Politics

Country -Nigeria

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Country: Nigeria (Federal Republic of Nigeria)
Location: West Africa
Independence: October 1, 1960
Nationality: Nigerian
Capital City: Abuja
Population: 140,337,822 est 2007
Important Cities: Abuja, Lagos, Ibadan, Kano, Zaria, Ife, Abeokuta, Onitsha, Nnewi, Owerri, Awka
Head of State: Umaru Yar’Adua
Area: 923,768 sq.km.
Type of Government: Republic
Currency: 132 Naira=1 USD
Major Tribes: Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa
Religion: Muslim 50%, Christian 40%, African religion 10%
Climate: Tropical to arid
Literacy: 57.1%
Official Language: English
Principal Languages: Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba,Fulani
Major Exports: Oil, Minerals, Cocoa, Rubber
Pre-Colonial History Nigeria had an eventful history. More than 2,000 years ago, the Nok culture in the present plateau state worked iron and produced sophisticated terracotta sculpture. The history of the northern cities of Kano and Katsina dates back to approximately 1000 A.D. In the following centuries, Hausa Kingdoms and the Bornu Empire became important terminals of north-south trade between North African Berbers and the forest people, exchanging slaves, ivory, and other products. The Yoruba Kingdom of Oyo was founded in 1400s. It attained a high level of political organization. In the 17th through 19th centuries, European traders established coastal ports for slave traffic to the Americas. Commodity trade, especially in palm oil and timber, replaced slave trade in the 19th century. In the early 19th century, the Fulani leader Usman dan Fodio launched an Islamic crusade that brought most of the Hausa states under the loose control of an empire centered in Sokoto.
Post-Colonial History On October 1, 1960, the Federation of Nigeria achieved independence, initially as a constitutional monarchy. In June 1961, the northern part of the United Nations Trust Territory of British Cameroons was incorporated into Nigeria’s Northern Region as the province of Sardauna, and in August 1963 a fourth region, the Mid-Western Region, was created. From the outset, Nigeria’s ethnic, regional, and religious tensions were magnified by the disparities in economic and educational development. The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was adopted on October 1, 1963. At the same time, Nigeria became a member of the Commonwealth and Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe of the NCNC took office as first Nigerian’s first President. On January 15, 1966, a group of officers overthrew the government. In May 1967, Lt. Col. Emeka Ojukwu, the military governor, declared the independence of the Eastern Region as the “Republic of Biafra.” After General Muhammed was assassinated on February 13, 1976, Lt. Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo became head of state. Seven new states were created in 1976, bringing the total to nineteen. Several military rulers followed, ending with the sudden death of General Sani Abacha in June, 1998. He was succeeded by General Abdulsalami Abubakar, who held elections in 1999 leading to the election of Olusegun Obasanjo, who took office in May, 1999. In April 2007 elections were held and for the first time power went from civilian to civilian. The elections were accompanied by accusations of fraud, and in the end Umaru Yar’Adua, from an aristocratic Fulani family in the northern city of Katsina, was elected the new head of state.

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