Victor Semawon Akran


Within the period of thirty-nine years, 1960-1999, the Nigerian military ruled the country for twenty nine years in a series of coups and counter coup. These coups brought one military government to replace another. These replacements did not convince anyone that the military was sincere to hand over power to the civilians, even when some military governments promised or began the process of transition. Ironsi government promised but was not even allowed to draw up a transition programme before it was overthrown. Another military, Gowon, promised to hand over government but later postponed indefinitely the transition programme. This shows lack of commitment and insincerity. Mohammed learnt a big lesson from Gowon's failure. He overthrew Gowon and started in earnest the process of transition, but again the Nigerian military over threw him and punctuated the transition. Obasanjo derived so many lessons from all of these occurrences and pursued with vigour his transition programme and handed over to a civil rule even though he was not sincere about transition. Again the military over threw the Shagari government. Buhari did not commit himself to hand over power before Babangida over threw him. Babangida tried to transform into civilian president. His attempt failed. But Abacha was not wise enough. After pushing out Shonekan, his attempt to transform into a civilian President was brought to an end by death. Abdulsalami like Obasanjo got the lesson and in a show of determination to prevent another coup, quickly proceeded with transition which brought into power Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as a civilian President under PDP. Thus, circumstances and not sincerity compelled Obasanjo and Abdulsalami to hand over power in 1979 and 1999 respectively.


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Umar Ardo, Murtala Mohammed, the Architect of Modern Nigeria, Princeton. A Sungai Book, 2003 p10, luke Nnaemeka Aneke The untold story of The Nigeria Biafra War, New York, Triumph Publishing, 2007, p26; Alexander A Madiebo The Nigerian Revolution and the Biafran War, Enugu, Fourth Dimension Publishing Co. Ltd, 1980, p31; Godwin Alabi-Isama The Tragedy of Victory, Ibadan, Spectrum Books Limited, 2013 p32

James J. Oluleye Military Leadership in Nigeria, 1966-1979, Ibasan, University Press Limited 1985, p25

Dr Luke Nnaemeka Aneke, The Untold Story… p35

Ibid; p36

Isawa T. Elaigwu The Politics of Federation… p92

Umar Ardo, Murtala Muhammed: The Architect of Modern Nigeria, Princeton. A Sungai Book, 2002 p66

Ibid; p68

New Nigerian Newspaper, 20 August, 1975, p8

JO Ojiako 13years of Military Rule, Lagos Daily Times Publication 1998

D. Agbese, Fellow Nigerians: Turning Points in The Political History of Nigeria


Dauda Bello, The Military And Power Transition in Second Republic. Lagos, Jones and Becky Limited 1984, p95

Sam U. Nkire, The Nigerian Story. Abuja Niger Press Limited, 2008 p75

Oka G. Orewa, We Are All Guilty: The Nigerian Crisis, Ibadan, Spectrum Books Limited, 1997 p115

Ibid; p116

Nkire, The Nigerian Story… p76

Ndule Kalu, Military Factor in Political Transition in Nigeria 1975-1999, Enugu, Ikenga Press Limited, 2003 p21


Nigerian Television Authority, Genera; Muhammadu Buhari Maiden National Broadcast, onJanuary 1, 1984

Aluko Banjo History of Nigeria Army, Ibadan, University Press, 1990, p201

Adele Jinadu(ed) Portrait of A New Nigeria: Selected Speeches of Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, Abuja Precision Press 1989 p28

Douglass Cole Transition to Democratic Governance in Nigeria, London: Mc Donald & James Birmingham, 1991 p87

West African Magazine (London) Vol.6 No.308, July 13, 1987

Kalu O. Kalu The IBB Political Agenda, Enugu, Ikenga Publishers, 1992 p51

General IB Babangida's Speech at the inauguration ceremony of members of the Constituent Assembly Abuja on May 11, 1988.

Ibid; p4

Arthur Nwankwo, Nigeria: The Political Transition and The Future of Democracy, Lagos: Fourth Dimension Publishing Company Ltd, 1983 p268

The News, June 17, 1993 pp10&16

Nwankwo, Nigeria: The Political Transition… p271

Jonathan C. Agwunobi, The Nigerian Military In A Democratic Society, Kaduna, Olabola Graphic Press 1992, p12

Gani Fawehinmi, Interview "I See Bloodbath Ahead", Tell Magazine, No. 45 November 9, 1992, Vol.6 No.24 p11

The News… p16

Nwankwo, Nigeria: The Political Transition…

C. Alli The Federal Republic of Nigeria… pp209

Humphrey N Nwosu, Laying the Foundation for Nigerian Democracy: My Account of June 12, 1993 Presidential Election and Its Annulment. Lagos Macmillan (Nig) Publishers, 2008 p208

Guardian Newspaper, June 18, 1993 Vol.2 No.18 p4

Adebanjo Yusuf Political Process and National Integration, Ibadan, Heinemann, 1993 p48


Oral Interview with Col. Asanya Jude at 22 Armoured Battalion, Ilorin, on September 18, 2013

Dan Agbese, Fellow Nigerians: Turning Points in the Political History of Nigeria, Ibadan, Umbrella Books, 2000 p124

Report of Presidential Advisory Committee Nigeria in the Transition Years 1993, p17

Ibid; p19

Ike Made, Nigeria: Transition Without End, Enugu Ikenga Publishers, 1998 p75


Ibid; p96

Dan Agbese, Fellow Nigerians… p132

Special Convention of the five registered political parties at Abuja which formerly adopted Gen. Sani Abacha as the sole presidential candidate on April 16-20.

Report of Human Rights Watch Africa, "Transition or Travesty Nigeria's Endless Process of Return to Civil Rule" New York, (ed) Bronwen


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