By: Jackson Matthews


The government of Northern Nigeria was modelled after the Westminster system. A premier acts as head of government and presides over the day-to-day affairs of government while a Governor acts as Head of state and Commander-in-Chief of the constabulary.

The Eastern region operates a parliamentary system of government with a premier leading the executive branch and a bicameral legislature. Apart from the regional government, Eastern Nigeria also had a lcoal government modeled after the English system.

The Western Region government consists of the executive, legislative and Judiciary. The government is headed by the Governor who is the policy-maker and often assisted by the commissioners and other civil servant of the state.

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The Nok culture dominated most of what is now Northern Nigeria in pre historic times. Northern Nigeria was proclaimed by Fredrick Lugard in 1897. The basis of the colony was the 1885 Treaty of Berlin which broadly granted Northern Nigeria to Britain.

The Southern Nigeria Protectorate was formed in 1900 and by 1914 British colonial rule had established most of the head divisions in the Southern Nigeria Protectorate. In 1939, the Southern Province was divided into the Western and Eastern Province.


The official language of Nigeria is English, but some other major languages are Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Ibibio, Edo, Fulfulde, and Kanuri. The language spoken in each region depends on the linguistic group of that area.
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Physical Enviorment

Northern Nigeria is high, flat plains. A powerful wind, the harmattan, blows South from the Sahara covering everything with sand.

Eastern Nigeria has more rainfall than the rest of Nigeria. Rainforest used to be in this region, but now only swamps line the coast.

Much of the Western region is savanna, although tropical rainforests used to grow along the coastlines.

Ethnic Groups

The biggest ethnic groups in Northern Nigeria are the Hausa and Fulani. The Hausa are more urban, while the Fulani still live in rural areas. Both groups, however, are Muslim.

The Igbo are the largest ethnic group in the eastern region of Nigeria. 18% of Nigerians are Igbo. Most Igbo are Christians.

The Yoruba make up the largest ethnic group in the western region of Nigeria. Many Yoruba are Christian, but some follow Islam or traditional beliefs.


The towns people in the more northern areas build flat-roofed mud houses with thick walls, the roof being made of timber covered with mud; the poorer people build houses of circular mud walls and conical thatched roofs.
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Economic Activities

Many people in Northern Nigeria make their living as farmers and herders. Hausa farmers grow corn and a grain called millet.

Farming used to be the Igbo's main economic activity, but today, most of their wealth comes from oil.

City-Yoruba work in factories and offices, and as teachers, doctors, or engineers. Urban Yoruba commute back to the country to work on their small family farms. The women sell goods, like yams, in street markets to make money.

Cultural Traditions

The people in Northern Nigeria favor loose clothing that protects them from the sun. Women wear robes that cover their whole body, and some wear a headdress.

The Igbo of Eastern Nigerian wrap themselves in colorful cloth and masked dancing is popular among Igbo.

The Yoruba of Western Nigeria are known for their drums and beads. Every object made for the kings are decorated in beads.