The Federal Republic of Nigeria gained its independence from the United Kingdom on 10/01/1960. It stretches on 923,800 square km from the Sahara State of Niger on the North to the Gulf of Guinea on the Atlantic Ocean in the South, Chad and Cameroon in the East and Benin in the West. Nigeria is the most populated country in Africa with about 167 millions people, mainly from three ethnic groups the Muslim Hausa in the North, the Christian Lgbo in the East and Yoruba in the West . The Yoruba believe in their own mixture of traditional believes influenced both by Islam and Christianity.
But Nigeria has many other tribes and ethnic groups speaking many languages and dialects though the official language is English. The country is a federation of 36 states. Despite the rich oil fields the level of life is very low, about $ 1.600 per person a year ($5 a day). Nigeria is apparently divided equally between Islam and Christianity, between north and south, it is evident that across Nigeria there is widespread belief, albeit suppressed for political reasons, in traditional religious practices.
The economy of the country is based on rich oil fields in the South and the fertile delta of the Niger river where most of the Christians are living while the predominantly Islamic North is poorer and sub developed in Nigerian criteria.
In its early years Nigeria went through a bloody civil war. In 1967, after a series of military coups and political instability the Lgbo (Ibo) Christians in the South Eastern provinces declared an independent state called the Republic of Biafra. About 1 million people were killed in the 30 months of war when Nigeria, finally, subdued the rebellion and regained control on Biafra. The end of the war, in 01/1970, was followed with successful reconciliation efforts which kept the integrity of Nigeria as a multi cultural, religious, ethnic and languages state.
The commercial capital and the largest city in Nigeria is the port town of Lagos in the South with almost 8 millions people. The official capital Abuja is located in the center of Nigeria on the border region between Islam in the North and Christianity in the South. Like in USA the town and its surrounding area is a Federal Capital Territory formed in 1976 with a total of about 1.5 inhabitants with the intention to create a neutral zone between faiths, tribes, ethnic groups and historic rivalries.
Since 2002 – probably under the influence of Al Qaeda and the Global Jihad ideology an Islamic Al Qaeda inspired organization, the Boko Haram, prospered in Northern Nigeria and took advantage of the economic differences between North and South. Boko Haram launched several attacks on Christians in North and Central Nigeria and by 2012 became a serious threat to the stability and integrity of Nigeria.
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