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Sunday, 28 May, 2000, 17:11 GMT 18:11 UK
Timeline: A year of democracy

BBC News Online looks back on a year of hopes, near-despair and rapid change in Nigeria. Click on the links to read the original stories.

March 1999

Nigerians vote Olusegun Obasanjo to power, ending decades of almost continuous military rule.

  • Elections special report


    Mr Obasanjo is sworn in as President, promising to crack down on corruption.

  • Nigeria embraces civilian rule

    But there are worries in Sierra Leone that the new civilian government in Abuja will withdraw the soldiers who have been keeping the peace.

  • Freetown fears for the future

    Ethnic fighting erupts in the troubled Delta region only days later.

  • Ethnic 'clashes out of control'

    Obasanjo announces a purge of corrupt military officers.

  • Nigeria purges military


    The new MPs are worried that parliament is a little too close to the military barracks, given Nigerian soldiers' propensity for coups.

  • Soldiers 'too close for comfort'

    Obasanjo risks unpopularity at home by saying Nigerian soldiers will stay in Sierra Leone - for now.

  • Obasanjo faces questions over Ecomog

    Nigerian singer Femi Kuti says he hopes his fame will help repair Nigeria's tarnished image.

  • Jazz to the Lagos beat

    Ethnic clashes between Yoruba and Hausa people in the south-eastern town of Sagamu leave dozens of people dead, establishing a pattern which is to be repeated all too often.

  • Uneasy calm follows ethnic fighting

    Hausas from Sagamu flee north - their arrival sparks bloodshed in Kano, the main city of the Hausa heartland, where the Yoruba minority falls victim to reprisals.

  • Kano tense after ethnic riots

    The speaker of parliament resigns over accusations of misconduct.

  • Speaker quits in tears

    Intercommunal clashes in Anambra state leave more than 100 dead.

  • Land battle in south-east


    The leader of the senate resigns, accused of misconduct.

  • Senate leader's dismissal 'a good omen'

    Disused factories and self-serving officials are a timely reminder of how far Nigeria has to go before President Obasanjo can fulfil his promise to clean up corruption.

  • Nigeria confronts corruption

    Unrest in the Delta prompts President Obasanjo to send in the army and seal the area off.

  • Delta town 'destroyed and deserted'

    Ethnic unrest spreads to Nigeria's largest city, Lagos, following a dispute between market traders.

  • Riots kill 100

    Growing interest in evangelical religion is reflected in the building of a huge church

  • Church of the 50,000 faithful .


    Inflation prompts the central bank to issue a 100 naira note.

  • Big banknote too much for Nigeria

    January 2000

    Yet more Yoruba-Hausa clashes greet the new year in Lagos and Ibadan - while the anniversary of the Biafran war brings back memories of an earlier period of instability.

  • Ethnic clashes flare

  • Biafra: 30 years on

    The president engages in a public row with the governor of Lagos over law and order in the commercial capital.

  • Obasanjo hints at Lagos emergency

    Muslims celebrate and Christians are fearful as Zamfara state introduces the Islamic Sharia penal code. The state has already banned women's football as an activity unsuitable for female Muslims.

  • Muslims welcome Sharia law
  • Nigerian state 'bans' women's football

    Nigerians are among the dead as a Kenya Airways plane crashes near Abidjan - and their relatives endure callous treatment from officials at Lagos airport.

  • Air crash relatives' anger


    A senator is suspended after a magazine quotes him as saying another military coup would be good for Nigeria.

  • Senator suspended over coup remarks

    Zamfara's Islamic state government offers financial incentives to prostitutes to encourage them to relinquish their trade - while in neighbouring Kaduna, dozens are killed as Christians protest against proposals to introduce Islamic law.

  • Sharia state pays prostitutes to quit
  • Troops tackle rioters

    Nigeria and Ghana co-host Africa's premier soccer tournament, the African Cup of Nations. Excitement mounts as Nigeria's Super Eagles reach the final only to lose on a controversial penalty shoot-out to Cameroon.

  • Cameroon are kings of Africa


    President Obasanjo calls for an end to inter-religious fighting - which by now has killed hundreds of people.

  • End this slaughter

    Ongoing resentment against oil firms in the Delta erupts once again, as local youths take workers hostage.

  • Youths seize Shell gas plant

    Repeated power cuts prompt the president to take direct control of the corruption-ridden electricity company.

  • President purges power company


    Parliament blocks Obasanjo's plans to buy a new presidential jet.

  • Plane row takes off

    Democracy activist Chief Anthony Enahoro returns from exile, urging further political reform in Nigeria.

  • Grand old man calls for reform

    A ceremony in the Delta honours Ken Saro-Wiwa, the writer and activist executed by the former military regime.

  • Symbolic funeral for Saro-Wiwa

    Leaders meet to discuss a better deal for the Delta.

  • Delta seeks development


    Luxembourg becomes the latest of several foreign countries to freeze bank accounts associated with the late Nigerian military ruler Sani Abacha.

  • Luxembourg freezes Abacha accounts

    Renewed war in Sierra Leone revives the thorny question of Nigerian intervention.

  • Sierra Leone: The view from Nigeria

    Fighting between Christians and Muslims in Kaduna once again leaves hundreds dead.

  • '200 dead' in Kaduna riots

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