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