General Olusegun Obasanjo
became head of state in Nigeria
on 14 February 1976 after the assassination of General Murtala Mohammed
. He replaced or re-assigned many of the state governors, and broke up some of the larger states into two or three new states. Obasanjo began the transition to democracy with the Nigerian Second Republic
, allowing the election of governors who replaced the military appointees in October 1979.