Nigeria’s Independence: 11 Photos From 6 Decades Showcasing Historical Events That Can Never Be Forgotten

Nigeria’s Independence: 11 Photos From 6 Decades Showcasing Historical Events That Can Never Be Forgotten

After decades of British colonial rule, Nigeria finally gained her independence on October 1, 1960.

PAY ATTENTION: Сheck out news that is picked exactly for YOU ➡️ find the “Recommended for you” block on the home page and enjoy!

This was celebrated across the country. The main event was held at the Race Course (now Tafawa Balewa Square) in Obalende, Lagos and was graced by notable people like Nnamdi Azikiwe, the Governor-General, Sir James Wilson Robertson, and others.

As Nigeria celebrates 62 years of Independence in 2022, has rounded up photos and events from six decades.

The 1970s

The end of the civil war

End of Biafra war, Igbo refugees
Igbo refugees making their way along a road in to the city of Owerri following its collapse at the end of the Nigerian Civil War in January 1970. Photo credit: Rolls Press/Popperfoto
Source: Getty Images

PAY ATTENTION: Subscribe to Digital Talk newsletter to receive must-know business stories and succeed BIG!

Seven years after gaining independence, a civil war broke out. The war started in 1967 and officially ended on January 15, 1970. More than two million people, mostly women and children, lost their lives in the war that lasted for 30 months.

Read also

Nigeria at 62: 3 notable heroes of the independence day and their strong-willed efforts

The 1970s was a time of recovery for those who had lost loved ones, properties and savings.

The 1980s

Ghana must go

Ghana must go
1982: Refugees leaving Nigeria wait at the boarder to enter Benin. (Photo by Michel Setboum)
Source: Getty Images

In January 1983, the government of President Shehu Shagari gave an executive order which forced undocumented immigrants to leave the country. Over a million West African migrants were affected, most of them Ghanaians. A type of woven chequered bag used by the departing migrants to pack their belongings got the moniker “Ghana must go”. As of 2022, the bag is still commonly referred to with this name in Nigeria and some other West African countries.

The 1990s

The killing of Ken Saro-Wiwa and 8 others

Ken Saro-Wiwa's death, widow of Ken Saro-Wiwa
Protesters outside the Shell Centre, on London's South Bank, which was being visited by The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh (Photo by Stefan Rousseau - PA Images)
Source: Getty Images

Ken Saro-Wiwa, a Nigerian writer and environmental activist, fought against the oil giant Shell for causing environmental damage to the land of the Ogoni people in his native Rivers state. In 1994, he was arrested after the deaths of four Ogoni chiefs at a political rally. On November 10, 1995, he was killed after a special tribunal found him guilty and sentenced him along with eight fellow activists. His execution sparked international condemnation, forcing the Commonwealth of Nations to suspend Nigeria's membership for violating human rights.

Read also

Soldiers overthrow military government in popular African country

1996 Olympics: Nigeria wins gold

Super Eagles win gold at 1996 Olympics
Nigerian players celebrate their 3-2 victory over Argentina in the men's final of the 1996 Olympics. (Photo by Jerome Prevost/TempSport/Corbis/VCG)
Source: Getty Images

Nigeria competed at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, United States. Its football team stunned the world when it won gold. The Super Eagles beat Brazil and Argentina along the road to glory, winning 3-2 in the final.

Nigeria’s return to democracy

General Abdulsalami Abubakar hands over to President Olusegun Obasanjo
General Abdulsalami Abubakar (2nd R) gives the government's seals to elected President Olusegun Obasanjo (L) during a swearing-in ceremony on May 29, 1999. (Photo credit: JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK/AFP)
Source: Getty Images

The election of Olusegun Obasanjo as president in 1999 returned Nigeria to democracy, bringing an end to 16 years of brutal military rule, interrupted by 82 days of a civilian government in 1993.

The 2000s

Miss World pageant

Agbani Darego wins Miss World
Photo of Agbani Darego, taken on November 16, 2001 in Sun City, when she won the Miss World pageant. (Photo credit: YOAV LEMMER/AFP)
Source: Getty Images

On November 16, 2001, Nigeria's Agbani Darego was crowned Miss World in South Africa. She was the first black African to be crowned Miss World.

November 2002

Kaduna riot in 2002
A worshipper walks among the debris of the Holy Cross Church in the northern Nigerian city of Kaduna after the riot. (Photo credit: PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP)
Source: Getty Images

Over 100 people lost their lives in four days of rioting stoked by Muslim fury over the planned Miss World beauty pageant in Kaduna in December. The event was eventually moved to Britain.

Read also

Nigeria's 2020 protesters look to the ballot box

The 2010s

Occupy Nigeria protest

Occupyy Nigeria protest, fuel subsidy removal protest
Protesters gathered to protest against the scrapping of oil subsidy at Gani Fawehinmi Park in Lagos on January 11, 2012. (Photo credit: PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP via Getty Images)
Source: Getty Images

Nigeria witnessed #Occupy Nigeria Protests in January 2012. The protest was triggered following the removal of fuel subsidy by the Goodluck Jonathan-led government.

The abduction of the Chibok girls

Missing Chibok girls
Parents of some 200 Chibok girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in April 2014 marched along with members of the civil society and the "Bring Back Our Girls" movement. (Photo credit: STRINGER/AFP)
Source: Getty Images

In April 2014, more than 200 girls were kidnapped from their boarding school in Chibok, Borno state, by Boko Haram terrorists. This sparked outrage worldwide, fuelling the #BringBackOurGirls campaign. While some of the Chibok girls made it back home, others were not so lucky and are still missing 8 years later.

The 2020s

EndSARS protest

EndSARS protest in Lagos
Commuters and motorists suffered unprecedented traffic jam as EndSARS protesters blocked major highways across Lagos, Nigeria, on October 12, 2020. (Photo by Adekunle Ajayi/NurPhoto)
Source: Getty Images

The EndSARS protest shook Nigeria to its core in October 2020, birthing the “Soro Soke” (speak up) generation of young Nigerians. What started as a peaceful protest in Lagos on October 8 spread like wildfire across the country until it got to a regrettable curve on October 20. Soldiers moved to the popular Lekki tollgate in Lagos on this fateful day and allegedly opened fire on the protesting youth.

Read also

Salva Dut biography: age, family, Ted Talk, is he married?

COVID-19 palliatives looting

Civid-19 palliatives
People carry bags of food on their heads during a mass looting of a warehouse that had COVID-19 food palliatives that were not shared during lockdown. (Photo by Kola Sulaimon / AFP)
Source: Getty Images

Days after the EndSARS protest suffered a tragic end, people discovered warehouses where coronavirus palliatives were hidden. The government was supposed to share these palliatives to citizens to cushion the effect of the lockdown earlier in the year.

Warehouses for the COVID-19 palliatives donated by  Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) were massively looted in Edo, Lagos, Osun, Kwara, Cross River, Kaduna, Plateau and some other states. The stolen food items, including garri, rice, spaghetti, Indomie and vegetable oil, were carted away.

Independence Day: 3 historical sites in Lagos earlier highlighted some important historical sites in Lagos, Nigeria's erstwhile capital city, that relive the memories of October 1, 1960.

They are Race Course, now named Tafawa Balewa Square, Independence Square, now named Tinubu Square, and Broad Street Prison, now named Freedom Park.

Freedom Park was constructed to preserve the history and cultural heritage of Nigerians and also mark the country's 50th Independence Anniversary celebration in October 2010.


Online view pixel