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Nigeria In Brief

Project60

Nigerian History has its root in early civilization of prominent artistry. According to a Wikipedia article, archeological research shows that people were already living in south-western Nigeria, specifically Iwo–Eleru in present–Ondo State from as early as 11000BC, and perhaps earlier at the Ugwuelle–Uture, Okigwe in Present–day Imo State.

The Nok people, famous for their terracotta sculptures are believed to have lived on the Jos Plateau between 500BC and 200BC, followed by the Kanuris, the Hausas, and subsequently the Fulanis, who migrated to the northern part of the country from the Senegal River Valley.

Before the British came to the part of the West Africa now called Nigeria, there were several Kingdoms and self –governing states. North of the Niger River, there was the Hausa Kingdom which comprised seven states – Daura, Kano, Katsina, Zassau (Zaria), Gobir, Rano and Biram, the Kanem Bornu Empire, and the Borgu Kingdom among the popular ones.

South of the Niger, there was the Benin Empire, the Nri Kingdom of the Igbos and the Oyo Empire of the Yorubas among the popular ones.

ARRIVAL OF THE BRITISH

By the 1600, even before the arrival of the British, the Coastal Regions of what is now modern–day Nigeria had established trade relations with Europeans. People of these Regions traded in humans (these were taken as slaves to the Americas), and when slave trade was abolished, they traded in palm oil, timber etc in exchange for what the European brought.

Lagos (Eko in Yoruba) was captured by British forces in 1851 and became a colony in 1861. In 1884, Calabar came under the protection of the British and was the Capital of the Niger coast protectorate until 1906. In 1897, the Benin Empire fell to the British and also became a colony.

In 1886, the Royal Niger Company was chartered under the leadership of Sir Geroge Taubman Goldie, and in 1900, the territory under the control of this company (which covered  territories on both sides of the Niger River from the Atlantic Ocean to Lokoja) as well as what would later come to be known as Northern Nigeria became a British protectorate and was grouped into Lagos Colony. Niger cost (also known as oil River Protectorat), and the Northern Protectorate, and the Southern Protectorate  (made up of Lagos Colony and Niger Coast) were amalgamated in 1914.

Thus came into existence the country presently known as Nigeria. In 1897, the name “Nigeria” was coined by a journalist, Miss Flora Shaw from the name of the largest river of the Region- the Niger river. She would later become the wife of Fredrick Lord Lugard.

THE MARCH TOWARD INDEPENDENCE

As time went on, the indigenous people of Nigeria started to call for independence from British colonial rule. Between 1922 and 1959, notable Nigerians like Sir Herbert Macaulay, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr Nnamadi Azikiwe, Sir Ahmadu Bello, and Chief Anthony Enahoro to mention  a few led the struggle for Nigerian nationalism.

To allow Nigerians have some measure of control over the affairs of their own land, the British came up with different constitutions which included the Clifford Constitution of 1922, the Richard Constitution of 1946, the Macpherson Constitution of 1951 and the Lyttleton Constitution of 1954. This though did not stop the continuous clamour for total independence from colonial rule.

Their struggle later bore fruits because on October 27 1958, Britain agreed that Nigeria would become an independent state, and at the turn of the clock at 12am on October 1, 1960, Nigeria became an Independent Country. Hence, the Union Jack- the British Flag- was lowered, and hoisted in its place was the new Nigeria flag, just as the national anthem was changed from “God save the Queen” to “Nigeria, We Hail Thee.”

Abubakar Tafawa Balewa was elected as the first Prime Minister, while Nnamdi Azikiwe became the first president.

Upon Independence, Jaja Wachuku became the First Black speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives, replacing Sir Frederick Metcalfe of Great Britain. Notably, as the First Speaker, he also received Nigeria’s Instrument of Independence- also known as Freedom Charter on October 1, 1960 from Princess Alexandra of Kent, the Queen’s representative at the Nigerian Independence ceremonies.

The first coup which led to the death of Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa in January 1966 established the first military rule with Major General Aguiyi Ironsi an Army commander as the leader of the new administration. July 1966, Northern troops struck back with another coup killing Aguiyi Ironsi. Lt-Colonel Yakubu Gowon assumed office. He replaced the four regions with 12 states and restored a Federal State. He promised to bring back democracy by including civilians to the government. In 1983, a brief democratic government was put to an end by the military coup. In 1998, Nigeria became a democratic state with Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as the first civilian president under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

This entertainment and talent showcase platform, Project60 was designed in a bid to enable Nigerian youths and the young at heart to display their talents and compete with others, who are talented in various fields of human endeavour. This initiative is set up to celebrate the 60th Independence anniversary of our great country Nigeria. In the last 60 years of her Independence, Nigeria has gone through diverse challenges that have threatened her existence as a Sovereign Nation. As we begin to look at the next 60 years, there is a need to encourage young Nigerians to have new perspectives, we also want to motivate them to arise to the responsibility of taking Nigeria to an enviable height. The strategy is to show case individual talents.

An initiative of EL Phanos Global Resources Ltd, a Nigerian indigenous media entertainment and consultancy firm, the maiden edition of the uniquely engaging talent hunt promises to be exciting, dramatic and historic, as it is opened to huge categories of Nigerians and allow for creative skills of different shades. This is a unique, easy-to-participate and ‘no-limit’ talent showcase for talented Nigerians. Participants with various creative talents like poem, music, dance, comedy, traditional chant and visual arts among other talents are expected to feature in the competition. Winners with the highest marks will be declared on the final day with fantastic cash prizes and many other consolation prizes.”

 Selections for official contestants will be held in the Ibadan, the Oyo State Capital. Contestants can come from any part of Nigeria but all logistics for participation is based on individual’s arrangement. There are six categories of competition: dancing, singing, modeling, acting, instrumental and variety arts. Each “act” is allowed two minute to showcase their skills. Respected and experienced judges from the entertainment industry will be involved before the main prizes are awarded – “gold” medals, official Project60 trophies and plaques, recording contracts, and a many consolation prizes.

However, every contestant is a “Worldstar winner”… the networking opportunities are inestimable, the competition experience is beyond belief, accurate information about the industry is obtained through invaluable educational seminars, and the friendships made with talent throughout the project are priceless!

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