The Kano riot of 1953

Kano Riot of 1953

In March 1953, a member of Action Group (AG) in the House of Representatives, Chief Anthony Enahoro, moved a motion, requesting that Nigeria should be granted self government in 1956. The leader of the Northern People’s Congress (NPC), Sir Ahmadu Bello, moved a counter motion. He proposed an amendment that self government should be granted “as soon as practicable”. This led to disagreements over the motion and equally resulted in a strained relationship between the Northern and Southern leaders. In the House of Representatives, the NPC members were in majority, the proposed amendment was likely to be in their favour. In anticipation therefore, the NCNC and A.G. Members in the House of Representatives walked out of the House. The meeting of the House was adjourned and members of NPC met very unfriendly crowd in Lagos.
They were called all sorts of names before they left for the North. A retaliatory move by Northern leaders in Lagos after the adjournment on March 31, 1953 self- government motion, was the tour of the Northern Region by the Action Group (AG) led by Chief S.L. Akintola viewed by Northerners as an invasion of another man’s territory. It was while Akintola and his group were in Kano, that a riot broke out. Several people lost their lives while many were wounded. After the crisis, the NPC members issued an “eight-point-programme”, to the colonial government to the effect until their demands were met, they would not return to the House in Lagos.

Political Implications of the Kano Riot:
¤ The riot worsened the relationship between the Northern leaders and Southern leaders.

¤ The riot also showed that only a federal system of government where regions are allowed to develop at their own pace could hold Nigeria together.

¤ It brought about the Constitutional Conference of 1953 and 1954.

¤ It brought about a temporary working alliance between NCNC and A.G.

Adapted from Essential Government; C. C. Dibie

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27 thoughts on “The Kano riot of 1953

  1. The northerners used the word “invasion of another man’s territory” as a mask. They did that to revenge the lagos booing.
    Oldnaija, thanks a lot. Im expecting more.

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  2. Thank you for your comment, Mr Adeyeba.
    The article says that
    “They were called all sorts of names before they left for the North. A retaliatory move by Northern leaders in Lagos after the adjournment on March 31, 1953 self- government motion, was the tour of the Northern Region by the Action Group (AG) led by Chief S.L. Akintola viewed by Northerners as an invasion of another man’s territory.” so, everything is clear, the answer lies there.

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  3. Thank you, Mr Raphel.
    The leaders of the three regions (north, east & west) were invited to a conference in London to discuss the redrafting of the constitution to suit each region. This conference is known as the London constitutional conference of 1953. They also concluded that “issues within the jurisdiction of the regions should not be subject to the central government’s intervention”.

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  4. The amalgamation of Nigeria is not a mistake because the regions merged together to form Nigeria do really need themselves to survive.
    The reason why some people claim it’s a mistake is that the people were not consulted and ready before Lord Lugard and Nigerian leaders carried out the amalgamation.
    Thanks for your visit.

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  5. I learnt there were reason(s) for the northerners to delay the motion.The case of 1 region being favoured by colonialism

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    1. Yes Mr Funsho. The Northerners delayed the motion for some reasons. They believe that the three regions were not yet ripe for autonomy, so the colonial masters should grant the three regions self government “as soon as practicable” and not in 1956 Anthony Enahoro requested.

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  6. Did the Northerners delayed the motion for other unspecified reason(s).The case of 1 region being favoured by colonialism

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  7. the NPC members issued an “eight-point-programme”, to the colonial government to the effect until their demands what are the eight point

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  8. in your own point of view sir, do u think that with the granting of self government that nigeria had left slavery or is still there but dont realise it?

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  9. Charity, I really love your question.
    It is true Nigeria was granted self government which means we should run our affairs ourselves, but slavery still exists. Even till today, Nigeria is facing a lot of indirect slavery comming in different forms and ways which we most times don’t realise.
    Thank you Charity.

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  10. Thanks for your philantrophic question Rackel.
    The leaders of both sides could have agreed on a peace talk to settle the controversy or to conveve a meeting where both sides would carve out a way of settling the issue without displeasing themselves.
    The Northerners could as well overlook the tour of the Action Group instead of attacking them. That will prove they are more matured.
    Thank you for visiting Rackel!

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    1. The motion for self government was raised by Anthony Enahoro who is a Southerner. Yes, there were changes in the government. The Western and Eastern (both Southern) regions were granted self government in 1957 while the Northern region got its own in 1959. The Mid Western region also attained her autonomy status in 1963 (post independence). All these in no doubt led to the independence of Nigeria.
      Thank you for your visit, Miss/Mrs. Tabitha Markus. Kindly do check back.

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