | Global Inquest is kinda vanilla.
    You ought to look at Yahoo’s front page and watch how they write post titles to
    get people to click. You might try adding a video or
    a picture or two to grab people excited about everything’ve got to
    say. In my opinion, it would bring your blog a little livelier.

    Look into my web-site Instagram likes for sale

  12. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to assert that I get actually enjoyed account your blog
    posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently rapidly.

    My website followers

  13. Aw, this was an incredibly nice post. Finding the time and
    actual effort to create a very good article… but what can I say… I put things off a lot and don’t manage to get anything done.

    Look into my web blog: delta 8 THC

  14. Thanks , I’ve just been looking for information approximately this subject for ages and yours is the greatest I have came upon till now.
    But, what concerning the conclusion? Are you sure about the supply?

    My website :: best weed gummies – Rosalina,

  15. Hey are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new to the blog world
    but I’m trying to get started and set up my own. Do you require any
    html coding knowledge to make your own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    My blog … weed gummies

  16. I just couldn’t depart your web site before suggesting that I really enjoyed the
    standard info a person supply for your guests? Is going to be
    back frequently in order to investigate cross-check new posts

    Here is my web site … weed edibles

  17. Hiya! Quick question that’s completely off topic. Do you know
    how to make your site mobile friendly? My website looks weird when browsing from my apple iphone.
    I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to fix this problem.
    If you have any recommendations, please share. Appreciate it!

    my page … THC Gummies (


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here