Nigeria, is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh-most populous country in the world, with an estimated population of 206 million. a country in West Africa comprising 36 states with the capital Abuja. Lagos, the previous capital one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world, is the largest city in Nigeria and the continent of Africa.
Nigeria has been home to several indigenous pre-colonial states and kingdoms since the second millennium BC.The modern state originated with British colonialization in the 19th century, taking its present territorial shape with the merging of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate and Northern Nigeria Protectorate in 1914 by Lord Lugard. The British set up administrative and legal structures while practicing indirect rule through traditional chiefdoms.Nigeria became a formally independent federation on October 1, 1960. It experienced a civil war from 1967 to 1970. Nigeria is a multinational state inhabited by more than 250 ethnic groups speaking 500 distinct languages, all identifying with a wide variety of cultures.The three largest ethnic groups are the Hausa–Fulani in the north, Yoruba in the west, and Igbo in the east, together comprising over 60% of the total population. The official language is English, chosen to facilitate linguistic unity at the national level.Nigeria’s constitution ensures freedom of religion. Nigeria is divided roughly in half between Muslims, who live mostly in the north, and Christians, who live mostly in the south; indigenous religions, such as those native to the Igbo and Yoruba ethnicities, are in the minority.
Nigeria is often referred to as the “Giant of Africa”, owing to its large population and economy and is considered to be an emerging market by the World Bank. It is a regional power in Africa, a middle power in international affairs, and is an emerging global power. However, the country ranks very low in the Human Development Index and remains one of the most corrupt nations in the world.
Because of its multitude of diverse, sometimes competing ethno-linguistic groups, Nigeria prior to independence was faced with sectarian tensions and violence, particularly in the oil-producing Niger Delta region.
Since the end of the civil war in 1970, some ethnic violence has persisted. There was subsequently a period of relative harmony.
Since 2002, the country has seen sectarian violence by Boko Haram, a movement that seeks to abolish the secular system of government and establish Sharia law in the country. Between 2011 and 2018, Boko Haram has been responsible for more than 37,000 deaths in the region.The group’s targets include both civilians and Nigerian security forces. In May 2014 Benin, Chad, Cameroon and Niger joined Nigeria in a united effort to combat Boko Haram in the aftermath of the 2014 Chibok kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls.
The Fulani Herdsman are a nomadic tribe. They belong to the Fulani Hausa ethnic group based in northern Nigeria – with a common religion (Islam), culture, and language (Hausa). The Fulani come mostly from the northwest of Africa and can be found in Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Chad, Niger, and other African countries. The Fulani Herdsmen are slowly moving from northern Nigeria into Southern Nigeria due to drought and desertification in northern Nigeria.
Present day contributing factors for the current conflict between the Herdsmen and farmers involve the fierce competition for grazing land and the resentment over religious, ethnic, and regional differences. The Fulani Herdsmen continue to kill men, women, and children within Christian and farming communities in Benue. When the Nigerian Army and Police leave an area the Fulani Herdsmen will sometimes take the opportunity to attack the unprotected villages and communities. The conflict involving Fulani herdsmen is a growing issue with a high death toll.