CENTENARY: The way Nigerians are, by Lord Fredrick Lugard

Published:11 Feb, 2013

LordLugard264He insulted your great-grandfather, great-grandmother, great-grandaunt and a few grand parents – he did mine too.  Or did he merely say what he saw of and thought about them?  Ponder that!

He was a soldier of fortune.  That makes him what you would call a bad guy.
Now, when a bad guy puts you down with insults, you wonder what moral license he has to do that.  So, what do you do to a soldier of fortune who thinks so lowly of your grannies in their own country?

Banish him?  Wage war against him? Talking about war, he mounted a campaign and conquered the territory of your grannies – which you now inhabit.

Unfortunately, he is dead – as dead as Julius Caesar.

His name, Lord Fredrick Daltry Lugard!

This bad guy got married to one Victoria, described as beautiful; and went on to amalgamate the Southern and Northern protectorates in 1914, giving birth to the nation called Nigeria.  But all these do not matter.

It is how he described Nigerians that concerns us here.

Writing in the book, DUAL MANDATE, on Page 70, some 12years after the amalgamation (1926), Lugard took your grannies, my grannies, to the cleaners.  The following is how he described them:

“In character and temperament, the typical African of this race-type is a happy, thriftless, excitable person, lacking in self control, discipline, and foresight. Naturally courageous, and naturally courteous and polite, full of personal vanity, with little sense of veracity, fond of music and loving weapons as an oriental loves jewelry.

His thoughts are concentrated on the events and feelings of the moment, and he suffers little from the apprehension for the future or grief for the past. His mind is far nearer to the animal world than that of the European or Asiatic, and exhibits something of the animals’ placidity and want of desire to rise beyond the state he has reached. Through the ages the African appears to have evolved no organised religious creed, and though some  tribes appear to believe in a deity, the religious sense seldom rises above pantheistic animalism and seems more often to take the form of a vague dread of the supernatural.  He lacks the power of organisation, and is conspicuously deficient in the management and control alike of men or business. He loves the display of power, but fails to realise its responsibility….  He will work hard with a less incentive than most races.  He has the courage of the fighting animal – an instinct rather than a moral virtue….  In brief, the virtues and defects of this race-type are those of attractive children, whose confidence when it is won is given ungrudgingly as to an older and wiser superior and without envy….  Perhaps the two traits which have impressed me as those most characteristic of the African native are his lack of apprehension and his ability to visualize the future”.
This was what Lugard said of your fore-fathers, my fore-fathers.

In the book, THE FATE OF AFRICA: From the Hopes of Freedom to the heart of Despair (A history of Fifty Years of Independence), Martin Meredith, writes that “In northern Nigeria, Frederick Lugard set out to rule 10 million people with a staff of nine European administrators and a regiment of the West African Frontier Force consisting of 3,000 African troops under the command of European officers. By the late 1930s, following the amalgamation of northern and southern Nigeria into one territory in 1914, the number of colonial administrators for a population of 20 million people was still less than 400”.

In proportional terms, what the above revelation tells us is that for Northern Nigeria, Lugard took charge at the rate of one administrator for some 1, 100,000 (one million, one hundred thousand people).  So when he says “Nigerians will work hard with a less incentive than most races”, he knew what he was talking about. Examining Lugard’s description of the Nigerian within the context of what has gone down in 100 years since amalgamation, he may have actually been describing some leaders who would take charge of the country some five decades later.

Consider Lugard’s analogy, honestly.
Are Nigerian leaders not excitable?  On a general scale, did Nigerian leaders, since 1964/’65, not lack self control, discipline, and foresight, which led to the 30month war and the consequences of its outcome? Yes, the five majors who executed the January 1966 coup may have been “naturally courageous”, but if they thought the leaders of the First Republic were “full of personal vanity, with little sense of veracity”, how best can leaders of today be described?  Be the judge of that!

Their “thoughts are concentrated on the events and feelings of the moment”, and they suffer “little from the apprehension for the future or grief for the past”, Nigerian leaders have continued to do the same thing the same way while expecting a different outcome. Heads of government, five decades after Lugard’s caustic assessment, started developing minds “far nearer to the animal world than that of the European or Asiatic” and the best example of this can be found in the insane acquisition of wealth on an incremental basis – because whereas Nigerians had always thought the incumbent would be the worst ever, they are always shocked beyond belief when the successor commences his unique expedition in looting.

Lugard continues:  “He lacks the power of organisation, and is conspicuously deficient in the management and control alike of men or business” but he “loves the display of power, but fails to realise its responsibility”.  Perhaps, no set of challenges best captures this assessment of Lugard than the fact that apart from the well-monitored, well-guided and well-guarded June 12 presidential election of 1993 (some 20years ago), no election in Nigeria’s history has been adjudged free and therefore, not fair; the management of the economy, inspite of the huge mineral resources, particularly petro-dollars from crude oil sales, the economy and the infrastructure needed to drive same, are disgracefully in shambles.

“In brief, the virtues and defects of this race-type are those of attractive children, whose confidence when it is won is given ungrudgingly as to an older and wiser superior and without envy….  Perhaps the two traits which have impressed me as those most characteristic of the African native are his lack of apprehension and his ability to visualize the future”.

The visualization of the future which Nigerian leaders had engaged in the last two decades had only gone further to prove the point: Lack of foresight.  First was the phrase, “Everything For All By 2000” (Education, Housing, Health et al).   Year 2000 came and has gone just like that, but there was nothing for all.  Then came the 202020 idea, a dream that envisions Nigeria becoming one of the 20 most advanced economies in the world by 2020, just some seven years away.

The illogicality of this 202020 logic is that with the present construct of leadership and governance, even if other countries of the world arrest their development, Nigeria would not inch near the best 20 advanced economies of the world.  With corruption fueled by greed of the leadership cadre in the country, the compass for the 202020 voyage is already broken.

Away from Lugard’s insults, one thing which he said and which ought to have been capitalized on by Nigerian leaders is the fact that the Nigerian “will work hard with a less incentive than most races”.

For a people whose needs are very modest, can’t Nigerians leaders just rise above greed, pettiness and myopia and meet the very modest and basic needs of the people?
Perhaps, that is what the centenary celebrations should seek to address; and that is what Nigerians expect, looking forward.

But is anybody still angry that Lugard insulted our grand-parents?  Maybe, the soldier of fortune should have embargoed his assessment for Nigerian leaders post 1965.

 

via Vanguard

Related Posts

Recent Posts

AU defence chiefs meet in Mali over terrorism

African Union chiefs of defence staff and ministers of defence have agreed on the need to enhance cooperation to increase the effectiveness of member states’ action against threats of terrorism.   This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday by the Acting Director of Defence Information, Col. Rabe Abubakar. The statement stated that the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, presented Nigeria’s counter-insurgency report at the forum holding in Bamako, Mali.   It said that the meeting would strengthen cooperation...

Ekiti proposes life imprisonment for kidnappers

In a bid to stem the tide of kidnapping in the state, the Ekiti State government has forwarded a bill seeking life imprisonment for individuals convicted of kidnapping to the state House of Assembly.   The proposed anti-kidnapping law was one of the decisions reached on Friday at the State Executive Council which was presided over by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Kolapo Olusola.   According to the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Owoseni Ajayi, who briefed newsmen at the end of the meeting,...

Law School Whizkid Writes A Book On Academic Success

Jumping from the back of the pack right into the academic front line is possible, according to Uzoma Ikechukwu, the 26-year old lawyer who knows. And it’s all from experience: Uzoma hit a first class at the Nigerian Law School, Lagos, in 2014, a year recorded to have produced the worst result since the establishment of the school. The general report was that the failure rate for that year was unprecedented, but right in the centre of...

Buhari, Osinbajo Haven’t Declared Their Assets Yet- PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has described as “a deceptive window-dressing to hoodwink unsuspecting Nigerians” the release, by an aide of President Muhammadu Buhari of a “mere” list of some belongings of the president and his Vice, Yemi Osinbajo, in place of the pledge made to Nigerians by Mr. Buhari as candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, on March 18, 2015, at exactly 5 pm. The PDP recalled that the President in his own words...

Rukky Sanda Reveals Her Age

Nollywood actress, Rukky Sanda, who recently premiered her new movie, "Dark", has revealed her age on social media. The actress who also recently marked her birthday has got many wondering what the exact numbers are. Let's throw the question to you... How old do you think she is? Well, find that out on her instagram post: https://instagram.com/p/7NdhSDPJrg/?taken-by=rukkysanda

We Are In The Dark Over Ministerial Appointments- APC Leaders

Some members of the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have raised alarm that the party leaders are in the ‘’dark’’ over the president’s ongoing process to appoint his ministers this month. The president had promised to appoint his ministers this month and by the nation’s constitution, he is expected to appoint a minister each from the 36 states of the federation. Although the National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie...

Rita Dominic Stuns In Mauritius

Gorgeous A-list actress, Rita Dominic, has been slaying the Multi Choice Africa Content Showcase in Mauritius. Here is a sneak peek into her amazing flawless outfits. See Instagram posts below: https://instagram.com/p/7NKNt1mXGI/?taken-by=ritadominic https://instagram.com/p/7IIlo-mXEW/?taken-by=ritadominic

Jessie J Flaunts Beautiful Cornrows

Bang Bang crooner, Jessie J, who is easily identified rocking her short hair on stage now rocks cornrows. She shared her beautifully made hair on Instagram, with another group photo. See instagram posts below: https://instagram.com/p/7NVOT_w0W7/?taken-by=isthatjessiej https://instagram.com/p/7NVr4Zw0YA/?taken-by=isthatjessiej

Mourinho Bags 5 Guinness Book Of Records Certificates

Chelsea Foootball Club manager, Jose Mourinho, has had his name entered into the 2016 version of the Guinness Book of Records. He was presented with unique framed certificates marking his achievements at Cobham recently. Mourinho’s five managerial records in the latest edition of the famous and prestigious book are as follows: Longest football unbeaten home run by a manager (nine years) Most Champions League titles with different clubs (two) Youngest manager to reach 100 Champions League matches (49 years...

Groups Express Concern Over ‘Exclusion Of Women’ In Buhari’s Appointments

Some Nigerian women groups have expressed concern over what they see as the neglect of women in President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent appointment of principal officers. The women raised their concern at a news conference in Abuja on Thursday. The President of Women in Politics Forum, Ebere Ifendu, said the non-inclusion of women in the appointments so far made by the present administration would hamper the country’s democracy. “We warn that this exclusion of women, if not...

Watch How Late Civil Servants Pleaded With Fayose

Recently, Ekiti state governor, Ayo Fayose, paid a surprise visit to civil servants at their office. Many of those apprehended for coming late prostrated, cried and prayed... Watch clip below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSH6NATpjZc Credit: YouTube

Story Behind The Drowned Syrian Boy (MUST READ)

A Syrian family that met a tragic end while attempting to flee their war-torn country has come to symbolize the larger refugee crisis. Abdullah Kurdi, 40, is now mourning the deaths of his wife, Rehan, 27, and their two sons, Aylan and Galip, whom he lost during an ill-fated trip to the Greek island of Kos. Tragic pictures of 3-year-old Aylan’s lifeless body, which washed ashore a beach in the Turkish city of...

Take A Tour Into The Most Expensive House In The U.S. (PHOTOS)

Palazzo di Amore, the most expensive house on the market in the U.S., developed by Mohamed Hadid is now priced to move at $145 million!  

American Clerk Who Denied Gay Couples Marriage Licenses Gets Jail Term

U.S. District Judge David Bunning is holding Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who said she has God's authority to deny gay people their constitutional right to get married — in contempt of court. ?She will remain in jail "until she complies or instructs staff to start issuing licenses," reports WSAZ's Dan Griffin.  Three U.S. Marshals? reportedly escorted Davis away Thursday afternoon. USA Today reports that Bunning, who had ordered Davis to process marriage licenses for same-sex couples in a previous hearing, said that a fine wouldn't...

A/Ibom Governorship Election Was Free And Fair, PDP Witnesses Tell Tribunal

More witnesses presented by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the disputed Akwa Ibom governorship election have testified that the election in the state was free, fair and complied with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010. At the resumed hearing of the Akwa Ibom Election Tribunal on Thursday, a defence witness, Samuel Iyang, told the Justice Sadiq Umar-led panel that it was false that elections did not take place, as alleged by the petitioner. The witness...

Warri Refinery To Resume Production In November- Kachikwu

Recently shut Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company, WRPC, will not be resuming operation any time soon, Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mr. Emmanuel Kachikwu has disclosed. The refinery will now resume full production in the first week of November. It has the capacity to process 125, 000 barrels of crude oil per day. Kachikwu disclosed this yesterday during facility tour of the refinery and the adjoining Pipelines and Products Marketing Company,...

Army Cuts Off Boko Haram’s Food Supply

The Nigerian Army yesterday, said it has succeeded in cutting off the supply routes of Boko Haram insurgents, thereby rendering them dejected, hungry and with no capability to confront troops in the renewed offensive against the terrorists. The army, which stated that the military was gaining an upper hand, how- ever, attributed the successes so far recorded in the operations to members of the public, who it said, have been assisting with relevant information and intelligence. It...

Pastor Chris Okotie Responds To Emeka Ike’s Marriage Crisis Allegation

Pastor of the Household of God Church, Lagos, Chris Okotie, has described an allegation levelled against him by Nollywood actor, Emeka Ike, that he is responsible for the crisis rocking his marriage, as rubbish. Ike had, in a statement on Thursday, accused Okotie of stalling efforts he is making to save his marriage with Suzanne. Trouble started in Ike’s home recently, when the wife accused him of assaulting her. While the actor has repeatedly denied this,...

DSS Fires Buhari’s Ex-CSO, Marilyn Ogar, 48 Others

Indications have emerged that former spokesman of the Department of State Services (DSS), Marilyn Ogar, was sent packing from the nation’s secret police for her alleged partisan role during the last general elections while President Muhammadu Buhari’s former chief security officer (CSO), Abdulrahman Mani, was sacked for absenting himself from work. Reports gathered from sources indicates that Ogar, who has seven more years to go in the DSS, was sent on compulsory retirement along with two...

Army Reinstates 3,032 Soldiers

 Out of 5,000 convicted soldiers, 3,032 soldiers were reinstated to their jobs after being convicted by military courts for various offences. The reinstatement followed a recommendation by a military screening committee set up to review cases against the soldiers. The officers and men were handed varying terms of imprisonment or outright dismissal for offences ranging from Absence Without Official Leave (AWOL), insubordination, indiscipline and theft among others. Army Public Relations Acting Director Col. Sani...

Boko Haram Kills 5 In Borno, 30 In Cameroon

Borno State and neighbouring Cameroon have continued to be under heavy attacks from suspected members of the Boko Haram, killing at least five persons in the former and, 30 in the latter. On Wednesday, members of the sect stormed a Borno village called Mainari but were repelled by security forces. That was, however, not until at least five people had been killed. A military source said gunshots rang out in the village on Wednesday evening,...