Few things you need to know about Nigeria
The Niger was officially merged as the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria in 1914. Nigeria remained administratively divided into the Southern and Northern Protectorates and Lagos Colony. Western learning institutions were established in the Protectorates by Christian missions. The Christian missions were, however, not encouraged to operate their missions in the northern region of the country which was Islamic.
After World War II there were demands for independence by the locals and consecutive constitutions established by Britain helped move Nigeria towards a self-government. Towards mid-20th century a big wave for sovereignty was sweeping across the African continent and Nigeria attained its independence on 1 October 1960.
The government was made up of an alliance of conservative parties: the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons, dominated mostly by Christians and Igbo people, and the Nigerian People’s Congress (NPC) which was dominated by people of Islamic faith and Northerners. The opposition party was made up of the liberal Action Group (AG) which was dominated by the Yoruba.
The first Federal Republic was created in 1963 and in 1965 elections were held. The results of the 1965 elections led to a number of military coups in 1966 due to the alleged corrupt electoral and political processes. In January 1966, the first coup was executed by soldiers from Igbo under the leadership of Majors Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu and Emmanuel Ifeajuna(an Olympian). A counter-coup took place in the same year, executed by military officers from the north, resulting in Lt. Colonel Gowon being head of state.
The Eastern Region, in May 1967, declared its sovereignty as a nation known as the Republic of Biafra and was led by Lt. Colonel Emeka Ojukwu. On 6 July 1967, The Nigerian Civil War started when the government attacked Biafra at Garkem. The war came to an end in January 1970 and it is estimated that between 1 and 3 million people in the former Eastern Region died from warfare, starvation, and disease.
In the 1970s Nigeria experienced an oil boom. The country joined OPEC and the oil revenues generated helped enrich the economy. Much was, however, not done to improve the standards of living for the locals; the military government did not invest in infrastructure or help businesses grow thus leading to a political struggle in the country. After the bloody civil war, where about 2million Nigerians lost their lives, with statistics showing more of the casualties were of the Biafran side, General Yakubu Gowon was overthrown in a bloodless coup, this brought General Murtala Mohammed as the Head of State of the federal republic of Nigeria.
Despite the economic boom, where 'eran Muri' flooded the market, in 1976 13 February Mohammed was assassinated on his way to work. His deputy, Lieutenant-General Olusegun Obasanjo , became Head of State and set a date to end military rule. Which he duly delivered, and this act helped Obasanjo to gather vote of confidence from the populace when he later contested and won as a civilian President 1979, power was returned to the civilian regime led by Shehu Shagari but his government was viewed as corrupt. In 1984, a military coup led by Muhammadu Buhari was executed and people thought of it as a positive development. Major reforms were promised by Buhari but his government was no better and he was overthrown in 1985 by another military coup. Ibrahim Babangida became the new president and in his tenure, he enlisted Nigeria in the Organization of the Islamic Conference. He also introduced the International Monetary Fund’s Structural Adjustment Program to assist in repaying the country’s debt.
On 12 June 1993, the first free and fair elections were held since the military coup of 1983 and the presidential victory went to the Social Democratic Party after defeating the National republican Convention. The elections were, however, cancelled by Babangida. This led to civilian protests which eventually led to the shutting down of the nation for weeks. On 5 May 1999, a new constitution was adopted and it provided for multiparty elections.
Democracy was regained by the county in 1999 after Olusegun Obasanjo was selected as the President of Nigeria. He was re-elected again in 2003. In the 2007 general elections, Umaru Yar'Adua came to power under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He passed on in May 2010 and was replaced by Dr Goodluck Jonathan who won the 2011 general elections but was defeated in the March 2015 general elections by Muhammadu Buhari.