A prominent member of the NYM was Nnamdi Azikiwe. When he joined in 1937, he was elected into its Central Executive Council. In the same year he established the West African Pilot, which became an instant success with a wide circulation and an unapologetically anti-colonial stance. The paper’s editorials focused on the themes of colonial injustice, exploitation, and racism. With Lagos as his base, Azikiwe was the first prominent nationalist from eastern Nigeria and he was able to mobilize the Igbo elite in Lagos in support of the NYM. Azikiwe energized the nationalist movement in West Africa from 1934 to 1949, becoming the best known anti-colonial crusader and journalist. Articulate and indefatigable, “Zik”, as he was called by thousands of his admirers, employed oratory and complex diction to great effect. He himself experienced the dramatic changes of the colonial period. As a young boy, he grew up in an urban, heterogeneous setting. He disliked the treatment of his father in the Nigerian Regiment, and of himself as a clerk from 1923 to 1925. He struggled to reach the United States where he attended a predominantly black college as a poor student and observed racial discrimination and protests by African-American organizations. Even with two degrees, he could not secure a civil service job in his own country and had to go to the Gold Coast (now Ghana) to establish the Accra Morning Post and publish his first book, Renascent Africa. In 1937 his newspaper published an essay by a labor leader, I.T.A. Wallace-Johnson, entitled “Has the African a God?” that criticized the colonial government in a way that it found libelous. Azikiwe was convicted, but later acquitted on appeal. He returned to Nigeria, where he became both a journalist and a nationalist.
The party was opposed to forced labor, land appropriation, plantation estates, and harsh laws. It called for municipal self-government for Lagos, compulsory education for all, a West African Court of Appeal, and the Africanization of the civil service. The party won all the elective seats in the Lagos Town Council between 1925 and 1938, and the Lagos seats in the Legislative Council in 1923, 1928, 1933, and 1943. The party was able to involve local chiefs, trade guilds, and market women, thus mobilizing critical segments of the population. Also, its newspaper, the Lagos Weekly Record, served to announce the activities of the party and to criticize the government. The party confined its activities to Lagos, understandably, because Lagos had a concentration of elite; however, its members in the Council also asked questions concerning other parts of the country. The NNDP did not challenge British rule, but only sought the means to be empowered within it. It hoped that the transfer of power would come as a gradual process. With just a few members in the Legislative Council, the voice of the party and the elite it represented was easily subdued.
Political associations emerged very quickly and ultimately became the key platform from which to express nationalism and contest elections. The early leaders sought changes in the system rather than independence. The earliest associations were protest movements such as the People’s Union, established in 1908 to protest the introduction of water rate in Lago. Yet another was the Reform Club, established in Lagos in 1920 to oppose direct taxation. Far more successful was the National Congress of British West Africa (the Congress), established in 1920 to fight against discrimination, unite the West African elite, and achieve self-government. At its first meeting held in Accra, Ghana, the Congress resolved to call on the British to let half the membership of the Legislative Council be educated Africans, establish a university, introduce compulsory education, and eliminate racial discrimination. These were all demands to empower the elite. In September 1920 to March 1921 the Congress sent a delegation to London to press its demands, but it was refused a hearing by the Secretary of State for the Colonies. This was a resounding failure caused by the deep hostility of the colonial administration which regarded members of the Congress as self-appointed leaders who wanted to destroy indigenous institutions for selfish interests. The chiefs were equally opposed to the Congress, because they were afraid that their power would be usurped. The Congress ceased to exist in 1923, but not without recording some successes: several senior posts were created for Africans in the civil service, an elective principle was introduced in 1922, and the West African Court of Appeals was reconstituted in 1922.
A growing local media devoted space to nationalist issues, raising consciousness to a high level in editorials and special columns devoted to anti-colonial issues. One of the early heroes in this area was John Payne Jackson, originally a Liberian, who lived in Lagos from 1890 to 1918. His newspaper, the Lagos Weekly Record, supported demands for reforms and called for unity among Nigerians to fight the British. The press had an ally among the Nigerian students abroad who established organizations to unite and protest. The best known of these organizations was the West African Students’ Union (WASU) founded in London in 1925 with the objectives of, among others, fostering national consciousness, racial pride, self-help, unity, and cooperation among Africans. WASU called for cooperation among the chiefs and elite, lobbied British politicians to initiate reforms, and used its monthly journal to serve the nationalist cause.
Each volume contains a Portrait section that profiles a senior scholar of religion, with invited essays on the scholar's work by authorities in their respective subfields. In the Articles section, contributions provide overviews of a given topic with critical, "positioned" views of the subject and of relevant research. In the Debate section, scholars of religion reflect on a high-profile issue or event, and the Author Meets Critics section invites discussants to comment on a recently published volume, followed by a response from the author. Other sections cover teaching, news, and—vitally—reviews of new books and ethnographic films.
Until 1930, political parties were largely elitist, urban-based, and focused on demands for reforms rather than independence. In the 1940s and beyond, nationalism witnessed an upsurge: the anti-colonial movement was expanded beyond Lagos to other cities and villages, and vigorous demands were made for independence by the media and front-line nationalists. In the preceding years, the atmosphere had become charged by the invasion of Ethiopia by Italy in 1935. Many Africans were enraged by this attack on an independent African country, rich in and culture, and they began to call for self-government.
There is no room in this for the divinization of a nation, of a class,let alone of an individual. Are we not all children of one father, as itis said in religious language? Indeed, even the divinization of humanity,as an abstract totality, would not be in the spirit of that ideal. It isonly to the individual that a soul is given. And the high destiny of theindividual is to serve rather than to rule, or to impose himself in anyother way.
For example, a conflict arises when a religious community insists onthe absolute truthfulness of all statements recorded in the Bible. Thismeans an intervention on the part of religion into the sphere of science;this is where the struggle of the Church against the doctrines of Galileoand Darwin belongs. On the other hand, representatives of science haveoften made an attempt to arrive at fundamental judgments with respect tovalues and ends on the basis of scientific method, and in this way haveset themselves in opposition to religion. These conflicts have all sprungfrom fatal errors.
The Civil Services Examination consists of three successive stages:
for the selection of candidates to IAS, IFS, IPS and other services.
The number of trade unions increased, formed by railway workers, teachers, post and telegraph workers, marine staff, civil servants, and others. There were other associations in the cities formed along ethnic lines (for example, Ibo State Union) or town lines (Oyo Progressive Union). More associations emerged in the 1940s as hundreds of people entered wage employment. Nationalist leaders could mobilize these associations for support. More importantly, the workers had a platform from which to organize protest. In 1945, labor unions were strong enough to embark upon a general strike for fifty-two days. The strike was a challenge to the government, it enabled the trade unions and the nationalist movement to fuse, and it revealed the advantages of cooperation and the usefulness of threats to gain concessions. The north, which had been excluded from most of the previous nationalist agitations, was drawn into the strike, thus spreading nationalism and political consciousness to a region that the British had sheltered against new ideas. Many became emboldened to make demands for a transfer of power. In the early 1940s, trade union leaders and students submitted memoranda to the government and wrote essays in the media calling for the takeover of power. In 1941, WASU called for the creation of “a united Nigeria with a Federal Constitution.” Two years later, the same organization demanded ten years of representative government to precede five years of full responsible government led by Nigerians.
Now, even though the realms of religion and science in themselves areclearly marked off from each other, nevertheless there exist between thetwo strong reciprocal relationships and dependencies. Though religion maybe that which determines the goal, it has, nevertheless, learned from science,in the broadest sense, what means will contribute to the attainment ofthe goals it has set up. But science can only be created by those who arethoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding. Thissource of feeling, however, springs from the sphere of religion. To thisthere also belongs the faith in the possibility that the regulations validfor the world of existence are rational, that is, comprehensible to reason.I cannot conceive of a genuine scientist without that profound faith. Thesituation may be expressed by an image: science without religion is lame,religion without science is blind.
Colonial policies generated discontent among the people – especially the elite who originally demanded reforms, and later on, independence. Among the issues that displeased the people were racism and the damage to traditional values during European rule. Nigerians in the civil service complained of racial discrimination in appointments and promotions. The aspiring ones among them were envious of the status and privileges enjoyed by white officials. Among those who complained about excessive changes, nationalism was expressed in cultural ways – that is, in deliberate efforts to promote Nigerian food, names, forms of dress, languages, and even religions. The Christians among them tried to reform Christianity to suit local values, such as large families and polygamy, and to draw from it ideas of liberty, equality, and justice. To the majority of the population, the Native Authorities were both oppressive and corrupt. Many Nigerians believed they could overcome the problems of low prices for raw materials and expatriate control of the economy only if they had the power to determine their own destiny. To the Nigerian businesswomen and men who saw themselves driven out of trade by foreign companies and combines, an identification with anti-colonial movement became a strategy of regaining control.