The Federal Republic of Nigeria is located on the West Coast of Africa with 36 states and a recorded population of over 176.6 million people (as of 2013). Of this population, 30 million are students. The country is rich in petroleum and many other natural resources. The three dominant tribes are Yoruba in the southwest, Ibo in the eastern region and Hausa in the north. Although people speak their native languages, the official language is English. The dominant two religions are Christianity and Islam.
Nigeria gained it’s independence from the British in 1960. Current president is H.E. Mr. Muhammadu Buhari. Nigeria's neighbours are Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in the north. Its coast in the south lies on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean. It comprises 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, where the capital, Abuja is located. Its Dialing code: +234. The Currency: Nigerian naira.
The Civil war (1967–1970)
In January 1966, a group of army officers, led by Major Chukwuma Nzeogwu, overthrew the central and regional governments, killed the prime minister, and tried to take control of the government in a failed coup d'état. Nzeogwu was countered, captured and imprisoned by General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi. General Aguiyi-Ironsi was named Military Head of State.
In July 1966, a group of northern army officers revolted against the government, killed General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi, and appointed the army chief of staff, General Yakubu Gowon as the head of the new military government.
In 1975, Gen. Yakubu Gowon was deposed and General Murtala Mohammed was the Head of the Federal Military Government of Nigeria until his assassination in 1976. Several other coup took place till democracy returned in 1999.
Nigeria regained democracy in 1999 when it elected Olusegun Obasanjo, the former military head of state, as the new President of Nigeria. This ended almost 33 years of military rule (from 1966 until 1999), excluding the short-lived second republic (between 1979 and 1983) by military dictators who seized power in coups d'état and counter-coups during the Nigerian military juntas of 1966–1979 and 1983–1998. Although the elections which brought Obasanjo to power in 1999 and again in 2003 were condemned as un-free and unfair, Nigeria has shown marked improvements in attempts to tackle government corruption and to hasten development.