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With regard to ethnic breakdown, the Hausa-Fulani make up 29 percent of the population, followed by the Yoruba with 21 percent, the Igbo with 18 percent, the Ijaw with 10 percent, the Kanuri with 4 percent, the Ibibio with 3.5 percent, and the Tiv with 2.5 percent.

Major urban centers include Lagos, Ibidan, Kaduna, Kano, and Port Harcourt. English is the official language of Nigeria, used in all government interactions and in state-run schools.

The Niger and Benue Rivers come together in the center of the country, creating a "Y" that splits Nigeria into three separate sections.

In general, this "Y" marks the boundaries of the three major ethnic groups, with the Hausa in the north, the Yoruba in the southwest, and the Igbo in the southeast.

What exists was usually created or unveiled by the government as representative of the nation. The flag is divided vertically into three equal parts; the center section is white, flanked by two green sections.

It basically uses English words mixed into Yoruban or Igbo grammar structures.

Pidgin originally evolved from the need for British sailors to find a way to communicate with local merchants.

Today those who are not ethnic Yorubas or Igbos rarely speak Yoruba or Igbo.

Pidgin, a mix of African languages and English, also is common throughout southern Nigeria.

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