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A BRIEF HISTORY OF NIGERIA BEFORE 1914 As Regards To Biafra

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Biafranpalace
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PostBiafranpalace on Wed 28 Dec 2016, 8:07 pm

Before the year 1914, there was no country in the world known by the name Nigeria. On the other hand, for hundreds of years, there existed within the geographical space known today as Nigeria peoples and nations identified as Yoruba, Igbo, TlV, Benin and other ethnic groups.
According to Acholonu (2009) traces, for example, "the unknown and lost history of the people of Igbo extraction all the way to 500,000 - 1, 000,000 B.C" (:1) and notes, ''French to Palaeontologists working in the Chad Basin have dated their (Igbo) earliest known ancestors to 7 million B. C'' (:3). After hundreds of years of Arab and European slavery and colonisation, these and other nearby nations were amalgamated by the British Government through the instrumentality of Fredrick Lugard (Crowder, 1966).

Nigeria, as a political and social entity, has, therefore, two main histories; the history of the different peoples who make up the country and the history of Nigeria as one political entity. The former form of history (of the peoples and their empires or nations or states) iS very old, some going back hundreds of year.

Hlstoncally, Agbu (2004) says, "indigenous societies ante-dated Nigeria, and the hause-fulani in the North, the Igbo in the Southeasth, and the Yoruba in the Southeast, which now has a population of not less than 20 million''. The later history is quite recent; the political state known today as Nigeria was born in 1914.



Flora Shaw, mistress to Frederick Lugard coined the name Nigeria, earlier in 1897 in the article she wrote in The Times of January that year before Lugard had joined a British firm called the Royal Niger Company in 1894, Flora Shaw saw the designation of the states or areas that make up the south of the present day Nigeria as Royal Niger Company's Territories awkward (Schwarz, 1968).

Thoughtfully, dhe came up with simple word Nigeria which encompassed the whole of the area. Probably she may have derived it from two word, Niger (from the River Niger) and Area, the two meaning Niger-are compressed into one new word Nigeria, a term which applied only to the present day souther Nigeria, known then as Southern Protectorate, occupied predominantly bt rge Yoruba and Igbo and other ethnic groups (Awolowo, 1947)


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