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    Sunday, October 1, 2023

    Google Doodle celebrates Nigeria's Independence Day

    Adeyemi Matthew 

    Google Doodle commemorates Nigeria's Independence Day today, marking the country's official emergence as a sovereign nation on this day in 1960. 

    Independence Day morning starts with a nationally televised broadcast where the President of Nigeria addresses the general public. In Lagos, a green-and-white crowd gathers to watch the Nigerian Armed Forces perform military maneuvers. 

    There’s an official parade, with lots of bands, music, imagery, dancing and a processional changing of the guard. After this, there’s usually a performance of songs and dances to represent the many different ethnic groups that make up Nigeria, ensuring everyone is represented at the parade.

    The streets busy with people celebrating the country’s independence. You’re likely to see lots of flags, signs and colourful clothing, as people wear green and white, the national colours of Nigeria.

    The rest of the day is filled with bustling energy and upbeat fuji music as Nigerians hang out with friends and family. Plantains and chicken served with jollof rice isn’t just a popular meal — it’s a staple of Independence Day and Nigerian culture. Many take celebrations to the beach to dance and enjoy fireworks.

    Nigeria’s independence was established under Governor General Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, who later became the country’s first president.

    Nigeria is the most populous nation of West Africa, being home to around 186 million people. It has a rich history, and Independence Day celebrates the country breaking free from British colonial rule.

    Nigeria was first colonised by the British and Portuguese in the late 15th Century. These empires used ports of Nigeria for trade of goods, as well as the trading of people as part of the Transatlantic slave trade. Lagos was first invaded by the British in 1851, before being annexed in 1865. In 1901, Nigeria became a British protectorate, meaning that it was officially under the ownership British empire, and the borders of modern Nigeria were first established.

    After the second world war, calls for an end to the cruel and exploitative colonial rule of the British Empire swept across Africa. After a long struggle towards independence, Nigeria finally gained independence from the British on October 1st 1960, which is now celebrated as Independence Day.

    At first, the country was a parliamentary democracy, ruled by Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. It later became a federal republic and adopted a new constitution in 1963, with Nnamdi Azikiwe (former governor-general) becoming the first President of Nigeria.

    Happy Independence Day, Nigeria!

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