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Nigerian map showing flag of the country. Source :

Nigerian Democratic Governments 1999-2019 were a democratic governments that governed Nigeria in the specified years. Democracy returned to Nigeria in 1999 after almost sixteen years of military rule. Since 1999, four different democratically governments were elected.

The first democratically elected government since 1999 was the Chief Olusegun Obasanjo administration from 1999 to 2007. After Obasanjo, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’adua was elected as the news Nigerian elected president. President Yar’adua remained in office until his death in 2010 without finishing his first tenure. His deputy, Dr Goodluck Jonathan automatically succeeded him as the Nigerian President. In the following year 2011, another presidential election was held in which Jonathan won the election. Jonathan remained in power until 2015 when he was defeated in the presidential election of 2015 by Muhammadu Buhari. Since 2015, Muhammadu Buhari is the president of Nigeria.

Collectively, there were four administrations in the series of Nigerian Democratic Governments 1999-2019.

Obasanjo Administration

Obasanjo’s administration was the first in the series of Nigerian Democratic Governments 1999-2019.

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was a former military General who formerly ruled Nigeria from 1976 to 1979. In 1998, a preparation for the return to democratic rule in Nigeria began. Different political parties were formed. One of the powerful party among them was the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). During the time, Obasanjo was in prison serving his 15 years term imprisonment. However, he was pardoned and released. Upon his released, he joined the newly formed PDP, and in February 1999 he was selected as the PDP presidential candidate for the 1999 Nigerian presidential election.

On 27 February 1999 presidential election was held, and Chief Olusegun Obasanjo under the platform of PDP defeated the All Peoples Party (APP) candidate Chief Olu Falae. Obasanjo was declared winner and sworn in as the new executive Nigerian President on 29 May, 1999. Obasanjo remained on power until 2007.

FIRST TERM 1999-2003

The first term of the Obasanjo administration was a period in which Nigerians were hopeful for better Nigeria. Because, Nigerians were now happy that they would enjoy full freedom unlike under the military dictatorship. On his part, President Obasanjo ensured that the freedom of speech was at least better than the military government. People now can criticize government and expressed their opinion.

One of the major step that Obasanjo taken in his first tenure was the movement of the the Defence Ministry to Abuja from Lagos. This was to ensure that the Nigerian defence was under direct control of the president.

In terms of foreign relations, president Obasanjo inherited a different foreign misunderstanding between Nigeria and some nations especially the west. Because, previously, the military regime of General Sani Abacha was characterized by dispute with many nations specifically the United States. Therefore, when Obasanjo became the president he had a great task of reconciling with those nations. Thus, he spent at least a quarter of his tenure in which he visited almost 100 countries for improvement of the diplomatic relations.

SECOND TERM 2003-2007

In 2003, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was reelected for the second term. This time around he defeated former Nigerian Military ruler Muhammadu Buhari the candidate of the All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP).

Obasanjo’s second term was characterized by attempt of fighting corruption using the newly established Economic and Financial Corruption Commission (EFCC). However, many criticized EFCC for being a puppet or an instrument against the opposition parties. Some even argued that the Obasanjo’s administration was the most corrupt one in the Nigerian history.


Towards the end of his second term tenure, Olusegun Obasanjo tried to persuade the National Assembly in order to amend the Constitution that will allow him to contest for the third term. However, this attempt faced a great opposition from some members of his party the PDP and the members of the opposition parties in the National Assembly. Obasanjo was accused of trying to bribe the members of the National Assembly in order to allow his third term agenda. Eventually, majority of the members of the National Assembly voted against the Obasanjo’s request.

Yar’adua Administration

Yar’adua’s administration was the second in line of the Nigerian Democratic Governments 1999-2019.

Before becoming the Nigerian President, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’adua served as a democratically elected Governor of Katsina State from 1999 to 2007. In the year 2007, he was selected as the presidential candidate of the PDP in the 2007 presidential election in Nigeria. In April 2007 he was declared winner of the presidential election after defeating Muhammadu Buhari of the ANPP.

Yar’adua’s administration was characterized by political chaos especially due to his illness which caused so many agitations calling him to step back. However, he managed to continue ruling Nigeria despite the fact that his health was deteriorating.


After he took office as the Nigerian democratically elected President, President Yar’adua declared his seven points agenda for developing the country. These agendas were as follows :

  1. Security
  2. Education
  3. Infrastructure, power, and energy
  4. Transport
  5. Land reforms
  6. Food security
  7. Wealth creation

Yar’adua’s administration promise Nigerians that the federal government would developed Nigeria along the seven points agenda. Before his death, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’adua was able to start realizing these goals. For example, a giant move was made in which health, security, and academic workers received a good salary increment. Also, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’adua promised Nigerians that his administration would do everything possible to improve the electoral system.


After taking office, President Yar’adua proposed a plan of bringing an end to the Niger-Delta militants issue. The administration pardoned and accepted some demands of the militants who have been terrorizing and vandilizing governments properties especially oil pipelines in the Niger-Delta area for many years. This move was commended by both internal and international analysts.

On the other hand, during Yar’adua’s administration the issue of Boko Haram began. In 2009, the Boko Haram members under Muhammad Yusuf began clashing with Nigerian security agencies. Since then, Boko Haram continued their activities in the Northern Nigeria especially the northeastern parts.


Yar’adua’s ilness worsened around the end of 2009. Because, in November 2009 he left Nigeria to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment. While receiving medical treatment, his vice Dr Goodluck Jonathan became Nigerian Acting President on 10 February, 2010.

On 24 February, 2010, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’adua returned to Nigeria. However, his health status were unclear and people were stopped from visiting him.

Unfortunately, on 5 May, 2010, the Nigerian President Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’adua was declared dead. He was taken to his hometown Katsina where he was buried.

Jonathan Administration

Jonathan’s administration was the third administration in the series of Nigerian Democratic Governments 1999-2019

Before becoming the Nigerian Vice President, Goodluck Jonathan served as Governor of Bayelsa State in the south-south region of Nigeria from 2005 to 2007.

In 2007, Goodluck Jonathan became the Vice President of Nigeria. Eventually, after the death of President Yar’adua, Goodluck Jonathan automatically became the Nigerian President. In 2011, he won contested and won the Presidential election of 2011.

In terms of economy and power improvement, the Goodluck administration have worked very well that the GDP of Nigeria became the largest in Africa. On the other hand, the administration privatized the Nigerian Power Company of NEPA. The new private power company became the Power Holding Company of Nigeria.

During Goodluck Jonathan administration, there were many infrastructural developments in Nigeria. For example, the Lagos-Ibadan, and Abuja-Kaduna rail line was inaugurated. Also, different roads nationwide were improved such as Abuja-Lokoja expressway, and Lagos-Benin expressway.


During Goodluck Administration, educational sector have witnessed a good improvement. Initially, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) was established with aim of improving the government owned tertiary institutions. For example, the TETFUND have succeeded in improving infrastructures in different Nigerian higher institutions and also in sponsoring academic staffs to further their level of education. Also, during the administration, many federal universities were created in order to accommodate more Nigerians into University.


Goodluck administration have already inherited an insecurity problem more especially the issue Boko Haram in the northeastern part of Nigeria. Gradually, from around the year 2012, the Boko Haram terrorists increased their attacks through bombing and shooting. Their attacks continued to the extent that they seized the control of about fourteen local governments in Borno State.

In January 2012, the Boko Haram made a huge attack on Kano city. In Kano, the terrorists attacked the Nigerian Zone One Police Headquarter, the Kano State Police Headquarter, and one police division. The resulted in the death of many people.

The Boko Haram continued to get a stronghold in the north. In April 2014, the Boko Haram terrorists stormed the Government Girls Secondary School Chibok in Borno State where they kidnapped the 200 schoolgirls. In November, 2014, the terrorists attacked and bombed the Kano Central Mosque. During the attack, over 200 worshippers were killed and hundreds casualties.


The worsening of Boko Haram insurgency put Goodluck administration under huge criticism from many Nigerians. The President was personally criticized of being incapable to tackle the issue.

In the 2015 Presidential election, President Goodluck Jonathan faced a huge opposition especially due to the insecurity in the country. Eventually, the candidate of All Progressive Congress (APC) Muhammadu Buhari defeated him. Without any hesitation, President Goodluck concede the defeat, which marked the end of his administration.

Buhari Administration

Buhari’s administration became the fourth government in the in line of the Nigerian Democratic Governments 1999-2019.

Muhammadu Buhari became the Nigerian President in 2015 after contesting in three presidential elections of 2003, 2007, 2011 without winning.

President Muhammadu Buhari won the Nigerian election with three promises as follows :

  1. Economic improvement
  2. Fighting corruption
  3. Security improvement

During the campaign of the 2015 presidential election, Muhammadu Buhari promised Nigerians the aforementioned three agendas. Therefore, there was a high expectation from Nigerians on Buhari administration.


When Muhammadu Buhari became the president in 2015, he realized that Nigeria needs to consolidate its foreign relations. Therefore, he embarked on a worldwide visiting of different countries.

Between 2015 to 2018, President Buhari made a diplomatic visit to almost all major countries in the world’s different continents.


At its early stage, the Buhari administration faced an economic problem. This was especially due to the decrease of oil price in the world. In 2016, the Nigerian currency of Naira depreciated and the economy of the country declined to over 1.5%. This put Nigeria into economic depression that also in turn put Nigerians into hardship.

However, towards the end of 2016, the was slow recovery from the depression. Also, the Bubari administration gave a lot of support to agricultural sector. For example, loans were made available to the rice farmers. Also the importation of rice was banned as part of the effort to patronized the domestic farmers.


The previous governments in Nigeria were accused of being corrupted. And also many believed that corruption have became rampant in Nigeria. Therefore, during the campaign, President Buhari promised to fight corruption decisively. As part of the effort, the administration introduced the whistle-blowing policy which aims at exposing corrupt practices in Nigeria.

The first attempt in fighting corruption during the Bubari administration was the uncovering of 2$ billion arms deal. The investigation have uncovered inappropriation of arms procurement in order to fight insurgency under Jonathan administration. The former Security Speacial Adviser Sambo Dasuki was caught arrested in relation to the arms deal.

Also, the Buhari Administration succeeded in arresting and investigation of the former Nigerian Minister of Petroleum Diezani Alison-Maduake. The for minister was investigated in which Billions of Naira and other properties were recovered from her.


The Bubari administration have inherited a problem of insecurity, especially the Boko Haram insurgency. Therefore, immediately after the taking office of President Buhari, he showed his real commitment towards tackling the problem. Initially, the administration made a negotiation with the Boko Haram in which between December 2016 to May 2017 at least 103 Chibok schoolgirls were released.

Also, the Bubari administration were able to reduce the Boko Haram insurgency to a lesser level especially as their attacks were restricted to Borno, and Yobe State.

However, on the other hand, banditry and kidnapping in the northwestern part of Nigeria erupted. Bandits activities began to be rampant especially in the states of Zamfara, Katsina, and Kaduna. Since, around 2018, bandits have bedeviled the areas to the extent that farmers were unable to farm their farms.


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