President of Nigeria
|President of the
Federal Republic of Nigeria
|Residence||Aso Rock Presidential Villa|
|Appointer||Direct Popular Election|
|Term length||Four years, renewable once|
|Inaugural holder||Nnamdi Azikiwe|
|Formation||1 October 1963|
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is the head of state and head of the national executive of Nigeria. The President of Nigeria is also the commander-in-chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces. The current President of Nigeria is Goodluck Jonathan, who was sworn into office in May 2010.
On October 1, 1960, Nigeria gained independence from Britain. An all-Nigerian Executive Council was headed by a Prime Minister, Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. On November 16, 1960, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, became the first Governor-General of a Federation of three Regions of the North, East and West, with Lagos as the Federal Capital. Each of the Regions was headed by a Premier with a Governor as Ceremonial Head. On October 1, 1963, Nigeria became a Federal Republic and severed whatever ties were left with Britain. Nigeria decided, however, to remain in the British Commonwealth of Nations. The Governor-General's position was, therefore, re-designated as President.
In January 1966, a group of army officers, led by Major Chukwuma Nzeogwu, overthrew the central and regional governments, killed the prime minister, tried to take control of the government in a failed coup d'état. Nzeogwu was countered, captured and imprisoned by General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi. 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 as the head of the new military government.
In 1970, Gen. Yakubu Gowon was deposed and General Murtala Mohammed was the Head of the Federal Military Government of Nigeria until his assassination in 1976.
In 1979, Nigeria adopted a constitution that was modelled on the Constitution of the United States, with provision for a President, Senate, and House of Representatives.
In October 1979, after more than 13 years of military rule, Nigeria was returned to democratic rule. The National Party of Nigeria emerged victorious in the presidential election and Alhaji Shehu Shagari was elected President.
December 31, 1983, the military overthrew the Second Republic. Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari emerged as the Chairman of the Supreme Military Council (SMC), the new Head of State.
In August 1985, the Gen. Buhari government was peacefully overthrown by the then Army Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Babangida. Babangida became the President and chairman Armed Forces Ruling Council.
In 1993, General Babangida steps down in August and chooses interim government. Ernest Shonekan was named as interim president. Gen. Sani Abacha seizes power from Shonekan in November 1993, he became the president and Chairman Provisional Ruling Council. On 8 June 1998, General Abacha dies at the presidential villa in the Nigerian capital, Abuja. Maj. Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar became the new president and Chairman Provisional Ruling Council.
In May 1999, Maj. Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar steps down and the former military head of state Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo became the newly elected civilian president. Gen 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, Nigeria.
On 6 May 2010 the Vice President Goodluck Jonathan was sworn in as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the 14th head of state.
Functions of the President of Nigeria
The President has the powers entrusted by the Constitution and legislation, including those necessary to perform the functions of Head of State and head of the national executive.
The President is responsible for:
- assenting to and signing Bills
- referring a Bill back to the National Assembly for reconsideration of the Bill's constitutionality
- referring a Bill to the Constitutional Court for a decision on the Bill's constitutionality
- summoning the National Assembly, or Parliament to an extraordinary sitting to conduct special business
- making any appointments that the Constitution or legislation requires the President to make, other than as head of the national executive
- appointing commissions of inquiry
- calling a national referendum in terms of an Act of Parliament
- receiving and recognising foreign diplomatic and consular representatives
- appointing ambassadors, plenipotentiaries, and diplomatic and consular representatives
- pardoning or reprieving offenders and remitting any fines, penalties or forfeitures
- conferring honours
A person shall be eligible for the office of President if he or she is a citizen of Nigeria, at least 40 years of age, is a member of a political party and is sponsored by that political party. The constitution limits the President to only two terms of four years each in office.
Oath of office
The Constitution of Nigeria 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:
|“||I do solemnly swear/affirm that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria; that as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I will discharge my duties to the best of my ability, faithfully and in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the law, and always in the interest of the sovereignty, integrity, solidarity, well-being and prosperity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; that I will strive to preserve the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy contained in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; that I will not allow my personal interest to influence my official conduct or my official decisions; that I will to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; that I will abide by the Code of Conduct contained in the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; that in all circumstances, I will do right to all manner of people, according to law, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will; that I will not directly or indirectly communicate or reveal to any person any matter which shall be brought under my consideration or shall become known to me as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, except as may be required for the due discharge of my duties as President; and that I will devote myself to the service and well-being of the people of Nigeria. So help me God.||”|
- List of Governors-General of Nigeria
- List of heads of state of Nigeria
- List of heads of government of Nigeria