LESSON NOTE ON GOVERNMENT SSS
MAJOR POLITICAL CRISES IN NIGERIA
One of the importance of studying government is to be able to identify the sources of conflicts and ways to resolve them. By examining the political crises of the past, one would be equipped to prevent the mistakes of past political gladiators. The major political crises in Nigeria include:
– The kano riot of 1953,
– The census crisis of 1962/1963,
– Action Group crisis of 1962
– The federal election crisis of 1964,
– Western region election crisis of 1965,
– General election crisis of 1979,
– General election crises of 1983,
– General election crisis of 1993,
– Kaduna state executive Vs legislature crisis of 1981
– The Nigeria civil war.
THE KANO RIOT OF 1953
The riot was a result of the tussle between the members of Action Group (AG) and Northern People’s Congress. In March 1953, Chief Anthony Enahoro, a member of AG moved a motion for Nigeria to demand the right to self-determination on the floor the House of Representatives. NPC leader, Sir Ahmadu Bello countered the motion by suggesting to modify the earlier motion to include “as soon as practicable.” This led to a heated disagreement. A method for resolving such debate is to put it to a vote and AG knew that they were more likely to lose out since NPC was the majority. Thus, AG and NCNC members walked out of the House. By the time the day’s proceeding was adjourned and NPC members came out on the street of Lagos, they were met with a booing crowd.
Chance came for Northerners to retaliate when Chief S. L. Akintola led a delegation of AG on a tour of the Northern state to promote the idea of independence. While in Kano, the riot broke out. It led to the loss of several lives and scores of injury. Thereafter, NPC presented an eight-point- programme to the colonial administration with a condition that they would not return to the House in Lagos until their demands were met.
Political Implication of the Kano Riot of 1953
- It brought about, a temporary accord between AG and NCNC.
- It worsened relationship between the Northern and southern lead.
- It made it clearer that only the federal system where the regions have autonomy to develop at their pace could help maintain the unity of Nigeria.
- The riot was a preclude to the London constitutional conference in 1953 and brought about the 1954 constitution.
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