Many Nigerians have asked if there were parties from the southern and northern Protectorate that partook in the declaration of Nigeria, or did the British on their own sign the document in the absence of the people involved?
Southern and Northern Protectorate were joined to form Nigeria in 1914. By then the nationalist we know of now were still little to know what happened. Nnamdi Azikiwe was only 10 years old, Ahmadu Bello was 4 years, Awolowo was 5 years then. Which Nigerian signed the Amalgamation document?
There were only 28 individuals involved in the forceful Amalgamation of the South and the North Protectorate. Out of the 28, only 6 were Nigerians. The rest were all British citizens. Lord lugard the first governor general led the Amalgamation (he was one the one to propose it first) and the final signature was his.
Sir Kitoyi Ajasa
The six Nigerians are;
1. HRH Maiturare Sarkin Mussulumi and Sultan of Sokoto
2. Usuman Dan Maje who later became Emir of Kano
3. Sir Kitoyi Ajasa a lawyer
4. HRH Oladugbolu Alaafin of Oyo
5. HRH R Henshaw (Obong of Calabar)
6. Abubakar Shehu of Borno
These are the Nigerians present at the amalgamation. They were there ceremoniously. From the names above, you would notice that no Igbo man was present in the amalgamation of Nigeria despite the Igbos having powerful Kings like the Obi Okosi of Onitsha, Eze Nri òbalíke etc The reason is not far-fetched. The Igbos fought strongly against the British rule and they were never in support of their systems. Lagos colony was also against the amalgamation as at then.
The British were more comfortable to deal with Fulani/Northerners. The reason there were more fulani/northerners during the amalgamation. So, the saying that Northerners wants to always rule Nigeria did not just start. It was positioned so by the British. Even the location of the amalgamation was also located in the North.
Nigeria was not formed by consensus but by Force.
Reference: British administration in Nigeria 1900 to 1950 – A Nigerian view by Isaac Okonjo,Trade and imperialism in Southern Nigeria 1881 to 1916, Igbo land 1860 to 1960