Beginning Political Parties in Nigeria
The first political party was formed in Nigeria in 1922. It was Nigeria National Democratic Party (NNDP) formed by Herbert Macaulay.
The aim of forming this first party was to achieve self-government from the British Empire. Dr. J. C. Vaughan, Ernest Ikolh, Samuel Akinsanya and others formed the Lagos Youth Movement (LYM) in 1934. It’s goal was complete autonomy from British Empire. LYM changed to Nigeria Youth Movement (NYM) in 1936.
NYM defeated NNDP in 1938, in the election to the legislative council. The National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC) was launched in 1944 and elected Herbert Macaulay as the first president and Nnamdi Azikwe as the general secretary.
The Richards constitution replaced the 1922 constitution and was adopted in 1946. It provided for a central legislative council for the whole country, with regional houses of assembly. It divided the country into three regions of North, West and East, the Southern Cameroons under British mandate formed part of the Eastern Region.
The constitution was opposed by many different groups and political parties in the country.
After world war two and in 1952 Macpherson constitution came into effect, extending local power both in the regional assemblies and central legislative. In 1954 a federal system of government was adopted with a considerable regional autonomy.
In 1948 young northerner formed a political-cultural discussion group called ‘Jami’yar Mutanen Arewa. When the Macpherson constitution was lunched, leading members like Alhaji Ahmadu Bello and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa renamed it the Northern Peoples’ Congress (NPC).
Chief Obafemi Awolowo formed the Action Group (AG) in 1951 with the purpose of bringing and organizing within its fold all nationalists in the Western Region to work together as a United Group. These parties work relentlessly for self-government and Nigerian future development.