Tuesday , 6 December 2016

Today In Nigerian History: 12th February

On this this day in 1961, the People of the Northern and Southern Cameroon went to the polls to decide on joining independent Nigeria or the French territory of Cameroon. The south voted to leave Nigeria and the North decided to join Nigeria…

Northern Cameroons consisted of two non-contiguous sections, divided by a point where the Nigerian and Cameroun borders met. French Cameroun became independent in January 1960, and Nigeria was scheduled for independence later that same year, which raised question of what to do with the British territory. After some discussion (which had been going on since 1959), a plebiscite was agreed to, and held on 11 and 12 February 1961. The Muslim-majority Northern area opted for union with Nigeria, and the Southern area voted to join Cameroon.

Northern Cameroons became a region of Nigeria on 31 May 1961, while Southern Cameroons became part of Cameroon later that year on 1 October 1961. In the meantime, the area was administered as a United Kingdom Trust Territory.

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