Nigeria gets its name from the river Niger flowing through it. compared to other African countries, Nigeria has a rich history going as far back as 11,000 BC. Before the arrival of the British in 1807, the Benin empire ruled by Oba of Benin was the greatest and most influential empire in Nigeria.  Other kingdoms that settled in Nigeria include the Nri kingdom of the Igbo people who were in the Eastern part, the Fulani empire or the Sokoto caliphate was established ain the beginning of the 19th century and occupied what are the Northern regions of Nigeria.

With the abolishment of slave trade; Lagos and Bonny Island became big centres of commerce based on the slave trade, Britain bombarded Lagos in 1851, and removed Oba Okoso who was for slavery in favour of Oba Akitoye. In 1861 Lagos was finally annexed as a British colony. Nigeria as a whole became a British protectorate in 1901 with the defeat of the Benin empire and other sovereign states.

Nigeria gained its independence in 1960, and became a republic in 1963. In 1965, there were elections whose results led to a coup in 1966 by soldiers from the Igbo tribe. But a counter coup occurred by soldiers from the North. In 1967, Biafra declared itself a sovereign nation independent from Nigeria which led to the Nigerian civil war from 1967-1970. After a series of coups and military rules, the country finally adopted a new constitution with provisions for multiparty elections. After the civilian elections in 1999, Olusegun Obasanjo, a former army general was elected as the President and later re-elected in 2003.

In 1970, oil reserves were discovered in Nigeria, making Nigeria one of the richest in Africa. But due to rampant corruption, the wealth only trickled down to a few. The oil crisis of the second half of the 1970s led to an economic crisis, and further political turmoil. But today, the Nigerian economy has become one of the biggest in Africa.


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