Just 14 years later the area was formally
titled the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria, whereby Nigeria was
subject to indirect rule through tribal leaders; a status it held until 1st
October 1954 when, as momentum for independence was sweeping across Africa, the
colony became the autonomous Federation of Nigeria. In 1922 a section of
the German colony Kamerun was added to Nigeria under League of Nations mandate.
The colony was
finally given full independence as The Federation of Nigeria on the 1st October
1960 with Jaja Anucha Wachuku (right) as the Nigerian Parliament's first black speaker
after independence (Wachuka was a close friend of Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy
and Johnson.) Then, in October 1963, Nigeria became the Federal Republic of
Nigeria with Nnamdi Azikiwe (below) as its first President.
Within seven years
the country's first Prime Minister had been assassinated, his successor killed
in a counter-coup and a bloody civil war had broken out when three of Nigeria's
eastern states seceded from the country in an attempt to establish themselves as
the Republic of Biafra.This video documentary charts recent Nigerian history after independence from the UK and how its 250 ethnic/tribal groups continued to provide not just powerful forces after independence but also strong tensions in a multi layered society, tensions that even today spill over into
religious violence particularly between Muslim and Christian communities
with often fatal outcomes.
Many in Nigeria see
themselves as belonging to an ethnic/religious groups rather than as a citizen
of Nigeria itself. The three areas most Nigerians align themselves to are the
Yoruba (westerners), Igbo (easterners) and Hausa (northerners). The video above also
explores how, despite the billions of dollars created by Nigeria's vast oil
reserves in the Niger Delta, this wealth was squandered through corruption, with
little of the riches flowing into wider society, fuelling ethnic tensions and
unrest amongst Nigeria's poorer communities.