These are the 5 youngest head of states in Nigeria's history

With the upcoming presidential elections, we take a look at the youngest leaders so far.

Nigeria's curent president, Muhammadu Buhari, is one of the five youngest leaders in the country's history
  • On Saturday, February 16, 2019, Nigerians will go to the poll to elect a new president.
  • Thanks to the new 'Not Too Young To Run' bill, the next head of state could be as young as 35.
  • Business Insider Sub-Saharan Africa by Pulse looks at the youngest head of states in the country's history.

Nigeria's 2019 general elections kick off tomorrow, February 16, 2019, with the Presidential and National Assembly elections.

This year promises to be different with the signing of the Not Too Young To Run Bill which reduces the presidential age limit from 40 to 35. 

Now, there is the option of 35-year-old Chike Ukaegbu, the youngest presidential candidate in Nigerian history.

As the 84,004,084 registered voters get ready to chose the next hopefully young leader, Business Insider Sub-Saharan Africa by Pulse looks at the youngest head of states ever to take office.

They are:

General Yakubu Gowon (31 years old)

He was born on October 19, 1934. Following the assassination of Major General Aguiyi-Ironsi, the second Nigerian president and the first military head of state on July 29, 1966, Gowon took over.

He became the third President of Nigeria and youngest head of state ever on August 1, 1966, before his 32nd birthday on October 19th. 

Gowon has the longest tenure in Nigerian history (1966–1975). 

General Murtala Muhammed (37 years old)

He was born on November 8, 1938. After criticising General Aguiyi-Ironsi's leadership and serving as a federal commissioner under Gowon, he stepped into office on July 29, 1975.

Gen. Muhammed became the fourth Nigerian head of state at the age of 37. He was assassinated ten days after creating nine new states - Bauchi; Benue; Borno; Imo; Niger; Ogun; and Ondo. The creation occurred on February 3, 1976.

General Olusegun Obasanjo (39 years old)

He was born on May 5, 1937. The Supreme Military Council appointed him as the head of state on Feb 13, 1976.

Obasanjo is the first person to rule Nigeria as a military leader and a civilian president when he was 39 years old.

Major General Muhammadu Buhari (41 years old)

Nigeria's current president became the head of state for December 31, 1983. He 41 years old at the time.

He was born on December 17, 1942. 

Major General Aguiyi-Ironsi (42 years old)

Nigeria's second president was born on March 3, 1924. He became the head of state after Nnamdi Azikiwe was overthrown in 1966. 

Major Aguiyi-Ironsi was 42 years old at the time. His regime lasted from January 16, 1966, to July 29, 1966.


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