Like every other constitution of a state, the Clifford Constitution has its advantages/merits and disadvantages/demerits.
Here are the merits of Clifford Constitution of 1922
1. Elective Principle- The Clifford constitution brought the elective principle into Nigeria which paved way for elective representation of Nigerians into the Legislative council.
2. Political Activities for Nigerians- The Clifford constitution permitted the formation of political parties in Nigeria so as to ensure greater participation of Nigerians in their government. E.g the Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP) of Herbert Macaulay.
3. New Legislative Council- The constitution created a new legislative council which consists of 46 members of which 27 were official and 19 were unofficial.
4. Nationalism- The constitution geared up Nationalism among Nigerians
5. Establishment of Newspapers- Newspapers were established to promote the more political activities in Nigeria.
Demerits of The Clifford Constitution of 1922
1. Sectionalism- The Clifford Constitution of 1922 brought sectionalism into Nigeria as the constitution was meant for the Southern protectorate alone. The Legislative council was also created for the south excluding the North.
2. The Legislative council was dominated by Europeans
3. Partial representation- The elective principle introduced by the Clifford Constitution of 1922 works only for the legislative council. The executive council is not elective.
4. Imposition- The people claimed that the constitution was imposed on them
5. The Governor-General had veto powers on issues discussed in the legislative and executive council
6. Partial Elective principle- Only Nigerians with resident qualification and have a gross income of £100 per annum which as at then was a very huge sum.
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