Who Is The First President Of Nigeria: Zik? Shagari?

Last updated on July 22nd, 2019 at 7:35 pm

Who REALLY is the first president of Nigeria? That’s one question that seems to confuse some people. Some say Dr Nnamdi Azikwe, while some will tell you it’s Alhaji Shehu Shagari.

Let me give a breakdown so you understand things clearer.

Of course, we all know Nigeria On October 1, 1960, gained independence from Britain.

At the time, there was an all-Nigerian Executive Council headed by Prime Minister Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.

And by November 16, of the same year, Azikiwe became the first Governor-General. Nigeria then was a Federation of three Regions which included the North, West and East, with Lagos as the Federal Capital.

The three Regions were headed by a Premier with a Governor as Ceremonial Head.

But by October 1, 1963, Nigeria became a Federal Republic and every tie with the British monarchy was cut off.

So when an amendment was made to the 1960 Independence Constitution, the office of the Governor-General was replaced with that of the President, and so Azikwe was sworn in as the President of Nigeria on October 1, 1963.

That singular act makes Azikwe the first president of Nigeria even though the office at that time was primarily ceremonial.

Now two things make people ask the question who is the first president of Nigeria?

1. The ceremonialness of the office of Azikwe, and

2. The fact that he wasn’t elected.

This is where Shehu Shagaari comes in.

He was the first president who was elected into that office in October 1979 after over 13 years of military rule, which is why people refer to him as the first executive president. That’s no lie when you add that word EXECUTIVE. Otherwise, Azikwe is really the first president of Nigeria.

So as things stand now who is the vice president of Nigeria?

Since Shagari was the first elected president, that will make his vice, Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme, the vice president of Nigeria.

There were other Vice Presidents before him though, but none of them was elected.

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