Who was the first Military Head of State in Nigeria?


The first Military Head of State in Nigeria– General Aguiyi-Ironsi was the first military head of state in Nigeria. This was after Major Chukwuma Nzeogwu led a group of army officers in 1966 failed coup de etat which led to the death of the then prime minister, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.

General Aguiyi-Ironsi

Nzeogwu did it and took control of the government before he was captured and imprisoned by the power-hungry General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi.

However let’s take a brief look on the biography of Major General Aguiyi ironsi who was Nigeria’s first military head of state.

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His full name is major general Johnson Thomas Umunnakwe Aguiyi Ironsi, he was born on 3rd April 1924 and died on 29th of July 1966.
He was born in Umuahia-Ibeku (Presently known as Abia state) to Ezeugo Aguiyi.

When Thomas was 8 he went to live with his elder sister Anyamma whose husband was Theophilus Johnson – a then Sierra leonan diplomat residing in Umuahia.

Thomas love his brother-in-law and took him as a father. When he became 18 HE opted for and joined the Nigerian army even though his older sister was not in support.

Aguiyi Ironsi had his elementary education in Umuahia while he proceeded to Kano where he had his secondary education.

Aguiyi Ironsi what’s the senior military officer in Nigeria and he took power after the January 15 1966 military coup by Kaduna Nzeogwu. erasing the rule in Nigeria on 16th of January 1966 up to his death on the 29th of July 1966. He was murdered by the rebellious northern soldiers in the popular July counter coup.

After a joint the military in 1942 as a private with 7th battalion. After four years he got promoted to the company sergeant major rank.

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That same year the army sent him out for a military training course in staff College Camberley England.

After his return in 1949 he got promoted to second lieutenant of royal west African frontier Force.

Johnson quickly went up in rank to the stage of Captain in 1953 and 2 years from then you got to the rank of major.

He has also served and had experience with the military men of Queen Elizabeth II of the United kingdom when she paid a visit to Nigeria in 1956.

1960 was a huge year for him as it was meant the commandant of the 5th battalion which was in Kano state in the northern Nigeria, please post he occupied based on the rank of lieutenant Colonel.

That same year he led the Nigerian contingent Force which was part of the UN peacekeeping force in zarie Republic of Congo.

Johnson Thomas and also served as a military attache in London United kingdom the Nigerian high commission in the year 1961 to 1962. It was while serving that he got a promotion which landed him to the rank of brigadier general.

Why delsu he took some courses at the Royal College of defence studies which was formerly known as imperial defence college in 1970, it was located at seaford House in belgrave square.


Ironsi made huge success in the Nigerian military has even got an appointment as the commandant of the United Nations peacekeeping Force in Congo in 1964.

Later on in 1965 he became a major general which made him qualified to get the position of general officer commanding (GOC) of the Nigerian army – at that point it became the first indigenous Nigerian to head Nigerian army after the white man handed over.

However after the military coup Aguiyi Ironsi only lasted a total of 194 days in the office before he got executed.
His dead body was later discovered in ibadan forest, he got a befitting burial after that though.

Who is the first President of Nigeria?

first President of Nigeria Shehu Shagari

Alhaji Shehu Shagari was the first democratically elected president of Nigeria after 13 years of military rule. In October 1979, he emerged victorious after elections under National Party of Nigeria.

Let’s take a brief look also at the history and biography of Shehu shagari the first democratically elected president of Nigeria.

His full name is Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari, Turakin Sakkwato and he was born in 25th February 1925.

Shagari became the second president of the second Republic of Nigeria which was between 1979 to 1983 and this was after the handover from the military government of General Olusegun Obasanjo.

Shagari is from the northern part of Nigeria specifically the fulani tribe. He also has a traditional title of Turaki of Sokoto in the Sokoto Caliphate.
Just before we ventured into politics he was a teacher then in 1954 he contested for federal house of representative.

Shagari had Umaru Dikko as his campaign manager and this enabled him win the 1979 election.
his party had the most popular support from northern politicians and even Southerners because it represented the minorities there.

People love his party because it was seen as the the best party that represented national unity it also had the the popular motto – “one nation, one destiny”
This party stood tall above other parties because it stood for Nigeria’s diversity.

His major in during his administration was industries, transportation, housing and agriculture. policies were also very easy for him to execute because he had the phones this was during the early oil boom in Nigeria.

His administration had successes but also was plagued with corruption and embezzlement of funds. He had also completed the Delta steel complex in 1982 and was on the project of Ajaokuta steel complex and rolling Mills.

Get he was said to have spent millions of dollars on them even the failed ones.

the prominent corruption in his administration even led to the electoral fraud of 1983. Also he was hit hard by the falling oil prices in 1981 we should try to salvage with economic stabilization programs.

Due to the obvious failure in his administration which could be seen in the political and religious violence, decreasing financial capability of Nigeria and unpopularity by the citizens of Nigeria this led to the military coup of 31st December 1983 by general Muhammadu Buhari which was executed by a senior officer Brigadier Ibrahim Bako who later died.

Yet currently we have Muhammadu Buhari as our Democratic president.


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