or the Federal Republic of Nigeria is a country in West Africa. It is the largest country in population of the continent and the seventh on the planet. Its population is 162,470,737 people (2011). Nigeria area is 923,768 km². Official languages are English, Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba.
It consists of 36 states and the capital district. The largest city is Lagos (8,000,000), former capital. Other major cities are Kano and Ibadan. Abuja city is the capital of Nigeria. The largest ethnic groups are Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba. The most widespread religions are Christianity and Islam, which have approximately equal shares. There are also a small percentage of the traditional beliefs followers.
Nigeria gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1960. Nigeria is a Federal Republic with presidential type of government from 1963. It is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, the African Unity, and OPEC.
The oldest finds of fossils found near the town Acura in the state of Onde, indicate that the first people in what is now Nigeria were at least ninth millennium BC in the Paleolithic, so-called Iwo Eleru culture. The earliest microliths and pottery, which are dated back to fourth millennium BC, were manufactured by savanna ranchers, and further by agricultural civilization. In the south of the state animal husbandry and agriculture spread throughout the 1st millennium BC.
It is possible that Nigeria went from the Neolithic immediately to the Iron Age bypassing the Bronze Age. The oldest hardware found in Niger State is dated 2nd century BC., during the heyday of Nok culture (900 BC – 200 AD). Nok culture left many terracotta figurines, after its decadence, its traditions can be traced in the culture of the Yoruba people.
Nigeria gained independence from Britain within the Commonwealth in 1960 and became a republic in 1963. After the military coup in 1966 , there was countercoup, causing death of many of the Igbo ethnic group people. This oil conflict led to the declaration of an independent state of Biafr and the civil war of 1966-70 during which there was a series of political coups and countercoups. In 1989, there were two new parties. Nine new states were created before 1991, with the total number of 30. In 1993, Ibrahim Babangida became president by the 1992 elections, which were later invalidated. In 1993, General Sani Abacha became prime minister resumed military government and dissolved the political parties.
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