The oldest of the known states implanted in the territory of the Nigeria is the Kanem-Bornou, which arose around Lake Chad and reached its apogee between the 15th-16th century. All kingdoms in the region practiced the slave trade for the Middle East. Islamization began in the 13th century. and became a mass phenomenon in the early 19th century. The European penetration began from the sea: in 1861 Lagos became a colony of the English crown. The conquest was entrusted to the initiative of G. Goldie, a merchant and adventurer who created an informal empire whose protectorates, together with the territories administered by London, were unified as a colony in 1914. The decolonization took place through a series of Constitutions which progressively enlarged the area of local autonomy. Great Britain had divided the Nigeria into three large regions (North, West, East) and independence was granted through a federal order, in fact on an ethnic basis, and on an ethnic basis the major parties were formed – Northern People’s Congress (NPC), Action Group (AG), National Council for Nigeria and the Cameroons (then, of Nigeria Citizens, NCNC).
The elections of 1959 saw the affirmation of the three major parties in their respective regions, and at the proclamation of independence (1 October 1960) a government coalition formed by NPC and NCNC, led by A. Tafawa Balewa, was formed; in 1963 the republic was proclaimed and Nigeria Azikiwe became its president. At that time the Federal Republic of Nigeria was one of the most promising countries in all of Africa. Its strengths were represented by a lively civil society, with a high level of education, by an agriculture that ensured food self-sufficiency, despite an area poor in infrastructure and a rapidly growing population. These positive elements were matched by the difficult relationship between the multiple ethnic groups and the coexistence of different regional realities, whereby a rich South, which had already become an integral part of world trade during colonialism, was opposed to a poor North.
According to LOCALBUSINESSEXPLORER.COM, the inability to guarantee adequate representation for the different ethnic groups – power and government were almost the total prerogative of the Islamic North and in particular of the Haussa, in continuity with the colonial tradition – led to constant tension, which resulted in conflicts, riots and, in 1967, in the secession of Biafra (Ibo-dominated eastern region), in a long and dramatic civil war. Furthermore, the discovery (1956) and the exploitation of important oil fields in the south of the country, between the Niger delta and the Biafra, meant that oil ended up monopolizing the economic structure, making it vulnerable to changes in prices on international markets, as well as to constitute a powerful source of corruption and to subject Nigeria to the interference of the large multinationals in the sector. All these factors were at the origin of innumerable upheavals and continued to dominate political life even afterwards.
In 1993 General S. Abacha assumed full powers, forbidding the carrying out of any political activity. Arbitrary arrests, summary executions of opponents, suppression of newspapers and outright violations of human rights were repeatedly denounced by Amnesty International, while in the first half of 1994 the country was the scene of religious and ethnic clashes. The regime then appeared to initiate a partial liberalization, but the execution, in November 1995, of the writer K. Saro-Wiwa and eight other activists of the movement for the protection of the Ogoni ethnic minority cost Nigeria the suspension from the Commonwealth. ‘tightening of the sanctions already imposed by the EU in 1993 and a diplomatic crisis with the USA and the Republic of South Africa. The political climate worsened further between 1996 and 1997, when Lagos was the scene of numerous attacks on military targets. On the sudden death of Abacha in 1998, his successor, General A. Abubakar, launched a program of liberalization of political life, released many political prisoners and set the times and procedures for the legislative and presidential consultations, which took place in 1999 with the victory of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Obasanjo, who had ruled the country from 1976 to 1979, was elected to the presidency of the Republic and formed a government of national unity with the two major opposition parties. Among his first measures were the removal of the Chiefs of Staff compromised with the previous regime, the suspension of contracts stipulated with oil companies linked to the military environment, the establishment of a commission to investigate violations of human rights. Its foreign policy was marked by excellent relations with the US and the EU, which was not matched by a recovery of the economy, burdened by the persistence of difficulties in the renegotiation of foreign debt. At the end of 1999, some states of the North with a Muslim majority decided to apply the Koranic law: Violent clashes between Christians and Muslims occurred in 2000 and 2001, causing hundreds of victims. In 2002, ethnic conflicts erupted in Lagos and were quelled by the army. In 2003 Obasanjo won the presidential elections again, and the PDP also asserted itself in the legislative elections, but the hoped-for pacification was not reached and indeed the conflict situation was added since 2006 by the activity against oil installations in the Niger Delta region by armed groups, which demand greater participation of the population in the proceeds of mining. The issue has also taken on international importance due to the kidnapping of numerous workers of foreign companies. In 2007, U. Yar’Adua, also from the PDP, took over from Obasanjo. On the death of Yar’Adua in May 2010 the office of president was assumed by G. Jonathan; confirmed by the April elections. 2011, the victory of a Christian candidate from the South over a Muslim candidate from the North has rekindled the violent interreligious clashes that already in 2010 had also extended to the central regions of the country; terrorist actions were carried out in particular by Boko Haram, a militarized organization of an Islamic-radical matrix established at the beginning of the 2000s, and by Ansaru, a jihadist branch of Boko Haram born in 2012. Despite in May 2013 President Jonathan declared the state of emergency in the north-east of the country, thanks to the strategy of bombing cities, carrying out kidnappings and kamikaze attacks and assaulting the army bases, Boko Haram conquered a large area of this sector of Nigeria, extending its control to Cameroon and effectively establishing an Islamic emirate. The presidential elections, postponed several times and finally held in March 2015 in a climate of extreme violence and despite the repeated attacks by Boko Haram against the seats, recorded the victory of former general M. Buhari, head of the All Progressives Congress party, which obtained 54.5% of the votes against the 45.5% awarded by the outgoing president; the consultations held the following month for the election of governors and legislative assemblies of the Nigerian states confirmed the All Progressives Congress of the newly elected president as the first party in the country,