Nigeria, at 154 million, is the most populous nation in Africa and was one of the first countries on that continent to be granted independence from European rule. In the years following World War Two until the independence of October 1960, a program of Nigerianization was instituted allowing for a Western-educated Nigerian elite to take positions in the civil service. Thus, a native ruling class steeped in the ideology of a united Nigeria was ready to govern the new country. Many problems awaited this new ruling class however. Chief amongst those was what form the new country would take.
Compiled by James Scholz 2009/2010.
Northern People’s Congress (NPC)
Founded in 1943 as the Bauchi General Improvement Union and renamed as the Northern People’s Congress in 1949, the NPC was intended to be a safeguard of Northern unity and to protect against Southern “domination”. This organization was relatively conservative in nature and sought to work within the existing political structure. They sought for a decentralized government with regional autonomy.
National Convention of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC)
Founded in 1944 as the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons by then journalist Zik as a conglomeration of ethic and social unions, the NCNC promoted pan-Nigerianism and self-governance. The party has its main base of support in the East. They advocated for a strong, central government in the years leading to independence from Great Brittan in 1960.
Action Group (AG)
Headed by Awolo, a Northerner, the AG was centered in the Western Region. They formed part of the NPC-NCNC coalition of the late 1950s but became the opposition party after the 1959 election.
United Progressive Grand Alliance (UPGA)
The NCNC, AG, and minority parties from the Northern Region formed the UPGA to both remove the NPC from the federal government and to reintroduce the AG as the dominant party in the Western Region.
An Asagba is a traditional king/ruler in Asaba. The position is rotary amongst the five quarters of Asaba.
Sardauna of Sokoto
The Sardauna of Sokoto is a spiritual leader of Muslim inhabitants in the north of Nigeria.