Author Topic: NIGERIA FIRST REPUBLIC  (Read 13349 times)

Offline Prince

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NIGERIA FIRST REPUBLIC
« on: September 06, 2008, 09:03:31 PM »
Nigerian First Republic

In October 1963 Nigeria proclaimed itself a Federal Republic, and former Governor General Nnamdi Azikiwe became the country's first President. From the outset Nigeria's ethnic and religious tensions were magnified by the disparities in economic and educational development between the south and the north. The AG was maneuvered out of control of the Western Region by the Federal Government and a new pro-government Yoruba party, the NNDP, took over. Shortly afterward the AG opposition leader, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, was imprisoned on treason charges that were later admitted to be without foundation. The 1965 National Election produced a major realignment of politics and a disputed result that set the country on the path to civil war. The dominant northern NPC went into a conservative alliance with the new Yoruba NNDP, leaving the Igbo NCNC to coalesce with the remnants of the AG (Action Group) in a progressive alliance. In the vote, widespread electoral fraud was alleged and riots erupted in the Yoruba West where heartlands of the AG discovered they had apparently elected pro-government NNDP representatives.

First period of military rule

Nigerian Civil War


On January 15, 1966 a group of army officers, mostly southeastern Igbos, overthrew the NPC-NNDP government and assassinated the prime minister and the premiers of the northern and western regions. The federal military government that assumed power under General Aguiyi-Ironsi was unable to quiet ethnic tensions or produce a constitution acceptable to all sections of the country.[4] Its efforts to abolish the federal structure raised tensions and led to another coup by largely northern officers in July 1966, which established the leadership of Major General Yakubu Gowon. The subsequent massacre of thousands of Igbo in the north prompted hundreds of thousands of them to return to the southeast where increasingly strong Igbo secessionist sentiment emerged.

In a move towards greater autonomy to minority ethnic groups the military divided the four regions into 12 states. However the Igbo rejected attempts at constitutional revisions and insisted on full autonomy for the east. On May 29, 1967 Lt. Col. Emeka Ojukwu, the military governor of the eastern region who emerged as the leader of increasing Igbo secessionist sentiment, declared the independence of the eastern region as the Republic of Biafra. The ensuing Nigerian Civil War resulted in an estimated one million deaths before ending in the defeat of Biafra in 1970.[5]

Following the civil war the country turned to the task of economic development. Foreign exchange earnings and government revenues increased spectacularly with the oil price rises of 1973-74. On July 29, 1975 Gen. Murtala Mohammed and a group of officers staged a bloodless coup, accusing Gen. Yakubu Gowon of corruption and delaying the promised return to civilian rule. General Mohammed replaced thousands of civil servants and announced a timetable for the resumption of civilian rule by October 1, 1979. He was assassinated on February 13, 1976 in an abortive coup and his chief of staff Lt. Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo became head of state.

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NIGERIA FIRST REPUBLIC
« on: September 06, 2008, 09:03:31 PM »

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