19 States of Nigeria throughout the period of the Second Republic. Source :

Nigerian Second Republic was a four year long political dispensation after twelve years of military rule in Nigeria. The Second Republic began in 1978, and ended in 1983 after the military coup.

During the Nigerian Second Republic, there were five political parties that served as the only political parties during the period. The political parties were National Party of Nigeria (NPN), Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), Nigerian People’s Party (NPP), People’s Redemption Party (PRP), Great Nigerian People’s Party (GNPP).


Before the start of the Nigerian Second Republic in 1978, Nigeria has been under the Military Rule since 1966 when the Nigerian Army staged a military coup that brought an end to the Nigerian First Republic.

However, in 1975 when General Murtala Muhammed seized power from General Yakubu Gowon, the genuine idea of returning Nigeria to the civilian or democratic rule was conceived. Gradually, a constitutional drafting committee was set up and members of the committee were tasked with responsibility of organizing and planning the transition to democratic rule. But, unfortunately, General Murtala Muhammed was assassinated on 13 February, 1976. He was succeeded as the Nigerian Military Head of State by his second in command Lt. General Olusegun Obasanjo. Fortunately, General Obasanjo agreed and continued the transitional planning to the democratic rule.

In September 1978, the Nigerian Military Government under General Olusegun Obasanjo lifted the 12 years ban on politics. The lift of the ban allowed the formation of political association or parties and the political activities since 1966. On the other hand, the development marked the beginning of the Nigerian Second Republic.

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