Maga, Hubert (übârˈ mäˈgä) [key], 1916–, political leader in Dahomey (now Benin). A teacher, he became active in politics and was (1951–58) a representative in the French national assembly. When Dahomey achieved independence (1960), he became its first president. The country's deteriorating economy led (1963) to his removal in a coup, and he later went into exile. He subsequently returned and served (1970–72) as head of a rotating three-man presidential commission designed to reduce domestic turmoil. The trio's ineffectiveness, however, led to their overthrow and imprisonment by Maj. Mathieu Kérékou. Maga was released with the others in 1981.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.