Nigeria has three main environmental regions: savanna, tropical forests, and coastal wetlands.
Prior to colonization, these languages were the unifying languages of the southwest and southeast, respectively, regardless of ethnicity.
However, since the coming of the British and the introduction of mission schools in southern Nigeria, English has become the language common to most people in the area.
She referred to the area as Nigeria, after the Niger River, which dominates much of the country's landscape. More than 250 ethnic tribes call present-day Nigeria home.
The three largest and most dominant ethnic groups are the Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo (pronounced ee-bo).
Though there is archaeological evidence that societies have been living in Nigeria for more than twenty-five hundred years, the borders of modern Nigeria were not created until the British consolidated their colonial power over the area in 1914.
The name Nigeria was suggested by British journalist Flora Shaw in the 1890s.
Their grouping together into a single entity known as Nigeria was a construct of their British colonizers.
These various ethnic groups never considered themselves part of the same culture.
This general lack of Nigerian nationalism coupled with an ever-changing and often ethnically biased national leadership, have led to severe internal ethnic conflicts and a civil war.
Today bloody confrontations between or among members of different ethnic groups continue. Nigeria is in West Africa, along the eastern coast of the Gulf of Guinea, and just north of the equator.
Other smaller groups include the Fulani, Ijaw, Kanuri, Ibibio, Tiv, and Edo.