Nigeria in West Africa is the continent's most
populous state. There has long been disagreement between
the Muslim, northern Nigeria and the south where most
Christians live. In the Biafra War (1967-1970),
triggered when the Christian Igbo people tried to
establish their own state, over a million people were
killed. After the transition from military rule to
civilian rule in 1999, the contradictions have
re-emerged today. The Islamist extremist movement Boko
Haram terrorized the people of the north during the
Brief profiles of Nigeria, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.
Geography and climate
Nigeria is located in West Africa and is
twice as large as Sweden. In the middle of the country,
Africa's third longest river Niger joins Benue on its
way to the sea. The river arms divide the country into a
northern, a western and an eastern part. To the south,
the oil-rich Niger Delta spreads out along the Gulf of
Guinea, which is part of the Atlantic.
The coast is characterized by a plain with deep
mangrove swamps, lagoons and palm groves. Tropical
rainforests grow within the coastal plain. In the
pristine forests that still exist, many animals,
including chimpanzees and other monkeys, live. To the
north, the forest gleams and turns into grassy savannas,
which cover most of the country. Here roam antelopes and
ostriches, hunted by occasional leopard. The lions and
elephants, on the other hand, have become rare.
On the centrally located Jos Plateau there are
remains of extinguished volcanoes, which reach altitudes
around 1,700 meters above sea level. The plateau acts as
a water divider, from where water flows down towards the
great rivers in the south and towards Lake Chad at the
border in the northeast.
Lake Chad is very shallow - only 1.5 meters deep on
average - which means that the surface size varies
greatly with the seasons. Concerns that the lake is
drying out were therefore rejected for a long time, but
now the amount of water has decreased significantly. In
1966, the lake was measured at 25,000 square miles; 40
years later, the sea surface was only 500 square
kilometers. The decrease is partly due to climate change
and partly to increased irrigation in the region. Lake
Chad is referred to as a freshwater lake, despite a weak
salt content. The lake has a rich plant and animal life,
with crocodiles and hippos at the top of the food chain,
but all this is now risking to disappear.
The country rises steeply towards the border with
Cameroon in the east, where the highest mountain Chappal
Nigeria has tropical rainforest climate in the south;
here, both temperature and humidity are high all year
round. In the north there is a drier, semi-tropical
savanna or steppe climate. It is hot in the summer but
cooler in the winter.
Along the coast, it rains almost year-round, although
the main rainy season is counted from April to October.
The annual rainfall is 3,000 to 4,000 mm. The annual
rainfall in the inland varies greatly between different
locations, in some places it amounts to only 500 mm.
During the dry season, a desert wind, the harmattan,
sometimes blows across northern Nigeria with sand and
dust from the Sahara.
FACTS - GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
923,768 km2 (2018)
Adjacent country (s)
Benin, Niger, Chad, Cameroon
Capital with number of inhabitants
Abuja about 1,400,000 (2010 estimate)
Other major cities
Lagos 10 600,000, Kano 3,400,000, Ibadan 2,800,000,
Kaduna 1,600,000 (Estimated 2010) 1
Chappal Waddi (2,419 m asl)
Average Precipitation / month
Lagos 40 mm (Jan), 336 mm (June); Abuja 239 mm (sept),
0 mm (dec)
Average / day
Lagos 28 °C (March), 24 °C (Aug); Abuja 30 °C
(March), 25 °C (Aug)
- The data on population in the cities,
including Abuja, varies greatly between different
The government loses its majority
When 37 members of the PDP transition to the APC, the ruling party loses its
majority in the House of Representatives. Thus, PDP has 171 seats in the House
of Representatives against 172 for APC.
Over 1,200 dead in just over six months
The UN reports on the number of deaths in Islamist-related violence in the
country's three northeastern states since the state of emergency was announced
there (see May 2013). The figure includes civilians, military and members of
Seven provincial governors, mainly from northern Nigeria, who a few months
earlier had broken with the ruling party formally join the opposition party APC.
Boko Haram terror stamped by the United States
Ansaru's offspring are also being sued as a terrorist organization. This
means that their potential financial assets in the US are frozen and that US
financial institutions are prohibited from having relations with them. The US
has announced a $ 7 million reward for information leading to the arrest of Boko
Haram's leader Abubakar Shekau.
Alarms about prison death
Amnesty International says it has credible information that at least 950
people suspected of conspiring with Boko Haram have died in Nigerian prisons
during the first six months of the year. According to Amnesty, many must have
been shot dead, others starved to death or suffocated under the dire conditions
of the prisons.
Several hundred dead in battles and assaults
During the month there will be several reports of violent clashes and attacks
in the Northeast. In total, the death toll amounts to around 500.
The government is being reformed
Nine ministers and deputy ministers are dismissed, among them the Foreign
Minister. No official explanation for the government reform is given, but it is
believed to have a connection with the renditions within the PDP government
party where some oppose Jonathan re-election.
Boko Haram leader reportedly killed
The army claims to have shot to death Momodu Bama, who was described as a
second man in Boko Haram.
Over 50 dead in new attacks in the Northeast
44 people are shot to death in a mosque in Konduga and at least twelve in a
nearby village. Boko Haram is suspected of having carried out the attacks as
revenge for residents forming defense militia against the Islamists.
Controversial presidential visit
Nigeria receives Sudan's war-crimes president Omar al-Bashir. Human rights
organizations criticize the authorities for not arresting Bashir, who is
prosecuted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes in the
Darfur region. The government refers to a request from the AU not to obey the
ICC's demand that al-Bashir be arrested.
China grants loans
Nigeria gets the equivalent of $ 1.1 billion at low interest rates to build
new airport terminals in four cities.
State of emergency in the northeast
Jonathan announces state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states. In
May alone, dozens of people were killed in new assaults and battles. The
violence has reached a level that requires "extraordinary measures," the
president says, admitting for the first time that Boko Haram has in effect taken
over parts of Borno and that the armed uprising threatens the nation's cohesion.
Bloody battle in the Northeast
At least 185 people are reported to have been killed in a firefight between
Boko Haram and army soldiers in the small town of Baga in Borno, near the Chad
border. Among the victims are many civilians who did not escape. The Islamist
militia is said to have had access to much heavier weapons than on previous
Twelve policemen are killed in the Niger Delta
According to Mend, the attack on the boat in which the police were traveling
is a revenge for the prison sentence against Okah (see March 2013). Mend who
otherwise has not performed any major deeds since 2009 has now threatened to
resume the armed struggle.
Okah is sentenced to prison in South Africa
The former Mend leader is sentenced to 24 years in prison for terrorism in
connection with the assassination in celebration of Nigeria's Independence Day
2010. In parallel, he will serve a 13-year sentence for threats he directed at
the South African authorities in connection with the arrest (see October 2010).
Okah has South African citizenship and thus cannot be extradited to Nigeria.
Around 40 killed in Kano
Several explosive charges are detonated at a bus station, in a neighborhood
where many Christians from the south live.
Jonathan is allowed to stand for election
The Abuja High Court states that the president has the right to seek
re-election in 2015. Jonathan was acting president from 2010 and has only been
elected once, in 2011.
Compensation for massacres
A court orders the federal government to pay the equivalent of $ 240 million
to the city of Odi in the Niger Delta for an army massacre in 1999. According to
Human Rights Watch, soldiers burned down nearly the entire city with about
15,000 residents in revenge for a criminal gang from Odi killing twelve police
officers. Several hundred people must have been killed by the soldiers.
New opposition alliance outperforms PDP
The four leading opposition parties announce that they will join forces to
challenge the ruling party PDP in the 2015 elections. The new alliance, named
All Progressives Congress, is formed by the parties ACN, ANPP,
APGA and CPC (see Political system). Previous attempts to form a joint
opposition platform have fallen on internal power struggles and regional