Tag Archives: Colonial Era of Nigerian History

This era of Nigerian history began in 1800 and ended in 1960. It witnessed British rule in Nigeria.

Macpherson Constitution of 1951

Macpherson constitution of 1951

In 1948, Sir John Stuart Macpherson succeeded Sir Authur Richards as the Governor-General of Nigeria. Soon after he (Macpherson) resumed office, he began to draft a new constitution for the country. He was very patient and careful in the process so as not to repeat the mistake of his predecessor, Sir Authur Richards. Sir Authur Richards’ constitution, also known as Richards constitution of 1946, was severely criticized by Nigerian nationalists on the ground that it was imposed on Nigerians and operated without prior consultation. Continue reading Macpherson Constitution of 1951

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The Osogbo War of 1840

Osogbo map

After the Fulanis systematically captured and made Ilorin their territory, they sacked the old Oyo Empire in 1835/1636. They were still not satisfied with their victory; they wished to extend their rule deep into the heart of Yoruba land. Thus in 1840, they set to capture Osogbo, a Yoruba town. The Fulanis, under the command of Ali, the Hausa balogun of Ilorin, laid siege on Osogbo. When the king of Osogbo realized that the Ilorins were too strong for the Osogbo army, he summoned the Ibadans for help. Ibadan immediately sent some auxiliaries to Osogbo under the command of Obele alias Mobitan, and Alade Abimpagun. As this force could not stop the Ilorins, another contingent was sent to Osogbo under a more experienced leader. But still the Ilorins won every battle and gained more ground. Continue reading The Osogbo War of 1840

The Mugbamugba War- Second Attempt of a Failed Expulsion

Fulani Warriors

After Are-Ona-Kakanfo Afonja was murdered and Ilorin was seized by the Fulani Jamma, Alimi (the son of Abdul Salam) became the first Fulani ruler of Ilorin not with the title of Oba or Baale but Emir which solidifies that the total control of Ilorin, a Yoruba town had gone to the Fuanis. In a bid to restore the control of Ilorin in the hands of the Yorubas, Toyeje, the Baale of Ogbomoso and the new Are-Ona-Kakanfo, led an attack on Ilorin to expel the Fulanis, but unfortunately, he failed drastically. After sometime, between the months of March and April (when locus fruit i.e Igba was ripe for harvest), another attempt was made by the Yorubas to chase the intruding Fulanis out of Ilorin but failed again. Continue reading The Mugbamugba War- Second Attempt of a Failed Expulsion

The Egba- Dahomey War (1851-1864)

Dahomen Women Warriors
Dahomen Women Warriors (Amazon Women)

The Egba-Dahomey war, as the name suggests, was a war that broke out between the two neighboring kingdoms of Egba and Dahomey (now the Republic of Benin) over territorial expansion caused by the quest of the latter to stabilize her economy. The Egba-Dahomey war was the third of the destructive wars that plagued the Yoruba nation in the nineteenth century, proceeding the Owu-Ife war: 1821-1828; and the 1840 Osogbo war. Continue reading The Egba- Dahomey War (1851-1864)

The Ibadan All-Nigerian Constitutional Conference of 1950

Nigerian Map

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). Continue reading The Ibadan All-Nigerian Constitutional Conference of 1950

The Richards Constitution of 1946

Constitution Of Nigeria

Governor Bernard Bourdilloun succeeded Sir Hugh Clifford as the Governor General of Nigeria in 1939 and later left the office in 1945. In 1939, while still in power, he turned the Northern and Southern Protectorates into provinces and divided the Southern province into Eastern and Western provinces, while the Northern province remained untouched. Continue reading The Richards Constitution of 1946

Berlin Conference And The Partition of West Africa

Berlin Conference

In the due course to get a share of the African continent, all European nations participating in the struggle to have a colony in Africa had lost their decency and orderliness in the run. The tension and clashes among these competitors was boiling at its hottest degree. It was at that time that Otto Von Bismarck, a German Chancellor, convened a meeting at Berlin (Berlin Conference) with the purpose of resolving the disputes among the competitors without the use of arms. Continue reading Berlin Conference And The Partition of West Africa

Lagos Times and Gold Coast Colony Advertiser

Lagos Times And Gold Coast Advertiser_OldNaija

The Lagos Times and Gold Coast Colony Advertiser was the third newspaper established in Nigeria. It succeeded Anglo African of Robert Campbell and Iwe Irohin of Rev. Henry Townsend. The newspaper was established on Wednesday, 10th November, 1880 by Mr. Richard Olamilege Beale Blaize and was edited by Mr. Andrew M. Thomas and Mojola Agbebi. Continue reading Lagos Times and Gold Coast Colony Advertiser

Iwe Irohin- The First Newspaper In Nigeria

Henry Townsend

In the 1840s, the missionaries of the Presbyterian Church began to arrive in Nigeria. They settled in an area known as English Town in Calabar. Among these missionaries was Rev. Henry Townsend who later moved to Abeokuta in the 1850s. In Abeokuta, he established a printing press in 1854 which he used, five years later, to publish the first newspaper in Nigeria called “Iwe Irohin Fun Awon Ara Egba Ati Yoruba.”
Continue reading Iwe Irohin- The First Newspaper In Nigeria

The Ibadan-Ijaye War (1861-1862)

Olumo Rock In Abeokuta, Ogun State

The Ibadan-Ijaye war broke out in 1861 between Ibadan and Ijaye over who to succeed the old Oyo empire as the political head of Yorubaland. The two rebelling towns sprang up from the ruins of the Old Oyo empire which was destroyed in 1836 by the Fulanis. Ibadan, Ijaye and the new Oyo, also called Oyo Atiba, succeeded the Old Oyo empire after its destruction. According to Latisosa, a Balogun of Ibadanland who fought in the war, Continue reading The Ibadan-Ijaye War (1861-1862)

Mungo Park In West Africa

 

Mungo Park in West Africa
Mungo Park

 

The ball was now on the feet of a young Scotsman, to see whether he could succeed where his predecessors had failed. This man was Mungo Park, who was one of the greatest explorers in the history of African exploration. He made two journeys. The first was in 1795 when he Continue reading Mungo Park In West Africa

Usman Dan Fodio (1754-1817)

Usman Dan Fodio

Usman Dan Fodio, born in 1754 to a Torokawa parents, was the leader of the greatest Jihad in Nigeria and West Africa. He studied law, theology and philosophy in Agades under a man called Umar. The study of these subjects inspired him to accept the religion of Islam. Usman Dan Fodio migrated to Gobir after completing his school in Agades. In Gobir, paganism was mixed with Islam which really irritated and infuriated Usman Dan Fodio, and he began to Continue reading Usman Dan Fodio (1754-1817)

The West African Students’ Union (WASU, 1925)

WASU

The West African Sudents’ Union (WASU) was founded on August 7 1925, in London, by a group of twenty one law students led by Ladipo Solanke and Herbert Bankole Bright.
WASU was an association of London- based students from West African countries with the purpose of promoting political research and uniting West Africans overseas. The main aims of WASU was to fight for the independence of West African countries and to put an end to racial discrimination  which as at then was climbing its peak.

The West African Students’ Union came into existence from the activities of earlier student organizations such as the Union of Students of African Descent, Gold Coast Students’ Association and the Nigerian Progressive Union founded by Ladipo Solanke and Amy Ashwood Garvey in July 1924 in London.

Ladipo Solanke was the founder and secretary-general of WASU while J.B. Danquah served as the first president of the union. Joseph Ephraim Casley Hayford, the pioneer of the National Congress of British West Africa (NCBWA), was made the patron of WASU, and with his post he promoted African nationalism among West Africans.

In 1926, WASU began the publication of a journal known as ‘WASU’ which circulated round Europe and Africa as well. The union also published a lot of other pamphlets which had great influence on West Africans abroad and at home.

In 1929, with the support of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB), WASU was able to successfully stop the project of an African village exhibition in Newcastle on the ground that it will lead to the exploitation of some African communities.

Ladipo Solanke established more than 25 branches of WASU in Nigeria, Gold Coast (Ghana), Sierra Leone and other West African Countries. The West African Students’ Union also succeeded in given birth to some unions and movements in Africa, such as, The Gold Coast Youth Conference and the National Union of Nigerian Students and so on. Some members of WASU were also prominent members and administrators of The Nigerian Youth Movement (NYM), a political party founded in 1935.

In 1949, Ladipo Solanke stepped down as the secretary general of WASU due to some misunderstandings that erupted among the members of the union. WASU however existed and remained active till the 1960s.

CONTRIBUTIONS/ ACHIEVEMENTS OF WASU

1. WASU strived hard in promoting racial equality and self determination among the people.

2. WASU served as an intermediary or a link between the parliament in Britain and West African leaders.

3. The union succeeded in uniting West Africans in the United Kingdom.

4. The West African Students’ Union arouse nationalism among West Africans.

5. WASU proved itself to be a training ground for West African leaders and intellectuals. E.g Kwame Nkruma of Ghana

A WASU project (www.wasuproject.org.uk) is currently going on which included the production of a film documenting the history of West Africans in Britain.

Image Credit: wasuproject.org.uk

The National Union of Nigerian Students (NUNS, 1956)

The National Union of Nigerian Students

The National Union of Nigerian Students (NUNS), founded in 1956, was a union that brought together Nigerian students at home and abroad.
NUNS was a branch of the West African Students’ Union (WASU) founded by Ladipo Solanke and Herbert Bright Bankole in 1925.
The union actively opposed the policies of the government on so many issues about Nigeria’s education system, the rights of students in Nigeria and many more.
In April 1978, The National Union of Nigerian Students (NUNS) fully participated in many campus protests across the nation against the increasement of university fees. More than twenty students were seriously injured and killed by the police and army sent to drive the protesting students away. As a result of this, the Federal Military Government closed down three universities and imposed a ban on NUNS. Later on, several university students and officials were dismissed.

 

In 1980, The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) was founded as a replacement for the banned NUNS. Two years earlier, in May 1986, over fifteen students of Ahmadu Bello University were killed by the police during a protest over the observation of the “Ali Must Go Day” (Ali was the then minister of education) in memory of the students massacred in the 1979 protest. This resulted into the FGM closing down nine out of the fifteen universities in Nigeria.
The National Association of Nigerian Students was also banned in 1986 after a student riot calling for the dismissals of the government and some police officials.

The Clifford Constitution of 1922

Sir hugh clifford

 

Click here to read the Merits And Demerits of Clifford Constitution of 1922

 

The Clifford Constitution of 1922 disposed the Nigerian Council of Lord Lugard (1914) and set up a new legislative council for the Southern Protectorate. The membership of the Clifford legislative council was 46. Twenty- seven out of the 46 members were officials while 19 were unofficial members. Ten out of the 19 unofficial members were Nigerians and out of the 10 unofficial Nigerians, 4 were elected, 3 from Lagos and 1 from Calabar. Continue reading The Clifford Constitution of 1922

Nigerian Youth Movement (NYM, 1935)

Eyo Ita Esua

The Nigerian Youth Movement (NYM) was founded in 1935 after the introduction of the Clifford constitution of 1922 which paved way for the formation of political parties in Nigeria. Prof. Eyo Ita Esua was known to be the founding father of NYM, and other characters like Earnest Ikoli, the first editor of the Daily Times of Nigeria (1926), Samuel Akinsanya and Dr. C. Vaughan were founding members. NYM competed for the political control of Lagos with Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP) which was founded by Herbert Macaulay. Continue reading Nigerian Youth Movement (NYM, 1935)

The plane thet first flew over Lagos

The First Aeroplane Seen Flying Over Lagos- May 30 1926

The plane thet first flew over Lagos

On the 30th of May, 1926, a French aeroplane was seen flying over the city of Lagos. It was a sunny Sunday  afternoon, the pilot was one Mr M. Landrich who had a passenger on board. The aeroplane took off at Elizabeth Vile, in the Congo and landed at Duala with the intention of Continue reading The First Aeroplane Seen Flying Over Lagos- May 30 1926

Akede Eko- The Popular Yoruba Newspaper

Akede Eko Newspaper

 

Akede Eko was a Nigerian Newspaper founded in 1927 by Isaac Babalola Thomas. The Akede Eko Newspaper (which means Lagos Herald) was a bilingual Yoruba- English newspaper that rocked the media world in the late 1920s. Its bilingual concept and style brought it into limelight and found itself competing with Continue reading Akede Eko- The Popular Yoruba Newspaper

The British-Ijebu war of 1892 (The battle of Imagbon)

Ijebu-War

In 1891, the Ijebu tribe, dwelling between 50 and 60 miles north-east of Lagos on the Magbon river, set a blockade on the trade route from the interior into Lagos, which was a crown colony, and charged customs dues which served as their income. The Awujale, the traditional ruler of Ijebu, closed down the Ejirin market, cutting off Lagos from a source of up-country trade.
The British government persuaded the Awujale several times to open the blockaded route but the Ijebu ruler remained adamant. However, Continue reading The British-Ijebu war of 1892 (The battle of Imagbon)

Indirect Rule in Nigeria

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Lord Lugard

Let us begin with the definition of the indirect rule system. What is indirect rule? It is a system of administration used by the British colonial government to govern the people through the use of traditional rulers and traditional political institutions. The indirect rule system was introduced into to Nigeria by Continue reading Indirect Rule in Nigeria

The Treaty Between Britain and Lagos on January 1, 1852

Treaty of lagos

Before the Britain’s intervention of Lagos (also known as the Bombardment of Lagos ) in 1851, Lagos has been a main port for slave trading activities, under the rule of Oba Kosoko. Britain fought hard to abolish the slave trade in Lagos but due to some reasons connected with Oba Kosoko, the mission was not accomplished. In 1849, Britain appointed John Beecroft as the consul of the Bights of Benin and Biafra, whereas Lagos was in the western part of the Consulate of the Bights of Benin and Biafra, this made it possible and easier to dethrone Oba Kosoko (because he was an hindrance to the abolition of slave trade in Lagos) and the installation of Oba Akitoye. Continue reading The Treaty Between Britain and Lagos on January 1, 1852

Nigeria’s Old and New National Anthem

Ben Odiase
Ben Odiase

The old national anthem of Nigeria was composed by Miss L.J Willams from Britain in 1960. But it was later replaced by a new one in 1978 which was written by an assistant Commissioner of police Mr Benedict Odiase and was introduce on the 1st of October, 1978.

OLD NATIONAL ANTHEM
by Miss L.J Williams

Nigeria we hail thee,
Our own dear native land,
Though tribe and tongue may differ, Continue reading Nigeria’s Old and New National Anthem

The National Congress of British West Africa (NCBWA)

ncbwa

The National Congress of British West Africa (NCBWA) was formed in Accra, Gold Coast (now Ghana) in 1920 by the educated elites from English-speaking West African colonies led by Mr. Joseph Casely Ephraim Hayford of Ghana and Dr. Akinwande Savage of Nigeria. The NCBWA’s first meeting was held at Continue reading The National Congress of British West Africa (NCBWA)

Adubi War, Abeokuta 1918

Adubi War

The Adubi war, also known as “Ogun Adubi” and sometimes reffered to as the Egba Uprising, was a war that took place between June and August, 1918 as a result of the taxation system introduced by Continue reading Adubi War, Abeokuta 1918

History of Nigerian Federalism

Governor Bernard Bourdillion
Governor Bernard Bourdillion

The history of Federalism in Nigeria can be traced to the division of the country into three provinces (Northern Province, Western Province and Eastern Province) by Governor Bernard Bourdillion in 1939. Governor Bernard Bourdillion (1935 – 1943) recommended the replacement of the provinces by regions which Arthur Richard’s Constitution later implemented in 1946. It was the idea of the Richard’s constitution that brought in a Federal structure but which it didn’t accomplish to the end. However, in 1953, Governor Macpherson’s constitution improved on that of Richard’s by creating House of Rep. with powers to make law for the country and Regional Houses of Assembly to make law for the regions. Later, in 1954, the Lyttleton constitution came in with a Federal system of government for the country. This was as a result of the constitutional conference that was held in London in 1953 (1953 London Constitutional Conference) where it was decided that Nigeria should become a Federal State.
Federalism is a system of government whereby power is constitutionally shared between the central government and other component units e.g. State/region and local government, but in 1954 there were only the central and regional government in Nigeria. Their powers and functions were shared to them by the constitution. Exclusive legislative functions were meant for the central government while concurrent legislative functions were meant for both the central and regional government and residual legislative functions were meant for the regions.

Here are some reasons why Federalism was introduced into Nigeria.

* Cultural diversity
* Fear of domination by the minorities
* The size of the country
* Geographical factor
* Bringing government nearer to the
people
*British colonial policy
* Economic factor
* Effective administration.

Reference:
* C. C. Dibie; Essential Government for Senior Secondary Schools; 3rd edition; Lagos; Tonad Publishers; 2008

Image Credit:
* wikipedia.org

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. Continue reading The Kano riot of 1953

The Kiriji War (1877-1893)

OgedemgbeKiriji Army

The Kiriji/Ekiti parapo war was a sixteen- year conflict that broke out mainly between Ibadan and the combined forces of Ekiti and Ijesha. According to Latisosa, “the kiriji war ended all wars in Yoruba land”. The Kiriji/Ekiti parapo war was inarguably the last and the most protracted war that plagued the Yoruba nation. The war broke out because of the Continue reading The Kiriji War (1877-1893)

Aba Women’s Riot (1929)

 

Aba women riotThe “riots” or the war, led by women in the provinces of Calabar and Owerri in southeastern Nigeria in November and December of 1929, became known as the “Aba Women’s Riots of 1929” in British colonial history, or as the “Women’s War” in Igbo history. Thousands of Igbo women organized a massive revolt against the policies imposed by British colonial administrators in Continue reading Aba Women’s Riot (1929)

Speech by the Governor General of Nigeria, Sir Frederick Lugard (Amalgamation Proclaimation of 1914) on January 1, 1914.

amalgamation-day-1914

You’ve always heard about the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates which took place on the 1st of January, 1914. Then you should also have a glimpse of the event that led to the great nation called Nigeria.
Below is the speech of Lord Frederick Lugard on the Amalgamation day (Jan. 1, 1914).

“You are all aware that His Majesty’s Government, after long and mature consideration, Continue reading Speech by the Governor General of Nigeria, Sir Frederick Lugard (Amalgamation Proclaimation of 1914) on January 1, 1914.

The Nigerian council of Lord Lugard

Lord Lugard

The council was created in 1914 after the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorates by Lord Lugard. Membership of the council was 24 official and 12 unofficial members. The unofficial members were; 6 Europeans representing commerce, shipping, banking, mining, chambers of commerce and 6 Africans made up of Sultan of Sokoto, Alaafin of Oyo, Emir of Kano, Chief Dogho Numa and a few educated Nigerians from Lagos and Calabar. The officials include Continue reading The Nigerian council of Lord Lugard