Today's Constitution was adopted in 1999 and
applies to Nigeria's "Fourth Republic". The Constitution
is a modified version of the one adopted in 1979 with
the United States Constitution as a role model.
According to it, Nigeria is a federal republic with
presidential and multi-party systems.
The president is head of state and government as well
as commander-in-chief and has extensive powers of power.
They are elected in general elections of four years and
can be re-elected at one time. For victory, at least 25
percent of the vote is required in at least two-thirds
of the states. All ministers appointed by the president
must be approved by the Senate (see below), and there
must be at least one minister from each state. This
means that the government becomes unwittingly large and
expensive in operation; Nigeria consists of 36 states as
well as the federal district of Abuja.
Total population and chart of Nigeria for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. Also covers population density, birth rate, death rate and population growth rates.
The National Assembly, which establishes
laws, consists of two chambers. The Senate has
109 members: three from each state and one from the
Federal Capital of Abuja. The House of
Representatives has 360 members, all of whom
represent equal constituencies. In both chambers, the
members are elected by majority vote in one-person
constituencies and the term of office is four years. A
bill must be adopted by both chambers before it is
submitted to the President for approval. If the
president does not approve the proposal, it will still
be law if both chambers again adopt it by a two-thirds
At independence in 1960, Nigeria consisted of three
regions, one northern, one eastern and one western
(compare Geography and Climate). They then became four,
who were divided into twelve states during the 1967-1970
Biafra war. The number of states then gradually
increased until 1996. Former military dictators used the
division as a way to prevent outbreak attempts and
strengthen central government control. Not least, it was
about securing control over the oil money.
Each state has a people-elected governor and a state
assembly. At the local level there are over 700
municipalities with elected representatives.
Nigeria is a divided country - ethnically,
religiously and economically. Concerns have long been
high in northern Nigeria for being at a disadvantage
compared to the more developed, wealthy and affluent
southern Nigeria. To balance the South's economic
takeover, Northern Nigerians have wanted to secure
strong influence in the federal government. The military
dictatorships after the end of the civil war in 1970
were dominated by Northern Nigerians. Since civil
government was introduced in 1999, an informal
agreement, zoning, has existed that is intended to
guarantee continued influence in the northern states by
alternating the presidency and other important posts
between people from the north and south - and between
different religious and ethnic groups.
The party system is weak after the many years of
military dictatorship, when parties were banned and
regime critics were persecuted. Most of the parties
mainly focus on ethnic or regional affiliation. The
parties are primarily platforms for people who seek
Of parties formed before the 1999 elections, only
those who won a certain proportion of votes in the
previous municipal elections were allowed to
participate. The result was that only three parties were
allowed to stand. One of them completely dominated until
the 2015 elections, but by then the four largest
opposition parties had come together in a party that
managed to win both presidential and parliamentary
elections. The same happened in the 2019 elections.
The then newly formed party is called the All
Progressives Congress (APC). It can be
described as a center-left portion. APC joined the
former Nigerian Action Congress of Nigeria
Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN) formed in 2006
through a merger of several parties, All Nigeria
Peoples Party (All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP),
which is conservative and is based in the north, the
Congress for Progressive Change (Congress for
Progressive Change (CPC) formed in 2011 through
an outbreak of ANPP, as well as parts of the All
Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA)). APC's
candidate, former military dictator Muhammadu Buhari,
won the 2015 and 2019 presidential elections.
In July 2018, the APC erupted when a faction that no
longer supported President Buhari's government formed
the Reform APC (R-APC) under the
leadership of Buhari ally Buba Galadima. R-APC accused
the government of incompetence.
Government Party 1999–2015 was the
People's Democratic Party (Peoples Democratic
Party, PDP), which had its own majority in both
chambers. It is considered a relatively reform-friendly
middle party. In the 1999 elections, the PDP was the
ethnically and regionally broadest party, but it was
strongest in the north and was largely funded by retired
generals. In the two subsequent elections, the PDP also
strengthened its position in the south, with the help of
a strong party apparatus and weakness and division of
the opponents. In 2014, internal tensions led to a long
series of layoffs from PDP to the then newly formed APC.
However, in the summer of 2018, some of the jumps
returned to PDP. Behind this lay a battle for loyalties
ahead of the 2019 presidential and parliamentary
State of emergency in the north
The unrest drives tens of thousands of people to flee and, on New Year's Eve,
causes the president to announce emergency permits in four areas. Among other
things, parts of the country's borders are closed to Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
Bloody Christmas in Northern Nigeria
Some 70 people, most Islamists, are killed in fighting between the army and
Boko Haram in Damaturu and Maiduguri. On Christmas Day, up to 40 people are
killed in several blast attacks against mainly churches. The most serious is
being carried out near Abuja.
Remediation after lead poisoning scandal
The government decides that contaminated land in the state of Zamfara should
be decontaminated on lead that has been spread in conjunction with gold diggers
smashed boulders. In the scandal revealed in 2009, at least 460 children died
and 4,000 were injured.
"Boko Haram threatens US interests"
This is the conclusion of a congressional report in the United States.
Further Boko Haram violence
More than 100 people die in new Boko Haram attacks, including in the city of
Damaturu in the northeast.
Suicide bombing against the UN headquarters in Abuja
The attack requires 23 people's lives and some 80 are injured. Boko Haram
takes on the blame.
Boko Haram violence in Maiduguri
Continued attacks force thousands to flee their homes in the capital of Borno
Boko Haram attack in Abuja
This is the first time that the Islamist sect is conducting a suicide attack,
against the police headquarters in the capital. Reportedly, only the assailants
and a guard are killed when the explosion occurs in a parking lot. Over 70 cars
Jonathan takes over
Violence and blast attacks in several states in the north follow, Boko Haram
is believed to be behind at least some.
Jonathan wins the presidential election
The president receives 59 percent of the vote. Muhammadu Buhari (CPC) gets 32
percent, Nuhu Ribadu (ACN) 5.4 percent and Shekarau (ANPP) gets 2.4 percent.
Sixteen other candidates share the remaining votes.
Elections to the National Assembly
PDP backs quite a lot but still has its own majority in both chambers.
Goodluck Jonathan presidential candidate
He gets a clear mandate as the PDP's candidate, with 66 percent of the vote.