NYU Black Renaissance Noire Winter 2014 - Page 189

L———————————————— [The Robertson stage (1955-1960) of the Harcourt-Lugard-Robertson plan of permanent Northern rule. (pp.294-306)] L ———————————————— q8) 1955-1960 SUCCESSION CLAIMS 1959/1960: BRITAIN HANDED OVER TO NORTHERN LEADERS It centred around who would succeed the colonial government between 1955 and 1960….Sir James Robertson was the shrewd implementor of Northern rule earlier fashioned by Lords Harcourt and Lugard. Sir James was especially recruited by the British Government in 1955 because of his experience in the Sudan with an identical situation to Nigeria…. (p. 302) L———————————————— L The next phase in Nigerian history was the decolonisation period and it involved the resolution of the succession claims, erroneously though, of the three major nationalities, Hausa-Fulani (North), Yoruba (West) and Igbo (East) during this period. ———————————————— q9) 1957 Sir James named Sir Abubakar, the Prime Minister, in 1957 even though the npc at that time only controlled one region (North) and had only one third of the Ministers in the Federal Council of Ministers and the ncnc controlled two regions (East and West) and two thirds of the Ministers in the Federal Council of Ministers. Sir James named Sir Abubakar over the ncnc Ministers because We became very close and I appreciated the confidence he placed in me. There was little we could not discuss (including) the problems with the Sardauna of Sokoto (and) his difficulties with noisy Southerners who seemed to take all their squabbles and troubles to him.36 (Italics mine) Sir James went on: We discussed defence and foreign affairs and I showed him all the British Government papers that came to me about neighbouring countries and the trends in foreign affairs although they were not supposed to be shown to the Nigerian.37 (Italics mine) But Sir James violated this because I never had the slightest fear that he would abuse my confidence and (because) I had the greatest admiration for him as a man of the highest integrity and a most religious and sincere Muslim.” (Italics mine) (p.305) L———————————————— BLACK RENAISSANCE NOIRE The 1914 design [of Nigeria as a marriage between the North and South with the North as the “husband” and the South, “the Wife” ] became an issue in 1950, 1953 and 1966…[In the 1950s, it] was used to extract 50 percent of the seats in the proposed Central House of Representatives by the Northern delegation led by the Emirs of Katsina and Zaria, failing which they threatened that “they would ask for separation from the rest of Nigeria on the arrangements existing before 1914.”6 The Northern leaders led by Sir Ahmadu Bello threatened to withdraw the North from Nigeria unless the self-government motion moved by Chief Anthony Enahoro in March 1953 was killed by the British government and lamented that “the mistake of 1914 has come to light.7…(p. 294) 187 Lugard was called the maker of Northern Nigeria who later returned to Nigeria to complete his work which to him meant incorporating more territories into the North.21 (p. 301)