NYU Black Renaissance Noire Winter 2014 - Page 190

L ———————————————— q10) 1959 Sir James confessed that he called Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa to form the government in 1959 “by persuading some of the Southern members to support him and Sir Abubakar assured him he would get a Southern group to work with him.” Sir James did this before the results were released in full. He confessed that he did this to appease the Sardauna of Sokoto, the Leader of npc, to stop him from taking the North out of Nigeria.24 (p. 302) Party Votes % Seats National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons† 2,594,577: 34.0: 81 Action Group‡ 1,992,364: 26.1: 73 Northern People’s Congress* 1,922,179: 25.2: 134 Northern Elements Progressive Union † 509,050: 6.7: 8 Mabolaje Grand Alliance* 610,677: 8.0: 6 Igala Union* 4 Independents‡ 2 Independents* 2 ————————————————— Igbira Tribal Union* 1 The manipulation of the 1959 election results: [An account by Chinweizu] The 1959 election was manipulated to deliver power to the Caliphate. The electoral mechanisms which accomplished that feat was a combination of the 1952 arbitrary allocation of 50 per cent of the seats in the Federal parliament to the North as demanded by the Emirs; the census of 1953 which assigned to the North 55.4% of the total population 20 in what seemed to be an effort to retroactively justify the 1952 allocation of parliamentary seats [this caused the census to be regarded as rigged]; and the Governor General’s inviting of Balewa to form a government even before the election results were complete. As a result, power over the whole of Nigeria was placed in the hands of the Caliphate rulers of the North. The 1959 election results were as follows21: Niger Delta Congress* 1 188 L———————————————— ————————————————— Total 7,628,847: 100: 314 Source: Nohlen et al. * Northern People’s Congress-led coalition (148 seats) † National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons-led coalition (89 seats) ‡ Action Group-led coalition (75 seats) ————————————————— By converting the least votes into the most seats, this Robertson electionrigging mechanism ensured that the npc became the dominant partner in the federal government. Had proportional representation been applied, the ncnc-nepu Alliance which garnered 3,103,627 votes (40.7%) would have had the most seats and produced the Prime Minister. Alternatively, even with the rigged distribution of seats, had Zik and Awo brought their ncnc and ag alliances into coalition, the ncnc-ag coalition would have had 164 seats to the npc’s 148. And the GovernorGeneral, Sir James Robertson, would have been obliged to ask the ncnc-ag coalition to form the government. Either way, the ncnc leader Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe (a.k.a. Zik), would have become Nigeria’s Prime Minister at independence, and Nigeria’s history might have been quite different. But that was essentially prevented by the British managers of the transition to independence, when Sir James Robertson invited Tafawa Balewa to form the government even before the rigged results were fully in. Consequently, when the results were finally out, the option of an ncnc-ag Coalition had been basically ruled out, and these parties were faced with the option of going into junior partnership with the already designated Prime Minister.