How Many Coup Happened In Nigeria

How Many Coup Happened in Nigeria

Nigeria, a country in West Africa with a population of over 200 million people, has had a tumultuous political history that has been characterized by coups and military interventions. The country gained independence in 1960, and ever since, it has experienced several military coups that have shaped its political landscape. This article will explore the number of coups that have happened in Nigeria, their impacts, and their significance to the country's political landscape.

What is a Coup?

Before delving into the number of coups that have happened in Nigeria, it is essential to understand what a coup is. A coup, also known as a coup d’état, is a sudden and illegal seizure of power from a government, usually by a military or political group. This seizure can happen through force or threat of force, and it often leads to the removal of the existing government.

The First Coup in Nigeria

Nigeria's first military coup happened on January 15, 1966, just six years after the country gained independence. The coup was led by a group of young army officers that were unhappy with the existing government's corruption and ethnic bias. The coup resulted in the death of the Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, and other senior government officials.

The Second Coup

The second coup happened on July 29, 1966, just six months after the first coup. This coup was led by mainly Northern officers who were unhappy with the fallout from the first coup, which had led to killings and counter-killings along ethnic lines. The coup resulted in the death of Major General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi, the military head of state, and other senior government officials.

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The Third Coup

The third coup happened on July 29, 1975, almost ten years after the first coup. It was led by General Murtala Mohammed, who had also participated in the second coup. This coup was characterized by the overthrow of General Yakubu Gowon, who had led the country since the second coup. General Murtala Mohammed's government was popular among Nigerians, and it instituted several reforms that endeared them to the people.

The Fourth Coup

The fourth coup happened on December 31, 1983, when General Muhammadu Buhari overthrew the elected government of President Shehu Shagari. This coup was justified on the grounds of rampant corruption and economic mismanagement by the previous government.

The Fifth Coup

The fifth coup in Nigeria happened on August 27, 1985, when General Ibrahim Babangida overthrew General Muhammadu Buhari's government. General Babangida's government instituted several reforms, including holding elections that returned Nigeria to a democratic government.

The Sixth Coup

The sixth coup happened on November 17, 1993, when General Sani Abacha overthrew the elected government of President Ernest Shonekan. General Abacha's government was characterized by authoritarianism, human rights abuses, and economic mismanagement.

The Seventh Coup

The seventh coup in Nigeria happened on May 29, 1999, when Nigeria returned to a democratic government. This coup was different from the previous ones in that it was peaceful and involved the election of a new government.

The Impact of Coups on Nigeria

Nigeria's history of coups has had significant impacts on its political landscape, economy, and society. The coups have led to political instability, economic mismanagement, and human rights abuses. The country's economy has suffered due to the mismanagement of resources, corruption, and economic sanctions imposed on the country by other countries.

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However, the coups have also led to some positive changes, such as the introduction of new reforms, democratic elections, and the removal of corrupt governments. The coups have also led to the emergence of new leaders who have shaped the country's political landscape.

Conclusion

Nigeria's history of coups is significant in understanding the country's political landscape. The coups have led to both positive and negative impacts on the country, and it is essential to understand their significance in shaping the country's future. Nigeria's return to democracy in 1999 is a positive step towards political stability, but the country still faces several challenges that need to be addressed.

FAQs

  1. What is a coup?
    A coup is a sudden and illegal seizure of power from a government, usually by a military or political group.

  2. How many coups have happened in Nigeria?
    Nigeria has had seven coups since gaining independence in 1960.

  3. What were the impacts of coups on Nigeria?
    The coups have led to political instability, economic mismanagement, and human rights abuses. However, they also led to the introduction of new reforms, democratic elections, and the removal of corrupt governments.

  4. When did Nigeria return to a democratic government?
    Nigeria returned to a democratic government in 1999.

  5. What challenges does Nigeria face?
    Nigeria faces several challenges, including corruption, insecurity, poverty, and ethnic and religious tensions.