Author Topic: Lugard's Dual Mandate and Leadership Experiment  (Read 5814 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline JiboNura

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Join Date: Jul 2003
  • Posts: 39
    • View Profile
Lugard's Dual Mandate and Leadership Experiment
« on: January 12, 2004, 01:28:57 PM »
I saw Mr. David's poser on Nigeria: What will happen in 2004?
I deliberately refused commenting due to one or two reasons; that perhaps ?Mr. David has fear in the maintainance of a moribund status quo. And secondly, it could be that he wants to sample opinions on how well, good or bad its situation is going to be ? Whatever be the case, an analysis like this, to me, is beyond the parochial as well as the pathological pangs inflicted on the "cubital fossa" of this entity called Nigeria. Hence we have to look beyond the pernicketinism so as to come out with an upper extremity that will serve as a virile solution to our quibbling problems.

Gentle men and ladies on board, in this paper, I delved into the historiographical antecedents but curiously avoided to proffer altruistic solutions. As such, it is left to your own discretion. Enjoy reading. ? ? ?

Lugard's Dual Mandate and Leadership Experimentalism in Nigeria
 
By Jibo Nura
 ?

Fellow countrymen, today we are going patriotic. Patriotic in the sense that Nigeria, from independence to date, has undergone series of metamorphoses and yet fails to develop into an adult. The transformation processes are gradually getting worse and worse and seemingly, nobody cares to ask him/her self emphatically, the basic question: what went wrong? I may sound historic, because a discourse like this will compel one to go down memory lane. But nonetheless, it may serve as a milestone in bringing a wave of change to our dear country.

 ?

If we do not forget, Lord Fredrick Lugard, the first high commissioner to Nigeria came in 1900 under the directives of British government. He was sent to this country with two things in mind; first, was to study the attitude and mentality of our people so as to bring out a workable formula that would serve as a basis for leadership manipulation by the colonial British. Second, was the need for political and constitutional manipulations and advancement of British system to Nigeria in order to exploit our economic resources.

 ?

The same method and techniques they employed in Gambia, Sierra Leone and Gold Coasts so as to pave way for them to rule as far as possible via our chiefs and their councils. He realized that the then system of government in Nigeria was a complete mismatch of their tastes. For instance, the North had its own mode of governance and the South also had its own. But still they were governed and defended by the British as protectorates. Then Lugard adopted certain policy measures; the indirect rule which was tried in the Northern Nigeria between 1900 and 1906 and the direct rule in the South, even though, he tried the direct one in the South but was only partially successful because the areas constituting the former Eastern and Midwestern regions had since 1900, been subject to direct rule by the " Native council".

 ?

But all the same he introduced indirect rule to these areas by removing the District officers from their chairmanship of the native council and making warrant chiefs into native authorities. This led to so much petty tyranny on the part of the warrant chiefs that there were stiff resistance and riots in 1927.

 ?

However, in the North, only small part of the region was controlled. Though, it was divided into provinces and residents, who were responsible to the high commissioner. Lugard at this critical period lacked staff for the direct administration of the country. He was also short of money but at the same time pleased to find that our people, especially the Fulani Emirs had a well-organized system of government of their own.

 ?

The British high commissioner, therefore, made full use of the knowledge and administrative skills of the Emirs and to some extent Obas as rulers and allowed them considerable latitude in the administration of their emirates, provinces and residents, provided they obeyed the protectorate laws. This mode of governance continued until he was greatly handicapped by lack of money, which made him unable to develop the services needed in the country by the British. Even though, taxes had been regularized but could not be increased, and there was little or no income from custom duties which Mr. Fredrick could have used to accomplish his mission. For instance, the North produce was exported through Lagos, but it was the colony and protectorate of Southern Nigeria that benefited. They retained almost all the customs dues. Perhaps, it was for this reason that Lugard wanted one administration in the whole of Nigeria. A step toward this goal was made in 1906 when the colony of Lagos and Southern protectorate were merged, and the final stage was reached in 1914.

 ?

What I am trying to get at is that even during the pre - independence stage, Nigeria was in the midst of British leadership experimentation. They were busy formulating their own set of rules and regulations to us and at the same time observing the behavior of our people, especially the leaders, who were used as the key apparatus to epitomize the country. This process continued until in 1939, when Lord Hailey was asked to make a study of the political forces in Africa for the colonial office as a prelude to a new policy. Then, Sir Bernard Bourdillon was the Governor of Nigeria. He issued a statement on the future political and constitutional development of Nigeria, expressing dissatisfaction with the 1922 constitution, which gave no representation to the North on the legislative council. He suggested that the native authorities should be associated with the machinery of the central government by means of regional councils, which would make recommendations to a central council- a policy that was implemented in 1946.

 ?

However, Sir Arthur Richard –– a Governor, was faced with the problem of finding some system of representative government in which the North could participate. He too claimed to be seeking a form of representative government that would take account of the differences in the political state of North and South. But one cardinal question here is that who design the constitution the way it was? This is to tell you that it was a deliberate calculation by the British just to promote ethnic and regional bias. In fact, these, was the basis of loss of direction and focus among Nigerians. As such, Richard made no significant change. His constitution, simply intended to provide a link between native authorities and government, recognizing regional diversity.

 ?

Richard constitution continued to prevail until in 1948, when the new governor emerged in person of Sir, John McPherson, who initiated action on a new constitution which when it finally became law in 1951.

 ?

He also succeeded in creating regional legislatures in full sense! Promoting tribal and ethnic agenda. The whole constitutional reform processes keep on repeating themselves up till today. Alas, it was the same constitution that transpired to1979, 1985 and 1999 constitution respectively.

 ?

One can therefore conclude that the constitution that we upheld today as a document for our mode of governance is regional in orientation. For it neither have any national out look nor does it promote any nationalistic goals. As somebody argues elsewhere that "" its contents are bogus, obscure and verbose"". Its structure in whatever form one wants to present and manipulate it, does not promote national cohesion, integrity patriotism, unity ad infinitum!

 ?

The independence mythology:

The 1st of October 1960 is always assumed to be the period when Nigeria was freed from colonial subjugation, but I still hold some reservations, because it was not obtained under the platter of gold. There were a lot of ethnic, regional and religious undertone attached to the then "" independent Nigeria""

 ?

As Morris Davies asserted in his book  Interpreters for Nigeria, published in1977, that "even after the independence came to Nigeria on 1st October 1960. Well before then  on March 15,1958 the country's western region had, however, already entered into a written contractual agreement with a British public relations organization in order to represent its particular interest more effectively. On May 10, 1960, a further agreement came into force between Nigeria's Eastern region and an American public relations agency; only the North the largest, politically weightiest, and socio- economically least advanced part of the country habitually eschewed such means, relying instead on its control over the federal government and consequently over the largess that flowed from it".

 ?

Morris had therefore brought out clearly the "independency syndrome" inflicted in our people, especially our learned elders. Though, the federal republic was obtained, political machineries were set in place by the then actors of the political drum beat - the 1st republic politicians, but there was ethnic and regional connivance between the West and these key political actors.

 ?

They came up with their democratic package designed to them by the British and its allies. Promoting inter / intra party and tribal conflicts .The west via their agents re-formulated the same constitution that would govern those political forces. As Dr. Usman Bala had it in his book - for the liberation of Nigeria that " the constitution had seriously taken into account the existence of these forces and other foreign forces who actively seek to manipulate and control our institutions for divisive ends. This was exactly what they have done with NPC, NCNC, and Action Group. These parties received Israeli, Kuwaiti and other such imperialist inspired funding for posturing religious, regional and ethnic agendas through firms, persons and organizations operating in Nigeria"".

 ?

Instead of Zik, Awolowo, Sardauna, together with Tafawa Balewa and co. to sit down and propose a constitution that would tally with our culture, values and norms. A constitution that would have a common national engagement, focus and vision for one Nigeria, they couldn't. Even though, there were ethnic and tribal barriers all over the country, but they could have maintained some degree of tolerance and minimum level of civility among us. In fact, that was the major down fall of these grand fathers. That was also the beginning of regional and ethnic confrontations between them. When the so-called "Zik of Africa" chose to be the Zik of Igbos, the Sardauna rather identified himself with the Hausa/Fulani while Awolowo was wholly for the Yorubas.

 ?

Therefore, we can see that these people were not actually national leaders in the real sense, as we are always told in the academic rhetorics. They were more of local champions or utmost regional heroes  protecting regional interest on one part and promoting ethnic politics on the other. That is why the disdain of the slogan unity in diversity will forever remain; because its real meaning and significance is yet to be understood among Nigerians. What it entails today is more of political and social gimmick.

 ?

Now, this brings us to the main themes of this analysis, the issue of genuine leadership model and national heroism. The dichotomies between the 1st republic leaders on one part and their European maneuverability on the other, led the country into another verge of experimentation. The military came. They intervened partly to maintain security but mainly to settle the scores of the long-standing rivalry among them. Their actions and leadership style led Nigeria into total jeopardy and anarchy. Majority of these well-armed, hungry foot soldiers- vultures had mixed feelings about one Nigeria. Except few among them; Major Gen. Yakubu Gawon and co. tried to maintain the status quo, but they too failed to put the country at the loftiest of heights. The only person in the entire military circle that tried to reach the zenith of national iconism and /or heroism was Gen. Murtala Ramat Muhammad. He sincerely fought for the liberation of the country from the hands of the colonizers. Murtala was provocatively eliminated because of his indigenisation policy. Hence the experimentation continued. Second republic came. Here, we thought that another transition to democracy would be the solution to our problems, but it also failed. Again, the experiment transited to the military and back to the civilian, which sequentially set in with new agenda of personal enrichment and money launderings from the public treasury. Indeed our historical experience under Obasanjo, Babangida and Abdussalam show that succumbing to the status quo by Nigerians will never yield any result. It is just subverting the tenets of democracy and our effort to ruthlessness. Since it is clear that even the present democracy that we have been advocating, is not working. Nigerians have testified to it the forum on Human Rights and Good Governance organized by the Human Rights Law Service (HURILAWS) and Thisday Newspapers, together with representatives from Vanguard, the human rights organizations, academics, students, National Assembly, the private and public sectors concluded that this democracy is not working.

 ?

What remains of a nation as Paul Mamza said, " Are sycophants and professional globe trotters who are given special positions at the national schemes. How can new ideas and concepts be accepted in a country whose thoughts have been relegated to the dustbin of history or can the status quo be threatened when the oldies and retired Generals had all the incontestable tools in the world to secure political power at all cost due to their immense wealth and influence. Can such a country recover from a paralysis inflicted on it by antecedents of doing business as usual or even its trial of bringing and effecting reforms? The country presently is lacking a center or even if there is one, it is fast loosing a hold and a man with high esteem is required to hold the fragments together, pursue genuine course of reconciliation and reconstruction of the battered nation and more importantly bring out a realistic change of attitude in the business of government".

 ?

The main idea in Mr. Paul's assertion is to tell that Nigeria is never blessed with a national leader from its conceptualization as a people to what we are today.

 ?

Now back to my earlier assertion, the issue of national heroism and/or iconism.

 ?

Comparatively, Nigeria can never be matched with other countries of the world in terms of national heroes, most especially Africa and Asia. For it does not have one. For instance, Jomo Kenyatta  who was once referred to as an African leader by Carl Gustat and George Bennette in their book titled; the Kenyatta election, was a genuine national icon and at the same time hero. He exonerated his people- the KIKUYU from the Mau  Mau subjugation. His charismatic and militant nationalism repudiated the social, economic and political privileges enjoyed by the Europeans. He also went to the extent that the majority of the Kikuyu no longer accepted the legitimacy of the political and social order imposed on them by the Europeans.

 ?

Nonetheless, King Idris Muhammad el  Mahdi el Senussi and Mammar Ghaddafi are two national icons that Libyans will ever live to remember because of their immense contributions to the arabisation of Libya. When Libya, was occupied by the Italians in 1912, its people were subjected to the demographic colonization, they were very close to losing their identity when World war II broke out, but King Idris gave them new life, new hope and circumstances. Better still, was the Egypt's Gamel Abd Nesser  a great national icon, an active member of the society of young Egyptians in 1930, who was succeeded by Anwar Al  Sadat as president. Gamel transformed Egypt to the zenith of "the world creator of civilization". He was also credited by the symbol of phraonic civilization with Egypt being the foremost source of civilized world development.

 ?

Likewise, Mohattma Ghandi of India - a patriot and hero. He never ruled India but freed his people from being colonized. Ghandi will forever remain India's man of all time. They will live to remember him till the end of time, simply because of his national patriotism.

 ?

However, South Africas Nelson Mandela and Senegalese Audu Diof are two national icons, which have proved to the world that power isn't everything but the only thing. Hence; the list is endless but all these are people who considered their country first before themselves. They helped tremendously to the development of their country willy- nilly.

 ?

Unlike our leaders who always regard leadership as a lifetime or family affair; specializing in changing jerseys: from Khaki to Agbada, Babbar Riga to Abatiagi; all of them do not mean well to our National savvy. We should therefore change the volte-face of our leadership paradigm and look for a messiah, but definitely not from these crops of personalities. And whenever I looked up to our colleagues and sister countries like South Korea, Malaysia and South Africa, whom were mostly helped by us  just some few decades ago, I feel pauperized, especially when I see my people busy importing Daewoo electronics from South Koreans and MTN services from the South Africans.

 ?

I also find it very serious to forebear with one of my very good friend's statement that " Nigeria is such a country with very unserious leaders" but I always take solace in the law of nature that says no condition is permanent.

 


Powered by EzPortal