Governor Donald Cameron


Sir Donald Cameron was previously the governor of Tanganyika in East Africa (1925-1931) and became governor of Nigeria in 1931. He was known to have developed the Indirect Rule in Tanganyika and as such had gained a lot of experience from that country. In Nigeria, his objective was to modernize the system somewhat. In an address to the legislative council, he restated the Lugardian principle of Indirect Rule and went further to clarify certain aspects of it. He especially deplored the tendency to overlook some of the evil practices of the rulers, especially in the North, and he told the administrative officers under him not to neglect their primary duty of educating the native authorities “in their duties as rulers of their people according veto civilized standards.” He then went on to initiate certain policies which he believed would foster Nigerian unity.
He did not believe in the policy set up by Lord Lugard of developing the North and South on separate lines. He also did not like the absence of constitutional link between the central government and the native administrations in both North and South. He therefore abolished the offices of Lieutenant Governors and substituted those of Chief Commissioners. He encouraged Northern rulers and their staff to visit the south and the United Kingdom to broaden their outlook.
Sir Donald Cameron was also remarkable in his reorganization of the judicial system. He abolished the provincial courts where lawyers were not allowed to appear, and replaced them with the High Court and magistrate courts where lawyers could appear. He was also responsible for setting up a system of Native Court to the authority of the Supreme Court.
In spite of his effort to liberalize and put the country on a fairly uniform kind of administrative development, the diversity of the country did not permit such development. The country continued to grapple with the problem of disunity even after he had gone.

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