ENGLISHNigerian History


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Nigerian States Military Governors was a list of military governors that were assigned to governed different states of Nigeria by the different military regimes from 1966 to 1979.

Background to the Nigerian States Military Governors

The Nigerian Army seized the power from the politicians or civilians after they staged a military coup that terminated the Nigerian First Republic in January 1966. Since then, Nigerian Military Governors were assigned to administer the affairs of the Nigerian states. From January 1966 to May 1967 there were four regions in Nigeria. Since May 1967 the the Nigerian four regions were divided into 12 states. Later, in 1976 seven more states were added that made them 19 states.

January 1966-May 1967


Nigerian States Military Governors culture began in 1966. After the army seized power in the bloody coup of January 1966, the new Nigerian Military Head of State General Aguyi-Ironsi appointed military governors in each of the four regions. The governors were as follows :

  1. Northern Region : Major Hassan Usman Katsina
  2. Western Region : Colonel Adekunle Fajuyi
  3. Eastern Region : Colonel Odumegwu Ojukwu
  4. Mid-West Region : Colonel David Ejoor


In July 1966, the Nigerian soldiers mostly from the Northern Region staged a military coup known as the ‘Counter Coup’. During the coup, the then Military Head of State General Aguyi-Ironsi together with the Western Region Military Governor Colonel Adekunle Fajuyi were assassinated. After the coup, Lieutenant Colonel Yakubu Gowon succeeded Ironsi as the Nigerian Military Head of State.

In May 1967, General Yakubu Gowon abolished the regional system and replaced it with state system in which 12 states were created. In each of the states military governors were appointed as follows :

  1. North-Western State : Usman Faruwar
  2. North-Central State : Abba Kyari
  3. North-Eastern State : Musa Usman
  4. Kano State : Audu Bako
  5. Benue-Plateau State : J.D. Gomwalk
  6. Northwest-Central State : Brigadier David Bamigboye
  7. West State : Christopher Oluwole Rotimi.
  8. Lagos State : Mobolaji Johnson
  9. Mid-West State : Samuel Ogbemudia
  10. Rivers State : Alfred Diete-Spiff
  11. East-Central : Ukpabi Asika
  12. South-East : Uduokaha Jacob Esuene



On 29 July, 1975, General Yakubu Gowon was removed from power after a group of some Nigerian army officers staged a bloodless coup against his government. The person who succeeded Gowon was Brigadier Murtala Muhammed.

On 3 February, 1976, General Murtala Muhammed announced the creation of 7 more states in Nigeria. The number of the states became 19, and new military governors were appointed for each state as follows :

  1. Bauchi State : Colonel Bello Khalil
  2. Borno State : Colonel Muhammadu Buhari
  3. Gongola State : Colonel Muhammad Jega
  4. Benue State : Colonel Anthony A. Ocefu
  5. Plateau State : Captain Dan Sulaiman
  6. Kaduna State : Group Captain Usman Jibrin
  7. Niger State : Captain Murtala Nyako
  8. Kwara State : Colonel Ibrahim Taiwo
  9. Sokoto State : Colonel Umar Muhammad
  10. Kano State : Colonel Sani Bello
  11. Lagos State : Captain Adekunle Lawal
  12. Oyo State : Colonel David Bamigboye
  13. Ogun State : Captain Babatunde Elegbade
  14. Ondo State : Captain Akintunde Oduwo
  15. Bendel State : Colonel George Inni
  16. Anambra State : Colonel John Atom Kpera
  17. Imo State : Captain Ndubusi Kanu
  18. Rivers State : Colonel Zamani Lekwot
  19. Cross River : Colonel Paul Omu


On 13 February, 1976, the Nigerian Head of State General Murtala Muhammed was assassinated in an abortive coup. His second in command Major General Olusegun Obasanjo succeeded him.

In 1978, General Obasanjo appointed new governors for each of the 19 states as follows :

  1. Sokoto State : Lt. Colonel Gado Kasko
  2. Borno State : Lt. Colonel Tunde Idiagbon
  3. Bauchi State : Lt. Colonel Garba Duba
  4. Kaduna State : Group Captain Ibrahim Mahmud Alfa
  5. Gongola State : Colonel Abdurrahman Mahmudu
  6. Plateau State : Colonel Joshua Anaja
  7. Benue State : Group Captain Adebayo Lawal
  8. Kwara State : Colonel Sunday Ofwere
  9. Niger State : Colonel Joseph Oni
  10. Kano State : Group Captain Ishaya Shekari
  11. Lagos State : Commodore Ubitu Ukiwe
  12. Ogun State : Colonel Harris Eghaga
  13. Oyo State : Colonel Paul Yarda
  14. Ondo State : Colonel Sunday Tuoyo
  15. Bendel State : Lt. Colonel Abubakar Waziri
  16. Imo State : Colonel Sunday Adenihun
  17. Anambra State : Colonel Sadiq Datti Abubakar
  18. Cross River State : Babatunde Elegbade
  19. Rivers State : Admiral Sulaiman Saidu

Ahmad Abdullahi, BA History

My name is Ahmad Abdullahi, I was born on 10th March, 1994 in Garun-Danga Town, Gabasawa L.G., Kano State. I attended FCE Demonstration Primary School from 2002 to 2007, FCE Staff Secondary School from 2007 to 2013, and Northwest University, Kano from 2013 to 2017, where I obtained bachelor degree in History.

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