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Self government of Eastern Nigeria and Basis of 3.5million deaths.

Self governing regions (1957)[edit]

In 1957 the Western and the Eastern regions became formally self-governing under the parliamentary system. Similar status was acquired by the Northern Region two years later. There were numerous differences of detail among the regional systems, but all adhered to parliamentary forms and were equally autonomous in relation to the federal government at Lagos. The federal government retained specified powers, including responsibility for banking, currency, external affairs, defense, shipping and navigation, and communications, but real political power was centered in the regions. Significantly, the regional governments controlled public expenditures derived from revenues raised within each region.

Ethnic cleavages intensified in the 1950s. Political activists in the southern areas spoke of self-government in terms of educational opportunities and economic development. Because of the spread of mission schools and wealth derived from export crops, the southern parties were committed to policies that would benefit the south of the country. In the north, the emirs intended to maintain firm control on economic and political change.

Any activity in the north that might include participation by the federal government (and consequently by southern civil servants) was regarded as a challenge to the primacy of the emirates. Broadening political participation and expanding educational opportunities and other social services also were viewed as threats to the status quo. An extensive immigrant population of southerners, especially Igbo, already were living in the north; they dominated clerical positions and were active in many trades.

The cleavage between the Yoruba and the Igbo was accentuated by their competition for control of the political machinery. The receding British presence enabled local officials and politicians to gain access to patronage over government jobs, funds for local development, market permits, trade licenses, government contracts, and even scholarships for higher education. In an economy with many qualified applicants for every post, great resentment was generated by any favoritism that authorities showed to members of their own ethnic group.

In the immediate post-World War II period, Nigeria benefited from a favourable trade balance. Although per capita income in the country as a whole remained low by international standards, rising incomes among salaried personnel and burgeoning urbanization expanded consumer demand for imported goods.

In the meantime, public sector spending increased even more dramatically than export earnings. It was supported not only by the income from huge agricultural surpluses but also by a new range of direct and indirect taxes imposed during the 1950s. The transfer of responsibility for budgetary management from the central to the regional governments in 1954 accelerated the pace of public spending on services and on development projects. Total revenues of central and regional governments nearly doubled in relation to the gross domestic product (GDP-see Glossary) during the decade.

The most dramatic event having a long-term effect on Nigeria's economic development, was the discovery and exploitation of petroleum deposits. The search for oil, begun in 1908 and abandoned a few years later, was revived in 1937 by Shell and British Petroleum. Exploration was intensified in 1946, but the first commercial discovery did not occur until 1956, at Olobiri in the Niger Delta. In 1958 exportation of Nigerian oil was initiated at facilities constructed at Port Harcourt. Oil income was still marginal, but the prospects for continued economic expansion appeared bright and accentuated political rivalries on the eve of independence.

The election of the House of Representatives after the adoption of the 1954 constitution gave the NPC a total of seventy-nine seats, all from the Northern Region. Among the other major parties, the NCNC took fifty-six seats, winning a majority in both the Eastern and the Western regions, while the Action Group captured only twenty-seven seats. The NPC was called on to form a government, but the NCNC received six of the ten ministerial posts. Three of these posts were assigned to representatives from each region, and one was reserved for a delegate from the Northern Cameroons.

As a further step toward independence, the governor's Executive Council was merged with the Council of Ministers in 1957 to form the all-Nigerian Federal Executive Council. The NPC federal parliamentary leader, Balewa, was appointed prime minister. Balewa formed a coalition government that included the Action Group as well as the NCNC to prepare the country for the final British withdrawal. His government guided the country for the next three years, operating with almost complete autonomy in internal affairs.

Constitutional conferences in the UK (1957-1958)[edit]

The preparation of a new federal constitution for an independent Nigeria was carried out at conferences held at Lancaster House in London in 1957 and 1958, which were presided over by The Rt. Hon. Alan Lennox-Boyd, M.P., the BritishSecretary of State for the Colonies. Nigerian delegates were selected to represent each region and to reflect various shades of opinion. The delegation was led by Balewa of the NPC and included party leaders Awolowo of the Action Group, Azikiwe of the NCNC, and Bello of the NPC; they were also the premiers of the Western, Eastern, and Northern regions, respectively. Independence was achieved on October 1, 1960.

Elections were held for a new and greatly enlarged House of Representatives in December 1959; 174 of the 312 seats were allocated to the Northern Region on the basis of its larger population. The NPC, entering candidates only in the Northern Region, confined campaigning largely to local issues but opposed the addition of new regimes. The NCNC backed creation of a midwest state and proposed federal control of education and health services.

The Action Group, which staged a lively campaign, favored stronger government and the establishment of three new states, while advocating creation of a West Africa Federation that would unite Nigeria with Ghana and Sierra Leone. The NPC captured 142 seats in the new legislature. Balewa was called on to head a NPC-NCNC coalition government, and Awolowo became official leader of the opposition.



1.     Jump up^ Carland, The Colonial Office and Nigeria (1985), pp. 1-2. "Crown Colony Government in Nigeria and elsewhere in the British Empire was autocratic government. Officials at the Colonial Office and colonial governors in the field never pretended otherwise. In fact, autocratic, bureaucratic rule was the true legacy of British colonial government in Africa."

2.     Jump up^ Carland (1985), The Colonial Office and Nigeria, p. 48.

3.     Jump up to:a b c d e f g Robin Hermann, "Empire Builders and Mushroom Gentlemen: The Meaning of Money in Colonial Nigeria", International Journal of African Historical Studies44.3, 2011.

4.     Jump up to:a b c d e Ken Swindell, "The Commercial Development of the North: Company and Government Relations, 1900-1906", Paideuma 40, 1994, pp. 149-162.

5.     Jump up to:a b Carland, The Colonial Office and Nigeria (1985), p. 90.

6.     Jump up to:a b c David Richardson, "Background to annexation: Anglo-African credit relations in the Bight of Biafra, 1700-1891, in Pétré Grenouilleau, From Slave Trade to Empire(2004), pp. 47-68.

7.     Jump up^ See Adam SmithThe Wealth of Nations (1776), Vol. 2 p. 112. (Quoted in Richardson, 2004). "Though the Europeans possess many considerable settlements both upon the coast of Africa and in the East Indies, they have not yet established in either of those countries such numerous and thriving colonies as those in the islands and continent of America."

8.     Jump up^ Isichei, A History of Nigeria (1983), p. 362.

9.     Jump up^ David Etlis, "African and European relations in the last century of the transatlantic slave trade"; in Pétré Grenouilleau, From Slave Trade to Empire (2004), pp. 21-46.

10.  Jump up^ Randy J. Sparks, The Two Princes of Calabar: An Eighteenth-Century Atlantic Odyssey; Harvard University Press, 2004; ISBN 0-674-01312-3; Chapter 1: "A Very Bloody Transaction: Old Calabar and the Massacre of 1767".

11.  Jump up to:a b c d e f Anietie A. Inyang & Manasseh Edidem Bassey, "Imperial Treaties and the Origins of British Colonial Rule in Southern Nigeria, 1860-1890", Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences 5.20, September 2014.

12.  Jump up^ Asiegbu, Nigeria and its British Invaders (1984), p. xxiii. "After the Abolition Act in 1807 making the trade in African slaves illegal for British subjects, Britain did not stop there: For the next quarter of a century successive British Governments embarked on a kind of aggressive diplomacy, bullying and bribing other European nations, especially Spain and Portugal, to toe the anti-slavery line with England. / On the West African Coast itself British anti-slavery policy became very evident not only in the establishment of the free colony or Settlement of Freetown in Sierra Leone for the recaptives or freed slaves. A detachment of the all-powerful British Navy, the West African naval squadron, was stationed in West African waters to patrol along the coastline and to intercept any slave ships or vessels equipped for the slave trade, and to bring slave vessels captured for trial before British controlled courts in Freetown. At the same time Britain embarked on securing from African rulers, in consideration of payments to these rulers, what became known as anti-slave trade treaties. By these treaties the rulers engaged to stop the traffic in slaves in their respective territories. In the process of enforcing these anti-slave trade policies on the west coast with its powerful navy Britain discovered the military weakness or inferiority of the African states in relation to its own military power."

13.  Jump up to:a b Olatunji Ojo, "The Organization of the Atlantic Slave Trade in Yorubaland, ca.1777 to ca.1856", International Jounral of African Historical Studies 41.1, 2008. "Slave production in the interior raised exports from Lagos ten fold, making it West Africa's leading slave port. The most accurate trade figures are found in the Trans-Atlantic slave voyage database (TSD), which put the number of slave exports between 1776 and 1850 at 308,800. Of that number only 24,000 slaves were shipped before 1801, while 114,200 and 170,600 were sold during 1801-25 and 1826-50, respectively. Exports from Badagry lagged far behind, with about 37,400 slaves sold during 1776-1860."

14.  Jump up^ Asiegbu, Nigeria and its British Invaders (1984), pp. xiv-xv. "Here again, European and African scholars have been at loggerheads and in the same kinds of conflicts as had featured in their interpretations of the primary motives of the British anti-slavery movement and abolitionism in the mid-19th century, namely, British self-interest or imperial ambitions on the one hand, and British humanitarian feeling for Africa on the other hand."

15.  Jump up^ Tamuno, The Evolution of the Nigerian State (1972), p. 6. "To the British, traffic in human beings after 1807 was both 'uncivilised' and illegal. As the century went on, a strong feeling developed that the slave trade, as an aspect of piracy, stood condemned in international and municipal law. This change in moral tone over the slave trade at first seemed incomprehensible to generations of people in Southern Nigeria who within a relatively short period were presented with two different concepts of right and wrong. Their scepticism about the correctness of such conflicting standards persisted into the early twentieth century."

16.  Jump up^ Warren Whatley & Rob Gillezeau, "The Impact of the Slave Trade on African Economies", World Economic History Congress, Utrecht, May 23, 2009.

17.  Jump up^ Helen Chapin Metz, ed. "Influence of Christian Missions"Nigeria: A Country Study, Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress, 1991, accessed 18 April 2012

18.  Jump up^ Tamuno, The Evolution of the Nigerian State (1972), pp. 11-12.

19.  Jump up to:a b Bouda Etemad, "Economic relations between Europe and Black Africa c. 1780-1938"; in Pétré-Grenouilleau,From Slave Trade to Empire (2004), pp. 69-81.

20.  Jump up^ Tamuno, The Evolution of the Nigerian State (1972), p. 14. "The most significant economic development in Southern Nigeria since 1807 was the transition from the pre-colonial emphasis on subsistence agriculture to an increasing concentration on production for sale."

21.  Jump up to:a b Carland, The Colonial Office and Nigeria (1985), p. 2.

22.  Jump up to:a b c Asiegbu, Nigeria and its British Invaders (1984), pp. xxv. "In the Lagos Colony Captain John Glover, as administrator of the Colony, created between 1861 and 1862 the famous Hausa militia ('Glover's Hausas') which became the nucleus of the Lagos Constabulary (itself splitting after 1895 into two bodies, one a civil police force, the other a military unit). The earliest recruits into the Lagos militia came from the liberated African yard or depot which glover had established in the Colony for the reception of run-away domestic slaves from the surrounding local communities. In the Niger territories, the Royal Niger Company organized its own constabulary forces between 1886 and 1899; at the Niger Coast Protectorate the Consular Administration, with its headquarters at Calabar, established after 1891 the Niger Coast Protectorate Force or Constabulary, sometimes known as the 'Oil Rivers Irregulars' (which under Consul Annesley acquired the name of the 'forty thieves'). Thus by 1897 when the WAFF was created, British West Africa had in some form or other known, like French West Africa, almost half a century of European or British military presence and activity."

23.  Jump up^ Tamuno, The Evolution of the Nigerian State (1972), pp. 15.

24.  Jump up^ "Northern Nigeria: The Illo Canceller and Borgu Mail" by Ray Harris in Cameo, Vol. 14, No. 3, Whole No. 90, October 2013, pp. 158-160.

25.  Jump up^ Afeadie, "The Hidden Hand of Overrule""(1996), p. 10-12.

26.  Jump up^ Afeadie, "The Hidden Hand of Overrule" (1996), p. 12-13. "Specifically, the Company sought to secure the cooperation of the traditional rulers in ensuring peaceful conditions for trade. For this objective, the Company chose to administer the African inhabitants of the Niger Sudan through their traditional rulers and their political institutions.  They needed special personnel: such officials who knew the local conditions and who could communicate between the Company and the indigenous people.  These intermediaries assisted government diplomacy and helped to establish and maintain relations between the company and the traditional rulers. They gathered information which was needed for policy-making in administration. Some of them also manned Company stations and served as District Agents."

27.  Jump up^ Afeadie, "The Hidden Hand of Overrule" (1996), p. 13-15.

28.  Jump up^ Isichei, A History of Nigeria (1983), p. 372-373.

29.  Jump up^ Asiegbu, Nigeria and its British Invaders (1984), pp. xiv, xxviii-xxx.

30.  Jump up^ Isichei, A History of Nigeria (1983), pp. 365-366.

31.  Jump up^ Tamuno, The Evolution of the Nigerian State (1972), p. xiv.

32.  Jump up^ Isichei, A History of Nigeria (1983), p. 367.

33.  Jump up^ Isichei, A History of Nigeria (1983), pp. 367-368. "East of the Niger, where no obvious and redoubtable foe existed, it was necessary to invent one. Gradually, in the dispatches of the 1890s, one sees the emergence of an image of Arochukwu rather like that which prevailed of Benin at the same time: a sinister 'fetish' power, deeply involved with slave trading, indelibly opposed to European penetration, and wielding a very great influence over the politics of other states. One has the suggestion that the Igbo were in need of release from Aro tyranny, precisely the suggestion which was made with reference to Benin and the Sokoto Caliphate."

34.  Jump up^ Carland, The Colonial Office and Nigeria (1985), pp. 56-58. "And so, flying the flags of civilisation and commerce, the Colonial Office finally authorized the expedition to begin in December 1901. Over the summer the Aros conveniently made some slave raids on neighbouring tribes, providing the Colonial Office and the Southern Nigerian Government with, as Nigeria Department member Butler termed it, 'the technical justification for the expedition' which, as he further noted, had 'already been decided to be necessary on more general grounds'. The expedition began and ended right on schedule."

35.  Jump up^ Carland, The Colonial Office and Nigeria (1985), pp. 58-59. "Moor's successor, Sir Walter Egerton, quickly embarked on, with the blessings of the Colonial Office, a policy of sending out pacification patrols annually. For the most part the patrols did not involve the use of force so much as they did the threat of force if submission was not made. At the beginning of each dry season the Southern Nigerian troops would establish a central base on the edge of the area they were to take over. Then small columns of soldiers would be sent out to different parts of the unoccupied country. Usually this show of force was enough, and the area would soon be open for the introduction of district administration and commercial development."

36.  Jump up^ Isichei, A History of Nigeria (1983), p. 369-371.

37.  Jump up^ Carland, The Colonial Office and Nigeria (1985), pp. 60-62.

38.  Jump up^ Carland, The Colonial Office and Nigeria (1985), p. 64.

39.  Jump up^ Carland, The Colonial Office and Nigeria (1985), p. 68.

40.  Jump up^ Carland, The Colonial Office and Nigeria (1985), p. 50.

41.  Jump up^ Asiegbu, Nigeria and its British Invaders (1984), pp. xxv-xxvii. "Right from the start Lugard adopted a policy of keeping the entire force predominantly Hausa, with Yorubas as the next preferred ethnic group to recruit into the force. By the middle of 1898 Lugard reported to the Colonial Office that there were already some 2600 native soldiers (made up of Hausa and Yorubas in equal proportions) in the force, while more vigorous recruiting expeditions were being undertaken by European officials into Yorubaland and Northern Nigeria.  Adequate historical information and knowledge about the organization and exploits of the WAFF, the military activities and experiences of some of the remarkable personalities and individual soldiers and officials who belonged to it, have unfortunately been lacking in our own time thanks to the strict official policy of secrecy and silence which the British government imposed right from the start on all officers serving in, or retired from, that force."

42.  Jump up^ Carland, The Colonial Office and Nigeria (1985), pp. 3-4, 50-52.

43.  Jump up^ Carland, The Colonial Office and Nigeria (1985), pp. 19-22. "Those in the upper middle class were in higher-income groups or in important professional, commercial, or industrial positions. / These definitions place Colonial Office permanent officials primarily in the upper middle class. This can be seen by looking at Table 1.2 Three of these men -William Baillie Hamilton, Dougal Malcolm, and Charles Strachey  also had connections with the nobility and landed gentry. Nine had fathers in prestigious occupations - the Church, the Bar, and the highest ranks of the Civil Service and the armed forces; and the remaining five had fathers in the important professional, commercial, or industrial positions."

44.  Jump up^ Carland, The Colonial Office and Nigeria (1985), p. 31.

45.  Jump up^ Carland, The Colonial Office and Nigeria (1985), p. 32-33.

46.  Jump up^ Carland, The Colonial Office and Nigeria (1985), pp. 35-37.

47.  Jump up to:a b Carland, The Colonial Office and Nigeria (1985), pp. 104-109.

48.  Jump up^ Carland, The Colonial Office and Nigeria (1985), pp. 135-153.

49.  Jump up to:a b Carland, The Colonial Office and Nigeria (1985), pp. 79-84.

50.  Jump up^ Carland, The Colonial Office and Nigeria (1985), p. 87. "Although permanent officials like some, though not all, of Lugard's ideas, they had built up considerable antipathy toward Lugard during his tour of duty in Northern Nigeria (1900-6). His unorthodox and administratively untidy ways exasperated them. However, Harcourt and Anderson decided they could not have Lugard's ideas without Lugard. In August 1911 Anderson told Lugard that they were anxious to amalgamate the Nigerian administrations; 'But our difficulty is to get the right man for the job. We are agreed that you are that man."

51.  Jump up to:a b Carland, The Colonial Office and Nigeria (1985), p. 88-89.

52.  Jump up^ Asiegbu, Nigeria and its British Invaders (1984), p. xxxi.

53.  Jump up^ Carland, The Colonial Office and Nigeria (1985), pp. 92-100.

54.  Jump up^ Afeadie, "The Hidden Hand of Overrule" (1996), p. 17-19.

55.  Jump up^ Afeadie, "The Hidden Hand of Overrule" (1996), p. 19-21. "The agents performed similar but more expansive roles as their Company counterparts. They were instrumental in the development of government diplomacy with the traditional rulers; they spread government propaganda among the indigenous peoplke; and they assisted colonial officials in parleying with native forces at war with government troops. Agents also collected intelligence for the colonial officials; they gathered information on public opinion and the military resources of the local polities; they also spied on rival colonial forces in foreign territories."

56.  Jump up^ Carland, The Colonial Office and Nigeria (1985), pp. 70-71.

57.  Jump up to:a b c Sir Richmond Palmer

58.  Jump up^ Carland, The Colonial Office and Nigeria (1985), p. 67.

59.  Jump up^ Carland, The Colonial Office and Nigeria (1985), p. 66. "In British colonial administrative history the importance of indirect rule  in theory and in practice should not be underestimated. Indirect rule, as it developed in Northern Nigeria before 1914, became the most influential model for local government in other British Crown Colonies. By the 1930s practically all of British tropical Africa, outside the urban areas, had accepted indirect rule as the basic mode of local government."

60.  Jump up to:a b c Helen Chapin Metz, ed. Nigeria: A Country Study. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress, 1991. Retrieved October 11, 2014 fromhttp://countrystudies.us/nigeria/19.htm

61.  Jump up^ Carland, The Colonial Office and Nigeria (1985), pp. 85-86, 103.

62.  Jump up^ Carland, The Colonial Office and Nigeria (1985), p. 119.

63.  Jump up^ Isichei, A History of Nigeria (1983), pp. 386-388.

64.  Jump up^ Elliot J. Berg, "The Development of a Labor Force in Sub-Saharan Africa"; Economic Development and Cultural Change 13.4, July 1965.

65.  Jump up^ Carland, The Colonial Office and Nigeria (1985), pp. 127-128.

66.  Jump up^ Isichei, A History of Nigeria (1983), p. 380.

67.  Jump up^ Carland, The Colonial Office and Nigeria (1985), pp. 184-198.

68.  Jump up^ Isichei, A History of Nigeria (1983), p. 392-393. "A Tiv political sociologist has explored this theme in Tiv experience. As late as the early 'thirties, a well informed observer could state, 'I am not conscious of any race consciousness among the Tiv except on the very widest and vaguest basis . . .'. But this soon changed. 'By its constant treatment of the Tiv as a corporate body with homogenous interests, the Native Administration went a long way towards creating the level of ethnic consciousness which developed. And conversely, by imposing a Yoruba Muslim from Bida as Chief of Makurdi, the British created a wholly new demand for a Tiv Paramount Chief, Tor Tiv. By the 1960s, ethnic consciousness had become a key determinant of Tiv political behaviour."

69.  Jump up^ Helen Chapin Metz, ed. Nigeria: A Country Study. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress, 1991. Retrieved October 11, 2014 fromhttp://countrystudies.us/nigeria/20.htm


          Country Studies On-Line - Nigeria at the Library of Congress


            Afeadie, Philip Atsu. "The Hidden Hand of Overrule: Political Agents and the Establishment of British Colonial Rule in Northern Nigeria, 1886-1914". PhD dissertation accepted at the Graduate Programme in History, York University, Ontario. September 1996.

       Asiegbu, Johnson U. J. Nigeria and its British Invaders, 1851-1920: A Thematic Documentary History. New York & Enugu: Nok Publishers International, 1984. ISBN 0-88357-101-3

             Carland, John M. The Colonial Office and Nigeria, 1898-1914. Hoover Institution Press, Stanford University, 1985. ISBN 0-8179-8141-1

            Falola, Toyin, & Matthew M. Heaton, A History of Nigeria, Cambridge, 2008, ISBN 978-0-521-68157-5

           Isichei, Elizabeth. A History of Nigeria. Harlow, UK, and New York: Longman, Inc., 1983. ISBN 0-582-64331-7

           Pétré-Grenouilleau, Olivier (ed.). From Slave Trade to Empire: Europe and the colonisation of Black Africa 1780s-1880s. Abingdon, UK, and New York: Routledge, 2004. ISBN 0-714-65691-7

        Tamuno, T. N. The Evolution of the Nigerian State: The Southern Phase, 1898-1914. New York: Humanities Press, 1972. SBN 391 00232 5


Biafra Loss of Lives:


By 1968, a year after the start of the Nigerian Civil War, large numbers of children were reported starving to death due to a blockade imposed by the Federal Military Government (FMG) and military.[2] By 1969 it was reported that over 1,000 children per day were starving to death.[3] A FMG representative declared, "Starvation is a legitimate weapon of war, and we have every intention of using it"[4] With the advent of global television reporting, for the first time, famine, starvation and humanitarian response were seen nightly on world television. People around the world demanded action.

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1.     Biafra Relief Heroes: remembering--in the words of those who were there..., Voice of Biafra International. Retrieved 2013-01-03

2.    Jump up^ Remembering the Nightmare of Biafra, The Free Library. Retrieved 2013-01-04

3.    Jump up^ New York Times, August 24, 1969. Retrieved 2013-01-04

4.    Jump up^