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Friday, 20 January 2017

DETAILS on the formation of Eastern Nigeria

DETAILS on the formation of Eastern NigeriaThe evolution of Nigeria from about 1849 until it attained independence in 1960 is largely the story of the transformational impact of the British on the peoples and cultures of the Niger-Benue area. The colonial authorities sought to define, protect and realize their imperial interest in this portion of West Africa in the hundred or so years
between 1862 and 1960, The British were in the Niger- Benue area to pursue their interests, which were largely economic and strategic. In the process of seeking to realize those interests, there were many unplanned-for by-products. The first critical step in this uncertain
path was taken in 1849 when, as part of an effort to ‘sanitize’ the Bights of Benin and Biafra, which were notorious for the slave trade, the British created a consulate for the two Bights. From here, one thing led to another for the British, especially to deepen involvement in the  political and economic life of the city states of the Bights and to rivalry with the French who also began showing imperial ambitions in the area. The result, in time, was that the British converted the coastal consulate and its immediate hinterland into the Oil Rivers Protectorate in 1885, which, in 1893, transformed into the Niger Coast Protectorate. The apparently irreversible logic of this  development led to deeper and closer involvement in the administration of the peoples and societies of this segment of Nigeria which, by the middle of the twentieth century, came to be known as Eastern Nigeria
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