The Development Of Political Parties In Nigeria | NNDP, UMBC, NYM, NCNC

Formation Of The Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP) Established in 1923 following the adoption of the elective principle outlined in the Clifford constitution of 1922, the Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP) holds the distinction of being Nigeria’s inaugural political party. Initiated by Herbert Macaulay, a prominent figure in Nigeria’s nationalist movement, the party dominated the […]

Formation Of The Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP)

Established in 1923 following the adoption of the elective principle outlined in the Clifford constitution of 1922, the Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP) holds the distinction of being Nigeria’s inaugural political party. Initiated by Herbert Macaulay, a prominent figure in Nigeria’s nationalist movement, the party dominated the four elective legislative seats from 1923 to 1938.


The NNDP, responsible for founding the Lagos Daily News, focused its activities exclusively in Lagos, despite its national nomenclature. It secured all three legislative council seats allotted to Lagos in the 1923, 1928, and 1933 elections.


Rise Of The Nigerian Youth Movement (NYM)

Emerging in 1935 initially as the Lagos Youth Movement, the Nigerian Youth Movement (NYM) aimed at achieving complete autonomy for Nigeria. By 1938, it had ousted the Nigerian National Democratic Party, winning all four elective seats in the legislative council. Internal disputes, however, led to the party’s demise in 1944, with leaders like Ernest Ikoli and Samuel Akinsanya.


NYM’s objectives included advocating for the enhancement of Yaba Higher College’s status and independence for Nigeria, working toward national unity, and fostering the nation’s overall improvement.


Notable achievements of the NYM include securing all three elective seats for Lagos in the legislative council, acting as the first nationalist movement with a nationwide focus, giving rise to modern nationalism in Nigeria, promoting national unity and consciousness, establishing the influential Daily Service newspaper, and setting the stage for Nigeria’s political emancipation.


Founding Of The National Council Of Nigeria And Cameroon (NCNC)

Established in August 1944, the National Council of Nigeria and Cameroon (NCNC) saw Herbert Macaulay as its inaugural president, succeeded by Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe after Macaulay’s death. As the first party dedicated to achieving total independence for Nigeria, the NCNC set forth comprehensive aims and objectives, including self-government, political education, fostering political awareness among the masses, organizing and collaborating with branches nationwide, and providing members with a means of expression.


Contributions And Achievements Of The NCNC

The NCNC played a pivotal role in advocating for Nigeria’s unity and self-government. The party actively educated Nigerians about their political rights and launched the influential West Africa Pilot, serving as a potent platform against colonial rule. Noteworthy accomplishments include leading the nationalist opposition to the 1946 Richard’s Constitution, forming the inaugural regional government in the Eastern region, contributing significantly to its development, establishing a coalition government with the NPC in 1960, and producing the first president. Additionally, the NCNC raised funds for a protest delegation to London against the 1946 constitution.


The Northern People’s Congress (NPC)

Originating from a socio-cultural group in Northern Nigeria, the Northern People’s Congress (NPC) was established in 1951 under the leadership of Sir Ahmadu Bello, with Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa as deputy. The party, primarily comprised of the Hausa/Fulani ethnic group, placed a strong emphasis on Islam. Its governance spanned from 1951 to 1965, producing Nigeria’s inaugural prime minister.


Objectives Of NPC

  1. Foster political and economic development in the North.
  2. Work towards the autonomy of the Northern region.
  3. Cultivate a climate of mutual understanding among Northern residents.
  4. Educate Northerners about their political rights.


Contributions Of NPC

  1. Extended control and governance over Northern Nigeria for a considerable period.
  2. Produced the first prime minister and maintained rule during the initial republic.
  3. Cultivated a sense of common understanding among Northern inhabitants.
  4. Active participation in constitutional conferences both within and outside Nigeria.
  5. Contributed to political awareness and education among the Northern population.


The Action Group

The Action Group (AG) emerged from the Yoruba cultural association, Egbe Omo Oduduwa, in 1951, with Chief Obafemi Awolowo as its founder and leader. Key members included Chief Bode Thomas, S.L. Akintola, Rewane, Chief Shonibare, and Yoruba traditional leaders, including the late Ooni of Ife, Sir Adesoji Aderemi.


Objectives Of Action Group

  1. Contest and secure victories in elections to control the Western region.
  2. Challenge the political dominance of the NCNC.
  3. Collaborate with other nationalists to achieve Nigeria’s independence.
  4. Strengthen tribal organizations within the Western region.


Contributions Of Action Group

  1. Dominated Western Nigeria’s political landscape for approximately 11 years.
  2. Formed the opposition party in the House of Representatives, serving as a watchdog.
  3. Pioneered free primary education in the Western region in 1955.
  4. Played a crucial role in the nationalist struggle for Nigeria’s independence.
  5. Undertook efforts to enlighten the masses through political education.
  6. Spearheaded the agitation for the 1951 constitutional reforms, with Chief Anthony Enahoro, an Action Group member, moving the motion for self-government in 1953.


Minor Political Parties

United Middle Belt Congress (UMBC)

Established in 1955 under the leadership of the late J.S. Tarka, the United Middle Belt Congress focused its political efforts in the middle belt, advocating for the creation of a separate middle belt region within the Northern region.


Northern Element Progressive Union (NEPU)

Formed in August 1950 under the leadership of the late Mallam Aminu Kano, the Northern Element Progressive Union was a politically radical and democratic party.


Political Parties In The Second Republic

National Party of Nigeria (NPN)

Officially launched in September 1978 in Lagos after the ban on party politics was lifted, the NPN could be considered an offshoot of the first republican political party, NPC. Its leadership comprised mainly former NPC members, such as Alhaji Aliyu Makama Bida, Ali Monguno, Shehu Shagari, Adamu Ciroma, and Adisa Akinloye (the party’s chairman).


Aims And Objectives Of NPN

  1. Develop an admirable housing scheme for both urban and rural settings.
  2. Build a strong and united nation fostering peace and harmony among contented citizens.
  3. Respect the provisions of the constitution.
  4. Establish a prosperous and self-reliant Nigeria with a robust agricultural and industrial sector, providing equal opportunities for all regardless of sex, race, religion, or tribe.


Contribution Of The NPN

  1. Demonstrated a true national presence with members spread across the country.
  2. Won the 1979 and 1983 Republican presidential elections.
  3. Produced the first executive president for the country.
  4. Won governorship elections in seven states.
  5. Partially implemented its housing scheme in all states.
  6. Contributed to the development of seasoned politicians capable of facing challenges anywhere.


Unity Party Of Nigeria (UPN)

The UPN emerged as the first political association after the lifting of the ban on political activities by the military government. Chief Obafemi Awolowo founded and led UPN, with other prominent figures including Chief Adekunle Ajasin, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, Chief Bola Ige, and Professor Ambrose Alli.


Aims And Objectives Of UPN

  1. Provide free education at all levels.
  2. Implement integrated rural development.
  3. Offer free health services for all citizens.
  4. Ensure full and gainful employment for all able-bodied individuals.


Contributions Of The UPN

  1. Won gubernatorial elections in five states in 1979 and lost one in 1983.
  2. Acted as a strong opposition party, curbing the excesses of the ruling party.
  3. Introduced free education in all states won by UPN.
  4. Produced eminent politicians in Nigeria.
  5. Contributed to citizen education through programs such as rallies and symposia.

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