NYU Black Renaissance Noire Winter 2014 - Page 191

[Back to excerpts from Omo Omoruyi, The Tale of June 12, London: Press Alliance Network Limited, 1999.] L ———————————————— q11) 1959 What Sir James Robertson did in 1959 was in furtherance of the colonial policy dating back to 1913 [when Lord Harcourt proposed the “marriage” of the “Northern youth,” to “the Southern lady of means”]. Sir James Robertson also stated in his memoir that he prepared Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa in the late 1950’s for the position of leadership of Nigeria by sharing with him sensitive security issues about British interests in Nigeria and how he, Sir James “unofficially and unconstitutionally” assigned defence, police and foreign affairs matters before independence to Sir Abubakar.…(p. 303) 20 http://www.gamji.com/haruna/ haruna161.htm 21 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Nigerian_parliamentary_ election,_1959 sir james’ report card destroyed southern leaders and favoured northern leaders The Northern leaders were “good boys” and could be trusted; the Southern leaders were “bad boys,” and could not be trusted. Sir James did everything to prepare Sir Ahmadu Bello, who had no faith in the 1914 amalgamation, to accept the Federal Government and the Nigerian union….(p. 304) Finally, Sir James did not have faith in what would happen at the end of the day. He quoted the note he kept in December 1956 as follows: The general outlook of the people (North) is so different from those in Southern Nigeria as to give them practically nothing in common. There is less difference between an Englishman and Italian, both of whom have a common civilisation based on Greek and Roman foundations and on Christianity, than between a Muslim villager in Sokoto, Kano or Katsina, and an Ibo, Ijaw or a Kalabari. How can any feeling of common purpose of nationality be built up between people whose culture, religion and mode of living is so completely different? (Italics mine.) BLACK RENAISSANCE NOIRE ————————————————— By the rule of succession, the Northern People’s Congress (npc), with no elected member from the South in the House of Representatives, succeeded to the British colonial power in Nigeria in 1960 and became the successor of the British Crown in Nigeria. Sir James was bent on implementing the succession plan in favour of the North. How did he do it? 189 An ncnc-ag coalition