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Landmarks in Nigerian History

Panafrican News Agency, Lagos, 1 October 2000

Chronology of major events in Nigeria's 40 years of nationhood:

October 1960: Nigeria Gains independence from Britain
October 1963: Nigeria becomes a Republic
January 1966: First military coup led by Maj. Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogu
July 1966: Counter coup by Lt-Col Yakubu Gowon.
May 1967: Nigerian Civil War starts
1967: Gowon divides Four Regions into 12 states.
Jan. 1970: Nigerian Civil War ends
1972: Nigeria changes currency from Pound to Naira, introduces metric system
1973: Nigeria switches from left- to right-hand driving
1973: Nigeria hosts All-Africa Games
1973: Nigeria inaugurates National Youth Service Corps
1974: Gowon reneges on planned handover in 1976
1975: Birth of Economic Community of West African States.
July 1975: Brig. Murtala Mohammed topples Gowon in Military Coup
1976: Murtala increases states to 19
Feb. 1976: Murtala killed in failed military coup, Olusegun Obasanjo takes over
1977: Nigeria hosts second Black and African Festival of arts and culture
Oct. 1979: Obasanjo hands over power to Shehu Shagari, Second Republic begins
1980: Nigeria hosts and wins African Nations Cup for first time
Dec. 1983: Gen. Muhammadu Buhari topples Shagari in military coup
August 1985: Gen. Ibrahim Babangida ousts Buhari in military putsch
1985: Nigeria wins first-ever global soccer title (U-16 FIFA/KODAK CUP)
1987: Failed military coup led by Maj.-Gen. Mamman Vatsa
1987: Babangida increased states to 21
1990: Failed military coup led by Maj. Gideon Orkar
1990: Nigeria spearheads formation of ECOMOG
1991: Babangida creates nine more states, bringing total to 30
June 1993: Babangida reneges on hangover plan, annulled presidential poll
1993: Ernest Shonekan assumes office as head of interim government
November 1993: Gen. Sani Abacha seizes power from Shonekan
1995: Commonwealth Slaps Sanctions on Nigeria
1995: Government announces aborted 'Coup' against Abacha
1996: Abacha increases states to 36
1996: Nigeria wins first Olympic gold medals in long jump and soccer
1997: Another 'coup' against Abacha foiled
8 June 1998: Abacha dies suddenly, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar assumes office
29 May 1999: Abdulsalami cedes power to Obasanjo.
1999: Nigeria hosts World Youth Soccer Championship
2000: Nigeria Co-hosts African Nations Cup with Ghana
2000: Nigeria joins league of world gas producers