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PDF | Although the years since Nigeria's return to civilian rule in have seen an increased interest in its history and politics, Nigeria. The history of Nigeria can be traced to prehistoric settlers (Nigerians) living in the area as early Central Intelligence Agency (2 November ), National Intelligence Estimate Prospects for Postwar Nigeria (PDF), United States . in this web service Cambridge University Press. Cambridge University Press. - A History of Nigeria. Toyin Falola and Matthew M. Heaton.

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Nigeria History Pdf

most populous cities in Nigeria are Lagos (about 8 million), Kano ( million), Several dominant themes in Nigerian history are essential for understanding. Early History. THE t~USLIM. NORTH. TRADITIONAL POLITICAL SYSTEMS OF SOUTHERN NIGERIA. Developments During the Colonial Era. Abstract: Before the coming of Whiteman in Nigeria the history proved beyond The Historical Background Of The Three Major Ethnic Groups In Nigeria Hausa.

A History of Nigeria is an impressive book, the more so because its ambitions initially appear straightforward. So a wide topic, posing considerable narrative challenges, but far from impossible. National history is always ideologically fraught, difficult to separate the project from nation-building more generally. As Benedict Anderson famously observed, national projects are always acts of imagination 1 — bringing a national community into existence and then positing that it has a natural, non-political, trans-historical quality. These imagined communities, groups who belong together within one state because of social affinity, can treat attempts at historiography as a source of national charter myths, celebrating particular views of national belonging while omitting inconvenient counter-narratives. And so a too-rigorous history of the nation is often unpopular — as some citizens of the U. Covering a national history is thus inevitably difficult, all the more so when the nation in question is one like Nigeria, which was created in by the amalgamation of the British protectorates of Northern and Southern Nigeria, themselves only slightly older. The boundary-creating exercises of European powers at the start of widespread colonization in the late 19th century grouped populations together willy-nilly, often with very different languages, cultures, and historical patterns of interaction. African nationalist movements became significant after the Second World War but could not posit the inherent community of a Congolese, an Ivorian, a Nigerian nation and instead emphasized their opposition to colonial control. The histories that accompanied these movements tended to stress the power and legitimacy of pre-colonial states or longstanding patterns of resistance to colonial rule.

Throughout the 16th-century much of northern Nigeria paid homage to Songhai in the west or to Borno , a rival empire in the east. Main article: Kanem-Bornu Empire Borno's history is closely associated with Kanem, which had achieved imperial status in the Lake Chad basin by the 13th century.

Kanem expanded westward to include the area that became Borno. The mai king of Kanem and his court accepted Islam in the 11th century, as the western empires also had done. Islam was used to reinforce the political and social structures of the state although many established customs were maintained. Women, for example, continued to exercise considerable political influence.

The mai employed his mounted bodyguard and an inchoate army of nobles to extend Kanem's authority into Borno. By tradition, the territory was conferred on the heir to the throne to govern during his apprenticeship.

In the 14th century, however, dynastic conflict forced the then-ruling group and its followers to relocate in Borno, where as a result the Kanuri emerged as an ethnic group in the late 14th and 15th centuries. The civil war that disrupted Kanem in the second half of the 14th century resulted in the independence of Borno.

Borno's prosperity depended on the trans-Sudanic slave trade and the desert trade in salt and livestock. The need to protect its commercial interests compelled Borno to intervene in Kanem, which continued to be a theater of war throughout the 15th century and into the 16th century. Despite its relative political weakness in this period, Borno's court and mosques under the patronage of a line of scholarly kings earned fame as centers of Islamic culture and learning.

De-colonial states, —[ edit ] Savanna states[ edit ] During the 16th century, the Songhai Empire reached its peak, stretching from the Senegal and Gambia rivers and incorporating part of Hausaland in the east.

A History of Nigeria by Toyin Falola and Matthew M. Heaton

Concurrently the Saifawa Dynasty of Borno conquered Kanem and extended control west to Hausa cities not under Songhai authority. Largely because of Songhai's influence, there was a blossoming of Islamic learning and culture. Songhai collapsed in when a Moroccan army conquered Gao and Timbuktu. Morocco was unable to control the empire and the various provinces, including the Hausa states, became independent. The collapse undermined Songhai's hegemony over the Hausa states and abruptly altered the course of regional history.

The Fulani jihad states of West Africa, c. The destruction of Songhai left Borno uncontested and until the 18th-century Borno dominated northern Nigeria. Despite Borno's hegemony the Hausa states continued to wrestle for ascendancy. Gradually Borno's position weakened; its inability to check political rivalries between competing Hausa cities was one example of this decline. Another factor was the military threat of the Tuareg centered at Agades who penetrated the northern districts of Borno.

The major cause of Borno's decline was a severe drought that struck the Sahel and savanna from in the middle of the 18th century.

As a consequence, Borno lost many northern territories to the Tuareg whose mobility allowed them to endure the famine more effectively. Borno regained some of its former might in the succeeding decades, but another drought occurred in the s, again weakening the state. Ecological and political instability provided the background for the jihad of Usman dan Fodio. The military rivalries of the Hausa states strained the region's economic resources at a time when drought and famine undermined farmers and herders.

Many Fulani moved into Hausaland and Borno, and their arrival increased tensions because they had no loyalty to the political authorities, who saw them as a source of increased taxation.

By the end of the 18th century, some Muslim ulema began articulating the grievances of the common people. Efforts to eliminate or control these religious leaders only heightened the tensions, setting the stage for jihad.

The use of slave labor was extensive, especially in agriculture. The chiefs of Akwa Akpa placed themselves under British protection in In , British claims to a West African sphere of influence received international recognition; and in the following year, the Royal Niger Company was chartered under the leadership of Sir George Taubman Goldie. The entire territory of the Royal Niger Company came into the hands of the British government.

In , the area was formally united as the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria. Western education and the development of a modern economy proceeded more rapidly in the south than in the north, with consequences felt in Nigeria's political life ever since. Following World War II , in response to the growth of Nigerian nationalism and demands for independence, successive constitutions legislated by the British Government moved Nigeria toward self-government on a representative and increasingly federal basis.

On 1 October , the colony became the autonomous Federation of Nigeria. By the middle of the 20th century, the great wave for independence was sweeping across Africa. Without a doubt corruption is one of the greatest blights on Nigerian political society at present.

This is a near-universal sentiment among Nigerians. It is difficult to imagine how it could be otherwise given the way it pervades all levels of Nigerian society, and it is nearly impossible to imagine how the problem could be overcome. Falola and Heaton know this as well as anyone, and they are appropriately skeptical of formal attempts to improve the situation.

But they are also sensitive to the real promise implicit in the emergence of a national culture — a set of publications and media outlets available to much of the population, and a widening of debate to include many segments of society.

Ultimately, they suggest, this Nigerian public will be able to demand accountability, and it is the best hope for a decent future. For all its anodyne cosmopolitanism, it may ultimately be incompatible with stories Nigeria must tell itself — or some Nigerians wish to tell themselves. But whether or not such objections are raised, Nigerians and those who study Nigeria are lucky Falola and Heaton attempted this account.

This is no simple story. The portrait they have painted of a country brought into being by a series of global developments is not superficially ideal as the charter myth of a proud nation. However, the ultimate conclusion one draws is that to be Nigerian is to be inheritor of a complex, multi-stranded patrimony.

To be Nigerian is to have overcome adversity, to interact with many cultures, and to prosper against all odds. To be Nigerian is to appreciate difference, and fearlessly to object to injustice. In the end, Falola and Heaton may have produced a better charter myth than any romantic could have invented. Skip to main content. A History of Nigeria. Dr Steven Pierce University of Manchester. Notes Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism Rev.

Back to 1 The major exception is Somalia, which is for the most part ethnically Somali, though national homogeneity has not notably contributed to state stability. A Derivative Discourse?

London, Back to 3 To complicate matters yet further, it is important not to naturalize unduly these local communities either. Back to 4 The first monograph widely considered to be a work of academic African history was K. Acceptance of Islam was gradual and was often nominal in the countryside where folk religion continued to exert a strong influence.

Nonetheless, Kano and Katsina, with their famous mosques and schools, came to participate fully in the cultural and intellectual life of the Islamic world. The Fulani began to enter the Hausa country in the 13th century and by the 15th century, they were tending cattle, sheep, and goats in Borno as well. The Fulani came from the Senegal River valley, where their ancestors had developed a method of livestock management based on transhumance.

Gradually they moved eastward, first into the centers of the Mali and Songhai empires and eventually into Hausaland and Borno. Some Fulbe converted to Islam as early as the 11th century and settled among the Hausa, from whom they became racially indistinguishable. There they constituted a devoutly religious, educated elite who made themselves indispensable to the Hausa kings as government advisers, Islamic judges, and teachers. The Hausa Kingdoms were first mentioned by Ya'qubi in the 9th-century [ citation needed ] and they were by the 15th-century vibrant trading centers competing with Kanem-Bornu and the Mali Empire.

At various moments in their history, the Hausa managed to establish central control over their states, but such unity has always proven short. In the 11th-century, the conquests initiated by Gijimasu of Kano culminated in the birth of the first united Hausa Nation under Queen Amina , the Sultana of Zazzau but severe rivalries between the states led to periods of domination by major powers like the Songhai, Kanem and the Fulani. Despite relatively constant growth, the states were vulnerable to aggression and, although the vast majority of its inhabitants were Muslim by the 16th century, they were attacked by Fulani jihadists from to Historically the Yoruba people have been the dominant group on the west bank of the Niger.

Their nearest linguistic relatives are the Igala who live on the opposite side of the Niger's divergence from the Benue , and from whom they are believed to have split about 2, years ago. The Yoruba were organized in mostly patrilineal groups that occupied village communities and subsisted on agriculture. From approximately the 8th century, adjacent village compounds called ile coalesced into numerous territorial city-states in which clan loyalties became subordinate to dynastic chieftains.

Urbanization was accompanied by high levels of artistic achievement, particularly in terracotta and ivory sculpture and in the sophisticated metal casting produced at Ife. The Olorun is now called God in the Yoruba language. There are deities called Orisha who perform various tasks. According to the Yoruba , Oduduwa is regarded as the ancestor of the Yoruba kings. According to one of the various myths about him, he founded Ife and dispatched his sons and daughters to establish similar kingdoms in other parts of what is today known as Yorubaland.

The Yorubaland now consists of different tribes from different states which are located in the Southwestern part of the country , states like Oyo State , Ondo State , Ekiti State , Ogun State , among others. The Kingdom of Nri is considered to be the foundation of Igbo culture , and the oldest Kingdom in Nigeria.

Archaeological evidence suggests that Nri hegemony in Igboland may go back as far as the 9th century, [8] and royal burials have been unearthed dating to at least the 10th century. Eri, the god-like founder of Nri, is believed to have settled the region around with other related Igbo cultures following after in the 13th century.

According to Igbo oral tradition, his reign started in Each king traces his origin back to the founding ancestor, Eri. Each king is a ritual reproduction of Eri. The initiation rite of a new king shows that the ritual process of becoming Ezenri Nri priest-king follows closely the path traced by the hero in establishing the Nri kingdom.

Nri and Aguleri and part of the Umueri clan, a cluster of Igbo village groups which traces its origins to a sky being called Eri, and, significantly, includes from the viewpoint of its Igbo members the neighbouring kingdom of Igala. The Kingdom of Nri was a religio-polity, a sort of theocratic state, that developed in the central heartland of the Igbo region. These included human such as the birth of twins , animal such as killing or eating of pythons , [13] object, temporal, behavioral, speech and place taboos.

This meant that, while certain Igbo may have lived under different formal administration, all followers of the Igbo religion had to abide by the rules of the faith and obey its representative on earth, the Eze Nri.

With the decline of Nri kingdom in the 15th to 17th centuries, several states once under their influence, became powerful economic oracular oligarchies and large commercial states that dominated Igboland. The neighboring Awka city-state rose in power as a result of their powerful Agbala oracle and metalworking expertise. The Onitsha Kingdom , which was originally inhabited by Igbos from east of the Niger, was founded in the 16th century by migrants from Anioma Western Igboland.

Later groups like the Igala traders from the hinterland settled in Onitsha in the 18th century.

Western Igbo kingdoms like Aboh , dominated trade in the lower Niger area from the 17th century until European penetration. The Umunoha state in the Owerri area used the Igwe ka Ala oracle at their advantage. However, the Cross River Igbo state like the Aro had the greatest influence in Igboland and adjacent areas after the decline of Nri. The Arochukwu kingdom emerged after the Aro-Ibibio Wars from to , and went on to form the Aro Confederacy which economically dominated Eastern Nigerian hinterland.

The source of the Aro Confederacy's economic dominance was based on the judicial oracle of Ibini Ukpabi " Long Juju " and their military forces which included powerful allies such as Ohafia , Abam , Ezza , and other related neighboring states. They crossed the river to Urupkam Usukpam west of the Cross River and founded two settlements: Ena Uda and Ena Ofia in present-day Erai. Aro and Abiriba cooperated to become a powerful economic force. Igbo gods, like those of the Yoruba , were numerous, but their relationship to one another and human beings was essentially egalitarian, reflecting Igbo society as a whole.

History of Nigeria

A number of oracles and local cults attracted devotees while the central deity, the earth mother and fertility figure Ala , was venerated at shrines throughout Igboland. The weakness of a popular theory that Igbos were stateless rests on the paucity of historical evidence of pre-colonial Igbo society. There is a huge gap between the archaeological finds of Igbo Ukwu, which reveal a rich material culture in the heart of the Igbo region in the 8th century, and the oral traditions of the 20th century.

Benin exercised considerable influence on the western Igbo, who adopted many of the political structures familiar to the Yoruba-Benin region, but Asaba and its immediate neighbors, such as Ibusa , Ogwashi-Ukwu, Okpanam, Issele-Azagba and Issele-Ukwu, were much closer to the Kingdom of Nri. Ofega was the queen for the Onitsha Igbo. Igbo imabana.

The early independent kingdoms and states that make up present-day British colonialized Nigeria are in alphabetical order:. During the 15th century Oyo and Benin surpassed Ife as political and economic powers, although Ife preserved its status as a religious center. Respect for the priestly functions of the oni of Ife was a crucial factor in the evolution of Yoruban culture. The Ife model of government was adapted at Oyo, where a member of its ruling dynasty controlled several smaller city-states.

A state council the Oyo Mesi named the Alaafin king and acted as a check on his authority. Unlike the forest-bound Yoruba kingdoms, Oyo was in the savanna and drew its military strength from its cavalry forces, which established hegemony over the adjacent Nupe and the Borgu kingdoms and thereby developed trade routes farther to the north. The Benin Empire —; called Bini by locals was a pre-colonial African state in what is now modern Nigeria.

History of Nigeria - Wikipedia

It should not be confused with the modern-day country called Benin, formerly called Dahomey. Trade is the key to the emergence of organized communities in the sahelian portions of Nigeria. Prehistoric inhabitants adjusting to the encroaching desert were widely scattered by the third millennium BC, when the desiccation of the Sahara began.

Trans-Saharan trade routes linked the western Sudan with the Mediterranean since the time of Carthage and with the Upper Nile from a much earlier date, establishing avenues of communication and cultural influence that remained open until the end of the 19th century. By these same routes, Islam made its way south into West Africa after the 9th century.

By then a string of dynastic states, including the earliest Hausa states, stretched across western and central Sudan. The most powerful of these states were Ghana , Gao , and Kanem , which were not within the boundaries of modern Nigeria but which influenced the history of the Nigerian savanna.

Ghana declined in the 11th century but was succeeded by the Mali Empire which consolidated much of western Sudan in the 13th century. Following the breakup of Mali, a local leader named Sonni Ali — founded the Songhai Empire in the region of middle Niger and western Sudan and took control of the trans-Saharan trade.

His successor Askia Muhammad Ture — made Islam the official religion, built mosques, and brought Muslim scholars, including al-Maghili d. Although these western empires had little political influence on the Nigerian savanna before they had a strong cultural and economic impact that became more pronounced in the 16th century, especially because these states became associated with the spread of Islam and trade.

Throughout the 16th-century much of northern Nigeria paid homage to Songhai in the west or to Borno , a rival empire in the east. Borno's history is closely associated with Kanem, which had achieved imperial status in the Lake Chad basin by the 13th century.

Kanem expanded westward to include the area that became Borno. The mai king of Kanem and his court accepted Islam in the 11th century, as the western empires also had done. Islam was used to reinforce the political and social structures of the state although many established customs were maintained.

Women, for example, continued to exercise considerable political influence. The mai employed his mounted bodyguard and an inchoate army of nobles to extend Kanem's authority into Borno. By tradition, the territory was conferred on the heir to the throne to govern during his apprenticeship. In the 14th century, however, dynastic conflict forced the then-ruling group and its followers to relocate in Borno, where as a result the Kanuri emerged as an ethnic group in the late 14th and 15th centuries.

The civil war that disrupted Kanem in the second half of the 14th century resulted in the independence of Borno. Borno's prosperity depended on the trans-Sudanic slave trade and the desert trade in salt and livestock. The need to protect its commercial interests compelled Borno to intervene in Kanem, which continued to be a theater of war throughout the 15th century and into the 16th century.

Despite its relative political weakness in this period, Borno's court and mosques under the patronage of a line of scholarly kings earned fame as centers of Islamic culture and learning. During the 16th century, the Songhai Empire reached its peak, stretching from the Senegal and Gambia rivers and incorporating part of Hausaland in the east.

Concurrently the Saifawa Dynasty of Borno conquered Kanem and extended control west to Hausa cities not under Songhai authority. Largely because of Songhai's influence, there was a blossoming of Islamic learning and culture. Songhai collapsed in when a Moroccan army conquered Gao and Timbuktu.

Morocco was unable to control the empire and the various provinces, including the Hausa states, became independent. The collapse undermined Songhai's hegemony over the Hausa states and abruptly altered the course of regional history. Borno reached its pinnacle under mai Idris Aloma ca.

The destruction of Songhai left Borno uncontested and until the 18th-century Borno dominated northern Nigeria. Despite Borno's hegemony the Hausa states continued to wrestle for ascendancy. Gradually Borno's position weakened; its inability to check political rivalries between competing Hausa cities was one example of this decline. Another factor was the military threat of the Tuareg centered at Agades who penetrated the northern districts of Borno. The major cause of Borno's decline was a severe drought that struck the Sahel and savanna from in the middle of the 18th century.

As a consequence, Borno lost many northern territories to the Tuareg whose mobility allowed them to endure the famine more effectively. Borno regained some of its former might in the succeeding decades, but another drought occurred in the s, again weakening the state.

Ecological and political instability provided the background for the jihad of Usman dan Fodio. The military rivalries of the Hausa states strained the region's economic resources at a time when drought and famine undermined farmers and herders. Many Fulani moved into Hausaland and Borno, and their arrival increased tensions because they had no loyalty to the political authorities, who saw them as a source of increased taxation.

By the end of the 18th century, some Muslim ulema began articulating the grievances of the common people. Efforts to eliminate or control these religious leaders only heightened the tensions, setting the stage for jihad. According to the Encyclopedia of African History , "It is estimated that by the s the largest slave population of the world, about 2 million people, was concentrated in the territories of the Sokoto Caliphate. The use of slave labor was extensive, especially in agriculture.

The modern city of Calabar was founded in by Efik families who had left Creek Town, farther up the Calabar river , settling on the east bank in a position where they were able to dominate traffic with European vessels that anchored in the river, and soon becoming the most powerful in the region.

With the suppression of the slave trade, palm oil and palm kernels became the main exports. The chiefs of Akwa Akpa placed themselves under British protection in Following the Napoleonic wars, the British expanded trade with the Nigerian interior.

In , British claims to a West African sphere of influence received international recognition; and in the following year, the Royal Niger Company was chartered under the leadership of Sir George Taubman Goldie. The entire territory of the Royal Niger Company came into the hands of the British government. In , the area was formally united as the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria.

Western education and the development of a modern economy proceeded more rapidly in the south than in the north, with consequences felt in Nigeria's political life ever since.

Following World War II , in response to the growth of Nigerian nationalism and demands for independence, successive constitutions legislated by the British Government moved Nigeria toward self-government on a representative and increasingly federal basis. On 1 October , the colony became the autonomous Federation of Nigeria. By the middle of the 20th century, the great wave for independence was sweeping across Africa. On 27 October Britain agreed that Nigeria would become an independent state on 1 October The Federation of Nigeria was granted full independence on 1 October under a constitution that provided for a parliamentary government and a substantial measure of self-government for the country's three regions.

The Federal government was given exclusive powers in defence, foreign relations, and commercial and fiscal policy. The monarch of Nigeria was still head of state but legislative power was vested in a bicameral parliament, executive power in a prime minister and cabinet, and judicial authority in a Federal Supreme Court. Political parties, however, tended to reflect the makeup of the three main ethnic groups.

The northern region of the country, consisting of three-quarters of the land area and more than half the population of Nigeria. In the elections held in preparation for independence, the NPC captured seats in the seat parliament. Capturing 89 seats in the federal parliament was the second largest party in the newly independent country the National Council of Nigerian Citizens NCNC.

In the elections, the AG obtained 73 seats. Upon independence, it was widely expected that Ahmadu Bello the Sardauna of Sokoto, the undisputed strong man in Nigeria [25] who controlled the North, would become Prime Minister of the new Federation Government. However, in , a faction arose within the AG under the leadership of Ladoke Akintola who had been selected as premier of the West.

The Akintola faction argued that the Yoruba peoples were losing their pre-eminent position in business in Nigeria to people of the Igbo tribe because the Igbo-dominated NCNC was part of the governing coalition and the AG was not. The party leadership under Awolowo disagreed and replaced Akintola as premier of the West with one of their own supporters. However, when the Western Region parliament met to approve this change, Akintola supporters in the parliament started a riot in the chambers of the parliament.

Chairs were thrown and one member grabbed the parliamentary Mace and wielded it like a weapon to attack the Speaker and other members. Eventually, the police with tear gas were required to quell the riot.

In subsequent attempts to reconvene the Western parliament, similar disturbances broke out. Akintola was appointed to head a coalition government in the Western Region. Thus, the AG was reduced to an opposition role in their own stronghold. From the outset, Nigeria's ethnic and religious tensions were magnified by the disparities in economic and educational development between the south and the north.

Shortly afterwards the AG opposition leader, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, was imprisoned to be without foundation. The national election produced a major realignment of politics and a disputed result that set the country on the path to civil war. In the vote, widespread electoral fraud was alleged and riots erupted in the Yoruba West where heartlands of the AG discovered they had apparently elected pro-government NNDP representatives.

On 15 January a group of army officers the Young Majors mostly south-eastern Igbos, overthrew the NPC-NNDP government and assassinated the prime minister and the premiers of the northern and western regions.

However, the bloody nature of the Young Majors coup caused another coup to be carried out by General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi. The Young Majors went into hiding. Among the Igbo people of the Eastern Region, these detainees were heroes. The federal military government that assumed power under General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi was unable to quiet ethnic tensions on the issue or other issues. Additionally, the Ironsi government was unable to produce a constitution acceptable to all sections of the country.

Most fateful for the Ironsi government was the decision to issue Decree No. Rioting broke out in the North. However, the subsequent massacre of thousands of Ibo in the north prompted hundreds of thousands of them to return to the south-east where increasingly strong Igbo secessionist sentiment emerged.

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