The Eastern Regional Crisis of 1953


The crisis started on January 30, 1953 and lasted  May 6, 1953. The National Council of Nigerian and Cameroon (NCNC) majority turned itself into an opposition and as such killed the bills that was brought to it including the appropriation bill. The governor had to use his reserve powers to decree appropriation for the running of the government. The crisis arose because the internal split and power struggle within NCNC. In the first place the party members from Lagos failed to elect their party leader Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe into the House of Representatives in Lagos. In the second place, the party leaders did not agree on whether or not they should continue to support the MacPherson Constitution. The party members who were holding ministerial positions supported it while others did not. Later, the party central ministers were expelled. But some regional ministers did not support the expulsion and there were moves to reshuffle the posts of the regional ministers with a view to replacing the six expelled ministers at the centre. This brought about the crisis when the six withdrew their original letters of resignation to make the reshuffling possible. When it became impossible to carry on the business of the house, the House was dissolved on May 6, 1953.
The after effect of the crisis are mainly three:
On February 23, 1953, the National Independent Party (NIP) was formed in the Eastern Region by the expelled regional and central ministers and their supporters outside. In the new government that was elected in 1953, the NCNC formed the government and the NIP the opposition.
Secondly, the efforts of the Cameroon’s representatives in the Eastern Region for Cameroon’s autonomy from the East were intensified.
Finally, the third effect of the crisis is the general loss of confidence in democratic institutions, not only in the East but also in the whole country. People generally became disillutioned about these institutions.

6 thoughts on “The Eastern Regional Crisis of 1953

  1. ifeanyiazu60

    Nice one. But beware, “a history with a grain of delusion is worse than poison & is better not heard of in any ramification (be it oral or written).” I read dis write-up with curiousity bt on reading through “Biafra,” u killed my zeal; the suspense earlier created withered away like a dry weed. U were blatantly mendacious as to the remote and immediate cause of the war, even the aftermath on the side of the Biafrans. Stop being ethnocentric when writing any history. I am 99.9% convinced that you know the truth bt failled to say it (maybe dts what/how anti-Biafrans told u. Bt, may i let u know that Biafrans of 2day are wiser & ur intentions ended in total futility coz, the nitty-gritty of the war had since been reavealed to the entire human race by a powerful litratus & world renown Biafran (Achebe) just few years before his demise, (as if he knew amateurs, like u, would come up with their junks/pulps to decieve his people). Anyway, i still love u as a fellow African (not Nigerian). Tell the world we are back; Biafra was only sown & it has jerminated & no mortal can cut it coz it is of God. #Proudly a Biafran!


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