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I believe it should be General Murtala Muhammed. He was appointed the Head of State on the 30th of July, 1975 and then assasinated on Feb 13th, 1976 at the age of 37 (Less than 7 months).

During his short period as the Head of state, He:
1) Scrapped the 1973 census, which was weighted  in favor of the north, and to revert to the 1963 count for official  purposes.

2) More than 10,000 public officials and employees were dismissed without  benefits, on account of age, health, incompetence, or malpractice.

3) He removed top federal and state officials to break links  with the Gowon regime and to restore public confidence in the federal  government.

4) He also announced that his government would encourage the rapid  expansion of the private sector into areas dominated by public  corporations. He reappraised foreign policy, stressing a "Nigeria first"  orientation in line with OPEC  price guidelines that was to the disadvantage of other African countries.

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Yakubu Gowon

My choice would be Yakubu Gowon. He became the Head of State in 1966 at a very early age and presided over a devastating civil war. He declared the war 'No victor, no vanquished' and went about the rehabilitation of the defeated Igbos. He also embarked on a series of reconstruction of the war torn territories.

On the downside, his government could be accused of not managing the early oil boom era but it was under him that notable projects like the Eko bridge, Kainji Dam and the Lagos National Stadium was built among other notable projects.

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