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Emergence of Nationalism in Nigeria (Civic Education)
There are a number of things that led to the rise of nationalism in Nigeria. We will talk about these things under both internal and external factors.
As a teacher, you will find this post useful as a lesson note for your student. Also, as a student, you should be able to read and prepare for exams. Let us observe the Emergence of Nationalism in Nigeria under the headings below
Internal Factors That Prompted Nationalism In Nigeria
1. Economic Exploitation
Europeans wanted Africans to pay taxes, which was strange to our society. The locals worked together to fight against the payment, and this led to the rise of nationalism in Nigeria. Even parts of the land that belonged to the local peasants were taken by the colonial government, which also forced them to work on colonial farms and mines.
After the end of the Second World War, Nigerians had to deal with a rise in the cost of living and a lack of basic goods, which added to nationalist activities.
2. Western Education
Western education did a lot to make Nigerians more like Europeans, but it also gave the educated leaders the power to fight against the colonial government. It was the main thing that made Africans aware of their situation, gave them motivation, and kept them determined to keep asking for self-rule.
When the Europeans gave Africans a Western education, it wasn’t meant to help them, but rather to give them the chance to learn how to read and write. As this would let the Africans work with the whites to take advantage of their money.
So, schooling became the way for people to fully understand injustice, humiliation, exploitation, and enslavement.
3. Racist Policies Of The Colonial Government
Africans had less access to social and welfare services like hospitals, recreational activities centers, electric power, and houses than Europeans did. African culture was viewed as primitive, and all of these things made Nigerians more nationalistic.
Colonial racism indicated that black people were treated unfairly in their jobs and careers and were denied important chances because they were black. Africans weren’t given many options in their own country.
4. Formation Of Political Parties
The public’s support for the fight for freedom was shaped in part by the creation of political parties. It was also a place where nationalist events could be organized. Nigerian Youth Movement, Nigerian National Democratic Party, Action Group, Northern Peoples Congress, National Congress of Nigeria etc are all examples of these kinds of political groups.
5. The Beginning of Native Press
These newspapers gave the nationalists a way to talk about the bad things about colonialism. This helped to educate the masses about politics and make them more likely to fight for political freedom. The West African Pilot, the Daily Comet etc., are all examples of such newspapers.
6. Activities Of Labour Movements
Nationalist actions were also fueled by the labor movement, especially after World War II. Because of this, the number of labor and trade organizations grew. These groups went on strikes and protested against the unfair policies and attitudes of the colonial government. The “General Workers” Strike of 1945, which ran 37 days and was led by the Action Civil Service Technical union, is a major instances of this kind of strike.
7. The Rise of Powerful Politicians and Nationalists
Herbert Macaulay, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, and Ernest Ikoli are some of the leaders from the southern part of Nigeria who helped get more people involved in politics and more aware of their country’s history. These people pushed for Nigerian independence and made sure it happened.
External Factors That Prompted Nationalism In Africa
1. Pan Africanism
The Pan-African movement was a global Negro Association made up of black people from Europe, the United States, and the West Indies who were well-educated but still faced racism.
The Pan-African movement, which was led by W.E.B. Dubois, held meetings to get nationalists and people around the world to speak out against the exploitation of Africans.
The goal was to get Africans from all over the world to work together against racism and slavery. Marcus A. Garvey, Blaise Diagne of Senegal, Kwame Nkurumah, etc. were also important people in the union.
2. African Church Movement
The African Church movement was another way that people in English-speaking West Africans worked for their own country. The movements were a nationalist response to the dominance of Europeans. They fought for the freedom of Africans by giving them African names at baptism. They also fought and translated the Bible and prayer books into their own native language.
3. The West African Students Union In London
A Nigerian law student named Solanke started the West African Students Union in London in 1925. Joseph Casely Hayfold’s ideas were a big part of why the union was formed.
Between 1925 and 1945, the Union did a lot to make its members, who were mostly West African students in London, more aware of their political and racial identities. A lot of them went on to be important nationalist leaders.