The British colonization of the region in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries resulted in the emergence of Nigeria, an amalgamation of two neighboring British protectorates in western Africa: the Southern Nigeria Protectorate and Northern Nigeria Protectorate). The British set up administrative structures and law while recognising traditional chiefs. Nigeria became independent in 1960. Several years later, it had civil war as Biafra tried to establish independence. Military governments in times of crisis have alternated with democratically elected governments.
Nigeria is roughly divided in half between Christians, who mostly live in the South and central parts of the country, and Muslims, concentrated mostly in the north. A minority of the population practice traditional and local religions, including the Igbo and Yoruba religions.
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