Topics: Nigeria, Africa, Colonialism Pages: 10 (3583 words) Published: November 3, 2013
No one, not even the most far-sighted, ever thought that British rule would last for only sixty years. In the early years of colonial rule, the idea of an independent Nigeria within so short a time would have sounded ridiculous. “The Whiteman has come to stay as long as men lived,” boasted an official in 1919.   Nevertheless, nationalism started early, instigated by the need to respond to conquest and new policies. The radical phase came during and after the Second World War, subsequently leading to independence. Although the ultimate goal of nationalism was to secure the country’s independence, it had other interrelated dimensions: the “new Nigeria” would be governed by Westernized elite, working, through the agency of political parties and Western political ideas, to create a united and developed country. If the British took over power from traditional elite, nationalism and modernization forced them to hand it over to an educated elite. Colonial policies generated discontent among the people – especially the elite who originally demanded reforms, and later on, independence. Among the issues that displeased the people were racism and the damage to traditional values during European rule. Nigerians in the civil service complained of racial discrimination in appointments and promotions. The aspiring ones among them were envious of the status and privileges enjoyed by white officials. Among those who complained about excessive changes, nationalism was expressed in cultural ways – that is, in deliberate efforts to promote Nigerian food, names, forms of dress, languages, and even The economic depression of the late 1920s and 1930s brought economic hardship, unemployment, and retrenchment. Bad times enabled nationalists to criticize and condemn the British and to use these demands to stimulate national consciousness. For instance, Michael Imoudu, a distinguished trade union leader, led the strike by railway workers in 1931 to demand better wages. Unemployment and discrimination generated discontentment with colonial rule and enabled nationalist leaders to enjoy a mass following. [1]

1. Political Dominance
Colonial rule was an era of political domination as Africans were denied freedom and were not allowed to participate in the administration of their nation> 2. Economic Exploitation
Economic exploitation and monopoly of trade and commerce made Nigerians to rise and agitate for the independence of the country. 3. Social Discrimination and Racial Segregation:
Africans were discriminated in every aspects of life and educated ones were not appointed to senior position in the civil service. 4. Cultural Subjugation:
Colonial rule had subjugated African culture where they destroyed certain aspects of African culture and replaced it with their own culture. 5. Emergence and Growth of the Press:
Newspapers like the dialy news of Herbert Macauly, the West African Pilot and the comet of Dr. Namdi Azikwe helped in the rise and growth of nationalism by attacking and criticizing colonial policies. EXTERNAL FACTORS

1. Activities of West African Student Union:
West African Student studying abroad realized that colonial rule was only exploiting Nigeria as such they formed West African Student’s Union in 1925 under the leadership of Ladipo Solanke seeking political reforms and social equality and later self-independence for Nigeria.

2. Publication of Atlantic Charter:
Publication of Atlantic charter of 1941 by president Rooservelt of US and prime minister Winston Cgurchill of Britain also encouraged nationalist movement in Nigeria as in the publication, these leaders declared that they would respect the rights of all people to choose the form of Government under which they would live. 3. Indian Independence:

Indian independence promoted nationalist...

References: [3] NNDP Manifesto, Lagos, 1923.
[10] A.E. Afiobo, The Warrant Chiefs: Indirect Rule in South-Eastern Nigeria, 1879-1 929. New York 1972, xii
[11] Mustapha K
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