Main Currents of West African History 1940–1978 by Frederick Pedler

By Frederick Pedler

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Despite what Nkrumah had said about non-violence, there were some riots, and in January 1950 the 18 The Last Years of Colonial Rule government took action to preserve public order. Nkrumah and several members of his party were charged with offences against the peace, and Nkrumah received a long sentence; but the others were soon out of prison, wearing hats embroidered PG for Prison Graduate, and addressing public meetings. Nkrumah in prison was the perfect martyrfigure, and Gbedemah out of prison was a most competent organiser of victory.

The Nigerian Youth Movement was of course backed by the West African Pilot, a daily newspaper founded by Azikiwe. In 1940 they had a shock. Ernest Ikoli, who had helped to found theY outh Movement, but who had fallen out with Azikiwe and Davies, founded a rival paper, Daily Service. The antagonists contested a by-election in Lagos, and Ikoli won. This led to the resignation of Azikiwe and Davies from the Youth Movement; but, as mentioned above, its largest membership was in Y orubaland, and the leadership was taken over by Chief Obafemi Awolowo, a lawyer and journalist in lbadan.

Regional Executive Councils were created with important powers. Each was presided over by the lieutenant-governor of the Region, and comprised from six to nine regional ministers, three government officers who were members by virtue of the offices which they held, and not more that two other officials. The central legislature, now known as the House of Representatives, was enlarged. It had six ex officio members, 136 representative members, and six special members nominated by the governor to speak 32 The Last Years of Colonial Rule for interests which in his opinion would not otherwise have a voice.

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