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Nigeria at 60: the years of turbulence (and some cheer)

Nigeria won gold in Football at the Atlanta Olympics (1996)

As part of The Daily Report’s project to commemorate Nigeria’s 60th anniversary of Independence, we asked historian and researcher Dr Raphael James to dig into the archives and come up with 60 milestone dates that celebrate the country’s remarkable evolution — dates all Nigerians should know and reflect upon. Below is the second of three installments. We hope you enjoy it.  

1983 May 24: Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Nigeria’s first executive president awarded a certificate of merit to Mr. Stephen Daodu, who helped in fishing out the culprits of the 58 million naira fraud in the Nigerian External Telecommunications.

1986 October 16: Professor Wole Soyinka of Nigeria won the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature

1987 November 26: The First Nigeria International Tourist Expo by the Nigeria Tourist Board at the Trade fair complex Badagry

1987 December 31: Mr. Ray Ekpu, editor-in-chief of Newswatch Magazine was announced the International Editor of the year 1987, by the World Press Review, he became the first editor in black Africa to be voted for.

1989 May 3: President Ibrahim Babangida in a nationwide broadcast announces lilting of ban on politics. He signs Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria (Promulgation) Decree. He also orders National Electoral Commission to release guidelines for formation of two political parties.

1990 December 12: Abuja officially becomes the Nigeria Federal Capital territory. The seat of governance moves from Lagos to Abuja

1991 August 17: The third mainland bridge in Lagos was officially commissioned by Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida

1992 September 26: Nigerian Air force Plane crash in the Ejigbo sub area killing all military officers on board.

1993 June 23: The Presidential election conducted on June 12, was annulled by the Federal Military Government following a Court order. The annulment was followed by a spate of protests particularly in the Western States.

1993 November 17: General Sani Abacha assumed office as Head of State after the Head of the ING Chief Ernest Shonekan was forced to resign. He dissolved all democratic institutions and replaced elected governors with military officers.

1994 June 11: Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola acclaimed winner of June 12 1993 Presidential election declared himself president and went into hiding. He is declared wanted by police and places N50, 000 ransom on his head.

1994 September 12: The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice Chief Olu Onagoruwa is sacked after he disowned 8 new decrees promulgated by the Military Government.

1995 February 10: Nigeria’s hosting right of the FIFA 1995 World Youth Championship is cancelled.

1996 April 20: Ibrahim Dasuki, former Sultan of Sokoto, was deposed.

1996 May 11: The Rt. Hon. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, first President of Nigeria, died.

1996  June 4: Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, wife of Chief M.K.O. Abiola acclaimed winner of June 12 1993 Presidential election was assassinated.

1996 August 3: Nigeria first Olympic gold medal is won by Miss Chioma Ajunwa in the Long-jump at the Centennial Olympic in the USA.

1996 August 3: The Nigeria football team, the Under 23 team won the Olympic Soccer Gold medal by defeating Argentina 3-2 at the Centennial Olympic in Atlanta, USA.

1996 September 18: Nigeria won the Maiden UEFA/CAF Maridan Cup by defeating Spain 3-2 in Portugal.

1996 October 1: General Sani Abacha Nigeria Head of State created six new states to bring the total number of states 36.

Dr Raphael James is a graduate of Psychology from the Ondo State University and holds a Certificate in Conflict Resolution from the California State University. He is Founder and Director-General of the Center for Research, Information Management and Media Development (CRIMMD). He runs the richest Museum of Nigeria History with close to 40, 000 photos. Publisher of the Nigeria Biographer magazine, he manages the richest museum of Nigeria History with close to 40, 000 photos.

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