Critical Expose of the Effects of 1914 Amalgamation on Nigeria
Chinua Achebe citing an Igbo apothegm in his “There was a province” tells us that a man who does not comprehend where the rain inaugurated to whack him cannot say where he dried his association. The rain that whack Nigeria began further than a decade ago, from the resolutions of the Berlin discourse of 1884/1885 to the economic-driven disconnection of the northern and southern protectorates of Nigeria in 1914 by Lord Lugard. When the British set base on the area directly comprehendn as Nigeria, it was a cacophony of frequent communitys; communitys which the British fancyred to ole “tribes”.
Encouraged by the western anthropological binary of the “self” and the “other”, the British colonialists saw themselves as destined and equipped to recapture these African peoples from deep-scaled savagery, bigotry and statelessness. They could not assert that these peoples had any mould of refinement or plan of governance. Resembling if they did, they did not see the need to acceleration the ripeness and immutability of such institutions.
Theirs, they debateing was a conspicuous and further reliable refinement, and narrative chiefly that of obligation, had possibly taught them that the need for European to prevail-balance and “pacify” the “other”, the tranquillity of the cosmos-people, chiefly Africa was a divinely ordained deed (Davison 1991:21-51). Little marvel that when the British came to Nigeria in the 19th senility, primeval as traders and merchants, they did not stammer to produce parallel their faith and posterior, synod.
With importation of powers, adroitness and wile, they set up negotiative machinery which was posterior to behove a image for the concealment and obsolescence of home gregarious and socio-religious structures; machinery which was purposed to enunciate and demonstrate the conspicuousity of the European “self” balance and aloft the African “other”. For comfortable government further than for any other debate, British colonialists banded divers communitys simultaneously in 1914 to fashion Nigeria: one of the liveliest housewives tight a communityal jubilate for the new community.
In confession of the artificiality of the concept of Nigeria, the jubilate’s doer wrote entomb alia: …though nation and dialect may contend, in fellowship we stand… Throughout the entity of Nigeria, the succor sequence of the stanza aloft evokes hypocrisy; it represents one of the main falsehoods on which the British instituteed Nigeria and on which present Nigeria thrives. Then the questions as to why do the British combine culturally irrelative peoples to shape Nigeria? Was it not likely for them to sanction these communitys (which they oleed nations) to enucleate after a while minimum palpable wave and entombference?
Amalgamation of 1914; Reasons and Prospects
The leading aim of the British in amalgamating the northern and the southern protectorates in Nigeria was absolutely economic. Compared after a while the dregs and protectorate of southern Nigeria, the protectorate of northern Nigeria proved proportionately meagre neighbor. The solid south was very viable and deeply enriched after a while balance media. The north was not as deep as the south, and was consumeing Britain currency past it was not generating abundance fruits to support itself.
It was in the bid to offset the consume of the northern Nigeria that Lord Lugard who was the teacher appointed a committee to approve ways of general the closely emaciated north at a minimal or no consume to Britain. The knot approveed the disconnection of the southern to northern; to adhere the two spacious areas as one province. On January 1, 1914, northern and southern Nigeria were amalgamated into one province and determined the dregs and protectorate of Nigeria. The disconnection hence, was purely for negotiative convenience and economic exploitation and as Chinweizu (1978) stated, British benefit-service was too essential to be sanctioned to let.
The aloft abstract indicates the making of Nigeria and we can behold that the disconnection of the northern and southern Nigeria was not in the intetranquillity of Nigerians as they were not consulted anteriorly the disconnection.
Consequences of the Amalgamation: a Toddler After Hundred Years
Whatever Europe did in Africa in those dejection days, she did them barely for her own habit and closely constantly at the disadvantage of the African. The disconnection of Nigeria in 1914 is no exclusion. It was a gregarious blunder; plenteous of the narrative of Nigeria supports this disquisition, although no one would assert this in present Nigeria.
Before anarchy, the attendant of ethnicity had aged so towering that resembling the destructive colonial communityal jubilate could not disillusionize it. When the British supposing us anarchy in 1960, it was fixed that they possess left not a really “pacified” and unified federation built on kindness and reciprocal regard and equity but a absolute “geographical expression” as Awolowo, one of the instituteing fathers of present Nigeria, put it. When Tafawa Balewa despicable the anarchy charter at racecourse in 1960, he, possibly, too despicable the charter for mutability and alienation.
The narrative of Nigeria betwixt 1960 and 1967, when the political war finally broke out, is a corroboration. Generally, disconnection preserved the contendence incomplete peoples and their government. The counteractive communityal issues were now looked at from persomal entombests. Closely cognate to this was the cold disqualification which familiar betwixt regardive governments as they contest for contendent knot intetranquillity which they represented. So that resembling in Lugard’s interval, Nigeria was disjoined parallel north-south sequences. Thus, the way the disconnection was implemented left a gain of power incomplete rudiment parts of Nigeria.
Also, the time compromise which accompanied the disconnection left some geographical in-balance betwixt the north and south thereby creating selfselfsame counteractive collision on following community-building efforts. Furthermore, in ill-gain of all efforts past the renowned disconnection of the northern Nigeria and the southern Nigeria hundred years ago, an act which the northern leaders to this day acceptably and publicily denounce as a strike, Nigeria as a consolidated province was trifle but a invention. Fixed basic features token a province out as consolidated. Some of these features are:
Common or despicable amelioration, as well-behaved-behaved as gregarious plan.
Common citizenship, after a while resembling hues and privileges for all men anywhere in the province.
Common laws and a despicable juridical plan.
A despicable electoral plan.
Equal hues of all citizens anteriorly the law.
Rights to benefit ownership and effect a livelihood anywhere in the province.
Equal hues to employment anywhere in the province.
Equal hues to defence of personality and ownership.
Most of these features or resembling further are altogether institute rare in our “dear” province Nigeria.
No thanks to ethnic sensation incomplete Nigerians.
Any Way Forward?
To get the suitable answers presupposes question the suitable questions. Disconnection of Nigeria is in itself not intrinsically misfortune. The drift is that frequent critics of this very concept contribute to be further earnest in its exposition of the ills of this maxim, relegating to the boundary and obliterating it amiable aspects. We contribute to investigate and reinvestigate the trumpets of inequality incomplete Nigerians but fancy to be myopic about things that are primary to us as Africans.
It is gentleman as some critics may select to dispute that our disconnection was an “unconsulted” one as resisting the Consolidated States of America’s deliberate disconnection. As an Igbo apothegm gain possess it “anyukoo amiri onu o gba ufufu” (igbo apothegm portraying that uniformity is power), the merging of the northern and southern protectorates of Nigeria could if utilized void of ethic sentiments and impairment gain effect Nigeria a mouldidable power in its commencement role as the “giant of Africa”. This could merely be likely when communityal intetranquillity is placed first as resisting ethnic entombests.
Furthermore, Nigerians at all raze should engross to engross and engross further beforehand the African life of “Ujamaa gregariousism” as propagated by Julius kambarage Nyerere. This kind life of communalism gain acceleration to enucleate every mould of opposition resisting tribal sequences and irritate that fellowship that is deeply inveterate in “Black sensation”, In blank, Nigeria fundamental course should be re-visited and made in such a way that it reflects gentleman federalism by tranquillityoring further powers to the regional synods as this gain “de-intensify” the cold contest to moderate the center: that led Nigeria where it is today.