The People’s Republic: How they rule



OFFICIAL members -14 in all:

(I) The Chief Commissioner who was President, with original and casting votes;

(2) 6 Residents;

(3) Secretary, Western Provinces;

(4) Deputy Financial Secretary;

(5) Deputy Director of Education;

(6) Deputy Director of Agriculture;

(7) Deputy Director of Medical Services;

(8) Deputy Director of Public Works;

(9) Crown Counsel.


Unofficial members-15 in all:

(I) 3 Chiefs nominated by the Governor, after consultation

with the Western Provinces Chiefs;

(2) 7 provincial members selected by the Native Authorities from their members, other than major chiefs;

(5) 5 members, nominated by the Governor, on the advice of the Chief Commissioner, from among prominent citizens

of the Provinces who were oonsidered to represent important aspects of life not otherwise adequately represented.


Eastern Provinces

Official Members- 13 in all:

(I) The Chief Commissioner, who was President, with original and casting votes;

(2) 5 Residents;

(3) Secretary, Eastern Provinces;

(4) 6 other officials as under Western Provinces above.

Unofficial Members-14 in all:

(I) 9 Provincial Members selected by the Native Authorities from their members. (NOTE: Before this time, the offices of the Warrant Chiefs had been abolished).

(2) 5 Members nominated by the Governor, on the advice of the Chief Commissioner, from among prominent citizens who were deemed to represent important aspecrts of life not otherwise adequately represented.


NIgeria Legislative Council

Official members 21 in all:

(I) The Governor, who was President, with original and casting votes;

(2) Chief Secretary to the Government;

(3) 3 Chief Commissioners;

(4) 3 Senior Residents, one each from the three groups of Provinces;

(5) Attorney-General;

(6) Financial Secretary;

(7) Development Secretary;

(8) Director of Education;

(9) Director of Agriculture;

(10) Director of Medical Services;

(1 1) Director of Public Works;

(12) Commissioner of Labour;

(13) Director of Marine;

(14) Comptroller of Customs and Excise;

(15) General Manager of the Railway;

(16) Commissioner of Police;

(17) Commissioner of Lagos and Colony.


Unofficial members-28 in all:

(I) 4 Chiefs selected by the Northern House of Chiefs from its members;

(2)  2 Chiefs from the Western Provinces, nominated by the Governor from among the three Chiefs who were members

of the Western House of Assembly;

(3) 5 members from the Northern Provinces selected by the unofficial members of the Northern House of Assembly

from their own numbers·

(4) 4 members from the Western Provinces, selected in the like manner;

(5) 5 members from the Eastern Provinces similarly selected;

(6) 1 member for Calabar, elected as under the 1922 Order-in-Council to represent Calabar township;

(7) 3 members for Lagos elected as under the 1922 Older-

in-Council to represent the Municipality of Lagos;

(8) 1 member for the Colony, nominated by the Governor after consultation with the Native Authorities in the area;

(9) 3 members nominated by the Governor because of their expert knowledge in certain aspects of life not adequately represented in the Council.

This Constitution did not affect the composition and powers of the Executive Council, which was constituted by Letters Patent in 1922; save that the ratio of two to one between the expatriate and indigenous members of the Council was reversed.

We have seen that of the total members of the Northern, Western, and Eastern Houses of Assembly, 14, 7, and 9 respectively were selected by Native Authorities from among their members. A word or two about the composition of a Native Authority at the time of the selections is, therefore, essential to a proper understanding and appreciation of the representatives of these selected members.

It has been pointed out that at the time of Lugard, a Native Authority was, for all practical purposes, the Natural Ruler advised by a body of subordinate chiefs. The position remained more or less the same in 1946, and indeed up till the early fifties, in the North and West.

As a result of persistent agitation on the part of Nigerian nationalists, and of criticism by a few British political observers, Sir Donald Cameroon (himself a progressive Colonial Administrator) had, in 1933, initiated reforms in Native Administration which had since been gradually improved upon.

The advisory composition of the Native Authority in the West had been enlarged by the inclusion of a number of members other than subordinate traditional chiefs. These members were in a very small minority; and their appointment was, by law, vested in the Resident acting in his own discretion.


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