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THE NIGERIAN HISTORY
The pre-colonial Era, Colonial Amalgamation, and Analysis of the Earlier Nigerian Federal Polity.
Nigeria, the Giant of Africa and the most populous country in Africa, lies between the Gulf of Guinea in the South and the Sahara Desert in the North. Occupying an area of approximately 373,000 square miles. It is bounded on the north by Niger Republic, on the south by the Gulf of Guinea, on the East by the Cameroon Republic and on the West by Dahomey, the present day Benin Republic.
In about 1851 before the British arrival, there were four distinct physical regions within the nation with the descriptions noted. However, these areas have changed in the twenty-first century. In south is a coastal line of dense belt of swamps and mangrove forest, followed by a belt of tropical rain forest, the home of palm oil tree. Third, is the open woodland or grassland savannah, where cattle and peanuts are raised. The Fourth region is the vast area of undulating plateau and hills. Nigeria’s other important physical feature is the River Niger, from which Nigeria derives its name.
In Nigeria, the ethnic and racial composition of the society includes as many as three hundred tribes. This fact alone points to the extent of the diversity and heterogeneous nature of the national population within the country. Of these numerous tribes, the three dominant ones are the Hausa-Fulani in the North, the Igbo in the East, and the Yoruba in the West. The Hausa-Fulani had a system of government ran by Emirs and Chiefs of the Hausa Dynasty. In the West, the Yoruba cities and towns were ran by the powerful kingdoms. The East had no dynasties or kingdoms like the North or the West but rather has clan-heads or minor chiefs, whose authority over the people was severely limited.