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THE SYSTEM OF INDIRECT RULE IN WESTERN NIGERIA

Government (Secondary School)

Following the establishment of the Nigerian state by 1900 and subsequent Amalgamation by 1914, it would be recalled that classical Lugardian indirect rule is nothing other than economic exploitation

  1. The limited powers of obas. One of the reasons why the system of indirect rule in the western region was a partial success was that the kings are not to be despotic. They have to act according to the dictate of the unwritten constitution of the kingdom.

The case in study is the pan Oyo Alaafin

  1. Education played a significant impact on the lives of the people hence, the educated elites question the rationale behind the introduction of indirect rule
  2. Religion: Majority of the Yorubas were Christians and Christianity is not as conservative as its counterpart in the North Islam. Hence they question the reasons for the introduction of indirect rule
  3. Absence of highly centralized administration.

The Yoruba’s unlike the Hausa/Fulani’s did not have a highly centralized system of indirect rule met a brick wall in the region

  1. Absence of well-organized system of taxation: This made it difficult to raise money for the administration to thrive well the system of taxation imposed on the people led to Iseyin, Okeho and Abeokuta riots
  2. Neglect of the educated elites: They were not allowed to participate in the administration hence, they revolted openly and shake off imperial imposition of British hegemonic interest

INDIRECT RULE SYSTEM IN EASTERN NIGERIA

Following the piecemeal conquest of the territories of Nigeria nation state by Lord Lugard and his colleagues the indirect rule system was a success in Northern Nigeria, and it was a partial success in the west, while the system met a brick wall and failed completely in the Eastern Nigeria. No thanks to the famous Aba women riot of 1929

REASONS FOR THE FAILURE OF THE SYSTEM OF INDIRECT RULE IN EASTERN NIGERIA

  1. Absence of traditional rules the absence of chiefs, made the system impracticable since the system made use of chiefs or other intermediaries
  2. Appointment of warrant chiefs the British officials were forced to appoint pseudo-chiefs called warrant chiefs to administer the region and as well collect taxes for the British over lords which led to Aba women riot of 1929
  3. The type of political Administration practiced. The Ibo political system was highly decentralized i.e. an egalitarian and gerontocracy system which led to the failure of indirect rile in the region
  4. Absence of well-organized system of Taxation: This made the generation of fund for the execution of the system impossible hence its total collapse
  5. Religion: The Ibos were predominantly Christians and Christianity is not a conservative religion. Hence the failure of the system there
  6. Alienation of educated elites: The British preferred half-baked people or those without education for appointment as warrant chiefs. Hence the criticism

MERITS OF THE INDIRECT RULE SYSTEM

  1. One of the merits of the system was that the system was less expensive and they make use of traditional rules and they paid peanuts
  2. The system did not disturb existing traditions and cultures of the people beside eastern region
  3. The system contributed in training traditional rulers in the art of modern local government administration
  4. The establishment of indirect rule system put an end to obnoxious sacrifice and killing of twins by Mary Slessor as being practiced in the region
  5. The system recognized and modernized recognized and modernized local institutions like traditional courts, laws and customs

DEMERITS OF INDIRECT RULE SYSTEM

  1. The system of indirect rule alienated the educated elites in preference to the illiterate ones
  2. Traditional rulers were made to be autocratic as a result of power vested in them by the indirect rule system
  3. The system brought about division between the traditional rules that were seen as “British puppets” and the alienated educated elites there by, strong thinning the policy of divide and rule
  4. The appointment of traditional rules (warrant chiefs) in eastern Nigeria led to social political and economic up heaval
  5. The British indirect rule did not spell out how the system can metamorphose into a central government in Nigeria.

POSITIVE IMPACTS OF COLONIAL RULE IN WEST AFRICA

  1. Introduction of modern ideas of government: The introduction of elections through the ballot and the changes from monarchy to republicanism is a result of colonialism
  2. Development of the civil service the civil services of the colonies were developed and made uniform with these of the colonial masters
  3. Development of political parties many political parties were established as a result of the introduction of the Elective principle in 1922 these political parties played a pivotal role in the struggle for independence
  4. Introduction of money currency and establishment of Banks in 1912, the first silver coins were introduced by the British and the west African currency board set up to supply currency to British west African countries the colonial Bank was also established in 1917
  5. Exposure to western education and ideas made most Africans to acquire western education and as well able to communicate in English and French to the outside world.

NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF COLONIAL RULE IN WEST AFRICA

  1. Economic dependence and exploitation. Colonialism was utterly exploitative as an agent of siphoning resources in the region to metro Politian Europe. The colonies were linked to the demands of the metropolitan industries, making them economically dependent on the colonizers
  2. Colonialism creates problem of unity. Colonialism has polarized the West Africa sub-region into two major groups antagonistic i.e. the English speaking and French speaking countries. This is one of the problems facing ECOWAS
  3. Cultural imperialism colonialism imposed foreign culture on the people of West Africa and forced then to imbibe alien cultures. And African culture, dressing and language ethics were relegated to the background
  4. Introduction of the slave trade, deportation and humiliation of African leaders Africa continent were depleted of their able-bodied men and women during slave trade era oba overawe of Benin was deported to Calabar in 1896 after Benin Massacre and Jaja of Opobo to West Indies where he died
  5. Industries were not built to make the regions a producer nation. This retarded the rate of economic, social technological and political development of west Africa

EVALUATION

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See also

COLONIAL ADMINISTRATION (HISTORICAL BACKGROUND)

THE FIRST REPUBLICAN CONSTITUTION OF 1963

INDEPENDENCE CONSTITUTION OF 1960

CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

LYTTLETON CONSTITUTION OF 1954

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