Essay on the Rise of Nationalism in Nigeria

By Christina Scott

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No one, not even the most far-sighted, ever thought that British rule would last for only sixty years. In the early years of colonial rule, the idea of an independent Nigeria within so short a time would have sounded ridiculous. “The whiteman has come to stay as long as men lived,” boasted an official in 1919.   Nevertheless, nationalism started early, instigated by the need to respond to conquest and new policies. The radical phase came during and after the Second World War, subsequently leading to independence. Although the ultimate goal of nationalism was to secure the country’s independence, it had other interrelated dimensions: the “new Nigeria” would be governed by a Westernized elite, working, through the agency of political parties and Western political ideas, to create a united and developed country. If the British took over power from a traditional elite, nationalism and modernization forced them to hand it over to an educated elite.

Edward Wilmot Blyden (Educator, writer, diplomat, and politician in Liberia and Sierra Leone)

Edward Wilmot Blyden (Educator, writer, diplomat, and politician in Liberia and Sierra Leone)

Nationalism had a nineteenth-century origin. The wars of resistance in various places during that time later provided inspiration to the nationalists of the twentieth century. The first generation of modern black thinkers, notably Edward Wilmot Blyden, reflected on Africa and racial matters, calling for progress. He called also for the understanding of Africa’s contribution to civilization and for pride in the black race. In the last years of the century, there was a secessionist movement within the Church, an expression of protest against domination. Edward Blyden, for instance, called on Africans to establish their own independent churches. Some members of the new churches became prominent members of the anti-colonial movement. Nationalism in the early years was expressed mainly as a feeling of national consciousness and an awareness that Africans were members of one race. As the colonial era began, an awareness of being residents of the same country became important, and a desire for freedom from colonial rule was a paramount expression of nationalism. Nationalists wanted to work within the new state of Nigeria rather than within their older indigenous nations, such as those of the Yoruba or Ibibio. Nationalism was accelerated by colonial rule, whether those forces merely demanded corrections to abuses in the system or acted more radically, seeking self-rule.

Colonial policies generated discontent among the people – especially the elite who originally demanded reforms, and later on, independence. Among the issues that displeased the people were racism and the damage to traditional values during European rule. Nigerians in the civil service complained of racial discrimination in appointments and promotions. The aspiring ones among them were envious of the status and privileges enjoyed by white officials. Among those who complained about excessive changes, nationalism was expressed in cultural ways – that is, in deliberate efforts to promote Nigerian food, names, forms of dress, languages, and even religions. The Christians among them tried to reform Christianity to suit local values, such as large families and polygamy, and to draw from it ideas of liberty, equality, and justice. To the majority of the population, the Native Authorities were both oppressive and corrupt. Many Nigerians believed they could overcome the problems of low prices for raw materials and expatriate control of the economy only if they had the power to determine their own destiny. To the Nigerian businesswomen and men who saw themselves driven out of trade by foreign companies and combines, an identification with anti-colonial movement became a strategy of regaining control.


The economic depression of the late 1920s and 1930s brought economic hardship,  unemployment, and retrenchment. Bad times enabled nationalists to criticize and condemn the British and to use these demands to stimulate national consciousness. For instance, Michael Imoudu, a distinguished trade union leader, led the strike by railway workers in 1931 to demand better wages. Unemployment and discrimination generated discontentment with colonial rule and enabled nationalist leaders to enjoy a mass following. [1]

Some of the notable changes of the era — urbanization, Western education, and transportation — contributed to the growth of nationalist activities. With cities acting as centers of interaction and acculturation, urbanization contributed to the development of national feelings. Newspapers, magazines, and other information circulated to influence opinions. Political and nationalist ideas grew and spread in the cities. Urban dwellers carried many of these ideas to their villages and ethnic communities, thus connecting the city with the countryside. The new infrastructure aided both the easier movement of people and the integration of different parts of the country. Thousands of Yoruba and Igbo moved to the north, with many of them becoming members of political parties outside their own home areas. The spread of Western education, especially in the south, created a population segment that could read and write and follow the discourse on nationalism and development. Education produced leaders with new ideas, visions, and ambitions.

A growing local media devoted space to nationalist issues, raising consciousness to a high level in editorials and special columns devoted to anti-colonial issues. One of the early heroes in this area was John Payne Jackson, originally a Liberian, who lived in Lagos from 1890 to 1918. His newspaper, the Lagos Weekly Record, supported demands for reforms and called for unity among Nigerians to fight the British. The press had an ally among the Nigerian students abroad who established organizations to unite and protest. The best known of these organizations was the West African Students’ Union (WASU) founded in London in 1925 with the objectives of, among others, fostering national consciousness, racial pride, self-help, unity, and cooperation among Africans. WASU called for cooperation among the chiefs and elite, lobbied British politicians to initiate reforms, and used its monthly journal to serve the nationalist cause. [2]

Political associations emerged very quickly and ultimately became the key platform from which to express nationalism and contest elections.  The early leaders sought changes in the system rather than independence. The earliest associations were protest movements such as the People’s Union, established in 1908 to protest the introduction of water rate in Lago. Yet another was the Reform Club, established in Lagos in 1920 to oppose direct taxation. Far more successful was the National Congress of British West Africa (the Congress), established in 1920 to fight against discrimination, unite the West African elite, and achieve self-government. At its first meeting  held in Accra, Ghana, the Congress resolved to call on the British to let half the membership of the Legislative Council be educated Africans, establish a university, introduce compulsory education, and eliminate racial discrimination. These were all demands to empower the elite. In September 1920 to March 1921 the Congress sent a delegation to London to press its demands, but it was refused a hearing by the Secretary of State for the Colonies. This was a resounding failure caused by the deep hostility of the colonial administration which regarded members of the Congress as self-appointed leaders who wanted to destroy indigenous institutions for selfish interests. The chiefs were equally opposed to the Congress, because they were afraid that their power would be usurped. The Congress ceased to exist in 1923, but not without recording some successes: several senior posts were created for Africans in the civil service, an elective principle was introduced in 1922, and the West African Court of Appeals was reconstituted in 1922.

Marcus Garvey (proponent of the Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism movements)

Marcus Garvey (proponent of the Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism movements)

In 1920, a branch of the Garvey Movement (the Universal Negro Improvement Association) was established in Lagos. Militant and race-conscious, this movement was established by Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican, to unite all blacks into one organization that would  establish an independent country. He moved to the United States in 1916 where he created a mass organization and held conventions attended by delegates from Africa. He established the Black Star shipping line (operating to Africa) to encourage blacks in the Americas to return home to fight for freedom. His journal, the Negro World, was eagerly awaited and read in Nigeria. The conventions worked on a plan to create a Negro State of Africa and chose Marcus Garvey as the provisional president of Africa, in addition to choosing a flag and an anthem. Marcus Garvey became a foreman for a large printing business, but a strike in 1907 during which he sided with the workers instead of management derailed his career. The realization that politics was his true passion prompted Garvey to begin organizing and writing on behalf of workers. He traveled to Central and South America, where he spoke out on behalf of West Indian expatriate workers. To Garvey, Africa’s independence was not negotiable, even if violence had to be used. His movement  collapsed, however, and he was jailed and subsequently deported, but his political philosophy was not without dedicated converts. His ideas influenced a number of Nigerians, including prominent nationalists such as Ernest Ikoli and Nnamdi Azikiwe.

The most successful of the early parties was the Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP) established in June 1923 by Herbert Macaulay in response to a constitutional reform in 1922. A new Legislative Council was empowered to legislate for the Colony of Lagos and Southern Nigeria. The Council had forty-six members, nineteen of them unofficial and twenty-seven official. Of the nineteen, four had to be elected in the municipalities of Lagos and Calabar, the only two towns where the educated elite was allowed to use the franchise. The NNDP was founded to contest these elections. The NNDP published the first elaborate manifesto, with an important preamble:

To secure the safety and welfare of the Colony and the Protectorate of Nigeria as an integral part of the British Imperial Commonwealth and to carry the banner of “Right, Truth, Liberty and Justice” to the empyrean of democracy until the realization of its ambitious goal of government of the people by the people for the people.  [3]

The party was opposed to forced labor, land appropriation, plantation estates, and harsh laws. It called for municipal self-government for Lagos, compulsory education for all, a West African Court of Appeal, and the Africanization of the civil service. The party won all the elective seats in the Lagos Town Council between 1925 and 1938, and the Lagos seats in the Legislative Council in 1923, 1928, 1933, and 1943. The party was able to involve local chiefs, trade guilds, and market women, thus mobilizing critical segments of the population. Also, its newspaper, the Lagos Weekly Record, served to announce the activities of the party and to criticize the government. The party confined its activities to Lagos, understandably, because Lagos had a concentration of elite; however, its members in the Council also asked questions concerning other parts of the country. The NNDP did not challenge British rule, but only sought the means to be empowered within it. It hoped that the transfer of power would come as a gradual process. With just a few members in the Legislative Council, the voice of the party and the elite it represented was easily subdued.

The need to respond to the inadequacies of Yaba College, the first institution of higher learning in the country, led to the formation of the Nigerian Youth Movement (NYM) in 1934. Yaba was established in 1934 to train students to work in the civil service, with diplomas in arts, economics, agriculture, engineering, and medicine. It was not affiliated with any British university.   The Nigerian elite were dissatisfied with this school on the ground that its diplomas were inferior to that of a British university and would not be recognized outside of the country. They read a racial motive into its limitations: graduates of Yaba would be permanently subordinated to British officials and would never rise to leadership positions.

The NYM was able to transform itself into the first national, multi-ethnic organization. It organized a mass rally in 1933 to protest the decision on Yaba. The government failed to respond, but the NYM broadened its agenda to include anti-imperial measures, economic exploitation, and social inequality. It published a comprehensive manifesto with the objectives of enhancement of the standard of living of Nigerians and the political advancement of the country. The manifesto demanded mass education, equal economic opportunities for everybody, transfer of power to Nigerians, and universal suffrage for everybody over twenty-one. In 1938 its candidates won elections to the Lagos Town Council and the three Lagos seats in the Legislative Council. This victory marked the end of the monopoly of the NNDP. The NYM created branches all over the country with a total membership of almost 20,000. The branches in the north were composed mainly of resident southerners, giving rise to criticism from the British, who regarded

them as a nuisance polluting a conservative environment. As a “national” party, it got involved in condemning many issues outside of Lagos, using its newspaper, the Daily Service, as its main organ. However, as many of the members of the NYM were political moderates, they did not seek any immediate end to colonial rule. In 1941 the party split along ethnic lines over the candidates it would sponsor to the Legislative Council. It never recovered from this crisis. [4]

Nnamdi Azikiwe (member of the Nigerian Youth Movement)

Nnamdi Azikiwe (member of the Nigerian Youth Movement)

A prominent member of the NYM was Nnamdi Azikiwe. When he joined in 1937, he was elected into its Central Executive Council. In the same year he established the West African Pilot, which became an instant success with a wide circulation and an unapologetically anti-colonial stance. The paper’s editorials focused on the themes of colonial injustice, exploitation, and racism. With Lagos as his base, Azikiwe was the first prominent nationalist from eastern Nigeria and he was able to mobilize the Igbo elite in Lagos in support of the NYM. Azikiwe energized the nationalist movement in West Africa from 1934 to 1949, becoming the best known anti-colonial crusader and journalist. Articulate and indefatigable, “Zik”, as he was called by thousands of his admirers, employed oratory and complex diction to great effect. He himself experienced the dramatic changes of the colonial period. As a young boy, he grew up in an urban, heterogeneous setting. He disliked the treatment of his father in the Nigerian Regiment, and of himself as a clerk from 1923 to 1925.  He struggled to reach the United States where he attended a predominantly black college as a poor student and observed racial discrimination and protests by African-American organizations. Even with two degrees, he could not secure a civil service job in his own country and had to go to the Gold Coast (now Ghana) to establish the Accra Morning Post and publish his first book, Renascent Africa. In 1937 his newspaper published an essay by a labor leader, I.T.A. Wallace-Johnson, entitled “Has the African a God?” that criticized the colonial government in a way that it found libelous. Azikiwe was convicted, but later acquitted on appeal. He returned to Nigeria, where he became both a journalist and a nationalist. [5]

Azikiwe contributed to the rise of militant nationalism and combative journalism. Drawing on his experience in the United States, he saw the struggles in Nigeria as between blacks and whites and called for a united front against the British. His newspaper was modeled after American yellow journalism and expressed a deep commitment to race matters. Using a highly provocative style that shocked colonial officers, he lambasted the British constantly. He popularized journalism by establishing provincial dailies and using a wide variety of outlets for distribution, which enabled nationalist ideas to spread to the hinterland.

Internal developments benefited from events and ideas from the outside. The viability of the independent states of Ethiopia and Liberia was used as evidence by other Africans as an example that they could govern themselves. Pan-African movements, founded by notable black leaders in the United States such as Garvey and W.E.B. Du Bois, encouraged black militancy

and cooperation. The rise of the Soviet Union and the growing influence of socialism and communism supplied ideas on freedom and emancipation to African leaders. The independence of India in 1947 was an inspiration to them. The Second World War also provided conditions which intensified local demands and reshaped the nature of international politics.[6]

Until 1930, political parties were largely elitist, urban-based, and focused on demands for reforms rather than independence. In the 1940s and beyond, nationalism witnessed an upsurge:  the anti-colonial movement was expanded beyond Lagos to other cities and villages, and vigorous demands were made for independence by the media and front-line nationalists. In the preceding years, the atmosphere had become charged by the invasion of Ethiopia by Italy in 1935. Many Africans were enraged by this attack on an independent African country, rich in History and culture, and they began to call for self-government.


The Second World War had its impact on nationalism. About 100,000 Nigerians were recruited to fight. Many were exposed to wartime propaganda on liberty, equality, and freedom. After their discharge, many of them joined political parties. The allied propaganda in favor of freedom and against exploitation was used against the British. The interactions between Nigerian soldiers and their white counterparts, and the contacts with white soldiers stationed in Nigeria, diminished the respect which many Nigerians had for whites in general, further emboldening them to make demands. Many of those who served abroad enjoyed a higher standard of living, which they could not maintain when the war ended, and they came to associate an end to colonial rule with better living standards.

When the war spread to North Africa, the Middle East, and India, Nigeria became of strategic importance to Britain and its allies as a staging-post for troops and for the organization of supplies to these places. Military camps, airports, and roads to connect them were rapidly constructed in or around such towns as Ibadan, Lagos, Kano, Enugu, Maiduguri, and Jos. Over 100,000 troops passed through West Africa. Many cities benefited and the wage-earning working class was expanded. [7]

Nigeria also contributed resources by way of funds and raw materials. More tin and rubber was requested following the loss of southeast Asia, in addition to previous export commodities and newer ones such as cassava starch. Wartime scarcity brought economic prosperity which failed to last, as hardship followed the end of artificial demands.

The number of trade unions increased, formed by railway workers, teachers, post and telegraph workers, marine staff, civil servants, and others. There were other associations in the cities formed along ethnic lines (for example, Ibo State Union) or town lines (Oyo Progressive Union). More associations emerged in the 1940s as hundreds of people entered wage employment. Nationalist leaders could mobilize these associations for support. More importantly, the workers had a platform from which to organize protest. In 1945, labor unions were strong enough to embark upon a general strike for fifty-two days. The strike was a challenge to the government, it enabled the trade unions and the nationalist movement to fuse, and it revealed the advantages of cooperation and the usefulness of threats to gain concessions. The north, which had been excluded from most of the previous nationalist agitations, was drawn into the strike, thus spreading nationalism and political consciousness to a region that the British had sheltered against new ideas. Many became emboldened to make demands for a transfer of power. In the early 1940s, trade union leaders and students submitted memoranda to the government and wrote essays in the media calling for the takeover of power. In 1941, WASU called for the creation of “a united Nigeria with a Federal Constitution.” Two years later, the same organization demanded ten years of representative government to precede five years of full responsible government led by Nigerians.

The transfer of power to Nigerians was effected through peaceful constitutional changes after 1945. Within fifteen years the country attained self-rule made possible by a combination of constitutional reforms and the existence of Nigerian leadership and political parties working to acquire power. Nigerian leaders organized political associations and mobilized different constituencies to gain concessions. The leaders appealed to anti-colonial sentiments, and less to history, culture, and language. They exaggerated what independence would bring to everybody, contrasting this with the limitations of colonial accomplishments. Younger, radical nationalist leaders emerged. The organization of country-wide political parties became important in the struggles to gain power while the British increased the Nigerian membership in the Legislative Councils and approved a number of constitutional changes, eventually culminating in independence.

Herbert Macaulay (President of the Nigerian National Council)

Herbert Macaulay (President of the Nigerian National Council)

On August 26, 1944, the Nigerian National Council was formed, with Herbert Macaulay as President and Nnamdi Azikiwe as Secretary General, to bring together diverse associations and people into one united front. Membership was open to associations including political parties, trade unions, ethnic unions, and professional and literary groups. To allow the admittance of Cameroonian associations in Lagos, the name of the party was changed to the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons ( NCNC). For a decade, the NCNC served as the country’s leading national organization with branches in different towns. It called for self-government.

The 1923 Constitution was revised in 1947 as the Richards Constitution, named after the governor. This constitution aimed to bring the north and south together in a central legislative council without destroying the power of either the three regional assemblies or the Native Authorities. The constitution affirmed a country with three regions, each with its own assembly. The Executive Council, however, was still European, the franchise was again limited to Lagos and Calabar, and the Regional Assemblies lacked legislative power. Both the assemblies and the legislative council would include official and non-official members nominated by the governor and local authorities. Nigerians wanted more than this in the postwar era, and objected to the arbitrary manner in which the new constitution was introduced. The NCNC took the lead in criticizing the Richards Constitution. It organized tours all over the country to raise funds to send a delegation to London to protest the constitution. The tours raised political and national consciousness.

Trade unions and some radical groups were increasing the tempo of militancy. The Zikist Movement, comprising militant members of the NCNC, organized lectures and published materials to incite the public against the government. Tied to Azikiwe and unable to popularize their radical ideology, the Zikists failed to become a national organization.

The Zikists organized labor unrest, leading to the death of eighteen coal miners in Enugu in 1949, and additional protests thereafter. The Zikists took the lead in organizing violent demonstrations. Regarded as too dangerous by the government, and abandoned by Azikiwe, the Zikists were proscribed in 1951.

In 1948, the colonial government granted a number of concessions – the “turning point” towards decolonization. It reformed the Richards Constitution and announced measures to Nigerianize the civil service, democratize the Native Authorities, and expand higher education. Political reforms were introduced. Emerging leaders began to call for greater regional autonomy, creating associations to fight for this. The problems of ethnic politics that would consume Nigeria for the rest of the century had begun. Among the causes of ethnicity were the regional disparities created by colonialism, the competition in the urban environment for limited resources, and the instrumentalization of ethnicity by emerging politicians seeking the fastest means to mobilize support. Regional feelings eventually led to the emergence of regionally-based political parties. The Action Group (AG), based in the west, was led by Obafemi Awolowo, who used the Yoruba creation myth and the importance of the ancestral town of Ile-Ife to create a cultural organization, the Egbe Omo Oduduwa — “the descendants of Oduduwa” — that was transformed into a political party in 1951. The Northern People’s Congress (NPC), established in 1949, revived the memory of the Caliphate of the nineteenth century and used Islam to create a solid party for the north. A second major party emerged in the north, the left-wing Northern Elements Progressive Union ( NEPU), led by Aminu Kano. The NCNC, which had started as a national party, became the party of the east, controlled by the Igbo. Things would never be the same again as the leaders abandoned pan-Nigerian issues and focused more and more on regional concerns. Within one generation, nationalists became tribalists, interested in independence for narrow gains. Regional Houses of Assembly and a central Federal Parliament were established.


As the country entered the 1950s, radicalism witnessed a lull. Regional politics opened tremendous opportunities for aspiring politicians to run for office or serve in other prestigious capacities. The civil service expanded and . The first university was opened at Ibadan in 1948 as a university college, absorbing a number of young people who saw themselves as leaders of the future. Labor was no longer restless, in part because the economy had improved, and in part because the radicals in the Zikist movement had been abandoned in their moment of official persecution. Nigerian entrepreneurs were benefiting from Nigerianization and regionalism with better access to banks and government contracts and loans, in addition to acting as licensed buyers of a state-controlled export marketing scheme. New industries were being established and the domestic market was witnessing an upsurge. Exports of primary products expanded, allowing even the farmers to derive some small benefits. There was a massive increase in public expenditure in education, roads, energy, and industries. With very limited reflection on the implications of their actions, the politicians assured all Nigerians that development and improved standards of living were just around the comer. The 1950s became the golden era of hope and optimism in the history of modern Nigeria. [8]

Some crucial developments that occurred during this period include the alliance that the colonial state struck with the remnants of the Caliphate rulers. Based on that alliance, the latter sustained the view that their empire was still intact and with high prospects of continuing its Southward expansion. This was so in spite of the absence of an army under their command and control. They believed that the alliance between themselves and the colonial state implied the protection of their interests by the latter. It was in the course of this period that most Southern cities and urban centers became cradles of nationalism and anti-colonial activism. Pray But if conventional wisdom were to hold true, older cities in the North ought to have served this end. That the reverse was the case is not only symbolic in this essay, it underscores an earlier point that unlike in the North, the colonial state could not find the grounds for any meaningful interaction and exchange with the Southern groups who sustained their resistance to it. Another development that took place in the course of this period is that the colonial state was unable to find or create a basis to facilitate any meaningful interaction and exchange with the Southern groups who sustained their resistance to it through riots, other acts of open insubordination, and subsequently by way of nationalism. [9]

The only other means through which it could sustain its dominance over them was through the continued reliance on the instruments of colonial coercion – the army and police. The result was that it remained unentrenched and untransformed down in the South. And the manifest consequence of that failure remained political instability in the land.

Contrary to the speculative assertion by one like Adiele Afigbo, the failure of Britain’s Indirect Rule System and policies in the South is not indicative of the poor indigenous political organization of the Southern groups. Nor is it indicative of their failure as he claims, “to modify their indigenous system enough to meet the needs of the changed times” [10]

Ordinarily, a system of political administration like the Indirect Rule ought to have been a huge success, replacing the erstwhile forced labor policy with the policy of direct taxation,  which its formulators claimed was inspired by what they insist is their laudable desire to generate much-needed funds for ‘local development’. The fact that it still failed in spite of this is indicative of the absence of a basis of interaction and exchange between the Southern groups and the colonial state whose British agents formulated and implemented the system as an administrative policy. For us in this essay, the deductive inference from that failure is that neither entrenchment nor transformation can take place in a state in the absence of a basis of interaction and exchange between the state and the people(s) who fall under its political and administrative control.

Two issues delayed independence: the fear expressed by the minority groups that they would be stifled by regional politics controlled by the larger ethnic groups, and the fear by the north that it would be dominated by the south. Greater regional autonomy assuaged the fear of northerners. Minority groups clamored for constitutional safeguards to protect them, or for the creation of separate states to ensure autonomy. The three big parties were controlled by the dominant groups, not trusted by leaders of minority groups. A commission of inquiry to look into minority grievances failed to decide in their favor, as the dominant political parties rejected the creation of additional states. The commission recommended that safeguards should be added into the constitution to allay their fears. These included the centralization of the police, the legal guarantee of rights, decentralization of the functions of the provincial authorities, and the establishment of a development board to advise on the physical development of the Niger Delta area. Nigeria attained independence on October 1, 1960, and became a Republic in 1963. There were many issues outstanding, but these were swept under the carpet; most notable among these were ethnicity, minority complaints, violence, and growing corruption. In addition, the British successfully manipulated the decolonization process to protect their vital economic interests, among other things. The foundation stones of the post-colonial economic system were laid in this period, with continuing export production and the withdrawal of foreign businesses from traditional fields (produce export, retail) into the more modern sectors of the economy. Here, the British partly cooperated with the emerging Nigerian comprador bourgeoisie. Gaining independence proved much easier than managing a modern nation-state, as Nigerians were to see in the first decade of self-rule.


A.E. Afiobo, The Warrant Chiefs: Indirect Rule in South-Eastern Nigeria, 1879-1 929. (New York: Humanities Press. 1972)

A.P. Terdoo. Imperial Policing: The Emergence and Role of the Police in Colonial Nigeria 1860-1960. (Buckingham: Open University Press, 1991)

J. S. Coleman, Nigeria: Background to Nationalism ( Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1958)

H. O. Danmole, Religion and Politics in Colonial Northern Nigeria: The Case of Ilorin Emirate. (Journal of Religious History 1990 (16/2) 140-153)

M. Martin Configuring the trajectory of African history, (Canadian Journal of African History 2000. 34 (2): 376-86.)

Roberts, Richard, and Mann, Kristin, Law in Colonial Africa (Portsmouth NH and London: Heinemann. 1991)

P. Zachemuk, Colonial Subjects: an African intelligentsia and Atlantic ideas. (Charlottesville VA and London: University Press of Virginia. 2000)

R. L. Sklar, Nigerian Political Parties: Power in an Emergent African Nation ( Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1963)

B. J. Dudley, Parties and Politics in Northern Nigeria ( London: Frank Cass, 1968)

H. I. Bretton, Power and Stability in Nigeria: The Politics of Decolonization ( New York: Praeger, 1962)

K. W. J. Post, The Nigerian General Election of 1959 ( Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1963);

K. W. J. Post and G. Jenkins, The Price of Liberty ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1973);

C. S. Whitaker Jr., The Politics of Tradition: Continuity and Change in Northern Nigeria, 1946-1966 ( Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1970). For attempts to reform the colonial rule at the time of decolonization consult: P. Kilby, Industrialization in an Open Economy: Nigeria 1945-1966

[1] Roberts, Richard, and Mann, Kristin, Law in Colonial Africa, p. 121

[2] R. L. Sklar, Nigerian Political Parties: Power in an Emergent African Nation, p. 172

[3] NNDP Manifesto, Lagos, 1923.

[4] Roberts, Richard, and Mann, Kristin, Law in Colonial Africa, 64

[5] K. W. J. Post, The Nigerian General Election of 1959, p. 42

[6] K. W. J. Post, The Nigerian General Election of 1959, p.56

[7] Roberts, Richard, and Mann, Kristin, Law in Colonial Africa, p. 189

[8] P. Zachemuk, Colonial Subjects: an African intelligentsia and Atlantic ideas, p. 72

[9] Roberts, Richard, and Mann, Kristin, Law in Colonial Africa, 184

[10] A.E. Afiobo, The Warrant Chiefs: Indirect Rule in South-Eastern Nigeria, 1879-1 929. New York 1972, xii

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