Nigeria’s existence has been a topic of interest to many, and the country’s origin has been traced back to the British explorers, anti-slavery activists, missionaries, and traders who explored the country from the death of Mungo Park in 1806 to the end of the century. This article discusses how Lord Lugard merged the Northern and Southern Protectorates to form Nigeria in 1914.
Lord Lugard’s Exploration
Lord Lugard joined the Royal Niger Company in 1894 and was dispatched to Borgu to oppose French incursions. In 1897, he was given the task of transferring the Royal West African Frontier Force from local duties to British command, and over the years, he has been succeeding. His exploits in Nigeria were motivated by a self-serving and ignoble obsession with maximum economic exploitation of the “Niger area” and administrative convenience.
The Establishment Of The Protectorates
At the time, the Niger Coast Protectorate was expanded, with its seat of government at Lagos to become Southern Nigeria, while in the north, the Emir of Kano and Sultan of Sokoto were not ready for British rule. Administrative policies and delegations were easy in Southern Nigeria as a result of the high percentage of educated elites and human resources in the region, while in the north, many techniques were structured to ensure the possibility of the indirect rule system.
Lord Lugard’s Techniques
One of the techniques Lord Lugard used was ensuring that in each territory, any chief willing to cooperate and adhere to his rules was given an opportunity to retain his chieftaincy position and would be given power. This helped him win the trust of the northerners and facilitated the merger of the protectorates.
The Plan To Merge The Protectorates
In 1912, Lord Lugard was appointed the governor of the Northern and Southern protectorates and was given the order to merge them. The plan to merge the Northern and Southern Protectorates became a success in 1914, and these protectorates were what formed the country of Nigeria.
In conclusion, Lord Lugard’s techniques, including the indirect rule system, helped in the merger of the Northern and Southern Protectorates, which led to the formation of Nigeria. Although the origin of Nigeria’s existence may not have any significant meaning, the country has grown to become one of the most populous and influential countries in Africa.