May 29: Complete List of Presidential Inauguration Ceremonies in Nigeria Since 1979

May 29: Complete List of Presidential Inauguration Ceremonies in Nigeria Since 1979

  • History will be made again on Monday, May 29, as Nigeria will witness a government transition
  • President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu will be inaugurated at Eagle Square, Abuja, as the 16th President of Nigeria
  • However, before the former Lagos state governor, Nigeria has witnessed a series of inaugurations since 1979

The transition from one government to another is incomplete without a formal ceremony to seal this transference of power.

On Monday, May 29, Nigeria will witness another transition of power which will be sealed with a presidential inauguration ceremony.

Olusegun Obasanjo
Olusegun Obasanjo is Nigeria's first President of the Fourth Republic. Photo Credit: Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP
Source: Getty Images

Over the years, Nigeria has witnessed a series of presidential inauguration which dates back to 1979.

In this short piece, we will journey through time and explore the complete list of presidential inauguration ceremonies in Nigeria since 1979.

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1. Alhaji Shehu Shagari - 1979

This was Nigeria's first-ever inauguration, the same year Nigeria witnessed and tasted democracy.

The presidential inauguration of Shehu Shagari took place on October 1, 1979, at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos.

Atanda Fatai Williams, the Chief Justice of Nigeria at the time, administered the oath.

2. Alhaji Shehu Shagari (Second Term) - 1983

Following his re-election in the 1983 presidential elections, Alhaji Shehu Shagari's second-term inauguration ceremony occurred on October 1, 1983, at the same Tafawa Balewa Square in Lagos state.

Meanwhile, Shagari's administration was short-lived as a military coup led by Major General Muhammadu Buhari interrupted the democratic process.

3. Olusegun Obasanjo - 1999

1999 is mainly called the rebirth of democracy in Nigeria after a series of military rules.

Finally, Nigeria opened a new governance chapter with the return of democracy, which kicked off with Olusegun Obasanjo, a former military head of state elected Nigeria's president.

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His inauguration ceremony on May 29, 1999, as it signalled and symbolised the beginning of the Fourth Republic and marked the beginning of Nigeria's modern democratic era.

Obasanjo was inaugurated at Eagle Square in Abuja, and Chief Justice Mohammed Lawal Uwais administered oaths.

4. Olusegun Obasanjo (Second Term) - 2003

Olusegun Obasanjo's second-term inauguration ceremony marked a significant milestone in Nigeria's political history. It was the first time since the return to democracy that a president was re-elected for a second term.

At Eagle Square in Abuja on May 29, 2003, Obasanjo swore an oath that Chief Justice Mohammed Lawal Uwais administered.

5. Umaru Musa Yar'Adua - 2007

On May 29, 2007, Umaru Musa Yar'Adua was sworn in as Nigeria's president.

His inauguration ceremony brought hope for political stability and economic development, and Chief Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi swore him in

Unfortunately, health challenges marred his presidency, and he died in 2010.

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6. Goodluck Jonathan - 2010

After the tragic demise of President Yar'Adua, his subordinate, Goodluck Jonathan, took over the helm of affairs.

On May 6, 2010, Jonathan was inaugurated as the President of Nigeria by Chief Justice Aloysius Iyorgyer Katsina-Alu, and this event marked the first time a president assumed office following the death of a sitting president.

7. Goodluck Jonathan (Election Mandate) - 2011

Shortly after completing his boss's tenure, Goodluck Jonathan, under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), contested the 2011 presidential elections and was re-elected for a full term.

At Eagle Square in Abuja, Jonathan was sworn in by Chief Justice Aloysius Iyorgyer Katsina-Alu.

His inauguration ceremony on May 29, 2011, symbolized the continuation of Nigeria's democracy and aspirations for progress.

8. Muhammadu Buhari - 2015

In 2015, Muhammadu Buhari, who ended Nigeria's first democratic era with a military coup, returned and won the presidential election after several attempts.

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His victory in the 2015 elections marked the first time an opposition party defeated a sitting president in Nigeria's democratic history.

Buhari was inaugurated at Eagle Square in Abuja and was administered his oaths by Chief Justice Mahmud Mohammed.

9. Muhammadu Buhari (Second Term) - 2019

The reelection of President Muhammadu Buhari was marred with a lot of controversy following an abysmal performance in his first tenure.

The inflation rate was high, and Nigeria witnessed one of its worst economic instability and recession since its existence on Earth.

Buhari was, however, sworn in by Chief Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad at Eagle Square in Abuja.

US President Biden to Send Delegates to Tinubu’s Inauguration

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden has announced a presidential Delegation that would attend the Inauguration of Nigeria's president-elect, Bola Tinubu.

Biden made the announcement in a statement on Monday, May 22, 2023, ahead of the May 29 inauguration at Eagle Square, Abuja.

The Honorable Marcia L. Fudge, Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, will lead the delegation.


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