Nigerian History: 10 Notable Moments in the History of Nigeria


Nigeria is officially known as the First Republic of Nigeria and is located in the western part of Africa. One of the most interesting parts of the Nigerian history is the fact that the most populous country in Africa was formed by the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorates by Lord Lugard in 1914. This article sheds more light on some of the most memorable events that had transpired in the Nigerian history before and after the country was formed. History and events shape the future of any great nation so read and discover the memorable incidences that has occurred since the inception of the largest country in Africa. 

1. The Yoruba and the Kingdom of Nri


Even though the Yoruba was the first major tribal group in the nation, the Kingdom of Nri was the first established monarchy in the history of Nigeria. Nri was the originator of the Igbo culture which was a major influential group in the region after its establishment in 948 AD. At this time, the Kingdom of Nri was unique because the rulers governed the people through the use of political, economic and religious authority and didn’t need to use force to control their subjects. The Nri was also a safe haven for people who had been ostracized from their communities and for people escaping from slavery.

2. Benin Empire

Benin Empire
The Benin Empire began in the 15th century when it was founded by the Edo people who resided in western Africa. Benin was an important empire within the history of Nigeria because it rose to international fame for its artworks which was exported to different parts of Europe and the rest of the world. The Empire of Benin was a trading one that was highly organized and efficient. Benin was the first Nigerian territory that rivaled any contemporary European power in terms of governance and function. This empire was intact when the British arrived in Benin during the 19th century.

3. The Establishment of Hausa Kingdom

Hausa Kingdom
The Islamic Hausa Empire was established from a group of old city states that lay between the Niger River and Lake Chad. The Hausa people were influenced by the Islamic religion and it was also a powerful center for trade and commerce. The Hausa had considerable influence over many people within the central Nigerian area. They even posed an economic and cultural challenge to other major empires of that time such as Mali. This empire fell apart in 1808 and when the British arrived in 1880 they helped the Hausa to reclaim the influence and position they lost in the past.

4. British Began to Conquer Nigeria

British Conquer Nigeria

One of the most notable events in the Nigerian history occurred in 1901 when the British formally made Nigeria a protectorate. The British had first entered into the area during the 1880’s in order to trade with Nigerians. Once the British took over Nigeria they began to dictate the affairs of the territory and enslaved parts of the population. They enforced colonial rule and ran the country for almost 50 years. The British modernized the country at this point and introduced its society to western influence.

5. Christian Missionaries began Activity in Southern Nigeria

Christian Missionaries in Nigeria

Christian missionaries closely followed the British as they were coming to Nigeria to start off their missionary work. It made the most influence on the religions lives of Nigerians especially those in the southern parts of the nation making this moment a remarkable one in the Nigerian history. At this time, many Nigerians were introduced to the Christian religion which has continued to wax stronger since that time. Religious beliefs among Nigerians have sometimes gone to a matter of life and death resulting in conflicts especially between the Muslims in the North and the Christians in the South.