Nigeria Old History

By | January 2, 2023

Nigeria is an independent nation in Western Africa. With the capital city of Abuja, Nigeria 2020 population is estimated at 206,139,600 according to countryaah. In northern Nigeria, in the 11th century, there were medieval states that adopted Islam. The Yoruba people in the southwest had the kingdom which was also early city states. Beginning in the 1400s, Portuguese first came and then British. The slave trade that had previously gone north through the Sahara now gained a new market. Millions of slaves were shipped to America. From the end of the 19th century, today’s Nigeria came under British control. When the colony began to wind down after the Second World War, the colony was divided into three regions, each dominated by one of the three major ethnic groups.

  • Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Nigeria, covering history, economy, and social conditions.

The oldest traces of a larger, organized society are derived from the Nok people, who lived on the central Jos Plateau during the centuries around the birth of Christ. For Nigeria political system, please check computerminus.

Residents of the early states of the savannah in the north conducted caravan trade through the Sahara to the Mediterranean coast. In the region around Lake Chad, such a state, Kanem, appeared as early as the 8th century. Kanem’s Nilo-Saharan rulers adopted Islam in the 11th century. Kanem swallowed up a number of small states west and south of Lake Chad, including Bornu. The capital of the new kingdom of Kanem-Bornu was moved there since Kanem collapsed in the 1400s.

The thriving Hausa cities west of Bornu, including Gobir, Katsina, Kano and Zinder, also converted to Islam. Hausa became the region’s foremost traders and their languages ​​spread throughout Northern Nigeria.

The shepherds fulani immigrated to the Hausa states in the 13th century. Fulani first formed an elite to serve the Hausa kings, but in the early 1800s, the Hausa cities came under the rule of Fulani, mainly as a result of the Islamic war of Usman dan Fodio’s holy war, jihad.


Like the Hausa states in the north, the Yoruba kingdoms in the southwest were city states from the beginning. Ife was an important Yoruba city as early as the 11th century. In close connection with the Yoruba states, in the 14th century Benin Kingdom grew strongly through trade, and in the 16th century the Yoruba state Oyo subjugated other city states.

For centuries, Yoruba, Igbo and many other peoples had abided by slaves and operated slave trade across the Sahara. With the arrival of Europeans, the market widened. Between 1650 and 1860 extensive trade was carried on across the Atlantic.

However, Britain banned its citizens from participating in the slave trade as early as 1807. The ban helped Oyo, who was a major slave exporter, to collapse in a civil war. The war spread to all of Yorubaland. The British blocked the coast to stop the slave trade and annexed Lagos in 1861.

When the European superpowers divided Africa at the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885, Britain claimed the area around the Niger River. In 1894, Britain proclaimed southern Nigeria as a protectorate. In the north, the British company Royal Niger Company had, since 1866, been entitled to administer and trade, but in 1900 the British government also declared that area of ​​patronage. The two protectorates were merged in 1914. Through so-called indirect rule, the local administration was managed by traditional rulers.

colonial rule

The indirect regime was applied differently in the north and in the south. In the north, the British cooperated with the local rulers, the emirs. Christian mission was stopped, while Islam and traditional values ​​were promoted. Hausa was recognized as an official language. In the south, however, English was the official language. Even there the government was run by local kings and rulers, but their position was undermined by Christian mission and other Western influences.

After the Second World War, Britain began to dismantle its colonies. In Nigeria, a federation with three regions was created, in an attempt to keep religious and regional conflicts at bay. Each region was dominated by one party: the Northern People’s Congress (NPC) was supported mainly by Hausa and Fulani in the northern region, where about half the population lived. The Action Group (AC) was supported by Yoruba in the West, while the Igbo people in the East were represented by the National Council of Nigeria and Cameroon (NCNC, later renamed the National Citizens’ Council).

The contradictions were great about how the future state should be governed. In the compromise reached, Nigeria became a federation with parliamentary rule. In 1954, the federation became self-governing and in 1959 elections were held for the federal parliament. The NPC, which was regionalist, Muslim and aristocratic, gained its own majority. Nevertheless, the NPC formed a coalition with the NCNC, which was nationalist, Christian and populist.



54 soldiers are sentenced to death

They have been charged with mutiny in a secret trial in a military court, suspected of refusing to participate in battles against Boko Haram.

Main candidates in the election clear

The ruling party PDP unanimously appoints the incumbent president as its candidate in the February 2015 election.

Violence in December

Several dozen people are killed in a series of new attacks and attacks, including in the cities of Damaturu, Maiduguri and Jos. Nearly 200 people, including many women and children, are reported to have been robbed of a village in Borno.


The state of emergency is not extended

Refuses to extend the state of emergency in the country’s three northeastern states; According to the opposition, the special laws have in no way been able to curb Islamist violence in the region.

1.5 million people flee

According to UN data, 900,000 have fled their homes in northeastern Nigeria only in the past six months, due to Boko Haram’s violence. Boko Haram is said to have taken control of some 20 cities so far.

Violence in November

Several hundred people are killed in a series of attacks during the month. Among other things, around 50 boys die when a suicide bomber explodes at a school in the state of Yobe. Several other assaults require about the same number of lives. At an attack on the largest mosque in Kano, at least 120 people are killed. Boko Haram is believed to be behind all attacks.


Nigeria free from Ebola

The World Health Organization (WHO) declares the country ebola-free when it has been 42 days without any new disease case. A total of 19 people have been confirmed to be infected, of whom seven have died. WHO commends Nigeria for an exemplary effort to stop the spread of infection, including through careful tracking and control of nearly 900 people who have been in contact with sick people.

terror Rulings

Three men are sentenced to 25 years in prison for terrorist offenses linked to terrorism. According to Human Rights Watch, however, the trial has violated both Nigeria’s constitution and a number of international agreements. According to Nigerian press, the men belong to Boko Haram and they are suspected of having planned attacks in Lagos.

Violence in October

A ceasefire that the government says has entered into with Boko Haram, and which would lead to the Islamist group releasing the more than 200 abducted schoolgirls, is not leading anywhere. Instead there will be reports of more abducted children, looting and new attacks with death. According to various data, between 500 and 1,000 children have been abducted by Boko Haram since 2009.


Twelve soldiers are sentenced to death

A military court finds them guilty of having participated in a mutiny in Borno in May. The mythists must have been upset over the lack of equipment and support from the army leadership in the fight against Boko Haram.

Regional meeting on Boko Haram

The foreign ministers from Nigeria as well as Benin, Cameroon, Niger and Chad discuss joint efforts, in a meeting where representatives of the UN and AU as well as the US, the UK, France and Canada and participate. The meeting culminated in an appeal to the outside world for more help in stripping arms supplies to Boko Haram and hampering the group’s funding.

Violence during September

About 30 people are killed in a blast attack in Bauchi, in the north. There are reports that Boko Haram has taken control of the city of Bama and is preparing to attack Maiduguri. The military rejects the reports.


Emergency permit due to Ebola

The disease that has claimed up to 1,000 deaths in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea during the summer has now reached Nigeria. Two people have died in Lagos and seven more have been confirmed to be infected. The government grants approximately SEK 80 million in disaster relief efforts to stop the spread of infection and the start of school is postponed until October to curb the infection.

Military overwhelm in the pursuit of Boko Haram

Amnesty International accuses the army and the state-backed civilian militia CJTF of extensive abuse, including extrajudicial executions.

Violence during August

Boko Haram continues to rage mainly in the northeast. There are reports of murders and abductions. The Islamist sect claims to have taken control of the city of Gwoza, with hundreds of thousands of residents, and governs according to Sharia. Both civilians and soldiers flee across the border to Cameroon. At one time, close to 100 prisoners are reported to have been exempted by Chad military.


“Over 2,000 civilians killed in six months”

According to a report by Human Rights Watch, over 2,000 civilians have been killed in six months. Nearly three-quarters of the deaths that Boko Haram is accused of during the first six months of the year have occurred in Borno. The state governor later states that 176 teachers have been murdered since 2011, and 900 schools have been destroyed.

Regional intervention against Boko Haram

Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon agree that each country should contribute 700 soldiers. When and where the force is to be deployed does not appear after the meeting of the country’s defense ministers.

Governor deposed

Parliament in Adamawa in the Northeast dismisses Governor Murtala Nyako for alleged corruption. Nyako is one of the former PDP politicians who switched to APC. He claims that the PDP pushed through the deposition in revenge for his conflict with President Jonathan.

Violence during July

Several hundred victims are again reported. At one point, more than 50 Boko Haram members must have been killed following an attack against an army base in Damboa. Later, an unknown but large number of people are killed when Boko Haram attacks the city. Over 80 die in two suicide bombings in Kaduna. One attack is aimed at a vehicle column with ex-President Muhammadu Buhari, the second attack is carried out when moderate Muslim leader Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi holds a prayer meeting in a town square. Both Buhari and Bauchi escape unharmed.


The opposition party APC holds congress

John Odigie Oyegun, former governor of the state of Edo in the south, is appointed party chairman.

Regional intelligence cooperation

Nigeria agrees with Chad, Benin, Niger and Cameroon to form a new regional unit to fight Boko Haram.

Britain promises increased military support

The British government also promises money for better schooling in Northern Nigeria.

The Emir of Kano dies

During his 50 years on the throne, Ado Abdullahi Bayero has made great efforts to reduce tensions between Muslims and Christians. He was also a sharp critic of Boko Haram. He is succeeded by the fired central bank governor Lamido Sanusi (see February 2014), one of Jonathan’s most outspoken critics

EU sanctions against Boko Haram

The EU decides on similar sanctions as the UN (see May 2014).

The wave of violence continues in June

The month begins with reports of massacres. Several hundred people are said to have been killed in concerted Boko Haram attacks against four villages in Borno. Later, about 50 die in attacks against churches near Chibok, and about 20 in an explosive attack in Abuja.


UN sanctions against Boko Haram

The UN Security Council sets up the group is put on a “black list” of organizations that have ties to the al-Qaeda terror network. It will thus be prohibited to supply Boko Haram with weapons while freezing its financial assets abroad.

“Total war” against Boko Haram

Nigeria and neighboring countries Benin, Cameroon, Niger and Chad state at a meeting in Paris that Boko Haram has grown into a regional threat, a “West Africa’s al-Qaeda “. The countries will joint military operations, exchange intelligence, cooperate with arms smuggling and tighten border controls.

New videotape allegedly showing kidnapped girls

They are dressed in full Islamic costume and are said to have converted to Islam. Boko Haram leader Shekau now offers to release the girls in exchange for all imprisoned members of the movement.

Massacre in Borno, condemnation by the UN Security Council

The statement concerns the abduction of the girls from Chibok as well as the Gamboru-Ngala massacre.

“The girls should be sold as slaves”

Three weeks after the abduction in Chibok (see April 2014), Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau says on a videotape that he was behind the kidnappings and plans to sell them as slaves. The case is attracting great attention in the outside world. The United States, France and the United Kingdom send intelligence experts, and the United Kingdom and China promise to assist with satellite monitoring of the area. The Nigerian police are announcing a reward of close to SEK 2 million for information that will help save the girls.

Violence during May

Several hundred people in continued blast attacks and attacks on villages. At the beginning of the month, more than 300 residents were killed in the twin towns of Gamboru-Ngala in Borno, since the soldiers normally stationed at the site have left. The survivors flee across the border to Cameroon. Attacks are also being carried out in, for example, Abuja and Jos in central Nigeria. Entire villages are destroyed and many children are among the victims.


Schoolgirls are robbed

Around 270 girls are robbed of Boko Haram from a school in Chibok in Borno. Some manage to escape, but over 200 remain lost.

Violence during April

Several hundred people are killed in new attacks during the month. The violence continues to mainly affect Borno and other parts of northeastern Nigeria, but some 70s are also killed in an explosion against a bus station in Abuja.


Schools are closed for security reasons

Borno authorities shut down 85 high schools with a total of 120,000 students following a series of attacks blamed on Boko Haram.

Land conflicts behind deadly violence

Dozens of people are reported to have been killed when armed men attack four villages in the state of Katsina in the northwest. The suspicions are directed at members of the Fulani ethnic group, which have long been in conflict with the Hausa. The conflict concerns the competition for land (see Population and languages). Later, more than 100 people are reported to have been shot dead in three villages in Kaduna, central Nigeria, under similar circumstances.

New Minister of Defense

The post that has been vacant since June 2012 goes to former Army Chief of Staff Aliyu Gusau.


The Governor is kicked

President Jonathan dismisses Lamido Sanusi for “financial negligence”. Sanusi has accused the state-run oil company NNPC of shredding the equivalent of $ 20 billion. He has been praised internationally for cleansing up the Nigerian banking sector and stabilizing the currency, but his fight against corruption has given him many political enemies.

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar joins the APC

He is the highest-ranking defender from the ruling party so far.

Violence in February

Several attacks were reported during the month, against villages in Borno and against a boarding school in Yobe. Over 250 people are killed. Boko Haram is suspected in all cases.


PDP senators jump off

About ten senators pass to the opposition. The PDP still retains its majority in the Senate (see also December 2013).

The defense line is dismissed

The Chief of Defense Staff and the Heads of the Army, Navy and Air Force are replaced. No explanation is provided, but the changes are believed to be linked to the inability of the armed forces to curb the Islamist movement Boko Haram.

Laws against homosexuals come into force

The law prohibits same-sex marriage and makes it criminal to manifest homosexual orientation or act for the rights of gays. Violations of the law can result in up to 14 years in prison. According to critics, the law indirectly means that violence against homosexuals is approved.

Nigeria Old History