CLIFFORD CONSTITUTION 1922 – LESSON NOTE ON GOVERNMENT

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LESSON NOTE ON GOVERNMENT SSS 2

lesson note on government Clifford Constitution


CLIFFORD CONSTITUTION – 1922

Sir Hugh Clifford succeeded Lugard in 1919 but officially in 1922. On assuming the role, he abolished the council of Lord Lugard to pave way for effecting another constitution. A new legislative council was set up for the Southern Protectorate as a whole.

FEATURES OF THE CLIFFORD CONSTITUTITON

  1. Establishment of the political authority such as:
    (a) The Secretary of State for the Colony who was a member of the British Cabinet.
    (b) The Head of State representing the Queen of England i.e. Clifford himself.
    (c) The Executive Council made up of all Europeans.
  2. A legislative council to make laws for the colony of Lagos and Calabar. It had 46 members including 27 official members and 19 unofficial members. 10 out of the 19 unofficial members were Nigerians. 4 of the Nigerians were elected including 3 from Lagos and 1 from Calabar.
  3. Lagos and Calabar were granted the franchise to elect their representatives to the Legislative Council. This was a result of effecting the elective principle and lifting of ban on political activities.
  4. The Northern part was to be ruled by the governor through proclamation.
  5. Delineation of Nigeria into three provinces of North, East and West.
  6. Allowing political activities through the establishment newspapers (Lagos Daily News, West African Pilot) and political parties.

MERITS OF THE CLIFFORD CONSTITUTION

I. It accommodated the creation of political parties.
II. It encouraged the creation of newspapers.
III. It introduced the principle of election.
IV. More Africans were elected or allowed into the legislative council.
V. It inspired the activities of the nationalists.
VI. It was the first written constitution in Nigeria.

DEMERITS OF THE CLIFFORD CONSTITUTION

I. The Executive Council was all European members.
II. The Northern Province was not covered in the constitution.
III. The elective principle applied to only Lagos and Calabar.
IV. The governor had veto power over issues discussed in the Legislative and the Executive Councils.
V. The Legislative Council was dominated by illiterates.
VI. The elective positions were very few with stringent requirements.

EVALUATION QUESTIONS

  • (a) What are the features of Clifford constitution?
  • (b) Highlight the merits of Clifford constitution
  • (d) Highlight the demerits of Clifford constitution

RELATED POSTS

Constitutional Development in Nigeria
Richard Constitution – 1946
Macpherson Constitution – 1951
Lyttleton Constitution – 1954
Independence Constitution – 1960
Post Independence Constitutions – 1963, 1979, 1989, 1999

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