Nigerian History

Historical Events

Events 1 - 100 of 118

  • 1861-08-06 The British annex Lagos, Nigeria
  • 1885-02-26 Berlin Conference gives Congo to Belgium and Nigeria to Great Britain
  • 1900-01-01 British protectorates of Northern and Southern Nigeria are established
  • 1903-03-13 Fall of the Sokoto Caliphate in Northern Nigeria, the British claim supremacy of over 500,000 square miles
  • 1914-01-01 Northern & Southern Nigeria united in British colony of Nigeria
  • 1948-01-18 1st courses begin at University of Ibadan, Nigeria
  • 1954-10-01 British colony of Nigeria becomes a federation

Book releaseHistoric Publication

1958-06-17 "Things Fall Apart" by Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe published by Heinemann - considered most widely read book in African literature

Novelist and Poet Chinua Achebe
Novelist and Poet
Chinua Achebe
  • 1960-05-09 Nigeria becomes a member of British Commonwealth
  • 1960-10-01 Nigeria gains independence from Britain (National Day)
  • 1960-10-01 Nigeria becomes the 99th member of the United Nations
  • 1963-10-01 Nigeria enacts a new constitution and becomes a republic
  • 1966-01-15 The First Nigerian Republic is overthrown in a military coup d'etat
  • 1966-01-15 Kaduna Nzeogwu and Emmanuel Ifeajuna lead a coup d'état in Nigeria, the Prime Minister of Nigeria and other senior political and military figures are killed
  • 1966-01-16 Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi seizes power in the chaos caused by a military coup and becomes the Nigerian Head of State
  • 1966-07-16 Nigeria becomes the first Anglophone independent state in Africa to become an associate member of European Economic Community
  • 1966-07-29 In Nigerian counter-coup, Head of State General Aguiyi Ironsi murdered, Yakubu Gowon appointed his successor
  • 1966-08-01 Yakubu Gowon becomes Nigerian Head of State after a military coup d'état
  • 1967-05-30 Republic of Biafra, a predominantly Igbo secessionist state in eastern Nigeria, is founded by Lt. Col. Odumegwu Ojukwu
  • 1967-07-06 Nigerian Civil War erupts as Nigerian forces invade the secessionist state of Biafra
  • 1967-08-09 Biafran offensive against Nigerian army
  • 1967-09-20 Benin separates from Nigeria
  • 1968-09-04 Nigerian troops conquer the city of Aba, Biafra during the Nigerian Civil War
  • 1968-09-19 Nigerian federal army begins the "final offensive" against the secessionist state of Biafra during the Nigerian Civil War
  • 1970-01-13 Colonel Odumegwu Ojukwu flees Biafra into exile, leaving his deputy Philip Effiong to surrender to the Nigerian army, unofficially ending the Nigerian Civil War
  • 1970-01-15 Nigerian civil war officially ends after 2 1/2 years of fighting when the Republic of Biafra disbands and joins Nigeria
  • 1973-01-23 Jordan Air crash at Kano, Nigeria kills 176 Muslim pilgrims
  • 1973-06-11 Libya nationalizes Bunker Hunt concession; Nigeria acquires 35 percent participation in Shell-BP concession
  • 1974-05-18 Nigeria announces 55 percent government participation in all oil concessions
  • 1975-07-30 Murtala Mohammed overthrows General Gowon to become Nigerian Head of State
  • 1976-02-13 Major-General Olusegun Obasanjo becomes military ruler of Nigeria
  • 1977-01-15 Festac '77, the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture, begins in Lagos, Nigeria
  • 1977-02-12 Festac '77, the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture, finishes in Lagos, Nigeria
  • 1979-02-09 Nigeria amends constitution
  • 1979-10-01 Nigeria adopts constitution, Alhaji Shagari becomes president
  • 1979-10-01 Shehu Shagari becomes first and only President of Nigeria's Second Republic
  • 1983-01-17 Nigeria expels 2 million illegal aliens, mostly Ghanaians
  • 1983-12-31 Nigeria's National Assembly dissolves after military coup

BattleCoup d'état

1983-12-31 President Shagari of Nigeria is overthrown in a military coup and Major General Muhammadu Buhari is installed as Head of State

President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari
President of Nigeria
Muhammadu Buhari
  • 1984-01-02 Major-General Muhammadu Buhari is declared Head of State in Nigeria, following a military coup
  • 1984-09-04 Nigerian singer Fela Kuti sentenced to 2 years
  • 1991-03-25 Nigerian crude becomes competitive in US Gulf Coast as Nigeria cuts crude prices
  • 1991-07-11 Nigeria Airways DC-8 crashes at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, killing all 261 passengers and crew on board
  • 1992-09-26 Nigerian Air Force Hercules C-130 crashes three minutes after take-off from Lagos, Nigeria, killing 163
  • 1992-10-20 Mr Johnson surrenders Monrovia, Liberia & is exiled to Nigeria
  • 1993-01-21 Nigerian singer Fela Kuti arrested on suspicion of murder
  • 1993-03-08 Nigerian singer Fela Kuti arrested again on suspicion of murder
  • 1993-06-23 Nigeria's military dictator, General Ibrahim Babangida, annuls results of presidential elections and halts a return to democracy
  • 1993-08-14 Nigerian presidential election
  • 1993-10-25 Airbus A310 of Air Nigeria hijacked, 1 dead

BattleCoup d'état

1993-11-17 Gen. Sani Abacha leads a military coup in Nigeria that overthrows the government of Ernest Shonekan

President of Nigeria Sani Abacha
President of Nigeria
Sani Abacha

  • 1994-06-11 Moshood Abiola becomes President of Nigeria
  • 1995-11-10 In Nigeria, playwright and environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa along with eight others from the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (Mosop) are hanged by government forces
  • 1997-04-01 Shell Oil confirms it will declare force majeure at its Nigerian Bonny terminal due to local protests which disrupted 210 million barrels per day of the company's oil production
  • 1999-02-27 Olusegun Obasanjo becomes Nigeria's first elected president since mid-1983
  • 1999-05-29 Olusegun Obasanjo takes office as President of Nigeria, the first elected and civilian head of state in Nigeria after 16 years of military rule
  • 2000-07-10 A leaking southern Nigerian petroleum pipeline explodes, killing about 250 villagers scavenging gasoline
  • 2002-11-22 In Nigeria, more than 100 people are killed at an attack aimed at the contestants of the Miss World contest
  • 2004-05-02 Yelwa massacre of more than 630 nomad Muslims by Christians in Nigeria
  • 2012-01-28 Death toll from coordinated bombing attacks in Kano, Nigeria, reaches 185
  • 2012-06-03 Suicide car bombing kills 15 and inures 42 people in Bauchi, Nigeria
  • 2012-06-03 Plane crash in Lagos, Nigeria, kills all 152 passengers and 40 people on the ground
  • 2012-06-11 23 people are killed after two villages are attacked in northern Nigeria
  • 2012-07-12 90-155 people are killed after an oil tanker crashes and explodes in Okogbe, Rivers State, Nigeria
  • 2012-08-07 21 people are killed by a gun attack in a church in Okene, Nigeria
  • 2012-09-28 Nigeria suspends flights to Saudi Arabia after hundreds of Nigerian women travelled without a male escort
  • 2012-10-02 20 students are gunned down in Mubi, Nigeria
  • 2012-10-08 35 people are killed by a Nigerian military bomb struck a convoy in Maiduguri
  • 2012-10-14 20 people are gunned down in a mosque in Dogo Dawa, Nigeria
  • 2012-10-16 Conflict in Maiduguri, Nigeria, leads to 24 militant deaths and several structures set ablaze
  • 2012-11-05 Widespread flooding in Nigeria kills 363 people and displaces 2.1 million
  • 2012-11-25 11 people are killed and 30 are wounded by twin car bombs hitting a Protestant church in Nigeria
  • 2013-01-01 13 Boko Harem members are killed by Nigeria’s military in Maiduguri
  • 2013-01-23 18 people are killed in a market shooting in Damboa, Nigeria
  • 2013-02-01 The Nigerian Army bombs a Boko Haram camp, killing 18 people
  • 2013-02-10 Nigeria defeat Burkina Faso 1-0 to win the football 2013 Africa Cup of Nations
  • 2013-03-18 Explosions kill 25 people at a bus park in Kano, Nigeria
  • 2013-03-21 At least 45 people drown and 60 are missing after a Nigerian boat sinks off the shore of Gabon
  • 2013-03-24 25 people are killed by gunmen in a coordinated attack in Adamawa State, Nigeria
  • 2013-03-31 14 Boko Haram suspects are killed in a Nigerian Army raid
  • 2013-04-05 60 people are killed in Nigeria after a bus collides with an oil tanker
  • 2013-04-06 11 people are killed in an attack on a village in Midlu, Nigeria
  • 2013-04-21 185 people are killed in a conflict between Islamic extremists and the Nigerian military
  • 2013-05-04 39 people are killed at a funeral in Wukari, Nigeria
  • 2013-05-05 10 people are killed in a church attack in Njilan, Nigeria
  • 2013-05-07 55 people are killed by a Boko Haram attack in Nigeria
  • 2013-06-19 48 people are killed by armed bandits in Zamfara State, Nigeria
  • 2013-07-06 42 people are killed in an attack on a boarding school in Mamudo, Nigeria
  • 2013-07-30 28 people are killed in a series of bombings in Kano, Nigeria
  • 2013-08-12 30 people are killed by gunmen in northeast Nigeria
  • 2013-08-17 18 people are killed in conflict between Boko Harem and Nigerian military
  • 2013-09-06 20 people are killed by Islamist militants in villages in northeast Nigeria
  • 2013-09-09 18 people are killed in conflict between government and Boko Harem troops in Borno State, Nigeria
  • 2013-09-28 27 villagers are killed by Boko Harem in northeast Nigeria
  • 2013-09-29 42 people are killed by Boko Harem in a college attack in Gujba, Nigeria
  • 2013-10-03 13 people are killed after a passenger plane crashes in Lagos, Nigeria
  • 2013-10-22 37 Boko Harem Islamist militants are killed by air and ground strikes in Nigeria
  • 2013-10-25 74 Boko Harem members killed in a coordinated assault in Borno State, Nigeria
  • 2013-11-05 4 people are killed after a 4-story building under construction collapses in Lagos, Nigeria
  • 2014-02-25 50 students are killed in a Boko Harem attack on a college in Buni, Nigeria

Famous Birthdays

  • 1909-03-06 Obafemi Awolowo, Nigerian statesman and nationalist, born in Ikenne, British Nigeria (d. 1987)
  • 1927-04-07 Babatunde Olatunji, Nigerian drummer (d. 2003)
  • 1929-08-14 Dick Tiger, Nigerian boxer (d. 1971)

Person of interestChinua Achebe

1930-11-16 Chinua Achebe, Nigerian author (Christmas in Biafra), born in Ogidi, Anambra, Nigeria (d. 2013)

Novelist and Poet Chinua Achebe
Novelist and Poet
Chinua Achebe
  • 1934-05-12 Elechi Amadi, Nigerian novelist (The Concubine), born in Aluu (d. 2016)
  • 1934-07-13 Wole Soyinka, Nigeria, dramatist (Road, Kongi's Harvest-Nobel 1986)
  • 1934-10-19 Jakubu Gowon, army staff chief/president of Nigeria (1966-75)
  • 1934-10-19 Yakubu Gowon, Nigerian head of state (1966–75), born in Plateau State, Nigeria
  • 1935-04-06 John Pepper Clark, Nigeria, writer (Horn, Song of a Goat)
  • 1937-03-05 Olusẹgun Ọbasanjọ, President of Nigeria
  • 1937-08-24 Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, Nigerian politician, born in Abeokuta, Nigeria (d. 1998)
  • 1938-10-15 Fela Ransome/Anikulapo Kuti, Nigerian singer/saxophonist (d. 1997)
  • 1938-11-08 Murtala Mohammed, Nigerian military ruler, born in Bendel State, Colonial Nigeria (d. 1976)
  • 1941-08-17 Ibrahim Babangida, Nigerian Head of State (1985–1993), born in Northern Region, British Nigeria
  • 1941-10-10 Kenule "Ken" Beeson Saro-Wiwa, Nigerian writer and environmentalist

Person of interestMuhammadu Buhari

1942-12-17 Muhammadu Buhari, Nigerian military leader and politician (President of Nigeria 2015-), born in Daura, Katsina State

President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari
President of Nigeria
Muhammadu Buhari

Person of interestSani Abacha

1943-09-20 Sani Abacha, de facto President of Nigeria (1993-98), born in Kano, Nigeria

President of Nigeria Sani Abacha
President of Nigeria
Sani Abacha
  • 1944-01-27 Peter Akinola, Nigerian religious leader
  • 1944-02-13 Rebop Kwaku Baah, Nigerian percussionist (d. 1983)
  • 1944-07-21 Buchi Emecheta, Nigerian English writer (Price of Bride), born in Lagos (d. 2017)
  • 1944-11-24 Ibrahim Gambari, Nigerian scholar
  • 1945-11-14 Stella Obasanjo, Nigerian First Lady (d. 2005)
  • 1946-09-22 King Sunny Ade, Nigerian singer
  • 1954-06-13 Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigerian economist (Minister of Finance 2011-15), born in Ogwashi-Uku, Delta State
  • 1957-08-26 Dr. Alban, Nigerian-Swedish singer
  • 1959-01-16 Sade [Helen Folasade Adu], Nigerian-born British singer-songwriter, composer, arranger and record producer (Soldier of Love, Smooth Operator), born in Ibadan, Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria
  • 1960-02-06 Akinwumi Adesina, Nigerian politician, (African Development Bank President 2015-), born in Ogun State, Nigeria
  • 1960-04-04 Hugo Weaving, Nigerian-born English-Australian actor (Agent Smith - The Matrix), born in Ibadan, Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria
  • 1961-11-30 Innocent Egbunike, Nigeria, 4x400m runner (Olympic bronze 1984)
  • 1962-06-16 Femi Kuti, Nigerian Afrobeat Musician

Person of interestHakeem Olajuwon

1963-01-21 Hakeem Olajuwon, Nigerian-American NBA center (Houston Rockets, Olympic gold 1996), born in Lagos, Nigeria

NBA Center Hakeem Olajuwon
NBA Center
Hakeem Olajuwon
  • 1963-04-28 Obiageli Ezekwesili, Nigerian Accountant and World Bank official (#BringBackOurGirls campaign)
  • 1966-04-08 Bobby Ologun, Nigerian television personality
  • 1967-09-27 Uche Okechukwu, Nigerian international soccer player
  • 1968-06-03 Samantha Sprackling, Nigerian singer
  • 1971-12-06 David Defiagbon, Sapele Nigeria, Canadian boxer (Olympic silver 1996)
  • 1973-08-14 Jay-Jay Okocha, Nigerian footballer
  • 1974-04-08 Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu, Nigerian American writer
  • 1976-04-01 David Oyelowo, English-Nigerian actor

Person of interestChimamanda Ngozi Adichie

1977-09-15 Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Nigerian writer (Half of a Yellow Sun), born in Enugu, Enugu State

  • 1978-02-07 Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Nigerian Nollywood actress, born in Lagos
  • 1978-04-24 Stella Damasus Aboderin, Nigerian actress (Two Brides and a Baby), born in Benin City, Edo, Nigeria
  • 1978-08-29 Celestine Babayaro, Nigerian footballer
  • 1978-10-31 Emmanuel Izonritei, Nigerian boxer
  • 1979-05-25 Sam Sodje, Nigerian footballer
  • 1980-09-06 Samuel Peter, Nigerian heavyweight boxer
  • 1980-09-06 Joseph Yobo, Nigerian footballer
  • 1982-01-08 John Utaka, Nigerian footballer
  • 1982-06-08 Dickson Etuhu, Nigerian footballer
  • 1982-10-01 Haruna Babangida, Nigerian footballer
  • 1982-11-22 Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Nigerian footballer
  • 1984-10-28 Obafemi Martins, Nigerian footballer
  • 1987-06-10 Amobi Okoye, Nigeria-born American football player
  • 1988-04-23 Victor Anichebe, Nigerian footballer
  • 1989-03-28 Afrikan Boy [Olushola Ajose], British rapper (Wot It Do?), born in Nigeria
  • 1990-12-12 Victor Moses, an English footballer of Nigerian descent
  • 1998-12-04 Olawoyin Olufemi, Nigerian Musician

Famous Weddings

HeartWedding of Interest

1961-09-10 Nigerian novelist, critic and academic Chinua Achebe ("Things Fall Apart") marries Christie Okoli

Novelist and Poet Chinua Achebe
Novelist and Poet
Chinua Achebe
  • 2006-04-15 Miss Nigeria 2002 Sylvia Ansa Edem weds businessman Chris Emecheta at the Recreation Park, Victoria Garden City, Lekki Lagos

Famous Deaths

  • 1922-01-08 Charles R Young, colonel, dies at 58, in Lagos Nigeria
  • 1971-02-11 Whitney Young Jr, National Urban League director, drowns in Nigeria
  • 1971-12-14 Dick Tiger, Nigerian-born boxer (b. 1929)
  • 1976-02-13 Murtala Mohammed, Nigerian military ruler, is assassinated at 37
  • 1983-01-12 Rebop Kwaku Baah, Nigerian percussionist (b. 1944)
  • 1986-10-19 Dele Giwa, Nigerian journalist, editor, and founder of Newswatch magazine, is assassinated by a mail bomb at 39
  • 1987-05-09 Obafemi Awolowo, Nigerian statesman and nationalist, dies at 78
  • 1989-08-12 Samuel Okwaraji, Nigerian footballer (b. 1964)
  • 1991-07-06 Muda Lawal, Nigerian footballer (b. 1954)
  • 1995-11-10 Kenule "Ken" Beeson Saro-Wiwa, Nigerian writer and environmentalist, dies at 54
  • 1996-05-11 Nnamdi Azikiwe, President of Nigeria (1963-66), dies
  • 1996-11-07 Jaja Wachuku, Nigerian Lawyer and First Foreign Affairs Minister (b. 1918)
  • 1997-08-02 Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Nigerian musician (b. 1938)

Person of interestSani Abacha

1998-06-08 Sani Abacha, President of Nigeria, dies at 54

President of Nigeria Sani Abacha
President of Nigeria
Sani Abacha
  • 2001-12-23 Bola Ige, Nigerian politician (b. 1930)
  • 2003-04-06 Babatunde Olatunji, Nigerian drummer (b. 1927)
  • 2005-10-23 Stella Obasanjo, Nigerian first lady (b. 1945)
  • 2010-03-06 Endurance Idahor, Nigerian footballer (b. 1984)
  • 2011-01-06 Uche Okafor, Nigerian footballer (b. 1967)
  • 2011-04-18 Olubayo Adefemi, Nigerian footballer (b. 1985)

Person of interestChinua Achebe

2013-03-21 Chinua Achebe, Nigerian poet and novelist (Things Fall Apart), dies at 82

Novelist and Poet Chinua Achebe
Novelist and Poet
Chinua Achebe
  • 2016-06-29 Elechi Amadi, Nigerian novelist (The Concubine), dies at 82
  • 2017-01-25 Buchi Emecheta, Nigerian English writer (Price of Bride), dies at 72