You are here

B. 4. Nigeria to 1960

The British accepted the principle of African representation through direct election to the legislative council as early as 1922, though on a strictly limited franchise. Signs of African resistance also date back to the 1920s. Significant protests by women against colonial rule took place in 1929, when a local demonstration against a proposed tax sparked a mass movement of tax resistance and a longer term mobilization of women. The trade unions also engaged in politically directed strikes, notably in 1945, and continued to agitate until 1950. In the first years after the war Nigerian politics were more turbulent than in Ghana, but the Administration acted to pre-empt further trouble by proposing a review of the post-war constitution to grant Nigerians a much greater political role. The need for radical action faded as new political opportunities became available. Instead, negotiating an agreement between diverse regions of Nigeria became a central issue. Nigeria became independent in 1960.

Ananaba, Wogu, The Trade Union Movement in Nigeria, London, C. Hurst, 1969, pp. 336

Chapter 7 covers the 1945 general strike.

Brown, Carolyn A., ‘We Were All Slaves’: African Miners, Culture and Resistance at the Enugu Government Colliery, Portsmouth, Oxford and Cape Town, Heinemann, James Currey and David Philip, 2002, pp. 354

Part 2 is on major miners’ strike organized by the militant Zikist movement. The movement became associated with riots and an assassination attempt and was banned in April 1950.

Isichei, Elizabeth, A History of Nigeria, London, Longman, 1983, pp. 517

Ch. 17 ‘Colonialism rejected’ (pp. 396-412) examines workers’ and women’s protests and growing nationalism from the 1920s to 1950.

Nba, Nina Emma, Nigerian Women Mobilized: Women’s Political Activity in Southern Nigeria, 1900-1965, Berkeley CA, University of California Institute of International Studies, 1982, pp. 344