Military involvement in politics, though a
misnormer has been
one of the political features of emerging
states in Africa, Latin
America and Asia.
The military came to power in Nigeria in
January 1966 and ruled
till 1979 before they exited and later
resurfaced in December
General Yakubu Gowon was the head of state
from Juiy 1966 to
July 29, 1975. However between January 1966
and July 28, 1966,
General Aguyi Ironsi, was the head of state.
The weaknesses of the military between this
period are: 
  1. The unwillingness of the military
    to quit the political scene. This was clearly evidenced in the attitude of General
    Gowon who was not willing to hand over the
    government to a democratically elected government.
  2. The use of young and politically
    immatured officers in state administration was partly the weakness of the military rule. This often led to excesses and
    misuse of powers.
  3.  The military was not completely
    insulated from corruption. This attitude, indeed, became a
    military tradition as their taste for luxuries increased.
  4. The enactment of laws that led to
    abuse of human rights was another weakness of the military. The disrespect for human rights often led to
    detention without trial of suspected critics of government. 
  5. Lopsided power structure was
    another weakness of the military between 1966 and 1975.
    Under General Ironsi, the S. M. C. was weak because it did not meet frequency. This gave the Federal Executive
    Council enormous powers over day-to-day policy decisions.
  6. The large
    size of the military was another weakness. Gowon failed to reduce the size of the military after the war, thereby wasting government funds on maintaining men who had no productive use for the
  7. Owing to his weakness, Gowon was unable to discipline his subordinates. State Governors and
    some Federal Permanent Secretaries, who served
    under him thus became arrogant; corrupt, inefficient and