As a memorial, to commemorate Nigeria’s diamond jubilee, PREMIUM TIMES sourced for a collage of national artifacts, monuments and antiques.
While some recently became defunct, others are reminders of the years of yore, dating back to the early post-independence years and even pre-colonial era.
This collection looks the history of Nigeria in the eye and mirrors what Nigeria stands for and who Nigerians are.
Bodija market, an open-air market located in Ibadan, was a fighting ground turned market in 1987. The market was one of the biggest food and grocery markets in south-west Nigeria.
A letter written by a Lagos school proprietor telling parents of a hike in fee by N10 in 1989.
Olumo rock in Abeokuta. The name of the rock was culled from the Yorùbá phrase “Olúwa lómọọ́,” meaning “God molded this rock for our refuge.”
The highest point of the rock is 137 meters above sea level with the existence of a muster tree growing for over 200 years and surrounding caves.
The Hiding place of the Egba’s during the Egba-Dahomey war of 1851-1864 on Olumo rock. The Dahomey, from Benin Republic, fought the war with women known as the Amazon Women, but the war was starved off by the Ẹ̀gbás.
The Egba-Dahomey war was the third of the destructive wars fought by the Yoruba people of southwest Nigeria in the nineteenth century, proceeding the Owu-Ife war: 1821-1828; and the 1840 Osogbo war.
Book-stack design on another Niger Road. This too was taken in 2018 when during Governor Sani Bello’s first term as governor.
Ring-like designs dotting a Minna Road. The picture was taken in 2018.
Overhead view of the landscape of Abẹ́òkúta taken from the state’s peak, Olumo rock. Abẹ́òkúta is home to the Ẹ̀gbás and is the capital of Ogun State which borders Lagos and Osun State and some part of Oyo. Ogun State is a state in southwestern Nigeria created in 1976, and bordered by Lagos State to the south, Oyo and Osun States to the north, Ondo to the east and Benin Republic to the west. Abeokuta is the capital and largest city in the state.
J.P. Clark’s “Ibadan, running splash of rust and gold-flung and scattered among seven hills like broken china in the sun,” visualized in a picture. Areas like Òjé, Bẹ̀rẹ̀, Yemẹtu and so on are characterised by brown rooftops which signals the ancientness of the city of Ìbàdàn, west Africa’s largest city by landmass.
Shehu Yar’Adua’s clothes, archived in Shehu Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja. The man, the elder brother of President Umaru Yar’Adua, served as the second-in-command of the Supreme Army Headquarters from 1976 to 1979 during General Olusegun Obasanjo military regime.
Both men were later sentenced to life imprisonment for allegedly plotting a coup to topple the Abacha-regime in 1995. Mr Yar’Adua died in detention on 8th December, 1997, and Mr Obasanjo was released after Abacha’s sudden death in 1998.
In August 1997, Shehu Yar’Adua wrote to former American President Jimmy Carter from prison over Abacha’s brutal regime and arbitrary incarceration of citizens.
A map showing the location of all banks in the country in 1984. Nigeria currently has about 31 banks, including commercial, merchant, microfinance banks.
A booklet on highway rules. The rules have been reviewed over the years. The Federal Road Safety Corp, established under the FRSC Act, 2007, is empowered to arrest ad prosecute any person reasonably suspected to have committed any traffic Offence(s).
The 1979 constitution used through to the third republic before its amendment in 1999.
UBA cheque book when there was no mobile banking. Now, at the time press of a button, you could send money anywhere in the world.
The metamorphosis of network provider, formerly Econet, now Airtel. Behind MTN, as of 2019, Airtel has the second highest data subscribers in Nigeria at 34.52 million subscribers. It once was Celtel, Zain among other changes of name over the years usually due to sale of ownership rights of the company.
Video game of the days of yore. Online games are gradually taking over.
Home video cassette, into which a film is encased for storage. Netflix, YouTube and so on are now the go-to-places for movies.
The radio set in high demand in the late 80s and 90s. Now, most radio stations have moved digital, and listeners do not have to buy a radio set to listen to their favourite stations. On their phone, they can listen on the go.
Teens and children of the early 20s would remember this multipurpose pen. You could switch from black to blue to red to green ink colours, depending on how funky you wanted your class note to look. Often times, red and green, and at times, black is used to write headings and subheadings by secondary students of the early 21st century.
A copy of the December 14, 1992 edition of the great investigative magazine of the 80s, Newswatch, whose editor was once Dele Giwa. The magazine also had great journalists like Ray Ekpu, Dan Agbese, and Yakubu Mohammed, Soji Akinrinade, Nosa Igiebor, Dele Olojede, Dele Omotunde, Kayode Soyinka, Anietie Usen, Onome Osifo-Whiskey, Etim Anim and so on.
Another front page of the great investigative magazine of the 80s, Newswatch, whose editor was once Dele Giwa, who was assassinated by the Babangida regime in 1986. The investigative magazine was a thorn in the flesh of the Babangida military regime at the time.
For instance, in 1990, a coup attempt to overthrow the regime failed, but Dodan Barrack, Nigeria’s seat of power was badly destroyed. The magazine’s State House reporter, Anietie Usen, sneaked into the rubble and gave a first sight account of the mess. Mr Usen was later banned from entering the State House, he wrote in his book, Audacious Journalism.
“Argentina sneezes, Nigeria catches gold” was the glorious banner headline of a 1996 edition of Post Express Newspaper after Nigeria defeated the Albiceleste of Argentina 3:2 at the Atlanta ‘96 Olympic men’s football final to clinch gold, the first African country to do so. Legendary Kanu Nwankwo scored the decisive winning goal under the sudden death rule, where the first team to score after a stalemate match wins. That rule has now been rested by world football governing body, FIFA.
Nigeria had earlier defeated Brazil in the semifinal on golden rule. The team was later called Dream Team I. Nigeria’s subsequent Olympic football team takes the same title with the next available figure.
A front-page image of the defunct Sunday Concord newspaper which was founded by businessman, politician Moshood Abiola on March 1, 1980. Mr Abiola died in detention in 1998 after he was jailed by Abacha for declaring himself president after a presidential election he was on course to win was annulled by the Babangida-regime.
Old bale of notes. The Central Bank of Nigeria gradually phased out these old notes from February 28, 2007, when it first introduced the polymer substrate in lower denominations (₦5, ₦10, ₦20 and ₦50).
Some naira notes spent in Nigeria between February 11, 1977, and February 28, 2007. The naira was introduced on January 1, 1973, replacing the Nigerian pound at a rate of 2 naira to 1 pound.More naira notes of other denominations. The Central Bank of Nigeria introduced notes for 50 kobo, 1, 5, 10 and 20 naira on January 1, 1973. The 50 kobo notes were last issued in 1989. The 50 naira notes were issued in 1991, followed by the 100 naira note in 1999, 200 naira note in 2000, 500 naira in 2001 and 1000 naira on October 12, 2005.
A collage of notes spent in the sixties, including notes spent in Biafra during the civil war that spanned about 30 months and killed millions.
“Hail, Nigeria is free,” the glorious first tabloid on Nigeria’s independence on Saturday, October 1, 1960. At independence, Nigeria was said to have had 45 million people. That figure has more than quadrupled by today’s estimation.A glorious Yoruba poem on the essence of hard work written by J.F. Odunyo in 1943.The Emir of Kano Palace. The Kano Emirate Council was formed in 1903 mad it has produced eight emirs since then, including Muhammadu Sanusi II who was dethroned earlier in the year.
Locally-made sponge-like fuel made from waste from palm oil pasted on a muddy wall to sun dry.
A side-view of Zuma rock, located on the west of Abuja and often called the “Gateway to Abuja from Suleja.” The rock has an elevation of approximately 700 metres 2,300 (980 ft) and is depicted on the 100 naira note. It was used as a defensive retreat by the Gbagyi people during intertribal wars.
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