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About Nigeria

The History of Nigeria can be traced to settlers trading across the middle East and Africa as early as 1100 BC. Numerous ancient African civilizations settled in the region that is known today as Nigeria, such as the Kingdom of Nri, the Benin Empire, and the Oyo Empire. Islam reached Nigeria through the Borno Empire between (1068 AD) and Hausa States around (1385 AD) during the 11th century, while Christianity came to Nigeria in the 15th century through Augustinian and Capuchin monks from Portugal. The Songhai Empire also occupied part of the region. The history of Nigeria has been crucially affected by the transatlantic slave trade, which started in Nigeria in the late 15th century. The first slave-trading post used by the British and Portuguese was Badagry, a coastal harbor. Local brokers provided them with slaves, escalating conflicts among the ethnic groups in the region and disrupting older trade patterns through the Trans-Saharan route.

Lagos was invaded by British forces in 1851 and formally annexed in 1865. Nigeria became a British protectorate in 1901. The period of colonization lasted until 1960, when an independence movement succeeded. Nigeria first became a republic in 1963, but succumbed to military rule three years later, after a bloody coup d'état. A separatist movement later formed the Republic of Biafra in 1967, leading to the three-year Nigerian Civil War. Nigeria became a republic once again after a new constitution was written in 1979. However, the republic was short-lived, as the military seized power again and ruled for another four years. A new republic was to be established in 1993, but was aborted by General Sani Abacha. Abacha died in 1998 and a fourth republic was established the following year, ending three decades of intermittent military rule.  [From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]

Peace Corps Volunteers began their work in Nigeria in 1961 as the country was first enjoying its independence from Britain.  We were in Nigeria throughout the 1960s, and from 1991 to 1995.  Despite growing pains for the new country that brought military coups and a civil war, literature and the arts thrived, and Nigeria gave the world new forms of music and a rich offering of literary works by such authors as Soyinka, Achebe, Adichie and many others. 

Finally, we maintain a number of links to resources on the web with news and information about Nigeria, and many members publish blogs and stories that reflect their experiences as Peace Corps Volunteers in Nigeria.  The links in the panel to the left will lead you to a wealth of information on Nigeria and the Peace Corps experience in Nigeria.  It's complicated!