Nigeria is a sovereign political entity that owns a large number of states to its name. Speaking of states and its creation, the top 10 oldest states in Nigeria are rife and deserve to be mentioned here in this article. Out of the 36 states that make up the whole entity called Nigeria, some are known to be culturally old due to their historical background as nomads or traders or immigrants who through expeditions found themselves in the country and so could not help but become aborigines of the land.
Top 10 Oldest States in Nigeria
The states that will be listed below are simply some of the top 10 oldest states in Nigeria since the nation’s independence in 1960.
- Bendel State
- Benue-Plateau State
- Cross River State
- East Central State
- Kaduna State
- Kano State
- Kwara State
- Lagos State
- Kwara State
- Northwestern State
- Rivers State
- Western State
Brief History of Nigeria
Inhabited for thousands of years, the region was the centre of the Nok culture from 500 BCE to 200 CE and of several precolonial empires, including Kanem-Bornu, Benin, and Oyo. The Hausa and Fulani also had states. Visited in the 15th century by Europeans, it became a centre for the trade in enslaved people.
The area began to come under British control in 1861 and was made a British colony in 1914. Nigeria gained independence in 1960 and became a republic in 1963. Ethnic strife soon led to military coups, and military groups ruled the country from 1966 to 1979 and from 1983 to 1999. Civil war between the federal government and the former Eastern region, Biafra (1967–70), ended in Biafra’s surrender after the death by starvation of perhaps a million Biafrans. In 1991 the capital was moved from Lagos to Abuja.
The government’s execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa in 1995 led to international sanctions, and civilian rule was finally reestablished in 1999 with the election of a president. Ethnic strife—formerly held in check by periods of military rule—erupted in the early 21st century, as did protests over oil production in the Niger delta. Friction also increased between Muslims and Christians after some of the northern and central states adopted Islamic law (the Sharīʿah).
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