In order to fully grasp the concepts, issues, and developments that will be covered in this research paper, I have included background information on Nigeria. This will help you to grasp the main concepts, issues, developments and proposals that will later be relayed in this paper.
Nigeria is a creation of European imperialism. Nigeria, a British political construct, is located on the Atlantic Coast in West Africa and is bordered by Benin on the west, Niger and Chad on the north and Cameroon on the east. “Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa. In 2000, the population was an estimated 126,635,626 —a density of 291.5 per square mile.” The official capital of Nigeria is Abuja but the commercial capital is Lagos, the largest
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After nearly 150 years of British influence, Nigeria gained its independence on October 1, 1960, but strife soon ensured. At first, Nigeria used a parliamentary system of government. Then Nigeria became a federation composed of three regions—northern, western, and eastern- - each represented in the federal government. “The northern region, because of its large population, was able to dominate the entire country politically.” Friction increased, especially between the Hausa (Muslims) in the north and the Ibos (Christians) in the southeast. This dissension resulted in a military coup led by easterners in January of 1966. During the upheaval of 1966, many Ibos living in the north were killed, and consequently, many others fled to their traditional homeland in the southeast. The coup was viewed by many as the “Ibo fight for justice and religious tolerance.” A half a year later, another coup placed General Yakubu Gowon (a non-Muslim northerner) in command. In 1967, the Ibos, under the leadership of Odumegwu C. Ojukwu, attempted to secede from Nigeria. Ojukwu and the Ibo people declared themselves the Republic of Biafra. These attempts at secession led to a bloody civil war. The war lasted until 1970, when the Ibos were defeated. The Biafran War