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In early 1967 the distribution of petroleum revenues between the government and the Eastern Region, where the majority of Ibos come from, sparked a conflict.
Gowon proposed to abolish the regions of Nigeria and replace them with 12 states.
Formal administration of any part of Nigeria goes back to 1861 when Lagos, a vital component of the lucrative palm oil trade, was ceded to the British Crown.
At the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885, geographical units and artificial borders were created in Africa by European powers without any consideration of cultural or ethnic homogeneity.
The first Europeans to reach Nigeria were the Portuguese in the fifteenth century.
Britain acquired what is now Nigeria as a result of this scramble for Africa.
In 1914 the various protectorates were consolidated into one colony, the Protectorate of Nigeria. Under the leadership of Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, and Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Nigerians began to ask for self-determination and increased participation in the governmental process on a regional level.
The November 1991 population census put Nigeria's population at 88,514,501.
Nigeria's population is extremely diverse—more than 250 ethnic groups are identified.