The nation of Nigeria, also known by its formal name, the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is located in West Africa and is a federal state. It shares its eastern border with Cameroon and Chad, its western border with Benin, and its northern border with Niger. Additionally, it has a coastline in the south that faces the Atlantic Ocean and is located on the Gulf of Guinea. There are 36 cities and towns in Nigeria, in addition to the Federal Capital Territory, which is where Abuja, the country’s capital, is located.
When compared to the other countries in Africa, Nigeria has a much greater number of historic empires and cultures. The history of Nigeria can be traced back to as early as 11,000 BC, when a number of ancient African communities occupied the area that is now known as Nigeria. These communities lived in what is now the country of Nigeria. The Benin Empire was the greatest and most well-known empire that governed the region before the arrival of the British. Its ruler was known as the Oba of Benin. Before the arrival of the British. There were other settlements made by other people groups, such as the Nri Kingdom, particularly in the eastern part of the country. The Songhai Empire also established colonies around the land at one point in time. It was through the Hausa States that Islam first made its way to Nigeria in the 11th century. The British armies invaded Nigeria in 1851 and conquered Lagos, which they did not legally annex until 1861. Nigeria became a British protectorate in the year 1901, and the country remained under British rule as a colony until it attained its independence in 1960.
Nigeria was established as a republic in 1963, but in 1966 a coup d’état resulted in the country being taken over by the military. The Nigerian Civil War lasted for a total of three years and was sparked by the establishment of the Republic of Biafra in 1967. Following the adoption of a fresh set of constitutional guidelines in 1979, the nation was reorganized as a republic. The republic, on the other hand, did not endure for an extended period of time because four years later, the military, led by Major General Muhammadu Buhari, took control of the country. After the ouster of Buhari in August 1993, a new republic was established that same year, but it was once again dissolved by General Sani Abacha in November of that same year. Abacha passed away in 1998, which led to the formation of a fourth republic in 1999.
Keeping the above information in mind, the history of the nation will be covered in more detail following.
The early history of Nigeria spans the years 500 BC to 1500 AD.
The Nok culture, which resided in what is now Northern Nigeria, flourished in the region between the years 500 BC and 200 AD. They created sculptures out of terracotta that were larger than life and are among the first known figures to come from sub-Saharan Africa. Other cities located further north, such as Kano and Katsina, also have a history that can be traced back to roughly the year 999 A.D. The Kanem-Bornu Empire and the Hausa kingdoms both developed during this time period as a result of their roles as trade centers between West Africa and North Africa.
In the 10th century, the people of the Nri Kingdom who were Igbo fused into a single group. The monarchy, however, was overthrown by the British in 1911 and lost its power. It is widely held that the city of Nri serves as the cultural foundation of the Igbo people. Ife and Oyo, both located in the southwest region of Nigeria, rose to prominence in the 12th and 14th centuries, respectively, during their respective periods of dominance. The earliest trace of human civilization at the site of modern-day Ife dates all the way back to the 9th century, when bronze and terracotta sculptures were the primary art form of the dominant society there.
Middle Ages in Nigeria (1500 – 1800)
When Oyo was at the height of its power in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, it was able to extend its sphere of influence all the way from western Nigeria to what is now Togo. Between the 15th and 19th centuries, the Benin Empire maintained its dominance over the area under discussion. The Fulani Empire, also known as the Sokoto Caliphate, was founded at the beginning of the 19th century by Usman dan Fodio, who successfully conducted a jihad. The empire is also known by its other name, the Sokoto Caliphate. The empire’s sovereignty lasted until 1903, at which point it was partitioned into a number of European colonies. Its territory encompassed what is now the center and northern parts of Nigeria.
The people who lived in the region engaged in a significant amount of commerce with merchants from North Africa, and as a result, the cities in the area developed into regional hubs for the trade routes that extended to West, Central, and North Africa. Calabar and the port they named Lagos were both established as trading centers by Portuguese and Spanish explorers in the 16th century. At that time, they engaged in direct commerce with the indigenous people of both locations. These commercial exchanges ultimately resulted in the establishment of the Atlantic slave trade, during which time the port of Calabar in West Africa rose to prominence as one of the most important centers for the trade of enslaved people in that region. Other slave stations were Badagry and Lagos in the Bight of Benin, as well as Bonny Island, which was located on the Bight of Biafra.
1800–1960: Years of British Occupation in Nigeria
A number of European states and non-state players, such as Portugal, the Netherlands, and Great Britain, as well as corporate organizations, were actively involved in the business of slave trade. In addition, a number of African countries and non-state actors were also involved in the industry. In the year 1807, Great Britain put an end to the practice of engaging in international trafficking of slaves. Following the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars, the United Kingdom established the West African Squadron with the intention of putting an end to the international slave traffic.
In 1851, the British attacked Lagos as part of their intervention in the power struggle for Lagos Sovereignty. As a result of their intervention, Oba Kosoko, who supported the slave trade, was overthrown and Oba Akitoye was appointed in his place. The pact between Great Britain and Lagos was signed on January 1, 1852, and in August of 1861, the Lagos Treaty of Cession was signed, which resulted in Lagos being annexed as a Crown Colony.
In the year 1856, the United Kingdom established the Royal Niger Company. In the year 1900, the British government assumed leadership of the territory governed by the company, and as a result, it was able to strengthen its grip on the land that is now known as Nigeria. After that, on January 1, 1901, Britain declared Nigeria to be a protectorate of the United Kingdom, turning it became a part of the British Empire. Towards the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, the sovereign kingdoms that would later become Nigeria fought against Britain’s attempts to increase its territory. This conflict occurred towards the end of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century. The British were successful in their conquest of Benin in 1897, and they went on to defeat their other adversaries in the Anglo-Aro War, which lasted from 1901 through 1902.
In 1914, the Niger was formally incorporated into the colony and protectorate that would later be known as Nigeria. The administrative region of Nigeria remained split into the Southern Protectorate, the Northern Protectorate, and the Lagos Colony. Christian missions were responsible for the establishment of western educational institutions in the Protectorates. However, the Christian missions were discouraged from operating in the Muslim-dominated part of the country’s north, which was where the majority of the country’s population lived.
Following the end of World War II, residents of Nigeria voiced their desire for independence, and Britain responded by drafting a series of constitutions that aided the country’s transition toward self-government. In the middle of the 20th century, there was a significant movement toward autonomy that was sweeping over the African continent. On October 1, 1960, Nigeria won its independence. An alliance of conservative parties formed the government. These parties included the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons, which was predominately composed of Christians and Igbo people, and the Nigerian People’s Congress (NPC), which was predominately composed of people of Islamic faith and Northerners. Together, these parties formed the government. The liberal Action Group (AG), which was the dominant ethnic group within the opposition party, was made mainly of Yoruba people. The very first Federal Republic was established in 1963, and elections were held the following year, 1965, resulting in the Nigerian National Democratic Party taking power in the western part of the country.
Nigeria’s internal conflict (1967-1970)
The results of the elections that took place in 1965 led to a succession of military coups the following year due to the alleged corruption that occurred during the political and electoral processes. Igbo soldiers, led by Majors Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu and Emmanuel Ifeajuna, staged the first successful military overthrow in January 1966. They were responsible for the overthrow. In the same year, there was a counter-coup that was carried out by military commanders from the north, and as a result, Lieutenant Colonel Gowon was placed in charge of the government.
In May of 1967, the Eastern Region declared its independence from the rest of the country, becoming the Republic of Biafra under the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel Emeka Ojukwu. When the government launched an attack on Biafra at Garkem on July 6, 1967, the Nigerian Civil War was officially kicked off. It was declared over in January of 1970, although it is estimated that between one and three million people in what was formerly known as the Eastern Region lost their lives as a result of the conflict, malnutrition, and illness.
Between 1970 and 1999, various military juntas ruled Nigeria.
The 1970s were a prosperous time for oil production in Nigeria. The nation became a member of OPEC, which resulted in an increase in the country’s income from oil sales. However, not much was done to enhance the residents’ level of living; the military administration did not invest in infrastructure or help enterprises flourish, which led to a political battle within the country.
In 1979, authority was handed back to a civilian regime that was commanded by Shehu Shagari, but it was well acknowledged that his government was corrupt. People generally viewed the successful execution of a military coup in 1984 that was headed by Muhammadu Buhari as a favorable event at the time. Although Buhari’s government was supposed to bring about major changes, it ended up being worse than the previous one, and in 1985, another military coup removed him from power.
The previous leader, Ibrahim Babangida, stepped down and his successor, Ibrahim Babangida, is credited with bringing Nigeria into the Organization of Islamic Conference during his administration. In addition to this, he initiated the Structural Adjustment Program with the International Monetary Fund in order to facilitate the repayment of the country’s debt.
On June 12, 1993, the first free and fair elections were held since the military coup in 1983, and the Social Democratic Party won the presidency by beating the National Republican Convention. These elections were the first ones held following the military coup in 1983. Babangida, however, called off the polls, which were scheduled to take place. This resulted in civil unrest among the populace, which ultimately resulted in the nation coming to a standstill for several weeks.
On May 5, 1999, a new constitution was ratified, and one of its provisions was that elections could involve more than one party.
Transformation of Nigeria into a Democratic State (1999-Present):
After Olusegun Obasanjo was elected President of Nigeria in 1999, the country was able to successfully reestablish its democratic government. In 2003, he won reelection to his position. Umaru Yar’Adua, who was running under the banner of the People’s Democratic Party, won the general elections in 2007 and took office (PDP). He passed away in May of 2010, and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, who had previously won the general elections in 2011 and 2015, succeeded him as president. However, Muhammadu Buhari went on to win the general elections in March of 2015.History Of Isael