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lauantai 28. toukokuuta 2016

Nigeria, Cool Facts #114

<= 113. Namibia                                                                                                           115. Rwanda => 

1. Giant of Africa

Nigeria is often referred as the Giant of Africa, that's because Nigeria is the leading African country in many statistics.

- Nigeria has the biggest population in Africa with 184 million people out of the 1,15 Billion people on the African continent
- Nigeria is Africa's biggest economy
- Nigeria has 521 different languages of which 512 are still spoken
- Lagos is Africa's biggest city
- Nigeria listed as "Next Eleven" economies set to become the biggest in the world
- Nigeria's film industry "Nollywood" produces second-most films in the world after India

2. British Colony 

Great Britain established the Oil Rivers Protectorate in the southern part of present-day Nigeria. The British protectorate was confirmed in the Berlin Conference in 1885. 

In 1893 Oil Rivers Protectorate merged with the territories of the Royal Niger Company forming the Niger Coast Protectorate. This union was renamed Southern Nigeria Protectorate in 1900. 

The Lagos colony was incorporated into the Southern Nigeria Protectorate in 1906. The Southern Nigeria Protectorate merged with Northern Nigeria Protectorate in 1914 to form the single colony of Nigeria. 

The British had merged many existing Caliphates and Empires into the Northern Nigeria Protectorate after its establishment in 1900 until the unification with Southern Nigeria Protectorate. 

The unification was done for economic reasons and not political. In 1956 the southern parts of Nigeria gained autonomy and in 1960 Nigeria became independent from Great Britain. 

The ancient Kingdom of Biafra was joined to Nigeria in 1914 during British conquest. In 1967 the Republic of Biafra declared independence, which was the primary cause of the Nigerian Civil War. The secession was carried out due to economic, ethnic, cultural and religious tensions between the peoples of Nigeria. 

The war lasted between May 1967 until January 1970. Over three million Biafran civilians had died in fighting and starvation. Finally the Biafran forces surrendered to the Nigerian Federal Military Government and Biafra was reintegrated into Nigeria. 

The national anthem of Biafra was the "Land of the Rising Sun" which adopted its tune from Jean Sibelius' "Finlandia", from the piece of the famous Finnish composer. The anthem was written by Nnamdi Azikiwe. 

Starving children of the Biafran War (Nigerian Civil War)
Map of Biafra

4. Oil in Niger Delta

The Niger Delta is the delta of the Niger River and the area was the British Oil Rivers Protectorate between 1885-1893. The area is sometimes called Oil Rivers because the area is an oil rich area. 

The Niger Delta area has been the centre of many conflicts. 

Biafran War 1967-1970
The entire Niger Delta region was a warzone where over million civilians died. 

Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni PeopleMOSOP, the organization formed in 1990 by the Ogoni people led a non-violent campaigning for social, economic and environmental justice in the Niger Delta, where Shell Nigeria had caused severe environmental damages. MOSOP tried to get Shell Nigeria accountable for its actions but the movement was crushed violently and the leader Ken Saro-Wiwa and 8 other activists were executed in 1995.

The people of the Niger Delta area haven't seen improvements in living conditions but rather environmental disasters and conflicts that go on. 

Shell Nigeria

5. Nigerian Society 

- Nigeria has over 500 ethnic groups and over 500 languages 
- The northern part is dominated by the Muslim Hausa and Fulani people 
- The southern part is dominated by the Christian Yoruba and Igbo people
- The most volatile tension is between the two biggest ethnic groups Yoruba and Hausa 
- Some states in the north have adopted the sharia-law, which has worsened the ethnic and religious split in the country 
- 58% are Christians and 41% Muslims of the population 

Biggest ethnic groups in Nigeria

Linguistic map of Nigeria


500 BC - 200 Nok civilization thrived in Northern Nigeria producing life-sized terra-cotta figures
948 Kingdom of Nri of the Igbo people established, which lasted until 1911 in Southern Nigeria
700s Kanem Kingdom was established, which became later a regional superpower
1200-1300s The Hausa people established many flourishing city states in Northern Nigeria
1200-1500s The Yoruba people created states in the southwest part of Nigeria
1400-1600s Benin Kingdom flourished controlling practically the entire coast of the present-day Nigeria, the Empire was established already in the 1100s and annexed by UK in 1897
1804 Sokoto Caliphate established under Usman Dan Fodio, which was in 1903 defeated by the British
1807 Slave trade was ended and the British conquered the inner lands of the country
1861 Lagos Treaty of Cession, Lagos annexed to Great Britain as a Crown Colony
1885 British claims over Nigeria were recognized at the Berlin Conference
1901 Nigeria became a British protectorate
1901-1902 Anglo-Aro War between Aro Confederacy and the British
1914 Northern and Southern Nigeria was united as the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria, but administratively the Nigeria was divided into Northern and Southern Protectorates and Lagos Colony
1936 Northern Nigeria outlawed slavery which was outlawed in other parts much earlier
1956 Southern parts of Nigeria gained autonomy
1960 Nigeria got independence
1961 After a plebiscite Northern Cameroons chose to remain in Nigeria, while Southern Cameroons joined the Republic of Cameroon
1963 Nigeria became a republic
1966 Military coup in which the Prime Minister and the Premiers of the Northern and Western Regions were killed
1967 Eastern Region declared independence as the Republic of Biafra as a new military coup started the civil war
1970 The Civil War ended in which many western countries were involved like the Soviet Union and Britain backing Nigerian government as France and some other backed the Biafrans
1975 Yakubu Gowon was overthrown in a military coup
1976-1979 Military president Olusegun Obasanjo ruled the country
1979 Obansajo transferred the power to a civilian regime
1984 Shehu Shagari's corrupt and incompetent regime was overthrown after fraudulent elections by Muhammadu Buhari
1985 Buhari's regime overthrown as Ibrahim Babangida became the new head of state
1993 Free and fair democratic elections were won by Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, but Babangida annulled the elections leading to violent protests and to the appointing of interim government with Ernest Shonekan as the leader
1993 General Sani Abacha overthrew the interim government in a military coup and established one of the most violent and corrupt regime's in Nigeria
1998 Sani Abacha died in unclear circumstances
1999 Multi-party elections won by Olusegun Obasanjo
2007 Umaru Yar'Adua won the elections, which were condemned as severely flawed
2009 Boko Haram, the Islamist terrorist group, led a violent uprising in which their leader was killed
2010 Yar'Adua died and Goodluck Jonathan became the head of state
2015 Muhammadu Buhari won the elections, which were said to be fair by the observers 

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