Nigeria’s history has come a long way and has many dark pages that also involve the tussle for power.
The history of the creation of states has led to the federation of Nigeria this day with 36 States up-to-date is still causes a problem because it was not fully done in agreement and Nigeria is still having the minority problems. some of the trails feel marginalized because they don’t have enough states like the northern part.
The history of states in Nigeria there is a very large topic but let’s delve briefly into it in order to understand better how it all got to the creation of 19 States in Nigeria.
It was during the 19th century when the colonialist came and took over power from Nigerian traditional leaders of separate tribes they dominated and now established their authority in different regions of Nigeria.
These areas are being labeled as protectorates. send been in Nigeria we have three protective’s make sure the northern protectorates Lagos and oil river. it was done in 1914 that these three protectorates were amalgamated and it led to the birth of a new country called Nigeria.
The British has placed significance in three major regions of governance in Nigeria in 1954 and they were the Eastern Western and northern provinces. I have a letter on a 1960 Nigeria gained independence and took over power and domination from the British empire.
That was the year Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe who was the governor-general of the Eastern region took over the mantle of governance from the British empire and became the president while Sir Tafewa Balewa got elected as its prime minister no he got killed after 6 years.
Over when Nigeria became a republic in 1963 between 10 and 1967 four regions emerged in Nigeria and they were northern region, western region, midwestern region, and the Eastern region.
When the coup happened and Sir Tafewa Balewa got killed, general Yakubu Gowon took over power in 1967 and he created the new States in Nigeria.
He split the three major regions in Nigeria into 12 States and they are North-Western State, Kaduna State, Kano State, North-Eastern State, Kwara, Benue-Plateau State, Western State, East-Central state, Lagos State, Mid-Western (Bendel) State, Cross River State and Rivers State.
After that, when General Murtala Mohammed came into power in 1976 he created the 19 States in Nigeria. This answers to the question of who created 19 states in Nigeria.
And this was how he did it he capped out the federal capital territory Abuja from niger state and divided the North-Western States into niger and Sokoto. Bauchi, Gongola, and Borno was created out from the northeastern state. Plateau and Benue were carved out of the Benue-Plateau.
He then split the Western States into Ogun, Ondo, and Oyo. He brought out Anambra and IMO from the East central state and this helped complete it 36 states of Nigeria by 1976.
They are: Ondo, Cross River, Rivers, Oyo, Niger, Borno, Kano, Sokoto, Kaduna, Ogun, Lagos, Kwara, Bendel, Gongola, Bauchi, Anambra, Imo, Plateau and Benue.
The current federal capital territory is Abuja and he got created on February 3rd 1976. Remember I said Abuja was derived from northwestern north-central and the Benue Plateau States.
However, even though Nigeria has the two States which might look like it is very comfortable but the issue is Nigeria has been having minor issues since its creation of states.
A country of more than 250 ethnic groups and a population of over 200 million. Nigeria has at least three major ethnic groups in Nigeria which are Igbo, Hausa, and Yoruba. While there are other minorities like Tiv, Edo, Nupe, Ibibio, Ijaw, Kanuri, and Fulani.
And due to this minority ethnic group that has been all right and political crisis because they demand their own share of states in Nigeria even while the Igbos seek independence as Biafra from Nigeria.
The federal republic of Nigeria is divsioned into 36 sovereign state which are bound together by a Federal government. while it might seem confusing the federal capital territory is not a state but is under Federal government control.
However, to step down the government to the local people are bringing grassroots governance the state have been divided into 774 local government. Nigerian constitution enables States to ratify a constitutional amendment.
Let’s take a brief look at the man that created 19 States in Nigeria and that is General Murtala Mohammed. He was born at the 8th of November 1938 and died on 13th February 1976 in a military coup.
Before his assassination in 1976, he was the Nigerian army general as well as the fourth Head of State in Nigeria.
He was born in 1938 into a high ruling class family in Kano.
Muhammad was against the regime of Johnson and Johnson Ironsi after the first seized power on the 15th of January 1966 from the government of Sir Tafewa Balewa and Nnamdi Azikiwe.
Because this coup d etat targeted the northern leader and took him out of office the northern leaders mounted pressure on Muhammad to avenge the coup.
Most especially they raised a brow when Aguiyi ironsi promulgated the decree number 34 which will restructure Nigeria from a federal structure to a unitary structure where the power will reside at the middle. When this happened the northern leaders began to worry and even thought of separating from Nigeria.
When the civil war started Muhammad was made commander of the newly set-up infantry second division. This infantry was charged with the responsibility of beating back Biafra army as they approached the Midwestern region.
We also supposed to prevent them from advancing from enugu state.
The division acted suspiciously in asaba because there was a mass murder of civilians by troops in 1967. This troops in question was General Mohammed’s command. His division lead the war which caused the civilian massacres which happened in Onitsha and isheagu.
Murtala Mohammed got into power on 29th July 1975 by overthrowing General Yakubu Gowon who was out of the country attending the 12th summit of organization of African unity in Kampala Uganda.