Vice Presidents of Nigeria (1960 - Date) and the need for a President of South East extraction come 2023, By Prof. Echefuna’ R. G. ONYEBEADI

Posted by News Express | 31 May 2022 | 1,490 times

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•Aso Presidential Villa, Abuja


The list of Vice Presidents from Nigeria’s Independence to date are:

  1. Babafemi Ogundipe (1924-1971) - South West (6 Months)

Period: 16 January 1966 to 29 July 1966

Political party: Military (JTU Aguiyi-Ironsi was Head of State but was deposed and killed in a coup)

  1. Joseph Edet Akinwale Wey (1918-1991) - South West (9 Years)

Period: 29 July 1966 to 29 July 1975

Political party: Military (Yakubu Gowon was Head of State but was deposed in a coup)

  1. Olusegun Obasanjo (1937-) - South West (6 Months)

Period: 29 July 1975 to 13 February 1976 (Obasanjo became Head of State after the assassination of Murtala)

Political party: Military (Murtala Mohammed was Head of State)

  1. Shehu Musa Yar’Adua (1943-1997) - North West (3 Years, 8 Months)

Period: 13 February 1976 to 30 September 1979 

Political party: Military (Olusegun Obasanjo was Head of State and handed over to civilian government)

  1. Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme (1932-2017) - South East (4 Years, 3 Months)

Period: 1 October 1979 to 31 December 1983

Political party: National Party of Nigeria (Shehu Shagari was President but was deposed in a coup)

  1. Tunde Idiagbon (1943-1999) - North Central (1 Year, 8 Months)

Period: 31 December 1983 to 27 August 1985

Political party: Military (Muhammadu Buhari was Head of State but was deposed in a coup)

  1. Ebitu Ukiwe (1940-) - South East (1 Year, 2 Months)

Period: 27 August 1985 to October 1986 (Resigned)

Political party: Military (Ibrahim Babangida was Head of State)

  1. Augustus Aikhomu (1939-2011) - South South (6 Years, 10 Months)

Period: October 1986 to 27 August 1993

Political party: Military (Ibrahim Babangida was Head of State and handed over to interim government

  1. Donaldson Oladipo Diya (1944-) - South West (4 Years)

Period: 17 November 1993 to 21 December 1997 (Diya was deposed and arrested for attempted coup)

Political party: Military (Sani Abacha was Head of State)    

  1. Michael Akhigbe (1946-2013) - South South (11 Months)

Period: 9 June 1998 to 29 May 1999

Political party: Military (Abdulsalami Abubakar was Head of State and handed over to civilian government)

  1. Atiku Abubakar (1946-) - North East (8 Years)

Period: 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2007       

Political party: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) (Olusegun Obasanjo was President and stepped down after expiration of term)

  1. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (1957-) - South South (3 Years)

Period: 29 May 2007 to 5 May 2010 (Jonathan became President after the death of Yar’Adua)

Political party: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) (Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was President)

  1. Namadi Sambo (1954-) - North West (5 Years)

Period: 19 May 2010 to 29 May 2015       

Political party: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) (Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was President and stepped down after expiration of term)

  1. Yemi Osinbajo (1957-) - South West (7 Years plus as at date)

Period: 29 May 2015 to date

Political party: All Progressives Congress (APC) (Muhammadu Buhari is incumbent President)

Babafemi Ogundipe (Military) was the first military Vice President while Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme was the first elected Vice President of Nigeria respectively.

Six of these former Nigeria’s vice presidents are still alive, plus the incumbent Vice President.

Alex Ekwueme is the most recent former Vice President of Nigeria to have died on November 19, 2017.

At Nigeria’s Independence in 1960 to 1966, no such office of Vice President or equivalent existed because of the mode of governance at that time.

So far, Nigeria has produced 14 Vice Presidents (Military And Elected) by geopolitical zones as follows:

South East - 2

South West - 5

South South - 3

North East - 1

North West - 2

North Central - 1

The total period the current geopolitical zones have produced Vice Presidents since Nigeria’s independence particularly from January 15, 1966 to date are:

South East - 5 years

South West - 22 years (by 2023)

South South - 11 years

North East - 8 years

North West - 9 years

North Central - 2 years

From the foregoing, there is no geopolitical zone in Nigeria today that hasn't produced a Vice President.

It is however, instructive to note that, Vice Presidents who are essentially like spare tyres of a vehicle in Nigeria’s political space, functions at the pleasure of and as assigned by the President.

By contrast, Nigeria has produced Heads of Government/Presidents since independence in 1960 to date by the current geopolitical zones as follows:

North-West - 22 years

North-Central - 18 years

North-East - 5 years

South-West - 12 years

South-South - 6 years

South-East - 6 months (by accident).

Therefore, the contention and contest for power come 2023 isn't for the position of Vice President but that of Head of Government/President.

So, since all the geopolitical zones of Nigeria have produced Vice Presidents and only South East geopolitical zone is yet to have any substantial turn and term as Head of Government /President, wouldn't it run against the wind of fairness, equity, justice and inclusiveness to deny South East an opportunity to produce the next President come 2023?

He who goes to equity must do so with clean hands!

Delay defeats equity!

•Onyebeadi, Professor and United Nations Fellow, is the Inegbese of Oligbo Kingdom.

Source: News Express

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