Who formed the first political party in Nigeria?
Nigeria is a democratic country, and it runs a multi-party system. Politics in Nigeria started way before Nigeria got its independence. The first political party was formed years before independence. In this post, you will read all about the person who formed the first political party in Nigeria.
What was the first political party in Nigeria?
The first political party in Nigeria was the Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP). The first political party in Nigeria was formed by Herbert Macaulay in 1923. It was the first major political party in Nigeria.
Herbert Macaulay was an architect, engineer, journalist, musician, politician, and a nationalist. He is regarded by many Nigerians as the founder of Nigerian Nationalism. Herbert Macaulay was born on the 14th of November, 1864 in Lagos, Nigeria. His father, Thomas Babington Macaulay, founded the first secondary school in Nigeria, CMS Grammar School, Lagos. His mother, Abigail Crowther was the daughter of Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther.
Herbert Macaulay attended St Paul's Breadfruit School and CMS Faji School in Lagos for his primary school education. He had his secondary education at his father’s school, CMS Grammar School, Lagos. After graduating from the secondary school, he went to work with his uncle and went on trade and missionary journey with him. He attended Christian missionary school and later worked as the Department of Works as a clerical assistant and indexer.
On the 1st of July, 1890, he traveled to England with the help of the colonial administration to further his education. He studied Civil Engineering in Plymouth, England and finished his education in 1894. In 1893, he also graduated from the Royal Institute of British Architects, London.
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Herbert Macaulay returned to Nigeria and worked as a surveyor of Crown Lands with the colonial service. He began to grow a distaste for the rule of the British and decided to leave the colonial service in September 1898. He went into the private sector and had a lot of anti-colonial government movements and activities. He later ventured into the politics in Nigeria and became even more popular. Herbert Macaulay was very outspoken and publicly vilified his opponents.
On the 24th of June 1923, he founded the first political party in Nigeria - Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP). The party was founded majorly to put people into the legislative council. But the party also had the responsibility of promoting democracy in Nigeria and increasing the participation of Nigerians in the economic, social, and educational development of the country. The party won all the seats in the elections held in 1923, 1928, and 1933. The party later lost power and popularity after he began to mingle with the British again and lost most of its seat in the 1938 elections to the Nigerian Youth Movement.
Herbert Macaulay died on the 7th of May, 1946. Since he founded the first political party, many political parties have come and gone. Today, there are more than forty political parties in Nigeria. But only a few of these political parties are popular and successful when it comes to elections in Nigeria today.
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See this historical video of Herbert Macaulay.