Nigeria History Timeline

Nigeria is a country in Africa. The country is located north of the Gulf of Guinea, in the central part of West Africa. The majority of the population and thus also the largest cities are located in the southern part of the country. The southern part of Nigeria consists of lowlands with tropical climate, reasonable rainfall and rainforest. The northern half of the country consists of highlands and dry savannah areas. The Sahara desert areas extend into the northern part of Nigeria.

According to Estatelearning, Nigeria is Africa’s most populous state and had 140,431,790 residents at the 2006 census. Due to ethnicity, the issue of population is politically sensitive and there is therefore doubt about the accuracy of the figures.
In 2010, the population was estimated at just over 152 million.

The port city of Lagos is the largest city in Nigeria, and with an estimated 10.4 million residents (2012) among the largest cities in Africa, and it is estimated that by 2020 it will have approx. 20 million residents, thus becoming one of the world’s largest cities.

The extensive scams with the “Nigeria Letters” give Nigeria a tarnished reputation. The scam is usually that an email is sent to you, whereupon the person in the letter tells that he is a current or former banker, military person, (ex) president, or the like. Read more here and here.

As an economic and demographic heavyweight, Nigeria plays an important role in the economic and political development of the entire continent.


1000 BCE – The Nok culture, famous for their terracotta art, appeared in Nigeria on the Jos Plateau in the middle of the country and disappeared again around the year 300.

550 FVT – Metal extraction and casting for tools was used by the Nok culture, possibly older than that. Samun Dukiya and Taruga are two famous archeological sites where artifacts from the culture have been found and excavated, dating to between 600-100 BCE.

15th Century – In the late 15th century. the Portuguese arrived on the coast of Nigeria, thus initiating the transatlantic trade in slaves, and after the British in the 17th century. had come to the country, they played from the 18th century. a leading role in the slave trade.

19th century – The Nigerian territory was occupied by the British Empire. The country was divided into three: the colonies of Western Nigeria, where the population was mainly Yoruba, and Eastern Nigeria, where the population was mainly Igbo, and the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria, where the population was mainly Hausa.

1967 – July 6 – The Biafra War, also known as the Nigerian Civil War, took place from 1967 to January 31, 1970. It was a political conflict triggered by a breakaway province in the southeastern corner of Nigeria, which declared its independence as the Republic of Biafra. The war was notorious for the famine that occurred in some of the war-torn areas and allegations of genocide committed by the Igbo tribe, which had a haunt in these areas. The organization Doctors Without Borders was established in 1971 in the aftermath of the war by Bernard Kouchner and other French doctors who had worked in the besieged Biafra.

1975 – Murtala Ramat Muhammad takes over the government with a military coup against Yakuba Gowon, then launches a crusade against corruption, and more than 10,000 civil servants are charged or fired.

1976 – February 13 – Muhammad is assassinated during a coup in which his deputy, Lieutenant General Olusegun Obasanjo, seizes power. Corruption and chaotic economic situations marked the government in the following years and underwent many military coups.

1976 – It is decided to move the capital from Lagos to the newly built, centrally located Abuja. The move became official on December 12, 1999.

2003 – Olusegun Obasanjo is re-elected President, accused of electoral fraud. However, the attempt to amend the constitution so that Obasanjo could run for a third term was rejected by the Senate.

2007 – April – Umaru Yar’Adua of Obasanjo’s ruling People’s Democratic Party wins the presidential election. Also in connection with this election, there were accusations of widespread electoral fraud both from the opposition and from international observers.

2013 – July 6 – Islamists are believed to be behind a massacre Saturday in the town of Potiskum in northeastern Nigeria, where perpetrators are said to have killed several students and teachers at a boarding school. Read more here.

2013 – September 10 – Archbishop Ignatius Kattey was kidnapped with his wife around noon. 22:45 Friday near his town of Port Harcourt. Read here.

2013 – September 25 – The death toll from massacres committed by the rebel and terrorist movement Boko Haram in Nigeria has risen to 159, according to official sources.

Nigeria History Timeline

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