Military Rule in Nigeria – General Yakubu Gowon (1966-1975) History Primary 6 First Term Lesson Notes Week 8

Week: 8

Date: [Insert Date]

Class: Primary 6

Subject: History

Topic: Military Rule in Nigeria – General Yakubu Gowon (1966-1975)

Duration: [Insert Duration]

Key Vocabulary: Military rule, General Yakubu Gowon, Nigerian Civil War, Biafra, Economic growth, “No Victor, No Vanquished,” “Three Rs” policy.

Set Induction: Begin by asking students if they know what military rule is and if they’ve heard about General Yakubu Gowon.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this lesson, students should be able to:

  1. Explain what military rule is.
  2. Identify General Yakubu Gowon as a Nigerian leader.
  3. Describe the Nigerian Civil War and its significance.
  4. Understand the “No Victor, No Vanquished” concept.
  5. Explain the “Three Rs” policy and its importance.

Embedded Core Skills: Critical thinking, historical analysis, communication.

Reference Materials: History textbook, images of General Yakubu Gowon and the Nigerian Civil War.

Instructional Materials: Chalkboard, chalk, textbook, images.

Previous Knowledge: Students should have a basic understanding of Nigeria’s history and government.


  1. Introduction to Military Rule and General Yakubu Gowon.
  2. The 1966 coup and General Yakubu Gowon’s rise to power.
  3. The Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970) and the Biafra secession.
  4. “No Victor, No Vanquished” and its meaning.
  5. Economic growth during General Yakubu Gowon’s rule.
  6. The “Three Rs” policy – Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Reconciliation.

1. What is military rule?

  • Military rule is a period when a country’s government and leadership are under the control of the military, typically after a military coup or uprising. During military rule, the country’s armed forces govern the nation instead of elected civilian leaders. This means that military officers hold the highest positions of power and make decisions that affect the entire country.

2. Identify General Yakubu Gowon as a Nigerian leader:

  • General Yakubu Gowon was a prominent Nigerian leader who served as the Head of State in Nigeria from 1966 to 1975. He came to power after a military coup and played a significant role in the country’s history during his rule.

3. Describe the Nigerian Civil War and its significance:

  • The Nigerian Civil War, which lasted from 1967 to 1970, was a major conflict in Nigeria’s history. It began when a region called Biafra attempted to break away from Nigeria and become an independent nation. The war had significant consequences, including loss of life, economic challenges, and political changes.

4. Understand the “No Victor, No Vanquished” concept:

  • “No Victor, No Vanquished” was a statement made by General Yakubu Gowon at the end of the Nigerian Civil War. It meant that after the war, there were no winners and no losers. It was a message of reconciliation and unity, emphasizing the need for all Nigerians to come together and move forward as a united nation, regardless of their roles during the war.

5. Explain the “Three Rs” policy and its importance:

  • General Yakubu Gowon introduced the “Three Rs” policy, which stood for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, and Reconciliation. This policy aimed to rebuild the parts of the country affected by the war, help people recover from the conflict, and promote understanding and peace among the different groups in Nigeria. It was an important step in healing the wounds of the Civil War and moving the country toward unity and development.

These concepts are essential in understanding the history of Nigeria, particularly during General Yakubu Gowon’s rule and the impact of the Nigerian Civil War.

Certainly! Here are 15 fill-in-the-blank questions about the topic “Military Rule in Nigeria under General Yakubu Gowon (1966-1975)” with simpler language:

1. Military rule is when a country is governed by the ____________.

a) Army
b) President
c) Teachers
d) Farmers

2. General Yakubu Gowon was a leader in ____________.

a) Nigeria
b) Ghana
c) South Africa
d) Brazil

3. The Nigerian Civil War happened from __________ to __________.

a) 1967, 1970
b) 1980, 1990
c) 1955, 1965
d) 1975, 1985

4. During the Civil War, a region called __________ tried to become independent.

a) Biafra
b) Lagos
c) Abuja
d) Kano

5. “No Victor, No Vanquished” means there were no _______ or ________ in the war.

a) Winners, Losers
b) Cats, Dogs
c) Happy, Sad
d) Big, Small

6. The “Three Rs” policy was for ____________, ____________, and ____________.

a) Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Reconciliation
b) Reading, Writing, Arithmetic
c) Running, Racing, Riding
d) Red, Green, Blue

7. Economic growth means the country became _________ and ________.

a) Richer, Bigger
b) Smaller, Poorer
c) Older, Stronger
d) Happier, Funnier

8. General Yakubu Gowon became a leader after a ________.

a) Military coup
b) Soccer match
c) Dance-off
d) Cooking contest

9. The “Three Rs” policy was important for ___________ after the Civil War.

a) Recovery
b) Shopping
c) Singing
d) Dancing

10. The Nigerian Civil War was a __________ event in the country’s history.

a) Significant
b) Small
c) Funny
d) Dark

11. Military rule means the country is led by the ____________.

a) Military
b) Teachers
c) Children
d) Artists

12. General Yakubu Gowon was a leader in ____________.

a) Nigeria
b) China
c) France
d) India

13. The Nigerian Civil War was a ____________ conflict.

a) Major
b) Minor
c) Happy
d) Sad

14. “No Victor, No Vanquished” promotes _______ and _______.

a) Reconciliation
b) Quarrels
c) Laughter
d) Tears

15. Economic growth means the country’s _______ improved.

a) Wealth
b) Sports
c) Education
d) Clothes


  1. Provide a brief overview of military rule and introduce General Yakubu Gowon.
  2. Discuss the 1966 coup and how General Yakubu Gowon came to power.
  3. Explain the Nigerian Civil War, Biafra’s secession, and the conflict’s consequences.
  4. Discuss the significance of “No Victor, No Vanquished” as a message of reconciliation.
  5. Highlight the economic growth during General Yakubu Gowon’s rule.
  6. Explain the “Three Rs” policy and its role in post-war recovery.

Step 1: Begin with an overview of the topic and introduce General Yakubu Gowon.

Step 2: Discuss the key events during General Yakubu Gowon’s rule.

Step 3: Engage students in a discussion about the impact of this era on Nigeria’s history.

Teacher’s Activities:

  1. Present the topic using the instructional materials.
  2. Encourage questions and discussions.
  3. Share images and stories from that period to make it relatable.

Learners’ Activities:

  1. Listen to the teacher’s explanations.
  2. Ask questions and participate in class discussions.
  3. Review images and materials to understand better.


Ask students to write a short paragraph about the significance of the “Three Rs” policy in Nigeria’s history.

Ten Evaluation Questions:

  1. What is military rule?
  2. Who was General Yakubu Gowon?
  3. When did the Nigerian Civil War take place?
  4. What was the “No Victor, No Vanquished” message about?
  5. What were the “Three Rs” in General Yakubu Gowon’s policy?
  6. Why was economic growth significant during his rule?
  7. How did General Yakubu Gowon come to power?
  8. What happened during the Nigerian Civil War?
  9. What were the consequences of the Biafra secession?
  10. Why is this period important in Nigerian history?

This lesson aims to provide primary 6 students with a basic understanding of a significant era in Nigerian history, focusing on General Yakubu Gowon’s military rule and its impact.

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