Lieutenant General Olusegun Obasanjo, chief-of-staff of the armed forces in Muhammed's government became the new head of state.In 1978 Nigeria produced a new constitution similar to that of the United States.
The name Nigeria was coined by Lord Lugard's wife in 1897 in honor of the 2,600-mile-long Niger River.
The first Europeans to reach Nigeria were the Portuguese in the fifteenth century.
Like many other African countries, the distribution of religion can be broken down into three major areas: Christians, Muslims, and animists.
In Nigeria, 47 percent of the population practice Islam, while about 36 percent practice Christianity, and 17 percent practice animism or traditional African religion.
He started a popular purging of the members of the previous government and announced a return of the country to civilian rule.
On February 13, 1976 Muhammed was assassinated during a coup attempt.
The Oyo Empire, founded in the late fourteenth century by Oranmiyan, a Prince of Ile-Ife, had a powerful army and maintained diplomatic contact with other kingdoms in the area.
The Fulani Empire was established in 1803 by the jihad, or holy war against the rulers of the Hausa states by Usman Dan Fodio; it went on to become one of the most powerful kingdoms.
Within two decades, parts of the Oyo Empire, Bornu, and Nupe were added by conquest to the Fulani Empire.