The above topic is aimed at critically studying the concept of Pan Africanism in Nigeria and also to unravell the mystries behind the track record of Pan Africaism in Nigeria. This study seeks to bring about a thorough scrutiny on the rhetorical events, present situations and possible future prospects for the sustainability of Pan Africanism and the challenges it had been confronted with, lastly offering possible remedies to promote the growth of pan africanism in the country.
Moreso; the study shall attempt to carefully analyse the sequence of several pan african events of the country in reference to the total struggle for the emancipation of Africa and particularly Nigeria have undergone in the attempt to reedeem the almost exterminated African glories of pan african endeavours. Furtherly, we shall proceed by conceptualising the topic in the following manner below for easy collation of notable data and identification of cogent points: DEFINITION OF THE TERM:
Pan Africanism is the ideology which posits that all Africans and Lovers of Africa both home and abroad, regardless of colour, age, sex or economic status and political affiliations should or may unite on the platform of African Liberation to profer a lasting solution to the African Predicament in the face of rapid Globalization.
- Adeleye "Pan-Africanism is also an ideology and movement that encourages the solidarity of Africans worldwide. It is based on the belief that unity is vital to economic, social, and political progress and aims to "unify and uplift" people of African descent. The ideology asserts that the fate of all African peoples and countries are intertwined. At its core Pan-Africanism is "a belief that African peoples, both on the continent and in the Diaspora, share not merely a common history, but a common destiny"
- Wikipedia OVERVIEW OF PAN AFRICANISM:
Pan-Africanism stresses the need for "collective self-reliance". Pan-Africanism exists as a governmental and grassroots objective. Pan-African advocates include leaders such as Haile Selassie, Ahmed Sekou Toure, Kwame Nkrumah and Muammar Gaddafi, grassroots organizers such as Marcus Garvey and Malcolm X, academics such as W. E. B. Du Bois, and others in the diaspora. Solidarity will enable self-reliance, allowing the continent's potential to independently provide for its people to be fulfilled. Crucially, an all-African alliance would empower African people globally. The realization of the Pan-African objective would lead to "power consolidation in Africa", which "would compel a reallocation of global resources, as well as unleashing a fiercer psychological energy and political assertion...that would unsettle social and political (power) structures...in the Americas". United, African nations will have the economic, political and social clout to act and compete on the world stage as do other large entities, such as the European Union and the United States. Advocates of Pan-Africanism – i.e. "Pan-Africans" or "Pan-Africanists" - often champion socialist principles and tend to be opposed to external political and economic involvement on the continent. Critics accuse the ideology of homogenizing the experience of people of African descent. They also point to the difficulties of reconciling current divisions within countries on the continent and within communities in the diaspora.
-Wikipedia ORIGIN OF PAN AFRICANISM IN NIGERIA THE PRECOLONIAL ERA SAMUEL AJAYI CROWTHER AND THE BRITISH EXPEDITION OF 1841:
Biography: The Right Reverend Samuel Ajayi Crowther D.D. (c. 1809 – 31 December 1891) was a linguist and the first African Anglican bishop in Nigeria. Born in Osogun (in today's Iseyin Local Government, Oyo State, Nigeria), Crowther was a Yoruba man who also identified with Sierra Leone's ascendant Creole ethnic group. Mission: Crowther was selected to accompany the missionary James Frederick Schön on the Niger expedition of 1841. Together with Schön, he was expected to learn Hausa for use on the expedition. The goal of the expedition was to spread commerce, teach agricultural techniques, spread Christianity, and help end the slave trade. Following the expedition, Crowther was recalled to England, where he was trained as a minister and ordained by the bishop of London. He returned to Africa in 1843 and with Henry Townsend, opened a mission in Abeokuta, in today's Ogun State, Nigeria. Crowther began translating the Bible into the Yoruba language and compiling a Yoruba dictionary. In 1843, a grammar book which he started working on during the Niger expedition was published; and a Yoruba version of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer followed later. Crowther also compiled A vocabulary of the Yoruba language, including a large number of local proverbs, published in London on 1852. He also began codifying other languages. Following the British Niger Expeditions of 1854 and 1857, Crowther produced a primer for the Igbo language in 1857, another for the Nupe language in 1860, and a full grammar and vocabulary of Nupe in 1864.
- Wikipedia He served as a great instrument of modern slavery (missionary and colonisation) in breaking the communication barrier between colonialists, missionarists and the indegenous inhabitants of the West Coast Region of Africa. Considering the controversial circumstances precipitating his participation in the british expedition, he could not have done better than he had if only he knew or forsaw the consequencies of his noble decisions to negotiate a freedom cause for his race.
- Adeleye THE 1861 CESESSION OF THE EKO TERRITORY:
The cesession of the EKO territory by Oba Dosunmu to the british consulate at about the paltry sum of (GB2000) marked the era of british influence on the native people of Lagos from the original tribe of Yoruba Kingdom tribe and Edo (Benin) Kingdom. This political decison gave the british merchants more power to actually preside in the native domains. Several exchange of socio-cultural ideas transpired which are the major events which witnessed the native rulers participating in the slavery. Many of the then Eko (Lagos) citizens were exchanged for several commercial or political gains, transported from the soil of motherland (Benin, Eko, Badagry, Calabar, Elkanemi, Bene, Togo , Gold Coast, Upper Volta) to the far reaching continents of the world i.e. Europe (Britain, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, etc...), USA (Maryland, Georgia, New York, Akansas, Washington, Texas, Detroits, Virginia Islands, Cuba, Mexico, Brazil, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobego, St Dominican Republic, lastly Canada and Jamaica).
- Adeleye THE ARRIVAL OF MARTIN DELANY 1856:
Biography: Martin Robison Delany (May 6, 1812 – January 24, 1885) was an African-American abolitionist, journalist, physician, and writer, arguably the first proponent of black nationalism; Martin Delany is considered to be the grandfather of Black nationalism. He was also one of the first three blacks admitted to Harvard Medical School. So he returned to writing, publishing The Origin and Objects of Ancient Freemasonry; Its Introduction into the United States and Legitimacy Among Colored Men and prior to that, The Condition, Elevation, Emigration and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States Politically Considered, a treatise that explored the option of blacks returning to their native Africa. Mission:This prompted a trip to Nigeria in the mid-1850s to negotiate land for African-American emigrants, as well as exploring Central America and Canada as options. Delany wrote about what he found there as well as a novel, Blake: Or the Huts of America. However, in the face of competition from the White-led American Colonization Society, Delany had to abandon plans for a large-scale expedition. West Indian RobertCampbell, his sole expedition colleague, left before Delany, and consulted British cotton-growers before sailing on to Lagos. On learning this, Delany left immediately for West Africa. After a five-week stay in Liberia during which he changed his mind about the settlers there, he left for Lagos, where, after lengthy discussions with the men of importance and the ruler, he was granted a 330 sq. footplot of ground. Delany finally caught up with Campbell in Abeokuta in November 1859. The two men had extensive discussions with the Alake Okukenu of Abeokuta, who agreed to admit a limited number of settlers and to grant them equal rights. The settlers had to respect Ebga laws, the Alake specified. They were to bring ‘a knowledge of the arts and sciences, agriculture and other mechanic and industrial occupations’. With financial aid mainly from the British Anti-Slavery Society and the Cotton Supply Association of Manchester, the two men then toured other Yoruba cities, and obtained similar agreements. They then travelled to Britain, where they were positively received. Both men wrote accounts of their journey; Delany’s Official Report of the Niger Valley Exploring Party, was published in both London and New York in 1861. It is a very respectful account of the peoples whose countries he travelled through, their agriculture, animal husbandry and implements; their industriousness and affability. Towns and markets he found to be ‘orderly and well regulated’. Slavery existed he noted, but of a totally different kind to that in European colonies: the enslaved were prisoners-of-war and criminals, and were not too harshly treated and were usually eventually freed. It was ‘Protestant kings and Protestant missionaries’ on the coast who were the ‘most cruel oppressors’ (p.50). The Africans, Delany noted, wondered what the use was of the book-learning and ‘civilisation’ being brought to them by the missionaries, if power can only belong to the White man? ‘Africa is our fatherland’, Delany wrote, and must be ‘regenerated. Her position among the existing nations will depend mainly upon the high standard she may gain compared with them in all her relations … politically and commercially … Africa [is] for the African race …’ However, Delany’s plans were doomed to failure. Anglican missionaries in
Abeokuta, fearful of the presence of educated African Americans, persuaded the Alake (king) that he should deny signing an agreement with Delany. With the outbreak of the American Civil War, the British became fearful of their source of raw cotton drying up, and sought to advance cotton-growing along the Niger. The first step was the deposition of the Docemo (ruler) of Lagos in 1862. As the British now ruled Lagos, the Alake had little option but to bow to their influence. This led Delany to wonder if there was any difference between the British and the Americans: the ‘great powers’ policy is changed from that of abject slavery to reducing them to political dependents’ (Sterling, p.224).
-Wikipedia KING JAJA OF OPOBO AND THE BRITISH EXPEDITION :
Biography: (Jubo Jubogha; 1821–1891) was a merchant prince and the founder of Opobo city-state in an area that is now part of Nigeria. Born in Umuduruoha, Amaigbo, in Igboland, he was sold at about the age of twelve as a slave in Bonny. Jubo Jubogha later took the name "Jaja" for his dealings with the British. Mission: Jaja proved his aptitude for business at an early age, earning his way out of slavery; he was enculturated according to Ijaw (Ibani) rituals and eventually established himself as head of the Anna Pepple House. Under Jaja's leadership, Anna Pepple soon absorbed a number of Bonny's other trade houses until an ongoing dispute with the Manilla Pepple House led by Oko Jumbo forced Jaja to break away as Opobo city-state in 1869. Opobo soon came to dominate the region's lucrative palm oil trade, and was soon home to fourteen of what were formerly Bonny's eighteen trade houses. Jaja also moved to block the access of British merchants to the interior, giving him an effective monopoly; at times, Opobo even shipped palm oil directly to Liverpool, independent of British middlemen.
-Wikipedia THE CREATION OF ROYAL NIGER COMPANY AND THE EXILE OF KING JAJA OPOBO:
In 1884,the europe(Britain, Germany and France and Poland) all met in Berlin to scramble for the divide of the continent and its endownment. In 1895 The Royal Niger Company treaty was established by the british merchants to secure the ability to involve or rather control local trade of commercial resources. For the first time It represented the administrative hub of their ill socio-political and economic intensions. In this era, british merchants participated in the exchange of ridiculous objects (mirror, umbrella, bycicle, combs and compass) for natural resources i.e. palm oil, palm kernel, timber, palm trees, cocoa, rubber, bittlemen, charcoal, and coconut shells) etc. At the 1884 Berlin Conference, however, the other European powers designated Opobo as British territory, and the British soon moved to claim it. When Jaja refused to cease taxing British traders, Henry Hamilton Johnston, a British vice consul, invited Jaja to negotiations in 1887. When Jaja arrived, the British arrested him and tried him in Accra in the Gold Coast (now Ghana) then took him to London for some time, where he met Queen Victoria and was her guest in Buckingham Palace. After some other turbulent history,[clarification needed] he was exiled to Saint Vincent in the West Indies. Plans were also made for him to be relocated to Barbados. In 1891, Jaja was granted permission to return to Opobo, but died en route, allegedly poisoned with a cup of tea. Following his exile and death, the power of the Opobo state rapidly declined. Jaja eventually won his liberty after years of fighting against his wrongful abduction, and it was agreed by Parliament that he could be repatriated to Opobo. Jaja was by then an old man and after years in exile his health had deteriorated. He embarked on a British vessel bound for Opobo, but his health continued to fail and on his way back Jaja died. His body was shipped instead to Tenerife in the Canary Islands, where he was buried. The anger and fury felt by his people due to the chain of events that had preceded, compelled many Opobians to press their demands for the body of their king, which was promptly exhumed and transported back to Opobo for Jaja to be buried there. Many of his people had never given up hope that one day their much loved and powerful king (Amayanabo) would return, and after his body was returned he was honoured with two years of mourning and with a ceremony immortalising Jaja as a deity.
-Wikipedia THE NEMBE-BRITISH REVOLT 1895:
After 1884, the Nembe kingdom was included in the area over which the British claimed sovereignty as the Oil Rivers Protectorate. The Nembe, who by now controlled the palm oil trade, at first refused to sign a treaty, and fought to prevent the Royal Niger Company obtaining a trade monopoly. In January 1895 the Nembe King William Koko led a dawn attack of more than a thousand warriors on the company's headquarters at Akassa, with no European casualties. This triggered a retaliatory raid in which the British destroyed the town of Brass and slaughtered four thousand Nembe. Many more Nembe died from an outbreak of smallpox.The British later established a consulate in Twon-Brass, from where they administered the area. Traditional rulers were reinstalled in the 1920s, but with an essentially symbolic role which they retain today.
-Wikipedia THE EXILE OF KING KOKO "MINGI VIII OF NEMBE" (1853–1898):
Known as King Koko and King William Koko, was an African ruler of the Nembe Kingdom (also known as Nembe-Brass) in the Niger Delta, now part of southern Nigeria.A Christian when chosen as king of Nembe in 1889, Koko's attack on a Royal Niger company trading post in January 1895 led to reprisals by the British in which his capital was sacked. Following a report on the Nembe uprising by Sir John Kirk which was published in March 1896, Koko was offered a settlement of his grievances but found the terms unacceptable, so was deposed by the British. He died in exile in 1898.
- Wikipedia THE BRITISH INVASION OF THE BENIN KINGDOM 1897:
This political upheaval marked the begning of a general resistance from the Benin Kingdom which was then one of the most civilised socities in Africa and the globe at large. With the refusal of Oba Ovorahawen to accept the religion of christianity which was then presented to him by deception at first, claiming its was meant to strenghten the ties between the two socities, later turned out to be the greatest challenge that befell the benin kingdom. The King then presented her daughter to the british queen and she was re located to England to be indoctrinated.
THE NATIONALISTS STRUGGLES FOR INDEPENDENCE 1914-1960:
In this part of the write up, we shall giving considerations to the accounts of several Nationalists in relation to struggle for indepence and Pan Africanism. In Nigeria, during the race for Self Government, National Leaders, except for some few ones, were more focused on the Nationalists aspect of Pan Africanism rather displaying the overall character of a True Pan Africanist. ERNEST IKOLI AND THE CREATION OF THE NIGERIAN YOUTH MOVEMENT 1923:
Biography: He was Born at Nembe in present day Bayelsa State and educated at Bonny Government School, Rivers State and King's College, Lagos. After completing his studies at King's College, he became a tutor at the school - a post which he left to pursue a career in journalism. Ikoli is remembered today as one of the pacesetters of Nigerian journalism and the independence struggle. For a period he worked at the Lagos Weekly Record, a paper that has since disappeared. He was the first editor of the Daily Times of Nigeria, which was launched in June 1926 with Adeyemo Alakija as Chairman of the Board. He later became publisher of the now defunct African Messenger. In the 1930s he was one of the founders of the Nigerian Youth Movement and was once the movement's president. During this period, the movement was engaged in an intense power struggle with Herbert Macaulay's NNDP. In 1942 he was elected onto the Legislative Council and was re-elected in 1946. Mission: Ernest Ikoli started the Nigerian Youth Movement with other prominent Nigerians like Hezekiah Oladipo Davies, James Churchill Vaughan and Oba Samuel Akisanya (aka General Saki). The movement originally started as the Lagos youth movement, it was partly formed to voice concerns about the lackluster colonial higher education policy. The movement was largely Lagos based but as varied members entered the organization, it metamorphosed to become the Nigerian Youth Movement; a political action group with a nationalistic flavor and outlook. Nnamdi Azikiwe, an important political personality joined the group in 1936 and brought in a large followership. In 1941, when Sir Kofo Abayomi, a Lagos leader of the movement, resigned his position at the legislative council, an election was held among NYM members to select a candidate to contest the seat. In the primary election, Samuel Akisanya collated the most votes, second was Ernest Ikoli, but with the support of H.O Davis, Awolowo, Akintola and a few others, the central committee of the organization which had the right to review the results presented Ernest Ikoli as the movement's candidate. Though, Oba Akisanya immediately congratulated Mr Ikoli, he later reneged and contested but lost the seat as an independent candidate with the support of his primary backer, Nnamdi Azikiwe. The loss of Akisanya in the election led to his exit from the movement, Azikiwe also left the movement, both took away most of their supporters. The resulting feud is seen by some analysts as a contributing catalyst to the enmity that exist between some ethnic groups in the country and also as a major focal point of electoral disputes and the ominous role they played in destabilizing the country.
-Wikipedia HERBERT MACAULAY AND THE CREATION OF NDDP (1923) & NCNC (1944):
Biography: Olayinka Macaulay Badmus was born in Lagos on November 14, 1864 to Thomas Babington Macaulay and Abigail Crowther, children of people captured from what is now present day Nigeria, resettled in Sierra Leone by the British West Africa Squadron, and eventual returnees to present day Nigeria. Thomas Babington Macaulay is one of the sons of Ojo Oriare while Abigail Crowther is the daughter of Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther. Thomas Babington Macaulay was the founder of the first secondary school in Nigeria, the CMS Grammar School, Lagos. After going to a Christian missionary school, he took a job as a clerk at the Lagos Department of Public Works. From 1891 to 1894 he studied civil engineering in Plymouth, England. On his return, he worked for the Crown as a land inspector. He left his position in 1898 due to growing distaste for the British rule over the Lagos Colony and the position of Yorubaland and the Niger Coast Protectorate as British colonies in all but name. Mission:Herbert Macaulay was an unlikely champion of the masses. A grandson of Ajayi Crowther, the first African bishop of the Niger Territory, he was born into a Lagos that was divided politically into groups arranged in a convenient pecking order – the British rulers who lived in the posh Marina district, the Saros and other slave descendants who lived to the west, and the Brazilians who lived behind the whites in the Portuguese Town. Behind all three lived the real Lagosians, the masses of indigenous Yoruba people, disliked and generally ignored by their privileged neighbours. It was not until Macaulay’s generation that the Saros and Brazilians even began to contemplate making common cause with the masses. Macaulay was one of the first Nigerian nationalists and for most of his life a strong opponent of British rule in Nigeria. As a reaction to claims by the British that they were governing with "the true interests of the natives at heart", Macaulay wrote: "The dimensions of "the true interests of the natives at heart" are algebraically equal to the length, breadth and depth of the whiteman's pocket." In 1908 he exposed European corruption in the handling of railway finances and in 1919 he argued successfully for the Chiefs whose land had been taken by the British in front of the Privy Council in London. As a result, the colonial government was forced to pay compensation to the chiefs. In retaliation for this and other activities of his, Macaulay got jailed twice by the British. Macaulay became very popular and on June 24, 1923, he founded the Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP), the first Nigerian political party. The party won all the seats in the elections of 1923, 1928 and 1933. Towards the end: In 1944 Macaulay co-founded the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC) together with Nnamdi Azikiwe and became its president. The NCNC was a patriotic organization designed to bring together Nigerians of all stripes to demand independence. In 1946 Macaulay fell ill in Kano and later died in Lagos. The leadership of the NCNC went to Azikiwe, who later became the first president of Nigeria. Macaulay was buried at Ikoyi Cemetery in Lagos on May 11, 1946. Nnamdi Azikiwe delivered a funeral oration at Macaulay's burial ceremony.