Tag Archives: Nigerian 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.

NIGERIA: HISTORY, GLORY AND MYSTERY IN DYNASTY OF MAJESTY

Life is in stages, men are in sizes and faces they say. Throughout history, Nigeria has undergone various stages under diverse political leaders to become what it is today. The ups and down, grass and grace, story and glory, test and testimony all summed up Nigeria’s experience since independence in 1960. From British Monarchy to Parliamentary system, Military coups and counter coups to the contemporary democracy, it’s obvious that the country has experienced lots of political upheavals and glories. As Nigeria march into another phase in her democratic dispensation, it is pertinent to look back at the major landmarks in the history of the country since independence.

Independent Nigeria

Nigerianische Boy Scouts stehen am 30.9.1960, einen Tag vor der Proklamation der Unabhängigkeit der britischen Kolonie Nigeria, vor einem Unabhängigkeitsdenkmal mit Wappen in der Hauptstatd Lagos. Drei Jahre später wurde die Republik Nigeria ausgerufen.

balewa and queen on indendence day 1960

From 1959, Nigeria was scheduled for independence from Britain in 1960 and three main political parties ran in the preparatory elections in 1959 (the National Council of Nigeria and Cameroons-NCNC which had control of the Eastern Region i.e Igbo led by Nnamdi Azikiwe; the Northern People’s Congress-NPC which had control of the Northern Region [Hausa/Fulani] led by Ahmadu Bello and the Action Group-AG which had control of the Western Region [Yoruba] led by Obafemi Awolowo). This shows that political parties during this era were divided along ethnic lines and ideologies. When no party won a majority during the 1959 elections, the NPC combined with the NCNC to form a government, and when independence arrived in 1960, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa was made the Prime Minister, and Nnamdi Azikiwe was appointed Governor-General in a Parliamentary System of Government.

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When Nigeria became a Republic in 1963, Nnamdi Azikiwe was elected President of the Federal Republic, and Tafawa Balewa remained as Prime Minister. However, there was great controversy over the 1963 population census, which the Igbo thought overestimated the number of Hausa-Fulani in order to give the Northern region more representation in the federal parliament.  The NCNC split with the NPC and joined with a splinter of the Action Group led by Obafemi Awolowo to form the United Progressive Grand Alliance (UPGA) while the NPC led a coalition with Ladoke Akintola’s faction of the old AG to form the Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP). Nigeria won her first Olympic medal at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics in Japan when Nojim Mayegun won a bronze medal in men’s light middleweight boxing.

JTUAguiyiIronsiironsi press conference

In January of 1966, some Igbo army officials staged a coup d’état to overthrow the government.  Members of the army killed Tafawa Balewa, Ahmadu Bello, Ladoke Akintola, and some senior officers; Nnamdi Azikiwe was outside of the country at the time. Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi was placed in charge of the new military government. Despite the fact that the coup was a bloody one, the new government promised a progressive program, a return to civilian rule determined by elections, and vowed to stamp out corruption and stop violence. Aguiyi-Ironsi tried to restore discipline within the army, suspended the regional constitution, dissolved all legislative bodies, banned political parties, imprisoned Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and formed a centralized Federal Military Government.
A decree was issued in March of the same year (1966) to abolish the federation, and unify the federal and regional civil servants. There were many suspicions that Aguiyi-Ironsi favoured the Igbos over other ethnic groups, and the fact that the military government did not prosecute the officers who had killed the northern leaders stirred further violent. Though Aguiyi-Ironsi gave some concessions to northerners, many Hausa-Fulani felt the coup was a plot to make the Igbo dominant in Nigeria.

Yakubu-GowonYakubu-Gowon1

In July of the same year, northern officers staged another coup, killing Aguiyi-Ironsi and many other Igbo officials. The Muslim officers chose Yakubu Gowon (who was a Christian) as the new ruler. Gowon had not actually been involved in the coup, but they felt he would be the best compromise candidate to head the Federal Military Government. His first steps included restoring Federalism, and releasing Obafemi Awolowo from prison.
Gowon vowed to start Nigeria along the road to civilian government. However, when Gowon moved to split the 4 existing regions into 12 states in 1967, Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, the leader of the Eastern Region refused to accept this and declared that the Eastern Region would become it’s own independent republic named “Biafra”. 

The Civil War

ojukwucivil war nigeria.0starving children civil war

On May 30, 1967, Ojukwu declared the secession of the three states of the Eastern region under the name of the “Republic of Biafra”, which the federal government interpreted as an act of rebellion. Fighting broke out in early July and within weeks had escalated into a full-scale civil war. In August Biafran troops crossed the Niger, seized Benin City, and were well on their way to Lagos before they were checked at Ore, a small town in Western state (now Ondo state). Shortly thereafter, federal troops entered Enugu, the provisional capital of Biafra, and penetrated the Igbo heartland. The next two years were marked by stiff resistance in the shrinking Biafran enclave and by heavy casualties among civilians as well as in both armies, all set within what threatened to be a military stalemate. Peacemaking attempts by the Organization of African Unity (now the African Union) remained ineffective, while Biafra began earning recognition from African states and securing aid from international organizations for what was by then a starving population.

The final Biafran collapse began on December 24, 1969, when federal troops launched a massive effort at a time when Biafra was short on ammunition, its people were desperate for food, and its leaders controlled only one-sixth of the territory that had formed the Biafran republic in 1967. Ojukwu fled to Côte d’Ivoire on January 11, 1970, and a Biafran deputation formally surrendered in Lagos four days later.

General Gowon was able to reconcile the two sides so that the former Biafran states were integrated into the country once again and were not blamed for the war. The oil boom that followed the war allowed the federal government to finance development programs and consolidate its power.

220px-Mohammedandakinyemimurtala muhammed

In 1974, Gowon broke his promise to return the nation to civilian rule, and in July of 1975 there was another military coup; for a change, Gowon was not killed.  Murtala Muhammed took over, promising the continuation of the federal system of government with constitutional laws guaranteeing fundamental human rights, maximum democratic participation, and an orderly return to civilian rule. Plans were made to move the national capital from Lagos, but this became a tremendous drain on the economy.

obasanjoShooting_Stars_SC_(logo)rangers 80s

In February of 1976, there was an attempted coup by Buka Dimka, and though it was unsuccessful, it was very bloody; Muhammed was killed.  Olusegun Obasanjo was chosen to take his place as the new ruler, and promised to continue what Muhammed had started. In sports, 1976 and 1977 saw the country tasting victories in continental championships through IICC Shooting Stars and Rangers International of Enugu in the Cup Winners Cup Competition. During his term, Olusegun Obaanjo raised University fees, and this led to student riots. The government banned student organizations, restricted public opposition to the regime, controlled union activity, nationalized land, and increased oil industry regulation. However, in 1978, a new constitution was written that would return the country to civilian rule, and elections were held in 1979.

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Shehu Shagari was named the new president in the 1979 elections, though many felt that he did not meet the requirements for winning. The country’s sports record of achievements continued in the 1980s with series of achievements especially in football. The bronze medals won in 1976 and 1978 in the African Cup of Nations was improved upon in 1980. The Christian Chukwu led Green Eagles won the Cup for the first time in Lagos.

Shehu Shagari stayed in power for his entire term, and when the new elections were held in 1983, he won again.  Many people were convinced that the elections were rigged and that Obafemi Awolowo had actually won; violence erupted in many areas, and every election was contested in court.

Military Regimes (1983-1999)

General-Buhari-as-Military-armyNigeria_buhari(1)

Another coup took place on December 31 1983, although this one was actually quite welcome at the time because many Nigerians felt that the nation had deteriorated into shameless corruption and economic mismanagement. Shagari was placed under house arrest, and General Muhammadu Buhari was named the new leader. Muhammadu Buhari set out to try to revive the economy, giving this priority over returning the country to civilian rule. He also restricted freedom of the press, suppressed criticism of the government, and outlawed many political and labour organizations. In addition, he declared a War Against Indiscipline to deal sternly with indecent public behaviour, inadequate sanitation, corruption, and smuggling, while encouraging patriotism. His fiscal policies made it difficult for many companies to run profitably, and eventually led to high inflation. His inflexibility led to increasing discontent. During his regime, Nigeria went to the Olympic games in Los Angeles in 1984 and came back home with a silver medal in boxing through the efforts of Peter Konyegwachie and a bronze from the 4 x 400m male team led by Innocent Egbunike.

Nigeria’s under-17 football team also went to China and conquered the world in the first ever FIFA under-17 World Cup on August 11, 1985. The victory took Nigerian football to a high pedestal, setting the stage for a respect of Nigeria in international competitions.

(FILES) -- File picture dated 31 August 1986 shows Nigeria's strongman General Ibrahim Babangida saluting during the 8th summit of Non Allied Nations held in Harare. Nigeria's former military dictator, General Ibrahim Babamosi Babangida, better known by his initials IBB, has dropped his bid to be presidential candidate of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

babangida (1)

Yet another coup that took place on August 27, 1985. This time Ibrahim Babangida (Buhari’s chief of army staff before the coup) was named Chairman of the Federal Executive Council. Babangida claimed that the reasons he rebelled against Buhari was the insensitivity of the regime to the feelings of the Nigerian masses.  He began his rule claiming to be a human rights activist, and did release some of the politicians that Buhari incarcerated.  However, he detained many people for political offenses. Economically, Babangida introduced market reforms, freeing exchange and interest rates which led to a sharp drop in the value of the Nigerian currency while raising lending rates to more than 40 percent. In April of 1986, there was an attempted coup by Mamman Vatsa; he and his followers were executed. On April 22, 1990, there was another attempted coup by Gideon Orkar that failed, but the coup almost killed Babangida. Unlike the other coups, this coup was believed to have been heavily funded by civilians, implying that the civilian leaders of Nigeria were willing to accept another military ruler over the current government. In the midst of this coup plot, Nigerian athletes participated at the 1990 Commonwealth games in Auckland, New Zealand and did marvellously well, winning five gold, 13 silver and seven bronze medals. A tremendous improvement from previous outings.

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A new constitution was set up in 1990, and the country was to return to civilian rule in 1992. With the euphoria of the 1990 Commonwealth Games, the country stormed the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992 and again there was an improvement from previous records. The quartet of Olapade Adenikan, Chidi Imoh, Kayode Oluyemi and Davidson Ezinwa won silver in the 4 x 100m, while the women led by Mary Onyali captured the bronze medal in the same event. Two Nigerian boxers also won silver medals. It was a moment of joy for all Nigerians. Football in the 90’s took Nigeria to greater heights.

As the new date of 1992 return to civilian rule approached, there were suspicions that this promise was not going to be kept. Pressure started mounting, and finally, in 1992, the Federal Council allowed an election to take place. However, the Babangida government annulled the results of that election, claiming fraud, and postponed additional elections for a year. Another election was held in June of 1993 and the winner was declared to be Moshood Abiola. Babangida again claimed fraud, and annulled the results of the second election, which was believed to be the first fair election held in the history of Nigeria. Hundreds were killed in demonstrations, human rights and pro-democracy activists were arrested, and opposition newspapers were shut down. Internal and external pressure mounted, and finally on August 27, 1993, Babangida resigned.  Ernest Shonekan, a civilian, was appointed President.

BNW-Ernest-Shonekan-2005apr05-4Shonekan1993 golden eaglet team

Shonekan’s rule was the shortest in history, lasting less than 3 months during which for the second time, Nigeria won the FIFA under -17 championship making her the only country to achieve such feats on September 4, 1993. In a world of football giants like Brazil, Italy, Germany and Argentina, the feat of the Golden Eaglets and Nigeria was indeed spectacular.  Ernest Shonekan was overthrown by Sani Abacha on November 17, 1993. Abacha is believed to have been instrumental in both the 1983 and the 1985 coups, and was Babangida’s defense minister.

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Sani Abacha is probably the most ‘famous’ president of Nigeria if only because of his brutality. Initially, Abacha promised to return the government to civilian rule within two years. In the meantime, he dismantled all elected institutions, terminated all national and state assemblies, closed independent publications, banned all political activity, and suspended the constitution. Moshood Abiola, backed by politicians, retired army officers, and pro-democracy activists, proclaimed himself president; he was imprisoned on charges of treason was placed in solitary confinement. One of Abiola’s wives launched a campaign for democracy and human rights shortly after his arrest and was assassinated, most likely on government orders. Wole Soyinka (the 1986 Nobel Prize winner in Literature) was also to be arrested, but was hinted about the proposed arrest and escaped. Abacha charged him in absentia with treason, and was sentenced to death in absentia; he was in exile for the remainder of Abacha’s life.

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In 1994, Super Eagles of Nigeria (Nigeria Senior Football team) won the African Cup of Nations for the second time and also qualified for the first time to represent Africa in a senior World Cup and did it in grand style. She became the first country to win her first World Cup match and the first to advance beyond the first round in her attempt. Although the Eagles lost in the second round to Roberto Baggio’s Italy, they had stunned the world and Nigerian stars have become the toast of big football clubs all over the world.

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In 1995, Abacha announced a three-year program of transition to civilian rule. On March 1, 1995 there was another attempted coup by Lawan Gwadabe. Also suspected as part of this coup were Olusegun Obasanjo and Shehu Musa Yar’Adua. They were sentenced to 25 years of imprisonment for this. Yar’Adua died while in prison, and Obasanjo was there for the remainder of Abacha’s life. Also arrested sometime in 1995 was Dr Beko Ransome-Kuti, a human rights activist who had been repeatedly arrested and released, but this time was charged with treason and sentenced to life imprisonment. That same year, trouble began with the Ogoni people. Ken Saro-Wiwa (an environmentalist and playwright) criticized the Nigerian government for the environmental damages being inflicted by the oil industry on the land inhabited by the Ogoni people. Saro-Wiwa and 8 other leaders were arrested on charges of conspiring to slay political opponents and all 9 were sentenced to death by hanging. Opposition to this sentence and an appeal for mercy came from all over the world. However, on November 10 they were hung. This stunned the world, and led to the suspension of Nigeria from the Commonwealth.
This hurt the already deteriorating economy, and Abacha tried to improve his image by portraying Nigeria as a regional peacemaker.  In 1996, he negotiated a peace agreement that ended Liberia’s 7-year civil war. When a military coup took place in Sierra Leone, Abacha stepped in and sent the Nigerian army to restore the democratically elected government. With these acts, people started to become more confident that he would return Nigeria to democratic rule as he had promised.

Nigeria made Olympic football history by becoming the first African and non-European and South American team to win the gold medal at Atlanta 1996 Olympics Games in USA. Chioma Ajunwa also won the gold medal in women Long Jump event at the 196 Olympics rounding up a successful outing for the country at the International event.

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On December 21, 1997, there was another attempted coup on the Abacha government by Oladipo Diya, and he was imprisoned. In April of 1998, Diya, 4 other officers, and a civilian were sentenced to death, while many others were sentenced to prison terms of varying lengths.  Elections to return to civilian rule were set for August 1, 1998, with a return date to civilian rule set for October 1, 1998. However, in April, Abacha became the only nominated candidate for the presidency. Opposition to his rule had been mounting more and more in recent months, because it was suspected that he did not intend to step down. Demonstrations and riots broke out, and many were killed. On June 8, 1998 Abacha died reportedly of heart attack at the age of 54 and was replaced by General Abdulsalam Abubakar.

Return to Civilian Rule

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After Abacha’s death, political activity blossomed as numerous political parties were formed. Of these, three emerged that were able to contest elections: the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the Alliance for Democracy, and the All People’s Party. A series of elections was held in January-March 1999 in which councillors for local government, legislatures for state and federal assemblies, and state governors were elected. The Presidential election took place in February and was carefully monitored by international team of observers. Olusegun Obasanjo of the PDP, who as head of state in 1976-79 had overseen the last transition from military rule, was declared the winner and was sworn in on May 29. A new constitution was also promulgated that month. Nigerians, tired of prolonged and crisis-prone military regimes, welcomed the change of government, as did the international community. In the first civilian-administered elections since the country achieved independence in 1960, Obasanjo was re-elected in 2003, although there were widespread reports of voting irregularities.

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Although conditions in Nigeria were generally improved under Obasanjo, there was still strife within the country. Ethnic conflict-previously kept in check during the military rule-now erupted in various parts of Nigeria, and friction increased between Muslims and Christians when some of the northern and central states chose to adopt Islamic law (the Sharia). Demonstrations were held to protest the government’s oil policies and high fuel prices. Residents of the Niger Delta also protested the operations of petroleum companies in their area, asserting that the companies exploited their land while not providing a reasonable share of the petroleum profits in return. Their protests evolved into coordinated militant action in 2006. Petroleum companies were targeted: their employees were kidnapped, and refineries and pipelines were damaged as militants attempted to disrupt oil production and inflict economic loss.  The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) was the most active of such militant groups, although its activity decreased after the group declared a unilateral ceasefire, and the government introduced an amnesty program in 2009.

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Obasanjo was also faced with resolving an ongoing border dispute with neighbouring Cameroon that included the question of which country had rights to the Bakassi Peninsula, an oil-rich area to which both countries had strong cultural ties. Under the terms of a 2002 International Court of Justice ruling, the region was awarded to Cameroon, and Obasanjo was criticized by the international community when Nigeria did not immediately comply by withdrawing its troops from the area in the subsequent years. He also received much domestic criticism for contemplating withdrawal from the peninsula by those who questioned the fate of the large number of Nigerians living in the region and cited the long-standing cultural ties between the Bakassi Peninsula and Nigeria. Nevertheless, Obasanjo eventually honoured the terms of the ruling in 2006 when Nigeria relinquished its claim to the peninsula and withdrew its forces. In 2003 and 2004 football season, Enyimba International Football Club of Aba, Nigeria made history by becoming the first football club in Nigeria to win the CAF Champions League back to back in 2003 and 2004.

The process of transferring the peninsula to Cameroon was not without its problems, including the ongoing issue of resettling Nigerians displaced by the transfer and the dissatisfaction of those who remained but were now under Cameroonian rule. In November 2007, Nigeria’s Senate voted to void the agreement that had ceded the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon. However, this action did not affect the actual status of the peninsula, and a ceremony held on August 14, 2008, marked the completion of the peninsula’s transfer from Nigeria to Cameroon.

Nigeria's former president Olusegun Obasanjo, centre, stands next to Nigeria's new president Umaru Yar'Adua, 56, right, after he was sworn in, in Abuja, Nigeria, Tuesday, May 29, 2007. A reclusive former governor hand-picked by departing President Olusegun Obasanjo was sworn in as Nigeria's new leader Tuesday in the first transfer of power from one elected government to another in Africa's most populous country. (AP Photo/George Osodi)

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Meanwhile, Obasanjo was the subject of domestic and international criticism for his attempt to amend the constitution to allow him to stand for a third term as president; the proposed amendment was rejected by the Senate in 2006. With Obasanjo unable to contest the election, Umaru Yar’Adua was selected to stand as the PDP’s candidate in the April 2007 presidential poll. He was declared the winner, but international observers strongly condemned the election as being marred by voting irregularities and fraud. Nonetheless, Yar’Adua was sworn in as president on May 29, 2007. During Yaradua’s tenure, the Golden Eaglets (Nigeria’s Under 17 football team) won their third World title at the 2007 FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Korea.

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Yar’Adua’s health was the subject of rumours, as he had travelled abroad for medical treatment several times in the years prior to his presidency and continued to do so after the election. His ability to serve as president while dealing with health issues was called into question after he went to Saudi Arabia in late November 2009 for treatment of heart problems and kidney problems. After he had been absent from Nigeria for several weeks, critics complained of a power vacuum in the country, and there were calls for Yar’Adua to formally transfer power to the vice president, Goodluck Jonathan. Although a ruling by a Nigerian court on January 29, 2010, indicated that Yar’Adua was not obligated to hand over power to the vice president while he was out of the country for medical treatment, the controversy surrounding his prolonged absence remained. On February 9, 2010, the National Assembly voted to have Jonathan assume full power and serve as acting president until Yar’Adua was able to resume his duties. Jonathan agreed and assumed power later that day, but it was unclear whether or not the assumption of power was constitutional. When Yar’Adua returned to Nigeria on February 24, 2010, it was announced that Jonathan would remain as acting president while Yar’Adua continued to recuperate. Yar’Adua never fully recovered, however, and died on May 5, 2010; Jonathan was sworn in as president the following day. His priorities for the rest of his term included tackling corruption, dealing with the country’s energy problems, and continuing his involvement in peace negotiations with rebels in the Niger delta, something he had focused on while he was vice president.

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Another area of focus cited by Jonathan was the reformation of the electoral process. Noting the irregularities associated with the 2007 presidential election, he vowed to make fair and transparent elections a priority, beginning with those scheduled for 2011. Voting in Nigeria’s legislative elections began on April 2, 2011, but, because necessary electoral materials were not available in some areas, voting was halted and postponed until April 9 (April 26 in some locations). As a result, the presidential election that was scheduled for April 9 was delayed until April 16. Jonathan was the overwhelming winner of the presidential election, receiving almost 59 percent of the vote among a field of 19 other challengers. Former military leader and head of state Muhammadu Buhari placed second, with about 32 percent of the vote. In other elections, the PDP did not fare as well as in previous years, but it managed to maintain control of the legislature and a majority of state governorship posts. International observers praised the elections as being largely free and fair. The polls were not completely without violence or controversy, however, as supporters of Buhari and other losing candidates rioted, primarily in the north, and accused the ruling PDP of electoral fraud

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Among the most-pressing concerns in Jonathan’s first full term as president was the ongoing threat presented by Boko Haram, an Islamic sectarian movement founded in 2002 in northeastern Nigeria; the group claimed to want to end the corruption and injustice in the country and impose Shariah, or Islamic law. Boko Haram did not gain widespread popularity until 2009 when, after an altercation with military and local police forces, it began attacking police and government targets, killing and injuring many; in response, security forces launched a crackdown on the group, killing many members. Shortly thereafter, the group’s leader, Muhammed Yusuf, was captured and killed while in police custody, as were several of his followers. The group later resurfaced under the leadership of Yusuf’s deputy, Abubakar Shekau, and unleashed a campaign of violence in 2010 that continued in the following years.

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - FEBRUARY 10:  Nigeria celebrate during the 2013 Orange African Cup of Nations Final match between Nigeria and Burkina Faso from the National Stadium on Februray 10, 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Lee Warren / Gallo Images/Getty Images)

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Boko Haram’s attacks grew in intensity and frequency, occurring primarily in northeastern and central Nigeria and typically targeting government buildings, military barracks, the police, and Christian churches and schools. Extrajudicial violence and killings by the police and military while in the pursuit of the group’s members were not uncommon and further heightened tensions in the country; the extrajudicial activity was also widely condemned by human rights groups. In 2012 some estimates held that more than 2,800 people had been killed by Boko Haram or by the security forces pursuing the group. The idea of granting amnesty to the group members if they disarmed—similar to what had been done with the MEND rebels in 2009—had been periodically proposed but dismissed for various reasons. In April 2013, however, with Boko Haram’s violence showing little sign of abatement and the previous strategies of dealing with the group by force clearly proven ineffective, Jonathan appointed a committee to investigate the implementation of an amnesty program, but it bore little fruit. In June Jonathan officially declared Boko Haram a terrorist group and banned it under Nigerian law. The militants and anyone caught helping them could then be prosecuted under the country’s Terrorism Prevention Act, which was expected to facilitate legal prosecution of the accused. In 2013, the Super Eagles of Nigeria won her third African Cup of Nations by beating Burkina Faso 1-0 in South Africa. The Nigeria Under 17 team also won her 4th FIFA Under 17 World Cup in grand style. During this period, the Super Falcons (Nigeria Senior famale football team) continued their dominance  in Africa and still unable to extent such dominance to world stage as their performance at FIFA Women’s World Cup remain a fiasco save for the Under 20 side that were able to make it to the final of the FIFA Under 20 World Cup twice.

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Boko Haram’s attacks continued throughout the rest of 2013 and into 2014, with the government unable to do much to stop the group. In April 2014 Boko Haram’s mass kidnapping of more than 275 girls from a boarding school in Chibok in Borno state brought the group and its unabated campaign of terror into the international spotlight. The kidnapping was widely condemned across the globe and generated an increase in offers of international assistance to Nigeria, which, unlike in the past, the country was now more willing to accept. Neighbouring countries as well as Western nations worked with Nigeria to curtail the group’s actions and to try to locate the missing schoolgirls. The next month the UN Security Council imposed sanctions on individuals in Boko Haram—freezing assets and issuing travel bans and an arms embargo—but, given the nature of the group’s operations, it was unclear if the sanctions would actually have an impact on Boko Haram’s activities. They did not: the group’s attacks continued, and in August Boko Haram declared the areas under its control to be an Islamic state.

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The government’s inability to eliminate the threat from Boko Haram was one of the key issues in the run-up to the 2015 presidential and legislative elections, along with the economy and the persistent complaint of corruption. Economic progress was mixed: Nigeria’s economy grew to be the continent’s largest in 2014, but the oil-reliant economy also experienced sharp decline later that year because of oil prices. Also, despite overall economic growth during Jonathan’s term, many Nigerians, especially those in rural areas and in the north, lived in poverty. The elections had originally been scheduled for mid-February, but the country’s electoral commission postponed them for six weeks, citing the current level of violence from Boko Haram in the northeast as an impediment to holding elections there. President Goodluck Jonathan, who had been criticized along with the military for not doing enough to combat Boko Haram, accepted assistance from the neighbouring countries of Benin, Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. Plans were made for a regional force comprising troops from Nigeria and the aforementioned countries, and an offensive was launched against the militants. Marked progress was made in the fight against Boko Haram, with forces retaking much of the area previously held by the group. Meanwhile, in early March Boko Haram pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), although it was not clear what effect that would have on the group’s actions.

Electoral officials start the counting operations at a polling station in Lagos, on march 29, 2015.   First results of Nigeria's presidential election could be given from March 30, 2015, the head of the country's electoral commission said, as voting went into a second day after technical glitches. AFP PHOTO/EMMANUEL AREWA

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Although there were 14 candidates standing in the March 28 presidential election, the real contest was seen as being between Jonathan, once again the PDP candidate, and Buhari, the former military head of state (1984–85) who was the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate and enjoyed a reputation as being tough on corruption and adept at handling security issues. The election was the most closely contested ever in Nigeria. When it became clear that Buhari had won the election, Jonathan conceded. The election marked the first time that an incumbent had been defeated and power would be handed from one party to another.

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.

Constitutional Development: Richards Constitution of 1946

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Sir Arthur Richard

The isolationist policy pursued by Lord Lugard and continued by the Clifford Constitution of 1922 whereby the North was sheltered from contact with the rest of the country was not making for national unity which the colonial government wanted to foster. As such, Sir Bernard Bourdillon, the Governor of Nigeria, decided yo take more interest in the affairs of the whole country. Their attitude, he wrote should not be “We will not have the southerners interfere in our affairs” but rather “we ought to have at least an equal say with southerners in advising the governor as to the affairs of the whole country”.
When Sir Arthur Richard became Governor of Nigeria he began to work on a constitution which he believed would bring about greater unity in the country. According to him the constitution was to promote the unity of the country, provide adequately within that unity for the diverse elements that made up the country and to secure for the Africans
greater participation in the discussion of their own affair.
Under the constitution, there was a Legislative Council for the whole of Nigeria. It was composed of the governor as President; 16 official members, 13 of whom were ex-officio and 2 nominated; 28 unofficial members, 4 of whom were elected and 24 nominated or indirectly elected members.
By this constitution the Northern Provinces were brought within the legislative competence of the Nigerian Legislative Council. The council had power to make law for the whole country subject of course to the governor’s reserve power.
It is important to note that for the first time in Nigeria unofficial members on the legislative council were in the majority. These nominated unofficial members were indirectly nominated. They were nominated by the regional assemblies which were established under the constitution in the three different groups of provinces- the Northern, Western and Eastern group of provinces

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.