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Nigeria As a Federation

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PostForumfather on Fri 28 Mar 2014, 10:11 pm

Nigeria As a Federation

A new Nigeria came into being on October 1, 1954. It consisted of the Northern Region of Nigeria, the Western Region of Nigeria, the Eastern Region of Nigeria, Southern Cameroons and the federal Territory of Lagos. The “New” country became officially known as “The Federation of Nigeria”.

Matters with which the Government of the Federation was to concern herself with were:

a) The implementation of the treaties
b) The regulation of external trade
c) The government of Lagos
d) All such matters as were set out in the first schedule to the Nigeria (constitution) order-in-council 1957.

The executive of the Government of the Federation, Sir John Macphenson was sworn in at noon as Governor-General. The oath was administered by Mr Justice Henri de Commarmond, acting Chief Justice of the Federation of Nigeria and the ceremony, which was informal, was watched by and central ministers then present in Lagos.

The two swearing-in ceremonies took place also on the same date. In the North the Sardauna of Sokoto, was at Lugard Hall, Kaduna, being installed as Prime Minister of the Northern Nigeria.

In the East, Sir Clement Pleass took the oath as Governor of the Eastern Region at about 9 am.

On Monday, October 4th, 1952, Sir, John Rankine and Chief Obafemi Awolowo took oaths of office as Governor and Prime Minister, respectively, of the Western Region of Nigeria. No Prime Minister was installed in Southern Cameroon.

At the installation of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe as the Prime Minister of Eastern Region of Nigeria, he made a maiden speech entitled “Rectitude in Public life”. In it he urged his listeners that “now that we have offered freedom on a platter of gold, let us welcome the opportunity by consecrating our lives a new to the service of African humanity”.

Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe listed sixteen promises to which he urged every citizen to commit himself as the East entered new era.
These were:

i) That we shall not seek to reap where he have not sown.
ii) That we shall not covet our neighbours yam patch his pay pocket or his material wealth.
iii) That we shall not deliberately exploit the ignorance of our under-privilege folk.
iv) That we shall not design or manipulate the downfall of the upright.
v) That we shall not worship filthy lucre
vi) That we shall not pervert the course of justice
vii) That we shall not allow ourselves to be corrupted
viii) That we shall not conceal or adulterate the truth
ix) That we shall not be a conscious vehicle for the punishment of guiltless.
x) That we shall not mislead the innocent.
xi) That we shall expose and excoriate evil in any shape or form.
xii) That we shall resist injustice with all our might.
xiii) That we shall commend with all our might.
xiv) That we shall commend and not discredit merited achievement
xv) That we shall serve without hope or gain
xvi) That we shall willingly surrender the reign of office in the usual democratic manner.

Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe said: “The Premier is a senior servant of the people. No servant is ever greater than his master. From today, I am a senior but your humble servant.

Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo and the Sarduna were the first Prime Ministers in Nigeria. In their exalted positions, they were vested with increased responsibilities in the government of their respective Regions, and in all three Regions the Cabinets were being expanded and reshuffled to fall in line with these increased responsibilities.

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