Know your history: Key facts about Nigeria

 Know your history: Key facts about Nigeria

Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country with an estimated population of over 200 million people. The country has produced renowned politicians and leaders of global repute. But how much do you know about the country?

Here are some key dates in Nigeria’s history:

– 1861: British annexation of Lagos

– 1914: Amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorates by Lord Lugard to form Nigeria

– 1960: Nigeria gains independence from Britain, with Nnamdi Azikiwe as the first president

– 1966: A group of army officers led by Major Chukwuma Nzeogwu stage a military coup that results in the deaths of several political leaders, including Prime Minister Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa

– 1967: Eastern Nigeria declares independence as the Republic of Biafra, sparking a civil war that lasts until 1970

– 1979: The Second Republic is established, with Shehu Shagari as president

– 1983: Shagari is overthrown in a military coup led by General Muhammadu Buhari

-1993: June 12, 1993, is a significant date in Nigeria’s history as it marks the presidential election that is widely considered to be the freest and fairest in the country’s history.

The election was won by Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, a wealthy businessman and philanthropist, who ran on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

His opponent was Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention (NRC).

The annulment of the election led to widespread protests and civil unrest across the country.

Abiola declared himself the rightful president of Nigeria and was subsequently arrested and imprisoned by the military government. He died in custody in 1998, and his death was widely believed to be the result of foul play.

June 12 is now recognized as Democracy Day in Nigeria, and in 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law the Public Holiday (Amendment) Bill, which officially made June 12 a public holiday in Nigeria, replacing May 29, which was previously celebrated as Democracy Day.

– 1999: Nigeria returns to civilian rule with the election of Olusegun Obasanjo as president

– 2009: Boko Haram, an Islamist extremist group, launches an insurgency in northeastern Nigeria that continues to this day

– 2015: Muhammadu Buhari is elected president, becoming the first opposition candidate to defeat an incumbent president in Nigeria’s history

– 2020: Protests erupt across Nigeria calling for an end to police brutality and the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), leading to the government’s dissolution of the unit.

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