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The President of Nigeria is the elected head of government and head of state of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Officially styled President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces. The current President of Nigeria is Umaru Musa Yar'Adua.


When Nigeria became a federal republic within the Commonwealth in 1963, it retained the parliamentary system of government inherited from the British. Nnamdi Azikiwe, previously Governor General, became President, which was a ceremonial post, while Abubakar Tafawa Balewa remained Prime Minister.

However, in 1966 the military in Nigeria seized power, establishing a federal military dictatorship, and civilian rule was not restored until 1979.

Under the new constitution, modelled on that of the United States, the office of President was an executive post, but in 1983 the military once again seized power. Although elections were held in 1993, the military government of Ibrahim Babangida annulled the election results presumed to have been won by Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, a wealthy industrialist. Abiola later died in capitivity, hours before he was expected to have been released. Civilian rule was not fully restored until 1999.

Portraits of the Nigerian Presidents

Azikiwe.jpg Nnamdi Azikiwe


Ronsi.JPG Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi


Gowon.JPG Yakubu Gowon


Mohammed.jpg Murtala Mohammed


Obasanjo.JPG Olusegun Obasanjo


Shagari.JPG Shehu Shagari


Buhari.JPG Muhammadu Buhari


Babangida.jpg Ibrahim Babangida


Shonekan-pic.JPG Ernest Shonekan


Abacha.jpg Sani Abacha


Abubakar.JPG Abdulsalami Abubakar


Obasanjo2.jpg Olusegun Obasanjo


Yaradua.jpg Umaru Yar'Adua

Each of these presidents had to swear an oat to 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. ”