34 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT NIGERIA MOST SCHOOLS WOULDN’T TEACH YOU. By @Ikechuqwu

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  1. A LEADERSHIP MIX OF EX MILITARY OR TEACHER – Since 1960, Nigeria has been either ruled by an ex-lecturer/ex-teacher or military man. The only exceptions are Azikiwe and Shonekan.

Image result for Presidential Suite of Federal Palace Hotel2. If you visited Lagos in 1975, you could spend a day at the Presidential Suite of Federal Palace Hotel for N100, single room for N19.

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3. Patience Jonathan is one of Nigeria’s most-educated First Ladies, with an NCE, a B.Ed, and a PhD from University of Port-Harcourt.

4. The Pidgin word ‘Sabi’ came from ‘Saber’, Portuguese and Spanish for ‘to know’. Both country’s ships traded slaves from the Bight of Benin.

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5. Katsina College (now Barewa College in Zaria) has produced 5 Nigerian Presidents/Heads of State and 20 Governors since it was founded in 1921 in Katsina.

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6. Colonel Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu taught Murtala Mohammed and Ben Adekunle at Regular Officers Special Training School, Ghana. Both ‘fought’ their teacher during the civil war.

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7. At Nigeria’s independence in 1960, there were 41 Secondary Schools in the North and 842 Secondary Schools in the South.

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8. In 1983, Senator Arthur Nzeribe spent $16.5 million to win a Senatorial seat in Orlu (in Imo State).

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9. In 1973, the Federal Government of Nigeria considered officially changing the name of “Lagos” to “Eko”. Regarding “Lagos” as a colonial name.

10. The geographical area now referred to as Nigeria was once referred to as ‘Soudan’ and ‘Nigiritia’.

11. Offences punishable by death sentence after the 1966 coup included embezzlement, rape and homosexuality.

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12. MKO Abiola was named Kashimawo (Let us wait and see) by his parents. He was his father’s twenty-third child, but the first to survive infancy.

13. Jollof rice, chicken breast, serve of ice cream, tea, coffee or Bournvita, with full cream milk and sugar: Meal Cost = 50Kobo- Unilag in the late 1970s.

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14. At the point of death in 1989, Sam Okwaraji the footballer was a PhD candidate and qualified lawyer with an LL.M in International Law (University of Rome).

Image result for first bank15. When British Bank of West Africa (now First Bank) opened a branch in Kano in 1929, Alhassan Dantata (Dangote’s Grandfather) opened an account depositing 20 camel-loads of silver coins.

16. MKO Abiola died suddenly on July 7, 1998, exactly one month after General Sani Abacha died mysteriously on June 8, 1998.

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17. Agbani Darego was the only one to wear a maillot as opposed to a bikini during the Miss Universe contest in 2001.

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18. The surgeon who ‘killed’ Stella Obasanjo was sentenced to 1 year in prison, disqualified for 3 years and fined €120,000.

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19. The ‘Ankara’ material is not indigenous to Nigeria. Our indigenous textiles include the Akwete, Ukara, Aso-Oke and Adire.

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20. George Goldie, who played a major role in founding Nigeria, placed a curse on anyone who attempts to write his biography.

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21. Hausa Language indigenous to Northern Nigeria is spoken in 11 African States. Germany, French, U.S., and British International radio stations broadcast in Hausa.

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22. The word ‘asiri’ means ‘secret’ in Hausa, Yoruba, Nupe and Igarra. It also means ‘gossip’ in Igbo.

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23. Igbo-Ora in Oyo State, Kodinji in India and Candido Godoi in Brazil are the towns that produce the highest number of twin births in the world.

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24. In 1978, a 50Kobo increase (from N1.50 to N2.0 in the cost of University Students’ meal per day caused the ‘Ali Must Go’ protests.

Image result for Coal City Enugu25. Albert E. Kitson discovered coal in Enugu in 1909. This discovery led to the building of Port-Harcourt town in 1912.

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26. In 1895, Koko of Nembe (now in Bayelsa) took 60 white men hostage. When the British refused his demands, more than 40 of those men were eaten.

Image result for Naira27. The ‘Naira’ was coined by Chief Obafemi Awolowo when he was serving as the Federal Commissioner of Finance.

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28. The pilot (Francis Osakwe) that flew Ojukwu away from Biafra (1970) was the same pilot that flew Gowon to Uganda (last flight as Head of State).

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29. In 1986, Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari was banned from participation in politics for life. The ban has still not been lifted.

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30. Koma Hill (settlement in Adamawa where people lived and practised the killing of twins) was discovered in 1986 by a NYSC corps member.

31. As the wife of the deputy Head of State (Vice President of Nigeria) in 1984, Biodun Idiagbon personally ran a small ice cream shop in Ilorin.

32. Koma Hills (Adamawa State) inhabitants when discovered were observed to engage in the practise of borrowing wives among themselves.

33. Juju, Dashiki, Yam and Okra are words in the English dictionary that originated from ethnic groups located in present day Nigeria.

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34. Nigeria has more English speakers than England, and more Muslims than Saudi Arabia and Syria.

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Nigeria treats us like slaves’ – but is Biafra the answer?

Leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu greets supporters in Umuahia

It is 50 years since Nigeria’s brutal civil war calling for the secession of Biafra started. By the time it ended in 1970 over one million people had perished. Now a new movement has emerged calling for independence. The BBC’s Tomi Oladipo explores its popularity.

Hidden high in the luscious, green hills of Enugu in south-east Nigeria, down a beaten track – under a sign that says leprosy colony – is the Biafran war veterans’ camp.

Like its location, residents there are verging on obscurity.

Four old men sitting on parallel wooden benches, propped up on metal crutches – swaying and chanting along to an old battle song.

They fought and were crippled in the bloody Biafran war.

“We went to that war with nothing, we went empty-handed,” says Francis Njoku. “Some held machetes, some had sticks. They [Nigerian forces] had machine guns.”

Mr Njoku, now 69, lost his kneecap in a gun battle.

It was a desperate fight for survival. But it ended in a ceasefire and Biafra became part of Nigeria again.

Biafra War veteran Francis Njoku

Biafra war veteran Francis Njoku: “Nigerians are maltreating us – like slaves”

 

At the end of the war, the Nigerian head of state General Yakubu Gowon declared there was “no victor, no vanquished” – this became the motto of reunification.

But for many people in the south-east, the reunion has been an uneasy one.

“If you come to Igbo-land you can see there is no development here,” says Mr Njoku.

It’s a common perception we heard many times here – that Igbo people are marginalised in a Nigeria that only serves the interests of the two other main ethnic groups – the Hausa and Yoruba.

Although government statistics show that poverty rates are far higher in the north than other regions, there are some genuine complaints.

In almost 30 years of democracy, Nigeria hasn’t had an Igbo president.

“We still need [Biafra],” says Mr Njoku. “Nigerians are maltreating us – like slaves.

It’s a strong sentiment and one that a new crop of activists is playing on. Among them a new leader has emerged.

Despite bail conditions saying he cannot speak to the press, Nnamdi Kanu invited us for an interview. He also invited his many supporters to greet us.

We were to meet in his father’s compound in the south-eastern town of Umuahia – the last bastion of the Biafran state before its surrender.

As we approached Umuahia it was clear that the crowds were there for our benefit.

We had arranged the interview the afternoon before and in that time he had gathered up to 1,000 people – they surrounded his father’s compound waving huge striped flags, carrying the Biafran symbol of a half-rising sun, and foghorns – chanting their support under the pouring rain.

Senior government and police officials live a few hundred metres away but no attention was paid to their presence.

The cheers escalated to roars as they spotted Mr Kanu emerge onto the balcony of the house with his fists raised.

Nnamdi Kanu with cheering crowd

He has gold and black cloth wrapped around his shoulders and a matching gold cap on his black suede designer loafers. “They’re calling for Biafra,” he says softly, with a smile.

All of this for a cause that has him facing treason-related charges in court.

“Basic human development, basic economic development, basic social development, can no longer be attained for the simple reason that there exists in the polity mutual suspicion, mutual hatred, mutual resentment,” he says.

“So the best thing to do is to separate.”


Biafra at a glance:

States claimed by Ipob for an independent Biafran state

IPOB claims these existing states would make up an independent Biafra

 

  • First republic of Biafra was declared by Nigerian military officer Odumegwu-Ojukwu in 1967
  • He led his mainly ethnic Igbo forces into a deadly three-year civil war that ended in 1970
  • More than one million people lost their lives, mostly because of hunger
  • Decades after Biafra uprising was quelled by the military, secessionist groups have attracted the support of many young people
  • They feel Nigeria’s central government is not investing in the region
  • But the government says their complaints are not particular to the south-east

Mr Kanu is calling for Biafran independence through a referendum.

“We just want to control our political destiny so we can build factories, [build] our roads, cities, bridges, not having to depend on somebody in [the capital city] Abuja.”

The Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob) movement that he leads believes an independent region will resolve the issue of the marginalization of the Igbos but they also want to bring the non-Igbo, oil-rich Niger Delta into the breakaway state.

They insist it was part of the original Biafra.

“Should any other part of Nigeria wish to join Biafra they are welcome to do so, as long as they are Judeo-Christian… the value system that underpins Biafra.”

The movement for Biafra clearly has significant influence around the south-east of Nigeria.

plaques and portraits dedicated to Nnamdi Kanu the Igbo leader.

Nnamdi Kanu’s father’s house is full of plaques praising him

 

A recent stay-at-home protest ordered by Ipob was heeded in many towns. However it seems from many people we spoke to in the region that while they support the idea of Biafra, they are not clear as to where it may take them.

The generation that witnessed the war insists on pacifism, as the men at the veterans’ camp told us.

“We are talking about dialogue, not by fighting,” said Mr Njoku.

Some are profoundly afraid of where the current rhetoric could lead.

Reverend Moses Iloh is an Igbo but he grew up in the north and now lives in the south-western commercial hub of Lagos.

When the war broke out, he moved to the Biafran Republic to work with the Red Cross.

“The war was one of the crudest you can find,” he recalls. “Sometimes there would be more than 50 or 100 children – you would dig a big trench and pour their dead bodies in. I was there. I am not telling you a lie. The suffering was so bad.”

Like many Igbos, he supports their ethnic solidarity but sternly warns that any attempts to secede again would be catastrophic.

“Nigerians will not let them go, they will slaughter them – and the whole world will turn their heads and say it’s an internal affair.”

Pro-Biafra supporters in Nigeria - November 2015

In response to the recent pro-Biafra agitation, a group in northern Nigeria issued a threat, giving all Igbos in the region three months to leave.

The move received widespread condemnation, even in the north, but reflected the delicate nature of Nigeria, a country created when hundreds of different ethnic groups were brought together by the British colonial powers.

While the Igbos comprise one of the three largest ethnic groups, they have fewer states than the Hausas in the north and the Yorubas in the south-west, and subsequently get a smaller budget allocation.

This, some feel, puts them behind the other regions. The south-east has not been at the forefront of Nigeria’s development and none of its cities are major economic hubs.

Path of uncertainty?

Over the years the Nigerian government has always ruled out the possibility of the country’s fragmentation. Acting President Yemi Osinbajo recently addressed the Biafra issue:

“Clearly our strength is in our diversity, that we are greater together than apart,” he said. “Brotherhood across tribes and faiths is possible”.

Top Igbo politicians recently rejected calls for Biafra but stressed the need for fairness and equality.

Though for some, these leaders are the problem, entrenched in the corruption that plagues Nigerian politics.

Mr Kanu has called on his followers to boycott upcoming local and national elections.

The people of the south-east are left with a choice: Stick with their current leaders – and Nigeria – or choose a much less certain path.

CREDITS: This article is written by Tomi Oladipo, and was culled from http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-40506251