On the 9th of January, 1950, delegates from the northern, eastern and western regions of Nigeria met as a body in Ibadan to discuss issues on the new constitution Sir Macpherson was drafting (Macpherson constitution of 1951).
The conference was held as a part of Sir Macpherson’s effort to have a home made and acceptable constitution unlike the earlier ones (Clifford constitution of 1922 and Richards constitution of 1946) which Nigerians claimed were imposed on them.
Sir Gerald Howe, the then Attorney-General, was the chairman of the conference.
Several issues were discussed at the Ibadan 1950 conference concerning the political administration of Nigeria, the system of government to be adopted and revenue allocation as well. Other important issues were also discussed at the conference. The political leaders of the three regions (northern, eastern and western) wanted the country to adopt a federal system of government which will grant autonomy to the three regions and then allow each of them to develop at its own pace.
Here is the outcome of the Ibadan constitutional conference of 1950:-
1. A federal system of government should be adopted in the 3 regions
2. The three regions should become administrative regions with a governor and a House of Assembly
3. Lagos should become an autonomous municipality
4. There should be the existence of the Federal Government Territory that will monitor the affairs of the three regions
5. Revenue from tax should be allocated to the 3 regions based on per capita
6. Nigerians should start participating in their own governance.
It was after the Ibadan 1950 constitutional conference came to an end that the Action Group (AG) and Northern Peoples Congress (NPC) were formed.
However, the Macpherson constitution of 1951 was more unitary than federal. Power was devolved to the regions but were still subordinate and closely tied to the central government. Since many Nigerian political leaders wanted a federal system, the Macpherson constitution faced continuing opposition and was later replaced in 1954 by the Lyttleton Constitution.
*C. C. Dibie; Essential Government for Senior Secondary Schools; Tonad Publishers; August 2008
* Country Studies; Nigeria- Government; http://countrystudies.us/nigeria/67.htm ; [Accessed- April 26, 2016]
* U.S. Library of Congress