Nigeria: Newest Nation

Nigeria: Newest Nation

Nigeria: Newest Nation

Nigeria: Newest Nation

Excerpt

Nigeria is the nearest a British African country has yet come to being a success story. In striking contrast to Central and East Africa, Nigeria, with independence due in October, 1960, is a peaceful and comparatively prosperous country. Instead of being in prison or exile, Nigerian political leaders are ministers in regional or national parliaments heading departments staffed by Nigerian and British civil servants, Federal police officers, again of both races, are generally trusted, and their presence is thought to be a guarantee of peaceful political assembly. European visitors who are spat at in remote Kikuyu villages in Kenya, are instead laughed at, given beer and generally welcomed to equally remote Nigerian villages. Murder, cannibalism, slavery, and pagan oaths celebrated with blood sacrifices occur in Nigeria, as they must in any African country trying to span several hundred years in a few generations. But they are condemned by Nigerian leaders, often in stronger terms than British officials would dare to use.

Compared to its neighbour, Ghana, Nigeria is politically divided. But, just because there are three big political parties and three obvious political leaders instead of one leader and one party, parliamentary democracy and the right of individuals to criticise their government in speech and writing may well survive better in Nigeria than they have in Ghana.

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