Ancient and Modern History of Nigeria

Nok people
Nok people

The history of Nigeria can be traced back to the Iwo Eleru and Ugwuelle- Uturu people that settled in the South-western part of Nigeria around 9000 BC. Agriculture was mostly practiced among the settlers and later, the production of ceremic stepped in. However, the ancient Nigerian culture owes its origin to the Nok people who thrived extensively between 500 BC and 200 AD on the Jos plateau situated in the Northern part of Nigeria.

igbo people
A group of Igbo people

The history of Nigeria will forever remain incomplete without the mention of the historic reign of the Yoruba kingdoms, the Igbo kingdom of Nri and the Edo kingdom of Benin. It is very important to note that the Yorubas have once dominated the ancient land of Nigeria and established their vast empire on the banks of river Niger. The Yorubas did a lot in developing the agriculture sector, with their numerous cocoa plantation, economy and trade, they are considered to have outstanding skills for business. With the emergence of the Oyo Kingdom and Benin in the 15th century also had a great influence over the political scenario of the country, it is believed that they had some mythical origins and accounts of creation and have some spiritual importance to the Yoruba people.

A Yoruba girl
A Yoruba girl back in those days

With the emergence of trade relations between different countries and the opening of trade links between the western Sudan and the Mediterranean region paved the way for the establishment of other dynasties and extension to the present boundaries. This led to the formation of Northern kingdoms of savanna comprising of states as Hausa, Ghana, Gao and kanem. More years after, the kingdom of Kanem was expanded westward with Borno. Towards the 11th century, popular Hausa states such as Kano, Kastina and Gobir grew to be famous centres of trade and comerce.

In the later years, the British forces penetrated into Nigeria and captured Lagos in 1851 and was made the crown colony in 1861. The British later made Nigeria a British protectorate in 1901 whereby it was divided into the Northern and Southern protectorates. In 1906, the crown colony and the Southern protectorates were merged, and later in 1914, the Northern and Southern protectorates were amalgamated by Lord Fredrick Lugard and his wife, Flora Shaw who was a journalist in London gave the country the name Nigeria after the river Niger that flowed through the country.

Nigeria remained under colonaization of Britain till 1960 when Nigeria gained her independence. Nigeria still remained under the governance of British Monarch until October 1st 1963 when Nigeria became a republican state thus gaining the real status of an independent state. Years after, Nigeria witnessed her first Military coup d’etat on the 15th of January 1966 which result was the sacking of the democratic government of Alahji Tafawa Balewa and Nnamdi Azikiwe. Major Gen. Johnson Aguyi Ironsi’s (who was the head of state) military government was sacked by Gen. Yakubu Gowon on July 29 1966. Gen. Muhammed Murtala seized power in a bloodless coup in 1975 but was assassinated on Feb 13 1976, thus bringing Olusegun Obasanjo, the Chief if Staff, to power. Obasanjo later handed over power to the democratic government of Alahji Sheu Shagari. In 1983, the democratic government was sacked by Gen. Muhammadu Buhari whose military regime was also brought to an end by Gen Ibrahim Babangida in 1985. The government of Babangida tried to form a new republic but it eas trauncated by General Sani Abacha in November 1993. Abacha later died in 1998 bringing power to the hands of Gen. Abubakar Abdul Salam and a fourth republic was established the following year, bringing an end to the three decades of military governance.
Today, is building its petroleum economy and fighting the militant group Boko Haram.

Kano
Kano
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12 thoughts on “Ancient and Modern History of Nigeria

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  2. Sir, no one said Kano and Katisina originated from the families of Oduduwa. Here’s the answer to your question, sir.

    “With the emergence of trade relations between different countries and the opening of trade links between the western Sudan and the Mediterranean region paved the way for the establishment of other dynasties and extension to the present boundaries. This led to the formation of Northern kingdoms of savanna comprising of states as Hausa, Ghana, Gao and kanem. More years after, the kingdom of Kanem was expanded westward with Borno. Towards the 11th century, popular Hausa states such as Kano, Kastina and Gobir grew to be famous centres of trade and comerce.”

    We really appreciate your comment.

    Like

  3. your article is very helpful,thank you for sharing….as for those talking out of sentiment u forget we can only know much and I’d like to see contributions.

    Like

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