Tag Archives: History

TOP 10 EVENTS THAT MIRRORED NIGERIA IN 2016

In some hours time, 2016 will surely give way to 2017. 2016 obviously has been an eventful year for Nigerian history with the good, the bad and the ugly as it marks the first year in our government transition from former ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to All Progressive Congress (APC) under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Major events that shaped Nigeian history in 2016 include among others: President’s New Year speech, political party defection, Governorship Election in some states, Judges Raid by DSS, the suspension of “Whistle Blower” Jubrin, registration of some political parties by INEC, Economic Recession, MMM, Sports ups and downs and Death Of Prominent Nigerians. In no particular order I present the Top 10 Events that Mirrored Nigeria in 2016. Enjoy it!

1. President’s New Year speech

Nigeria’s political year in 2016 started with a Presidential address on the 1st January where President Muhammadu Buhari in the spirit of his campaign promises, assured Nigerians of the commitment of his government to alleviate the problems confronting the nation on various fronts.

“The effective and efficient implementation of our 2016 budget proposals will address many of the socio-economic issues that are of current concern to our people. One area in which Nigerians, especially those in the northeast, have already begun to experience major change is in the war on terror” the President said.

On January 27, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State was sworn in as governor of the state after he was declared winner of the December 5 rerun election in the state.

Bello replaced Prince Abubakar Audu as the governorship candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) after Audu died. Audu who was at the verge of winning the November 23 election, died before the result of the election which was declared inconclusive was announced. 

2. Political Party Defection

In September, Joshua Dariye, former governor of Plateau State also dump the former ruling party for APC. Dariye attributed his decision to the protracted crisis at the national level of the party. Apart from Dariye, the former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu also dumped Progressive People Alliance (PPA) and joined APC.

Also Abdullahi Idris, former Minister of Transport and some chieftains of the People’ Democratic Party (PDP) in Gombe State defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in November. Those that defected along with Idris were former Deputy Governor of the state, Mr Lazarus Yoriyo, ex-House of Representative member, Alhaji Saidu Alkali and a former PDP Youth Leader, Alhaji Habu Mu’azu.

Before this time, two members of PDP in the House of Representatives defected to the ruling APC. The members are Hon. Tony Nwoye from Anambra and Hon. Udende Emmanuel from Benue.

3. Governorship election

The year 2016 witnessed conduct of two governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states. While the Edo election conducted on September 28 was won by Godwin Obaseki of All Progressives Congress (APC) that of Ondo was won by Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) of the same APC. Observers commended INEC for a peaceful conduct of the election and believe that if the commission intensifies more efforts, Nigeria may get a better credible election in 2019.

Despite the commendation, one issue that was raised by observers and stakeholders in the conduct of the two elections was the influence of monetary inducement. The inducement was more pronounced among APC and PDP, the two leading political parties in the country. Election observers want INEC to do everything possible to investigate the matter and prosecute those found guilty.

4. Judges Raid by DSS

Discussing the political activities of 2016 would not be complete without mentioning the raiding of some judges’ house by men of Department of State Security (DSS) in the month of October. DSS explained its decision to raid the home of the judges was informed by report that some politicians gave a large sum of money to those judges involved with the hope of getting favourable judgments.

Those arrested include: Justice John Okoro and Justice Sylvester Nguta of the Supreme Court; Justice Nnamdi Dimgba and Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja; Kabiru Auta, FHC, Kano; Muazu Pindiga, FHC, Gombe; and a former Chief Judge of Enugu State, Innocent Umezulike. The raid and arrest generated a lot of controversy in the country.

5. Jibrin ‘The Whistleblower’ Suspended

The House of Representatives in September suspended Abdulmumin Jibrin, a lawmaker from Kano State who was at the centre of the unfolding budget padding scandal, for 180 legislative days. In a motion recommended by House Ethics Committee chairman, Nicholas Ossai, and adopted by the whole House, Mr. Jibrin, a former Chairman of the Appropriation Committee will also not be able to hold any position of responsibility for the span of the current National Assembly.

Mr. Jibrin began stirring what experts described as one Africa’s biggest parliamentary scandals in recent memory on July 21, a day after he was eased out as chairman of the powerful committee by accusing Yakubu Dogara, Speaker of the House of Representatives and some members of padding the 2016 budget for their personal interest.

6. Registration of political parties

INEC in 2016 re-registered some political parties that were deregistered by the commission some years ago.

The parties, according to INEC, are Better Nigeria Progressive Party (BNPP), Democratic Alternative (DA), Masses Movement of Nigeria (MMN), National Action Council (NAC) and National Democratic Liberty Party (NDLP).

Others are Nigeria Elements Progressive Party (NEPP), National Unity Party (NUP), Nigeria People’s Congress (NPC), Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) and Peoples Redemption Party (PRP).

7. Death Of Prominent Nigerians

The year also witnessed the death of some prominent politicians in the country. Prominent among them include:

Ojo Maduekwe

Maduekwe, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Secretary of PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), died on May 16 at the age of 71.

He was also one time Minister for Culture and Tourism and later Transport. He was also a former PDP National Secretary.

Born on May 6, 1945, he was an Adviser to the Chairman of the Social Democratic Party between 1990 and 1992; Adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1993 to 1995. He also participated in the 19994/95 Constitutional Conference.

In 1999, he was appointed Minister of Culture and Tourism by the then President Olusegun Obasanjo and was later appointed Minister of Transport.

He became the President’s Adviser on Legal and Constitutional Affairs as well as served as National Secretary of the PDP, from where he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2007, a position he held till 2010.

In June 2012, then President Goodluck Jonathan appointed him as Nigeria’s Ambassador to Canada.

He was recalled alongside other non career envoys after three years of service abroad in July 2015, by President Muhammadu Buhari.

James Ocholi

One the deaths that shook Nigeria in 2016 was the the demise of James Ocholi, who died on

Sunday March 6. Ocholi, a serving Minister of State for Labour and Productivity died in an accident along Kaduna-Abuja Road.

The ghastly accident also claimed the lives of the minister’s wife and son. Late Ocholi, a lawyer by profession was a prominent politician from Kogi State and one of the close allies of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He was a founding member of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and All Progressives Congress (APC).

Tunji Braithwaite

Braithwaite was the founder of the Nigerian Advance Party (NAP) and had contested for the presidency on a few occasions but never realised his political aspiration. He was a delegate to the 2014 National Conference.

He was a pro-democratic activist and anti-corruption crusader was another prominent Nigerian who died this year.

He died on March 28 at the age of 82. The fearless lawyer fought several military governments to stand still during his lifetime.

Umaru Shinkafi

Alhaji Shinkafi, a lawyer turned politician died in London on July 6. Shinkafi, born on born on January 19, 1937, served as Federal Commissioner of Internal Affairs in 1975 and later became the head of the National Security Organisation in 1979.

During the aborted Third Republic, Shinkafi was one of the promoters of the Nigerian National Congress (NNC), a political association formed in 1989 after the disbanding of political groups by the General Ibrahim Babangida administration, which later joined the National Republican Convention He was also a presidential aspirant during the aborted Third Republic.

Olorogun Michael and Felix Ibru

One of the families that lost their loved one in 2016 is the Ibru dynasty in Ugheli North Local Government Area of Delta State.

Two prominent members of the family – Olorogun Michael Ibru and Senator Felix Ibru, died this year. Felix, who was born on December 7, 1935 died on March 12 at 80, while his elder brother, Michael died on September 6.

Felix was the first democratically elected governor of Delta State. He served as governor during the aborted Third Republic.

He also represented Delta Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly between 2003 and 2007. Michael, the patriarch of the Ibru family and chairman of the Ibru organisation was born on December 25.

He contested for governorship in 1983. He died at the age of 86 years after a protracted illness in Florida in the United States.

Sir Olaniwun Ajayi, born on April 8, 1925 was an Afenifere chieftain and of the die-hood Awoist, who defended the Yoruba nation during his life time.

The elder statesman was a delegate to the 2014 National Conference and one of the promoters of true federalism. He died on November 3 at the age of 91.

8. Economic Recession 

Nigeria’s economic climate was not a smiling one in 2016 as it took its toll on individuals, companies and organisations. Individuals have to cut down cost as a result of incessant inflation. Companies and organisations had to also cut cost, down size their staff strength and some had to owe staffs backlog of Salaries for up to 7 months and above. This was the effect of Recession on the country’s economy brought by inflation. Nigeria’s consumer prices increased by 18.48 percent year-on-year in November 2016, following a 18.3 percent growth in the previous month and above market expectations of 18.4 percent. The inflation rate accelerated for the 10th straight month to the highest since at least October 2005, as prices continued to rise for housing, electricity and food. In contrast, annual core inflation rate went down to 14.54 percent. On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.8 percent at the same pace as in the previous period. Inflation Rate in Nigeria averaged 12.27 percent from 1996 until 2016, reaching an all time high of 47.56 percent in January of 1996 and a record low of -2.49 percent in January of 2000.

9. MMM

As the harsh economic climate crept into the country’s system, different financial schemes are gaining attraction across the country. The most popular and recent is the Mavrodian Mondial Moneybox, MMM. MMM gives you technical platform which helps millions of participants worldwide to connect those who need help to those who are ready to provide help, for free. All transferred funds to another participant are your help, given by your own goodwill to another one. For instance, if you accept to provide help of N200,000, the bank account of either one person who requested for help of that amount or a number of people whose total request is N200,000 will be sent to you to pay the money into.

The scheme promises a 30 per cent return on investment to members. In their transactions MMM participants operate with Bitcoin. The 130 per cent payback is just a one-time payment after 30 days, and not every month payment from one investment, although you can invest as many times as possible after each 30 days’ circle

When you register on MMM and refer people to it, even if you are not investing, you earn 10 per cent of the amount the person invests. It’s rumoured freeze later this year has brought members into the state of Lamentations hoping that the assertion turns to fallacy by 2017. 

10. Sports Ups and Downs

In 2016 Nigerian Sports witnessed an epileptic start to the year with the resignation of Super Eagles Coach and former captain, Sunday Oliseh who attributed system failure and interference to his resignation. He was replaced by consortium of coaches in Samson Sia Sia, Salisu Yusuf and co to help Nigeria salvage 2017 African Cup of Nations Qualification. Coincidentally, Super Eagles failed to qualify from the ground giving Egypt the leeway to qualify from the group. Thid led to another drama as NFF cum media abruptly announced Frenchman Paul Le Guen as Eagles Coach. This was dismissed by the Frenchman and led to the appointment of German Gernot Rohr as Super Eagles Coach assisted by Salisu Yusuf. Rohr led Super Eagles to 3 straight win, 1-0 against Tanzania in an inconsequential Nations Cup Qualifiers, 2-1 away triumph over Zambia and 3-1 home win over Algeria in Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. With 2 matches played and 4 more to go in 2017, Super Eagles lead the World Cup qualification group with 6 points, 4 ahead of closest rival Cameroon. Age grade football was calamitous as the Under 17 and 20 failed to qualify for African tournament as well as World Cup by extension. 

Nigeria can only settle for a Bronze med from Samson Sia Sia led Under 23 Football side at Rio Olympics after the team went through hell at their camp in Atlanta only to arrive Brazil few hours to their opening match and defeated Japan 5-4. Haruna Quadri, Nigerian tennis star became the first African to reach the Quarter Final in Olympic Tennis event as Segun Toriola made his 7th Olympic appearance.

 The Special Athlete did Nigeria proud as usual at Rio 2016 Paralympics emerging as Africa’s best team. It was also a shambolic performance from Flamingoes and Falconets as they both failed to go past the group stage at FIFA Under 17 and 20 Women World Cup Respectively. But the Super Falcons brought smiles to Nigerian faces when they traveled to Cameroon to defeat the host 1-0 via Desire Oparanozie solitary strike to defend their African Women Cup of Nations title as this led to protest by players for their allowances to be paid making the President of Nigeria to intervene in the matter. Nigeria Beach Soccer team qualified for Bahamas 2017 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in spite losing in the final of African Beach Soccer Championship to Senegal.

The sporting fraternity will for long remember 2016 as the year the cold hands of death snatched some of its icons.

The deaths, especially in the football family, brought tears and anguish to family, friends, and sports followers.

Stephen Keshi

Keshi, winner of the African Cup of Nations as a player and coach with the Super Eagles, died aged 54 on June 8.

The football legend passed away after a suspected heart attack in Benin City, South-south Nigeria.

During his illustrious career first as player, Keshi played in five different African Cup of Nations tournaments, captaining the Super Eagles team to their second continental success in 1994 in Tunisia.

He was instrumental as Nigeria made their maiden appearance at the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the U.S. where they reached the second round before losing in extra time to Italy.

Fondly called the Big Boss for his domineering influence on the sport in Nigeria, Keshi played professionally in Ivory Coast, Belgium, France, the U.S. and Malaysia.

Aside the Super Eagles, he also managed the national teams of Togo and Mali and was the only African coach to have guided two nations to qualify for the World Cup

First appointed manager of the Nigerian team on November 2011, Keshi handled the Super Eagles over four spells, leading them to the 2013 African Cup of Nations title in South Africa.

Amodu Shuaibu

While Nigerians and African football were still getting to grips with the shocking news of the demise of Keshi, Coach Amodu Shuaibu, who was then the Technical Director for the Nigeria Football Federation, died three days later, also in Benin.

Shuaibu can be best described as “the man whose name is synonymous with the Super Eagles.”

He was head coach at different times with BCC Lions, El-Kanemi Warriors and Shooting Stars in Nigeria and Orlando Pirates of South Africa. He died in his sleep after complaining of chest pains over the night. He was known to be hypertensive and had rejected an invitation to once again take over the Super Eagles’ coaching job in February on this ground.

He first took charge of the national team in 1994 at the age of 36, and would be reappointed to the position three times more in 1999, 2001-2002 and 2008-2010. He guided the Super Eagles through the qualifiers for the 2002 and 2010 editions of the FIFA World Cup but was not allowed to lead the team to the tournaments.

Shuaibu also qualified the Beach Soccer National Team, Supersand Eagles, for the 2006 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, but did not lead the team at the finals as he refused to travel to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

He was the first Nigerian to qualify the Super Eagles for the FIFA World Cup, when with Keshi and Joe Erico as his assistants, he rescued the Eagles’ flagging campaign by guiding the team to win the last three qualifying matches, following the departure of Dutchman Johannes Bonfere, to reach the finals in Korea/Japan 2002.

Izu Joseph

The late Shooting Stars Sports Club of Ibadan defender lost his life to the bullets of men of the military Joint Task Force, JTF while on an end of season visit to his hometown. Though initial reports suggested that the footballer was a victim of stray bullets, the family has insisted that he was felled by the trigger-happy military men.

Izu, a regular with the Oluyole Warriors in the Nigerian Professional Football League 2015/16 season, helped the team retain Premiership status before he was shot dead in Okaki in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State.

Chinedu Agwu

The year 2016 started on a sour note for Nigerian football with the news of the death following a protracted illness of Chinedu Agwu, a former Enyimba and Kaduna United goalkeeper.

Agwu died a few hours into the year. The 30-year-old shot stopper made waves at Kaduna United but did not enjoy first team opportunities after an ambitious move to Enyimba

Peter Ogaba

The former Nigerian youth international died at 42 after a brief illness in his home at Kurudu village in the Federal Capital Territory. Ogaba burst into limelight at a tender age. He was the youngest Nigerian player at the FIFA U-20 World Cup hosted by Saudi Arabia in 1989 where the Flying Eagles then handled by Coach Tunde Disu lost in the final to Portugal. Ogaba had been the youngest player at Canada ’87 FIFA U-17 World Cup, at age 13.

During his active days, he played in KSC Lokeren in Belgium. He went on loan from Lokeren after sustaining a hamstring injury to Finland, FC Oulu, where he won the league.

Ogaba’s last known club was MSV Duisburg which he played for in the 1993/1994 season.

Ibrahim Abubakar

Until his brutal murder, Abubakar was head of protocol, Nigeria Football Federation, NFF.

He was shot dead by suspected armed robbers at his Abuja residence. The Kaduna-born football administrator was subsequently conveyed to his hometown where he was buried in accordance with Islamic rites.

Michael Umanyika

The young Nigerian footballer died on the field at Azerbaijani First Division club, Zagatala PFK. The 20-year old Umanyika reportedly slumped during his first training session with the team after returning from vacation in Nigeria, and could not be revived despite the medical team on ground. He had joined Zagatala PFK last season and made 20 appearances for the club.

The sporting year won’t be complete without our able Sports Minister comic rant that threw citizens and media into ironic ecstatic frame of mind. Barrister Solomon Dalung made the year comic in Sports arena.

As 2016 ends up today, I wish Nigerian a prosperous 2017 in good health and wealth.

See you all in 2017.

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The Crisis over the motion for “Self Government” in 1956

image This was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The motion was moved by an Action Group member, Mr., now Late Chief Anthony Enahoro, a member of the Central legislature. The motion asked the House to accept “as a primary political objective the attainment of self-government for Nigeria in 1956”. The Council of Ministers, in order to present the appearance of collective responsibility decided not to take part in the debate on the motion. The four Action Group members in the council therefore resigned their seats as ministers in order to participate in the debate. The Sardauna of Sokoto, the leader of the NPC then moved a counter-motion substituting for the phrase  “in 1956” the phrase “as soon as practicable”. Later on an adjournment motion was moved and the Action Group and NCNC seeing this is a delaying tactic by the Northern delegation decided to walk out of the House. After the adjournment the Lagos crowd became hostile to the Northern delegation and the delegation threatened they would not come to the South again. As a result of the resignation of the AG members in the Council of Ministers, the Council could no longer function. The net effect of the crisis was the Eight-Point-Program jointly passed by the Northern House of Assembly and the House of Chiefs-the programme if carried out would have led to a virtual secession of the region from the rest of the country. It asked for complete legislative and executive autonomy for the Northern region in all matters except those that dealt with defense, external affairs, customs and research institutions. Furthermore, the crisis brought about a temporary Alliance between NCNC and the Action Group.

The Eastern Regional Crisis of 1953

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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.

Governor Donald Cameron

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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.

Constitutional Development: Clifford Constitution of 1922

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The Clifford Constitution of 1922 abolished the Nigerian Council of 1914 as it was replaced by a new Legislative Council through which Nigerians will be given access to power via electoral principles.
Considering the provisions of Clifford Constitution, the Legislative Council was composed of 46 members of which official members including the Governor and 19 Non-official members out of which 15 were nominated by the Governor, 10 of the 19 non-officials were Nigerians. Also, it was established that for the category of male adult who can vote and be voted for must have resided in the country for 12 months and have gross annual income of 100 Pounds per annum. As a matter of fact, the North was not incorporated into the Legislative Council. But the Governor continues to rule by Proclamation in the North. The era also led to the establishment of first political party in Nigeria in 1923 by Herbert Macaulay (NNDP) and the establishment of newspaper like West African Pilot and Lagos Daily News.
More importantly, the Executive Council established by the Constitution was purely an advisory body to the Governor General because of the veto power. It was made up of 10 ex-officio members. Hence, Executive Council was exclusively reserved for the Europeans (it was strictly an European affair).
Finally, the Constitution allows more representation than 1914 Constitution and set the pace for Nationalist agitation by training them for future political activities  in spite of some of its shortcomings like restricted franchise, white domination, Governor’s veto power and introduction of sectionalism into Nigerian politics.

nigeria resistance

The establishment of whiteman’s rule (colonial rule) was not done without difficulties. Firstly, the local people did not tolerate the intrusion. Secondly, the whites could not settle due to the high death rate resulting from malaria fever. Thirdly, the uncoordinated operations of many trading companies made the work of the Consul even more difficult.
The local people intensified their attacks so fiercely and so repeatedly that no streamer ventured inland from the Coast. It became necessary to protect the trading ships by sending Naval Escorts. The British Government agreed in 1857 to send a Naval Gunboat to help the traders. But this was a reluctant step. The Government agreed to send the boat up the river once a year at high tide, the enterprise being assisted by a subsidy for five years beginning with £8,000 and decreasing annually at the rate of £500 a year.
Many of the trading companies found it difficult to continue their enterprise and considered folding up. In the middle of this uncertainty emerged Taubman Goldie, the architect of the merger of the companies. To start with, Goldies underhandedly bought out the assets of the weak foreign companies. Later, he persuaded the remaining rival British companies to amalgamate into one single enterprise which would monopolise the trade of the Niger Basin. This he achieved in 1879 when the United African Company (UAC) was formed.
Though the English companies had united, they continued to encounter opposition and competition from the French companies. The French who did not conceal their desire for colonies began a series of treaty-making expeditions to Gabon and South Cameroons. British fear was heightened because the French always set up protective trading walls around any area they acquired. In 1883, the French determination for the acquisition of territory was further manifested by the acquisition of Cotonou, Aghway, the Great and the little Popo and Port Novo, and to crown it all, French gunboat appeared on the Oil Rivers with the aim of concluding treaties which would give French traders a protectorate over Bonny.
The frightened English traders once again appeald to their Foreign Secretary for further official protection. Reluctantly, the Foreign Secretary directed the Consul for Biafra to sign treaties with the local traders.
Meanwhile, the treaty signing competition raged. The treaties conferred a precarious and vague form of unofficial responsibility. The European claim to an area rested technically on the ability to produce treaties signed with the leaders of the area in question. Problems arose simply because some local leaders were forced to sign treaties with the representatives of two or more European countries. To further complicate the issues, French, German and English gunboats confronted each other on the Niger. To avoid the imminent danger of war over African possessions, the Conference of Berlin of 1884-1885 was called. At this conference, Africa was partitioned with Nigeria falling under British influence. This ended the scramble for Africa.
After the British acquired obligations for the development of the Niger area, they began the era of British administration in Nigeria.

British Nigeria flag

After Lagos became a Crown Colony in 1861, the surrounding districts were annexed in quick succession: Palma and Lekki in 1863, later in the same year, Iddo and Oke Odan were declared protectorates of Lagos and consequently drawn under British rule. Like the Ibos of the Niger Delta, the Yorubas resisted British encroachments. Attempts were made to post Consuls to Ijebu Ode and Abeokuta but these attempts were foiled by the refusal of these places to trade with the British.
It was of vital importance to the commercial value of Lagos that Yorubaland should come under British rule. As usual, French influence was an important factor for it was reported that the French were trying to conclude a treaty with the Egbas of Abeokuta. If this had been effected, Lagos would have been rebdered valueless to the British as it depended on the hinterland for most of its trade.
In order to stop th French, the Consul found it expedient to persuade the major kings of Yorubaland to sign treaties of peace and commerce. Through the treaties, most of Yorubaland passed into British hands. Where the traditional leaders rejected British offers and persuasion, the British resorted to a display of military might. In some cases, the British intervened directly to punish the local people. In other cases, they signed treaties of protection with the local chiefs, so that other European competitors, particularly the French could be kept away. In other cases, they supported the Oba of one area to wage wars of aggression on other Obas who were less cooperative with the British. For personal safety, each of the Yoruba found it necessary to sign these so called treaties of friendship.
Abeokuta represented a classic examole of British colonial lack of direction. In spite of the fact that the British were forcibly occupying other parts of Yorubaland, they recognized the military strength of the Alake of Abeokuta (Chief of Abeokuta) and avoided open confrontation. In 1893, amidst civil war in Egbaland, the British threatened to join the rebel forces unless the Chief signed a pact of friendship with the Governor of Lagos. The Chief had no choice but to sign. The treaty expressly recognized the independence of Egbaland so that Abeokuta remained separate from the rest of British Nigeria going as far as establishing a fiscal frontier and collecting customs from goods from the rest of the Chief of Abeokuta in that he received British military support for suppressing palace revolts and to fight his own people in 1898, 1901 and again in 1913.
Just as Lagos and the rest of Yorubaland were being deviously appropriated, the British Consul for the Bight of Biafra was busy securing treaties of protection from the traditional leaders of the coastal areas.