The problem of ethnicity has become one of the greatest problems in Nigerian politics. Infact, the problem has been with us as far back as the time of the amalgamation. Prior to 1899, the territory presently known as Nigeria was made up of diverse ethnic groups with little or nothing in common with one another. The territory then consisted of three zones. The first was Lagos, which had earlier in 1861 become a crown colony after it was ceded to the British by king Docemo. The second was the area governed by the Royal Niger Company and consisted of the Delta together with the adjoining areas and the hinterland. The third was the Niger Coast Protectorate, which was under the Colonial office in London and consisted of Calabar and the neighbouring areas.
The process of bringing the people together started in 1900 when the British took control of the areas administered by the Royal Niger Company and joined it to the Niger Coast Protectorate to become the Protectorate of Southern Nigeria while the northern part was proclaimed the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria. In 1906, the Lagos area -the Colony and Protectorate of Lagos was amalgamated with the Protectorate of Southern Nigeria to become the Colony and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria. Finally in 1914, the Colony and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria was amalgamated with the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria to become the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria.