History of Nigeria

History of Nigeria

In the 16th century Europeans invaded what is now Nigeria. Its coast, which became the center of the slave trade, was called the Slave Coast. The colonization of Nigeria by Great Britain ended in the first decade of the 20th century. – in 1914, a single formation of the “Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria” arose within the modern borders (the northern part of British Cameroon was annexed to the country in 1961) of the Federation. Nigeria became an independent state on October 1, 1960, and on October 1, 1963, the Federal Republic of Nigeria was proclaimed.

According to localcollegeexplorer, the history of independent Nigeria is characterized by a continuous series of political crises, which are based on regional, ethnic and confessional contradictions, acute personal rivalry between political leaders, rampant corruption, etc. For 43 years of independence, 10 regimes have changed in the country, incl. For 29 years, its leadership had military leaders who seized power by force. Therefore, the military leadership almost constantly faced the question of returning the country to civilian rule.

The military entered the political arena of Nigeria in January 1966. They overthrew the government of the First Republic, but power passed to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Major General A.J. Agiyi-Ironsi, who proclaimed Nigeria a unitary state. On July 29, 1966, a new military coup took place, and the country was headed by Lieutenant Colonel (later General) Yakubu Gowon. Despite the return of Nigeria to a federal system, mass pogroms and the exodus of the Igbos from the Northern Region, as well as the withdrawal from the federation of the Eastern Region – the homeland of the Igbos and the creation of a separatist state – the “Republic of Biafra” (May 1967) led to a bloody internecine war (July 1967 – January 1970). The war claimed approx. 2 million lives and brought victory to the supporters of federalism.

The “oil boom” (by the mid-1970s, Nigeria ranked 5th in the world in terms of oil production and became one of its leading world exporters) contributed to the recovery of the economy and some stabilization in Nigeria. However, Gowon’s inconsistency in transferring power to a civilian government led to his overthrow. The new head of the country, General Murtala R. Mohammed, dealt a massive blow to corruption, carried out an administrative reform and made a number of other important decisions, the main of which was the development of a clear program for the transfer of power to a civilian government. It was carried out by his successor, General Olusegun Obasanjo, who in 1979 surrendered his powers to the democratically elected President of the Second Republic, Shehu Shagari.

On the eve of the new 1994, the military junta of General M. Bukhari overthrew the Shagari government. The next coup in August 1985 brought General I. Babangida to power, who managed to hold general elections in 1993, which were won by Moshud Abiola. However, an attempt to disavow their results led to the fall of the Babangida regime itself, and power was transferred to the so-called. to the interim transitional government of E. Shonekan.

The Third Republic fell when in October 1993 power in Abuja was seized by the “tyrant of the Stone Age” General Sani Abacha, whose rule was characterized by a sharp deterioration in the socio-economic situation in the country, an increase in corruption and embezzlement of public funds, and rampant repression. Nigeria has fallen into a period of broad international isolation. The death of the dictator in June 1998 gave impetus to the resumption of the democratic process. Already on May 29, 1999, the military regime transferred power in the country to O. Obasanjo, the president of the Fourth Republic, elected in the general elections. In April 2003, Obasanjo was re-elected president for a second term.

Foreign policy

The foreign policy of the government is focused on strengthening the authority of the country emerging from international isolation after a long stay in power of military regimes. Priority is given to the African direction. Obasanjo is one of the authors of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). The document seeks to encourage African countries towards closer regional and continental integration and, in particular, to make the Economic Community of West African Countries (ECOWAS) an effective instrument of this process. Nigeria takes an active part in peacekeeping operations in the West African region. As the leader of the ECOWAS peacekeeping contingent, she made a major contribution to the successful completion of the military conflict in Liberia, and is actively engaged in unblocking the crisis in Sierra Leone.

The armed forces of Nigeria are the largest in Tropical Africa. Their number is 76.5 thousand soldiers and officers (1999), incl. Ground forces 62 thousand, Air Force 9.5 thousand and Navy 5 thousand. The call is carried out on a voluntary basis. Nigeria actively participates in UN peacekeeping operations, incl. forms the basis of the UN military contingent in Liberia (since 1990) and Sierra Leone (1997-2000).

Nigeria has diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation (established with the USSR on November 25, 1960).

History of Nigeria