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The Federal Republic of Nigeria

The Nigerian flag
The Nigerian Flag:
The green stripes represent Nigeria's agriculture industry and its lush vegetation. The white stripe represents the desire for peace and unity within the country.
Nigerian Flag History:
The Nigerian flag was adopted the same day Nigeria gained independence from Britain on October 1, 1960. A competition was held to choose a new national flag to represent an independent Nigeria. A design by a Nigerian student named Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi was chosen in 1959 from almost 3,000 entries.
Interesting Nigerian Flag Facts:
When the Nigerian flag is flying, no other flag, emblem or insignia should be placed above the flag. Old or worn out Nigerian flags should never be displayed. When a Nigerian flag becomes soiled, old, torn or mutilated it should be destroyed by burning or any other method of respect.
The flamboyant 9ja colors at the 2012 London Olympics - Team Nigeria
Nigerian law deems it an offense for the Nigerian Flag to be improperly used or displayed. Law states that: "Any person who flies or exhibits the National Flag in a defaced or bad condition shall be guilty of an offence against this Ordinance."

Map of Nigeria, showing the states and Abuja
Nigeria, officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising thirty-six states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of 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 on the Atlantic Ocean. The three largest and most influential ethnic groups in Nigeria are the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba. In terms of religion Nigeria is roughly split half and half between Muslims and Christians with a very small minority who practice traditional religion. Until 1991, the capital was the largest city, Lagos, on the southwestern coast; at that time, the new city of Abuja, in the country’s interior, became capital. Nigeria has a federal form of government and is divided into 36 states and a federal capital territory. 
The country’s official name is the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The Coat of Arms
The people of Nigeria have an extensive history. Archaeological evidence shows that human habitation of the area dates back to at least 9000 BCE. The area around the Benue and Cross River is thought to be the original homeland of the Bantu migrants who spread across most of central and southern Africa in waves between the 1st millennium BCE and the 2nd millennium.
The name Nigeria was taken from the Niger River running through the country. This name was coined by Flora Shaw, the future wife of Baron Lugard, a British colonial administrator, in the late 19th century.

Obafemi Martins of Nigeria
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, the seventh most populous country in the world, and the most populous country in the world in which the majority of the population is black. It is listed among the "Next Eleven" economies, and is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The economy of Nigeria is one of the fastest growing in the world.
Nigeria is by far the most populated of Africa’s countries. Its many ethnic groups give the country a rich culture but also pose major challenges to nation building. The economy is dominated by the production of petroleum, which lies in large reserves below the Niger Delta. Oil wealth has financed major investments in the country’s infrastructure.

In precolonial times, the area was home to several kingdoms and tribal communities; in spite of European contact that began in the 16th century, they maintained their autonomy until the 19th century. The colonial era began in earnest in the late 19th century, when Britain consolidated its rule over Nigeria. In 1914 the British merged their northern and southern protectorates into a single state called the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria. Nigeria became independent of British rule in 1960. Since then, the country has endured decades of on-and-off military rule.

Nigeria covers an area of 923,768 sq km (356,669 sq mi). At its widest, it measures about 1,200 km (about 750 mi) from east to west and about 1,050 km (about 650 mi) from north to south. The country’s topography ranges from lowlands along the coast and in the lower Niger Valley to high plateaus in the north and mountains along the eastern border. Much of the country is laced with productive rivers. The Nigerian ecology varies from tropical forest in the south to dry savanna in the far north, yielding a diverse mix of plant and animal life. Human population and development pose serious threats to both the ecological and the human environment…

River Niger Bridge (Onitsha, head bridge, Anambra state)

The broad, mostly level valleys of the Niger and Benue rivers form Nigeria’s largest physical region. The Niger enters the country from the northwest, the Benue from the northeast; they join at the city of Lokoja in the south central region and continue south, where they empty into the Atlantic at the Niger Delta. Together, they form the shape of a Y. 

Population densities and agricultural development are generally lower in the Niger and Benue valleys than in other areas. North of the Niger Valley are the high plains of Hausaland, an area of relatively level topography averaging about 800 m (about 2,500 ft) above sea level, with isolated granite outcroppings. The Jos Plateau, located close to Nigeria’s geographic center, rises steeply above the surrounding plains to an average elevation of about 1,300 m (about 4,200 ft). To the northeast, the plains of Hausaland grade into the basin of Lake Chad; the area is characterized by somewhat lower elevations, level terrain, and sandy soils. To the northwest, the high plains descend into the Sokoto lowland.

Zuma rock, Abuja.
Southwest of the Niger Valley (on the left side of the Y) lies the comparatively rugged terrain of the Yoruba highlands. Between the highlands and the ocean runs a coastal plain averaging 80 km (50 mi) in width from the border of Benin to the Niger Delta. The delta, which lies at the base of the Y and separates the southwestern coast from the southeastern coast, is 36,000 sq km (14,000 sq mi) of low-lying, swampy terrain and multiple channels through which the waters of the great river empty into the ocean. Several of the delta’s channels and some of the inshore lagoons can be navigated.
Southeastern coastal Nigeria (to the right of the Y) consists of low sedimentary plains that are essentially an extension of the southwestern coastal plains. In all, the Atlantic coastline extends for 850 km (530 mi). It is marked by a series of sandbars, backed by lagoons of brackish water that support the growth of mangroves. Large parts of Africa’s Bight of Benin and Bight of Biafra fall along the coast. Because of the Guinea Current, which transports and deposits large amounts of sand, the coastline is quite straight and has few good natural harbors. The harbors that do exist must be constantly dredged to remove deposited sand.
Inland from the southeastern coast are progressively higher regions. In some areas, such as the Udi Hills northwest of Enugu, escarpments have been formed by dipping rock strata. Farther east, along Nigeria’s border with Cameroon, lie the eastern highlands, made of several distinct ranges and plateaus, including the Mandara Mountains, the Shebeshi Mountains, the Alantika Mountains, and the Mambila Mountains. In the Shebeshi is Dimlang (Vogel Peak), which at 2,042 m (6,699 ft) is Nigeria’s highest point.

National Stadium Abuja
On 1st October 1960, Nigeria became self-governing from British colonial rule and was administered at the center by the Federal government and three regions Governments in the East, West and North of the country. In 1963, the Midwest Region was carved out of the Western Region making a federation of four Regions. During this First Republic, a parliamentary system of government was in operation. This lasted till January 1966.
The first military intervention in Nigeria occurred in January 1966 when the civilian government was overthrown   in a military coup. This effectively marked the beginning and succession of military governments in the nation's political history. Military-rule continued till 1979 when the then Head of State, General Olusegun Obasanjo handed over power to the civilian government of President Shehu shagari.
In the second Republic of President Shehu shagari, Nigeria adopted the Presidential system of government with an Executive President as the Head of the Federal Government. The administration was in power until 1983 when it was overthrown in a coup and the military once again came into governance. Nigeria again witnessed another round of military governments until 1993 when General Ibrahim Babaginda the head of the military government, put in place an interim civilian administration charged with conducting elections. This   interim administration lasted for only three months when it was replaced in a palace coup by the military. The new military administration was headed by General Sani Abacha.
General Sani Abacha's Government ruled the country from 1993 to 1998 when the Head of State suddenly died in June 1998. It must be pointed out that during this particular regime, Nigeria faced tremendous opposition from the International Community over human rights abuses, culminating in Nigeria's suspension from the Commonwealth. Indeed, at this period, Nigeria was treated like a pariah nation, tolerated only by a few and abandoned by other countries, including her traditional allies like Britain and Canada.

Murtala Mohammed International Airport Lagos

With the sudden death of General Abacha in June 1998 General Abdulsalami Abubakar headed the new military administration, and was immediately confronted with the Herculean task of drawing Nigeria back from the brink of collapse and restoring her image. The issue of human rights abuses was immediately addressed with the release of all political detainees and prisoners. The Government also announced and implemented faithfully a political transition program that ushered in a new civilian government in May 1999. Precisely in less than one year. Thus, General Abubakar administration was able to restore democracy back in Nigeria. The administration of Chief Olusegun Obasango was inaugurated on May 29, 1999. Simultaneously, executive governors were also sworn-in in the 36 states constituting the present Federal Republic of Nigeria.

In the Presidential System of Government that is now in place, there is a National Assembly comprising two clambers namely the Senate and House of Representatives. There is a State Assembly in each of the 36 States. Also there are 774 local governments throughout the Federation representing the third-tier of government.
Since democracy was restored in the country there has been a gradual and impressive transformation of the political landscape. In 1999 only 3 political parties contested elections in Nigeria. But in 2003, 25 new political parties were registered by the national Electoral body, bringing to 28 the number of political parties that contested the 2003 elections.

The Communications Tower overlooking Victoria island, Lagos.
The key test to the political future of Nigeria still lies in an enduring civilian governance. Elections conducted by civilian administration in 1965 mad 1983 had failed and led to military   interventions. Nigerians are, therefore, now strongly determined, more than ever, to lay a solid foundation for an enduring democracy that would be the pride of future generations of Nigerians. The present civilian government has shown its commitment development of the country.The administration is determined to transform the country in line with democratic principles into a land of opportunity, equity and prosperity for all. 

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