Nigeria has been home to a number of ancient and indigenous kingdoms and states over the millennia. However, the modern state of Nigeria largely dates back to the British colonial rule that started in the 19th century; its present territory took shape with the merging of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate and Northern Nigeria in 1914.
Nigeria became independent in 1960 and in 1963; the country adopted a republican constitution. The country also underwent military dictatorships; Nigerians witnessed bloodshed and violence by various groups. This continued until 1999; that was when a stable democracy came to power.
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