Below are the merits and demerits (advantages and disadvantages) of the Richards constitution of 1946
Merits/advantages of Richards constitution
1. It brought about regionalism which served as a bedrock for federalism in Nigeria
2. Unlike the Clifford constitution of 1922, the people were consulted (though not really) in the drafting of Richards constitution.
3. The constitution paved way for constitutional development in Nigeria.
4. The constitution promoted unity in Nigeria as it brought the North and South together in the central legislative council.
5. The constitution geared up nationalism among Nigerians.
Demerits/Disadvantages of Richards constitution
1. The constitution did not allow full participation of nationalist leaders in the administration of the country.
2. Nigerians were not fully consulted before the operation of the constitution. Therefore it was regarded as autocratic.
3. The governor still exercise veto power- The governor was not bound to accept the recommendations of the legislative council. The council only served as an advisory body.
4. The Richards constitution introduced regionalism in Nigeria which brewed regional rivalry because each region represent an ethnic group in Nigeria. E.g. The Northern region represent the Hausa/Fulani people, the Eastern region represent the Igbo people and the Western Region represent the Yoruba people. This gave birth to ethnic and tribal contradictions in Nigerian politics.
5. The constitution represent colonial interests.
6. The constitution was partial on the ground that it created house of chief in the north and non in the south.
7. Franchise was limited with people from upper class.
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