Author Topic: Nigeria  (Read 114 times)


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« on: August 21, 2021, 10:14:16 pm »

Following military conquest, the British imposed an economic system designed to profit from African labour. The essential basis of this system was a money economy—specifically the British pound sterling—which could be demanded through taxation, paid to cooperative natives, and levied as a fine.[11][12]
In the 1700s, the British Empire and other European powers had settlements and forts in West Africa but had not yet established the full-scale plantation colonies which existed in the Americas. Adam Smith wrote in 1776 that the African societies were better established and more populous than those of the Americas, thus creating a more formidable barrier to European expansion. Though the Europeans possess many considerable settlements both upon the coast of Africa and in the East Indies, they have not yet established in either of those countries such numerous and thriving colonies as those in the islands and continent of America.
Local leaders, cognizant of the situation in the West Indies, India and elsewhere, recognised the risks of British expansion. A chief of Bonny in 1860 explained that he refused a British treaty due to the tendency to "induce the Chiefs to sign a treaty whose meaning they did not understand, and then seize upon the country".[14]

AKA "It's OK to be a "white" treaty signatory."

European slave trading from West Africa began before 1650, with people taken at a rate of about 3,000 per year. This rate rose to 20,000 per year in the last quarter of the century. The slave trade was heaviest in the period 1700–1850, with an average of 76,000 people taken from Africa each year between 1783 and 1792. At first, the trade centred around West Central Africa, now the Congo. But in the 1700s, the Bight of Benin (also known as the Slave Coast) became the next most important hub. Ouidah (now part of Benin) and Lagos were the major ports on the coast. From 1790 to 1807, predominantly British slave traders purchased 1,000–2,000 slaves each year in Lagos alone. The trade subsequently continued under the Portuguese. In the Bight of Biafra, the major ports were Old Calabar (Akwa Akpa), Bonny and New Calabar.[15] Starting in 1740, the British were the primary European slave trafficker from this area.[16] In 1767, British traders facilitated a notorious massacre of hundreds of people at Calabar after inviting them onto their ships, ostensibly to settle a local dispute.[17]

But what I really want to debunk next is the frequent rightist claim that the British Empire led the way in abolishing slavery. Let's look at what really happened:

In 1807 the Parliament of the United Kingdom enacted the Slave Trade Act, prohibiting British subjects from participating in the slave trade. Britain subsequently lobbied other European powers to stop the slave trade as well. It made anti-slavery treaties with West African powers, which it enforced militarily. Some of the treaties contained prohibitions on diplomacy conducted without British permission, or other promises to abide by British rule.[18] This scenario provided an opportunity for naval expeditions and reconnaissance throughout the region. Britain also annexed Freetown in Sierra Leone, declaring it a Crown Colony in 1808.[19]

In other words, Britain passed laws against slavery merely in order to give itself a pretext to colonize, supposedly for the sake of enforcing such laws. But couldn't Britain have been sincere about ending slavery? We shall see:

Lagos became a major slave port in the late 1700s and into the 1850s. Much of the human trafficking which occurred there was nominally illegal, and records from this time and place are not comprehensive. According to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Voyage Database, 308,800 were sold across the Atlantic from Lagos in 1776–1850. British and French traders did a large share of this business until 1807 when they were replaced by Portuguese and Spanish.

In other words, since Britain had become the self-proclaimed enforcer of the laws against slavery, it could enforce or not enforce as it preferred, and of course when it was "whites" (including Jews) doing the slave trading, the laws were not enforced. In effect, the so-called 'anti-slavery laws' only prohibited "non-whites" from owning slaves, thus ensuring "whites" (including Jews) dominated the slave trade.

Whether British conquest of Nigeria resulted from a benevolent motive to end slavery or more instrumental motives of wealth and power, remains a topic of dispute between African and European historians.[21]


Moreover, in a territory under colonial rule, the entire local workforce is in effect enslaved, so of course Britain had no need to trade in slaves after it had taken over the entire territory itself!

In 1892 the British forces set out to fight the Ijebu Kingdom, which had resisted missionaries and foreign traders. The legal justification for this campaign was a treaty signed in 1886, when the British had interceded as peacemakers to end the Ekiti Parapo war, which imposed free trade requirements and mandated that all parties continue to use British channels for diplomacy.[18] Although the Ijebu had some weapons they were wiped out by British Maxims, the earliest machine gun. With this victory, the British went on to conquer the rest of Yorubaland, which had also been weakened by sixteen years of civil war.[39]
The British had difficulty conquering Igboland, which lacked a central political organisation. In the name of liberating the Igbos from the Aro Confederacy, the British launched the Anglo-Aro War of 1901–1902. Despite conquering villages by burning houses and crops, continual political control over the Igbo remained elusive.[42][43] The British forces began annual pacification missions to convince the locals of British supremacy.[44]
"If the millions of people [in Nigeria] who do not want us there once get the notion that our people can be killed with impunity they will not be slow to attempt it."[47]
From 1895 to 1900, a railway was constructed running from Lagos to Ibadan; it opened in March 1901. This line was extended to Oshogbo, 100 kilometres (62 mi) away, in 1905–1907, and to Zungeru and Minna in 1908–1911. Its final leg enabled it to meet another line, constructed 1907–1911, running from Baro, through Minnia, to Kano.[57]

Some of these public work projects were accomplished with the help of forced labour from native black Africans, referred to as "Political Labour". Village Heads were paid 10 shillings for conscripts, and fined £50 if they failed to supply. Individuals could be fined or jailed for refusing to comply.[12]

See what I mean?

During his six-year tenure as High Commissioner, Sir Frederick Lugard (as he became in 1901) was occupied with transforming the commercial sphere of influence inherited from the Royal Niger Company into a viable territorial unit under effective British political control. His objective was to conquer the entire region and to obtain recognition of the British protectorate by its indigenous rulers, especially the Fulani emirs of the Sokoto Caliphate. Lugard's campaign systematically subdued local resistance, using armed force when diplomatic measures failed. Borno capitulated without a fight, but in 1903 Lugard's RWAFF mounted assaults on Kano and Sokoto. From Lugard's point of view, clear-cut military victories were necessary because the surrenders of the defeated peoples weakened resistance elsewhere.

Lugard is bad, right? But:

Lugard's immediate successor (1919–1925), Sir Hugh Clifford, was an aristocratic professional administrator with liberal instincts who had won recognition for his enlightened governorship of the Gold Coast in 1912–1919. The approaches of the two men to colonial development were diametrically opposed. In contrast to Lugard, Clifford argued that colonial government had the responsibility to introduce as quickly as practical the benefits of Western experience.
Uneasy with the amount of latitude allowed traditional rulers under indirect rule, Clifford opposed further extension of the judicial authority held by the northern emirs. He said that he did "not consider that their past traditions and their present backward cultural conditions afford to any such experiment a reasonable chance of success".[70] In the south, he saw the possibility of building an elite educated in schools modelled on a European method (and numerous elite children attended high-ranking colleges in Britain during the colonial years). These schools would teach "the basic principles that would and should regulate character and conduct".[70]

Clifford is far worse. The deep psychological colonization we are faced with today is Clifford's legacy.

What else happened?

The Influenza pandemic made its way to the port of Lagos by September 1918 by way of a number of ships including the SS Panayiotis, the SS Ahanti, and the SS Bida.[71] The spread of the disease was quick and deadly, with an estimated 1.5% of the population of Lagos falling victim.[72] The disease first found its home among the many trading ports along the West African coast.[72] But with the advancement and efficiency of colonial transportation networks, it was only a matter of time before the disease began to spread into the interior.[71]
the virus would continue to spread throughout the southern provinces throughout September and finally make its way into the hinterlands by October.[71] An estimated 500,000 Nigerians would lose their lives due to the pandemic, severely decreasing production capabilities on Nigerian farms and plantations.[74]

In short, the British forced locals to build the very transportation networks (see above) that would then help the virus spread to kill the same local populations. This is colonialism for you.


What about local resistance?

In the north, appeals to Islamic legitimacy upheld the rule of the emirs, so that nationalist sentiments were related to Islamic ideals. Modern nationalists in the south, whose thinking was shaped by European ideas, opposed indirect rule, as they believed that it had strengthened what they considered an anachronistic ruling class and shut out the emerging Westernised elite.

Clifford made this happen. Instead of rejecting Western civilization, these False Leftists merely wanted to be recognized as Westerners too. And so Nigeria never drove out the British in armed struggle, but was merely given superficial independence on condition that it remained Westernized within:

By a British Act of Parliament, Nigeria became independent on 1 October 1960.[8] Azikiwe was installed as Governor-General of the federation and Balewa continued to serve as head of a democratically elected parliamentary, but now completely sovereign, government. The Governor-General represented the British monarch as head of state and was appointed by the Crown on the advice of the Nigerian prime minister in consultation with the regional premiers. The Governor-General, in turn, was responsible for appointing the prime minister and for choosing a candidate from among contending leaders when there was no parliamentary majority. Otherwise, the Governor-General's office was essentially ceremonial.

The government was responsible to a Parliament composed of the popularly elected 312-member House of Representatives and the 44-member Senate, chosen by the regional legislatures.

In general, the regional constitutions followed the federal model, both structurally and functionally. The most striking departure was in the Northern Region, where special provisions brought the regional constitution into consonance with Islamic law and custom. The similarity between the federal and regional constitutions was deceptive, however, and the conduct of public affairs reflected wide differences among the regions.

In February 1961, a plebiscite was conducted to determine the disposition of the Southern Cameroons and Northern Cameroons, which were administered by Britain as United Nations Trust Territories. By an overwhelming majority, voters in the Southern Cameroons opted to join formerly French-administered Cameroon over integration with Nigeria as a separate federated region. In the Northern Cameroons, however, the largely Muslim electorate chose to merge with Nigeria's Northern Region.

Only in the north was there anything resembling authentic resistance.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2021, 01:18:34 am by 90sRetroFan »

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