British Rule In Nigeria Essay

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The British occupation and subsequent colonial rule in Nigeria brought together peoples from heterogeneous backgrounds together to become the entity called Nigeria as noted by Kolawole (2005). According to Coleman (1971) the British colonial rule in Nigeria constituted two gigantic structures
1. “The British superstructure”: This comprised of British persons almost, who made policies and supervised the persons that occupied the Native Administrations. At this level were “(...) the governor, lieutenant governors, the colonial bureaucracy, the field staff of residents and district officers, and the army and police” (Coleman 1971, p.45).

2. “Native administration system”: Here were mostly Nigerians supervised by those that made up the British superstructure and had little or no input in policy formulations.
Coleman (1971) went further by stating that apart from the personnel of the two gigantic colonial structures; Nigeria was divided into geographical divisions with territorial boundaries according to indigenous political units. Primarily there was three provinces; the Western province, the Northern province and the Eastern province in which the Igbo belonged to. Thereafter, among the provinces for example in the Eastern province, there were other subdivisions like Districts
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"Indirect rule was based on a tripartite chain of patron–client relations linking the colonial administration to the population via chiefs" (Lange (2004, p.907). This may seem like a text book definition which Lange credited in a way to Lugard (1922); Frederick Lugard was the first Governor-General of Nigeria (colonial president). While in reality according to Mamdani (1996) "(...) indirect rule created a ‘‘bifurcated state’’ in which two separate and incompatible forms of rule existed––one dominated by the colonial administration, the other by numerous chiefs" (cited by Lange 204,

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