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This general lack of Nigerian nationalism coupled with an ever-changing and often ethnically biased national leadership, have led to severe internal ethnic conflicts and a civil war.
Today bloody confrontations between or among members of different ethnic groups continue. Nigeria is in West Africa, along the eastern coast of the Gulf of Guinea, and just north of the equator.
It is bordered on the west by Benin, on the north by Niger and Chad, and on the east by Cameroon.
Nigeria covers an area of 356,669 square miles (923,768 square kilometers), or about twice the size of California.
Living among creeks, lagoons, and salt marshes makes fishing and the salt trade part of everyday life in the area.
Abuja is in a federal territory that is not part of any state.
While Abuja is the official capital, its lack of adequate infrastructure means that Lagos remains the financial, commercial, and diplomatic center of the country. Nigeria has the largest population of any African country.
The dry, open grasslands of the savanna make cereal farming and herding a way of life for the Hausa and the Fulani.
The wet tropical forests to the south are good for farming fruits and vegetables—main income producers for the Yoruba, Igbo, and others in this area.Prior to colonization, these languages were the unifying languages of the southwest and southeast, respectively, regardless of ethnicity.