Nigeria Since Independence


Nigeria Since Independence: A Comprehensive Overview

Since gaining independence in 1960, Nigeria has experienced a tumultuous journey marked by significant political, economic, and social changes. Understanding the key events and developments in Nigeria's history since independence is crucial to grasp the complexities of the nation's post-colonial trajectory.

The Early Phase 1900-1914: The Amalgamation Of 1914 And Its Significance

One pivotal moment in Nigeria's history was the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates by Lord Frederick Lugard in 1914. This event laid the foundation for the modern Nigerian state, bringing together diverse ethnic groups and cultures under one political entity. The significance of this amalgamation reverberates throughout Nigeria's history, influencing its political landscape and social dynamics.

Later Phase 1914-1960: The First Republic, 1960-1966

Following independence in 1960, Nigeria established its First Republic characterized by a parliamentary system of government. However, this period was marred by political instability, ethnic tensions, and economic challenges. The country faced struggles in maintaining a unified national identity and governance structure, culminating in the military coups of the 1960s.

The Coups D’Etat, Military Rule, Civil War And Reconstruction, 1966-1975

The 1966 coup and subsequent military interventions marked a turbulent era in Nigeria's history, leading to periods of military rule and the devastating Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970). The aftermath of the war required significant efforts towards national reconciliation, infrastructure reconstruction, and socio-political stability.

The Military Administration - Murtala/Obasanjo Regime Of 1975-1979

The Murtala/Obasanjo regime of 1975-1979 aimed at implementing reforms to address corruption, inefficiency, and social inequality. This administration focused on economic development, agricultural modernization, and diplomatic initiatives to restore Nigeria's image on the global stage.

The Second Republic, 1979-1983

The Second Republic was a brief period characterized by multi-party democracy and civilian rule. However, internal strife, political maneuvering, and economic challenges plagued this era, ultimately leading to the military coup of 1983.

The Return Of Military Rule - Buhari/Idiagbon Regime, 1983-1984

General Muhammadu Buhari's regime from 1983-1984 emphasized discipline, anti-corruption efforts, and economic stabilization. Despite some positive reforms, the regime's strict governance style faced criticism, leading to another military coup in 1985.

The Ibrahim Babangida Regime, 1985-1993

General Ibrahim Babangida's regime ushered in a period of political transition, economic liberalization, and social transformations. The annulment of the 1993 presidential election and subsequent political turmoil marked a turning point in Nigeria's quest for democracy and good governance.

Interim National Government And Abacha Regime, 1993-1998

The Interim National Government and General Sani Abacha's regime were characterized by repression, human rights abuses, and international isolation. The struggle for democracy, exemplified by the pro-democracy movements, culminated in Abacha's death and the eventual transition to civilian rule.

Transition To Fourth Republic And Olusegun Obasanjo Administration

The transition to the Fourth Republic in 1999 marked a new chapter in Nigeria's history, with Olusegun Obasanjo assuming the presidency. This period focused on democratic consolidation, economic reforms, and addressing the challenges of corruption, poverty, and infrastructural development.

Emerging Issues Up To 2000: Poverty, Corruption, Youth Unemployment, Religious Crisis, Terrorism, Etc.

As Nigeria progressed into the 21st century, new challenges emerged, including persistent poverty, widespread corruption, youth unemployment, religious tensions, and the rise of terrorism. These issues continue to shape Nigeria's development and pose critical tests for its leadership and governance structures.


  1. Evaluate the role of key political leaders and movements in shaping Nigeria's history
  2. Discuss the challenges and opportunities faced by Nigeria as a post-colonial nation
  3. Understand the key events and developments in Nigeria's history since independence
  4. Examine the impact of colonization and decolonization on Nigeria's development
  5. Analyze the political, economic, and social changes in Nigeria during this period

Lesson Note

Nigeria, a country located on the western coast of Africa, has faced a complex and tumultuous journey since gaining independence from British rule on October 1, 1960. With a rich diversity of ethnicities, cultures, and languages, Nigeria's path has been marked by significant political developments, economic fluctuations, and social transformations. This article explores Nigeria's history post-independence, highlighting key political leaders and movements, major challenges and opportunities, and the overall impact of colonization and decolonization.

Lesson Evaluation

Congratulations on completing the lesson on Nigeria Since Independence. Now that youve explored the key concepts and ideas, its time to put your knowledge to the test. This section offers a variety of practice questions designed to reinforce your understanding and help you gauge your grasp of the material.

You will encounter a mix of question types, including multiple-choice questions, short answer questions, and essay questions. Each question is thoughtfully crafted to assess different aspects of your knowledge and critical thinking skills.

Use this evaluation section as an opportunity to reinforce your understanding of the topic and to identify any areas where you may need additional study. Don't be discouraged by any challenges you encounter; instead, view them as opportunities for growth and improvement.

  1. What major event took place in Nigeria in 1914? A. Independence B. Civil War C. Amalgamation D. Decolonization Answer: C. Amalgamation
  2. Who was the military leader of Nigeria from 1975 to 1979? A. General Yakubu Gowon B. General Murtala Mohammed C. General Ibrahim Babangida D. General Olusegun Obasanjo Answer: B. General Murtala Mohammed
  3. Which regime marked the return of military rule in Nigeria in 1983? A. Ibrahim Babangida Regime B. Murtala/Obasanjo Regime C. Buhari/Idiagbon Regime D. Olusegun Obasanjo Administration Answer: C. Buhari/Idiagbon Regime
  4. What major political event occurred in Nigeria in 1993? A. Civil War B. Second Republic C. Coups D’Etat D. Transition to Fourth Republic Answer: D. Transition to Fourth Republic
  5. Who was the Nigerian leader during the Civil War from 1967 to 1970? A. General Sani Abacha B. Olusegun Obasanjo C. General Yakubu Gowon D. General Ibrahim Babangida Answer: C. General Yakubu Gowon

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Past Questions

Wondering what past questions for this topic looks like? Here are a number of questions about Nigeria Since Independence from previous years

Question 1 Report

Which of the following is incorrect.?

Practice a number of Nigeria Since Independence past questions