In video: 50 years of Nigeria independence
- 30 September 2010
- From the section Africa
Nigeria has experienced a turbulent history since achieving independence from British colonial rule in 1960. Watch BBC archive video of key moments below.
1960: PM visits London
The first Prime Minister of Nigeria, Sir Abubakar Tafaw Balewa, lands in London on his way to the United Nations in New York.
His visit comes just days after Nigeria gains independence from the United Kingdom.
Balewa was ousted and killed in a military coup in 1966.
1970: Nigeria marks end of Biafra war
On 30 May, 1967, the head of the Eastern Region of Nigeria, Colonel Emeka Ojukwu, unilaterally declares the independent Republic of Biafra.
The Biafran forces are pushed back after initial military gains.
More than two years later, after one million civilians had died in fighting and from famine, Biafra was re-absorbed into Nigeria.
1983: Power seized in armed coup
At the end of 1983, the civilian government in Nigeria is overthrown in a military coup led by Major-General Muhammadu Buhari.
The coup is the fifth since independence in 1960, with troops taking key positions around the capital in Lagos.
1996: Football fever grips country
Nigeria is gripped with football fever after the country wins the gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, beating Brazil in the final.
But life remains hard for many aspiring young footballers, many of whom dream of a better life playing in Europe.
1999: Nigeria ends military rule
Former military ruler Olusegun Obasanjo returns to power after officially winning presidential elections in Nigeria
He is elected as a civilian president, receiving the reins of power from the military.
2000: Religious clashes in northern Nigeria
In early 2000, hundreds of people are killed in bloody ethnic clashes between Muslims and Christians in the northern city of Kaduna.
2007: Elections marred by fraud
In 2007, after a week of violence involving at least 200 deaths, Nigeria elects a new president.
The election is won by Umaru Yar'Adua from the governing party amid allegations of widespread vote-rigging.
2009: Oil battles on the Niger Delta
Nigeria is Africa's leading oil producer but the trade in stolen oil has fuelled violence and corruption in the Niger delta - the home of the industry.
Few Nigerians, including those in oil-producing areas, have benefited from the oil wealth.