The government of Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa constituted the first cabinet in Nigeria. In his first cabinet as the primer minister, Balewa appointed Adegoke Adelabu as the interior minister but he was replaced by Chief Johnson Modupe Johnson as the first interior minister in Nigeria.
In the 50s and 60s, the Ministry of Interior was known as Internal Affairs, it was charged with the mandate of taking care of the internal affairs of Nigeria.
When Balewa first cabinet dissolved, he constituted another one and appointed Usman Sarki while Shehu Shagari was the last internal affairs when soldiers took over power on January 15, 1966 coup, bringing to an abrupt end of the first republic.
Since then, succeeding governments have appointed either civilian or military men as ministers of interior.
At the time of publication, the former governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola is the incumbent head of Nigeria’s Ministry of Interior since August 21, 2019. He took over from Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau, a retired Army General.
Below is a full list of present and past ministers of interior in Nigeria from 1957 till date
|Ministers of Interior||Years in Office||Remark|
|J. M. Johnson||1957–1959|
|Shehu Shagari||1965 to January 15, 1966|
|Cabinet of Aguiyi Ironsi||Jan 15 ‘66 to July 29, 1966||If you have information about Aguiyi-Ironsi’s cabinet, kindly send us a message. His government lasted for less than seven months|
|Cabinet of Yakubu Gowon||1966 to 1975||If you have information about Gowon’s cabinet, kindly send us a message|
|Cabinet of Murtala Muhammed||1975-1976||No information at the moment|
|Cabinet of Olusegun Obasanjo||1976 to 1979||No information at the moment|
|Maitama Bello Yusuf||December 1979 – 1981|
|Ali Baba||1982 – 1983||(Minister of State)1981 – 1982|
|Maj.-Gen. Mohammed Magoro||1984 to 1985||Internal Affairs)|
|Sani Abacha cabinet||November 25, 1993, to June 8, 1998||On assumption of office in a palace coup against the Interim National Government, Military dictator Sani Abacha constituted a 32-member cabinet. He did not state their portfolio until days after the bloodless coup. 30 members of his cabinet were civilians purposely to gain the acceptability of Nigerians and the international community.|
|Abdulsalam Abubakar cabinet||August 22, 1998 to May 29, 1999||No information, but he fired majority of ministers that were appointed by Abacha|
|Sunday Afolabi||June 1999 to 2000||A former deputy governor in the old Oyo state. He was later involved in National Identity card corruption. Obasanjo fired him.|
|Mohammed Shata||2000 to 2003|
|Iyorchia Ayu||July 2003 to June 2005||He was a member of Sani Abacha’s cabinet|
|Magaji Muhammed||July 13, 2005 to June 2006|
|Oluyemi Adeniji||June 21, 2006 to May 2007|
|Godwin Osagie Abbe||July 26, 2007 to 14 July 14, 2009|
|Shettima Mustafa||July 14, 2009 to March 17, 2010|
|Emmanuel Iheanacho||April 6, 2010 to July 2011|
|Patrick Abba Moro||July 2011 to May 2015||Now a senator at the National Assembly. He’s notorious for his involvement in an employment scam that led to the death of 20 job seekers in 2014 during immigration recruitment. The ministry which he headed was accused of pocketing NGN677 million as a recruitment fee from millions of unemployed Nigerians.|
|Gen Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau (rtd)||November 11, 2015 to May 28, 2019||The retired Army General was one of the 18 ministers that Buhari dropped in his second term cabinet|
|Rauf Aregbesola||August 21, 2019 till date|
Between December 1979 to October 1983, Janet Akinrinade was the only cabinet member under the administration of Shehu Shagari. She was appointed as Minister of State (Interior)
During the Abacha era, he appointed most of those who opposed his government as cabinet members to reduce the agitations against his rule.