Today In Nigerian History: 16th February


On this day in 2013, an Islamist group called “Ansaru” attacked a camp for a construction company, killing a guard and kidnapping seven foreign workers from Britain, Greece, Italy and Lebanon in Bauchi State…

Ansaru is an acronym for “Vanguard for the Protection of Muslims in Black Africa”, a splinter group of the larger Boko Haram organisation, founded in January 2012, which reportedly has more of an international focus than Boko Haram.

Also on this day (between 9-18 February) in 1897, the retaliatory Benin Expedition of 1897 leads to the capture of Benin City.

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The Benin Expedition of 1897 was a punitive expedition by a United Kingdom force of 1,200 under Admiral Sir Harry Rawson in response to the defeat of a previous British-led invasion force under Acting Consul General James Philips (which had left all but two men dead).

Rawson’s troops captured, burned, and looted Benin City, bringing to an end the west African Kingdom of Benin. As a result, much of the country’s art, including the Benin Bronzes, were looted and / or relocated to Britain.


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