1861. King Dosumu of Lagos cedes the territory to Britain which becomes a British Crown colony.
1865. The British establish a consulate at Lokoja.
1887-1900. Various parts of what later became Nigeria are brought under British colonial rule as protectorates of Southern Nigeria and Northern Nigeria.
1903. The Sokoto-based Fulani Empire becomes part of the British Protectorate of Northern Nigeria.
1906. The colony of Lagos merges with the Protectorate of Southern Nigeria.
1914. For budgetary and administrative convenience, the Colony of Lagos and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria are merged with the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria as the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria.
1922. The Clifford Constitution allows for Africans to be elected into the Legislative Council in Lagos.
1936. Nigerian Youth Movement emerges as precursor of political parties.
1937. Shell Oil Company begins oil exploration in Nigeria.
1939. Governor Bourdillion divides Southern Nigeria into Eastern and Western provinces, later to become Eastern and Western regions.
1944. The National Council of Nigeria and Cameroon emerges (becomes National Council of Nigerian Citizens in 1961).
1946. Sir Arthur Richards' Constitution goes into effect.
1949. The Northern People's Congress is formed.
1950. The Action Group (Party) is formed.
1951. Macpherson Constitution goes into effect.
1954. The Lyttleton Constitution, establishing Nigeria as a federation of 3 regions—Eastern, Western, and Northern—goes into effect.
1959. Elections, in preparation for independence, are held; an NPC-NCNC coalition government is formed with Sir Abubakar as prime minister.
1960. Nigeria becomes independent (1 October).
1963. Nigeria becomes a republic (1 October).
1966. Military overthrows Abubakar government. Major-General Ironsi is installed and is later assassinated and succeeded by Lt. Colonel Yakubu Gowon.
1966-79. Military rule; Gowon (overthrown 29 July 1975), Murtala Muhammed (assassinated 1976), succeeded by Olusegun Obasanjo.
1967-70. Eastern Region declares independence as Republic of Biafra, precipitating Nigeria-Biafra War which ends January 1970 with the defeat of Biafra.
1979-83. Second Republic with civilian rule under Shehu Shagari.
1983-93. Prolonged military rule; Muhammed Buhari overthrows the Shagari administration; is ousted (1985) by Ibrahim Babangida.
1993. Presidential election (won by M.K.O. Abiola) is annulled by Babangida (23 June) who retires and appoints businessman Shonekan as interim ruler. Abacha ousts Shonekan (17 November) and inaugurates a brutal regime.
1998. Abacha dies of natural causes. His successor, General Abubakar, inaugurates transition to civilian rule. Local government elections are held.
1999. Gubernatorial elections are held 9 January, National Assembly elections are held 20 January, and presidential elections follow 27 February. Obasanjo is inaugurated 29 May as president of the Third Republic.