i want to know what was Nigeria’s Name before it was renamed to Nigeria, I mean; the original name of Nigeria
In order to know what was Nigeria’s former name, you will have to go down a little into history.
The truth is until the coming of the British, there was nothing like Nigeria.
what we had in West Africa were kingdoms ruled by kings or queens.
This could otherwise be called countries by Historians.
so to say, there were many empires that got merged to form a single country which later got to be called NIgeria.
Since these kingdoms were not under a single authority/government, there was no way it could have a collective name.
The early British referred to Nigeria as ‘the Niger region’ since the River Niger was the major landmark for identification.
In 1885 Great Britain declared its rights to the territory of Western Africa, and this decision had the support of the entire international political community. The following year, the Royal Niger company was organized (Royal Niger).
In 1900 the Royal Niger company gave its territories to the British government. Thus, the United Kingdom expanded its power on the territory of modern Nigeria. On 1 January 1901, Nigeria became a protectorate of Britain (the Northern and Southern protectorates) and a part of the British Empire. In 1914 the Northern and Southern protectorates were merged into a single entity called “Nigeria.” The name “Nigeria” was suggested by the wife of a British Governor-General Sir Frederick Lord Lugard.
History of Nigeria colonial era After the Second World War, in response to the growth of Nigerian nationalism and accelerated requests for independence, the British government decided to allow Nigeria to move to self-government on a federal basis. By the mid-twentieth century, there was a wave of uprisings for independence across Africa.
BEFORE IT BECAME NIGERIA
- Archaeological research, pioneered by Charles Thurstan Shaw has shown that people were already living in south-eastern Nigeria (specifically Igbo Ukwu, Nsukka, Afikpo and Ugwuele) 100,000 years ago.
- Excavations in Ugwuele, Afikpo and Nsukka show evidence of long habitations as early as 6,000 BC.
- However, by 9th Century AD, it seemed clear that the Igbos had settled in Igboland. Shaw’s excavations at Igbo-Ukwu, Nigeria revealed a 9th-century indigenous culture that created highly sophisticated work in bronze metalworking, independent of any Arab or European influence and centuries before other sites that were better known at the time of discovery.
- The earliest known example of a fossil human skeleton found anywhere in West Africa, which is 13,000 years old, was found at Iwo-Eleru in Isarun, western Nigeria and attests to the antiquity of habitation in the region.
- Microlithic and ceramic industries were also developed by savanna pastoralists from at least the 4th millennium BC and were continued by subsequent agricultural communities.
- In the south, hunting and gathering gave way to subsistence farming around the same time, relying more on the indigenous yam and oil palm than on the cereals important in the North.
- The stone axe heads, imported in great quantities from the north and used in opening the forest for agricultural development, were venerated by the Yoruba descendants of Neolithic pioneers as “thunderbolts” hurled to earth by the gods.
- Iron smelting furnaces at Taruga dating from around 600 BC provide the oldest evidence of metalworking in Sub-Saharan Africa. Kainji Dam excavations revealed iron-working by the 2nd century BC.
- The transition from Neolithic times to the Iron Age apparently was achieved indigenously without intermediate bronze production. Others suggest the technology moved west from the Nile Valley, although the Iron Age in the Niger River valley and the forest region appears to predate the introduction of metallurgy in the upper savanna by more than 800 years. The earliest identified iron-using Nigerian culture is that of the Nok culture that thrived between approximately 900 BC and 200 AD on the Jos Plateau in north-eastern Nigeria. Information is lacking from the first millennium AD following the Nok ascendancy, but by the 2nd millennium there was active trade from North Africa through the Sahara to the forest, with the people of the savanna acting as intermediaries in exchanges of various goods.
The history of Nigeria can be traced to prehistoric settlers (Nigerians) living in the area as early as 1100 BC. Numerous ancient African civilizations settled in the region that is today Nigeria, such as the Kingdom of Nri, the Benin Empire, and the Oyo Empire. Islam reached Nigeria through the Borno Empire between (1068 AD) and Hausa States around (1385 AD) during the 11th century, while Christianity came to Nigeria in the 15th century through Augustinian and Capuchin monks from Portugal. The Songhai Empire also occupied part of the region. Lagos was invaded by British forces in 1851 and formally annexed in 1861. Nigeria became a British protectorate in 1901. Colonization lasted until 1960, when an independence movement succeeded in gaining Nigeria its independence.
NIGERIA BECAME A REPUBLIC
Nigeria first became a republic in 1963, but succumbed to military rule three years later after a bloody coup d’état. A separatist movement later formed the Republic of Biafra in 1967, leading to the three-year Nigerian Civil War. Nigeria became a republic once again after a new constitution was written in 1979. However, the republic was short-lived, when the military seized power again four years later. A new republic was planned to be established in 1993, but was dissolved by General Sani Abacha. Abacha died in 1998 and a fourth republic was later established the following year, which ended three decades of intermittent military rule.