LESSON NOTE ON GOVERNMENT SSS 2
NATIONALISM IN NIGERIA
Nationalism may be defined as passionate awareness of belonging to a group or nation being oppressed by foreign powers, leading to a struggle against such powers.
EARLIER NATIONALISM – BEFORE THE SECOND WORLD WAR (WW II)
From 19th century and prior to World War II (1939-1945), the nationalists of the territories later known as Nigeria were traditional rulers and a few elites. Nationalism in those days was a struggle against the colonial administration. The elites were denied respectable positions and traditional rulers were reduced to puppets or dethroned. The nationalists were against British domination and amalgamation of northern and southern territories to form the country Nigeria.
FEATURES OF NATIONALISM BEFORE WW II
- Racial segregation between white and natives. There were Government Reserved Areas (GRA) and better amenities for the whites.
- Nigerians were not allowed to hold befitting administrative post beyond clerical level.
- Foreign companies exploited Nigerians economically.
- The little available educational opportunity for Nigerians was not to develop their capacity for development but to the advantage of the British.
- A number of political organizations sprang up including the National Congress of British West Africa (NCBWA); the Nigeria Youth Movement (NYM); Nigeria National Democratic Party (NNDP); and others, to oppose the colonial rule.
- Locally owned newspaper press was used in the struggle. They include Lagos Daily News and the West African Pilot.
FACTORS THAT LED TO THE RISE AND GROWTH OF NATIONALISM
- The influence of education and Christianity religion opened people’s eyes to the fact that all men are created equal.
- The discrimination between the Europeans and Nigerians in matters of employment and other privileges became too much to bear.
- Nigerian soldiers who fought alongside Britain’s Allied force against the Axis force of Germany returned and were disappointed about the jobs promised them.
- Educated elites such as Herbert Macaulay, Nnamdi Azikwe, HOD Davies, Obafemi Awolowo, Kwame Nkruma and so on, mobilized the masses against the colonial forces.
- Introduction of elective principle and lifting of ban on political activities in 1922.
- Establishment of political parties like NYM, NNDP, NCNC which played leading role in the struggle.
- Formation of the West African Student Union (WASU) in 1925.
- Formation of other youth movements such as the Lagos Youth Movement (LYM) facilitated the growth and spread of nationalism.
- Formation of the National Congress of British West Africa (NCBWA) purposely to challenge the activities of the crown colony system.
Nationalist movement is an association of people with common interest who organize…click to continue
- (a) Explain what is meant by nationalism.
- (b) List and explain the factors that led to the rise and growth of nationalism.
- (c) Describe nationalist movement.
- (d) Discuss some of the nationalist movement in West Africa.
- (e) What were the modes of operation of nationalists?