Full text of Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola’s motion for self government in 1957

SL Akintola late premier of western region

Motion for self government   moved in 1957 by  Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola, representing Osun  West of Western Region of Nigeria at the Federal House of Representatives

The motion was titled  ” The time has come to end imperialism”.


Mr. Speaker, I rise to move the motion standing in my name  on the Order Paper.

The motion roads as follows :’

That this House instructs the delegates, specifically added to the Federal delegations to the forthcoming Constitutional Conference to express the views of this House to do all in their power to secure the grant of self –government to the Federation of Nigeria in 1957.

I started by assuring the House that, in moving this motion, we are animated  with the best intention in the world .

The motion as it proceeds, will show that there  will be  no element of recrimination whatsoever and that , in moving it as best as I can, I would express what I believe  to be the legitimate  desire not of just one party or one  section of but  of the whole  Federation of Nigeria.

I would say that this motion presupposes that the time has come  to put an end to imperialism as far as it applied  to this country.

Colonialism and imperialism are synonymous and I need not recount that imperialism is evil, it has a lot of the elements of evil in it and  in saying that, I would not rely on my own world, I would cite and instance in which one of the imperialists admitted that  imperialism contains a lot of elements of evil.

I quote the words of a former governor of Nigeria on the 29th  December  1920, Sir Hugh Clifford made this statement  to the old legislative council  “ the first and most obvious results of the clash of higher with the less advanced civilization are  the demoralization which it almost inevitably causes, alike in the possessors  of the one  hand of the order, and of this, the history of West Africa has furnished in the past-land  in a measure, furnishes  even to this day only too rank up  a crop of illustrative examples.”

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The  motives  which brought about the first harsh impact between  Europeans and the people of Nigeria were supplied by a hunger for wealth on both sides and by the traffics in human beings by means of which that hunger was assuaged  for white man and for black man alike.

The inevitable  evils which arose  from there from  call  for no description or emphasis  and even  when slave trade has at length be stamped out, that miserable era  was succeeded  by the age of the traditional ‘palm oil” ruffians  broken men of almost every nationality who placed no limit upon the extravagances  of their ill doing and found  in the Africa tribes which they exploited  and corrupted , hundreds were eager to aid and abet them.

In other words,  imperialism is a hunger  and it creates a  lot of predatory  instincts in man, whereby man becomes  a wolf to another, the objectives in this case is therefore to put an end  to this evil of imperialism or colonialism . Now, it is not only greed that is  the evil effect of imperialism, practically, all wars  that have been fought  in human history arose, either  directly or indirectly, as a results of imperialistic tendencies in some people, if therefore the abortion of imperialism is brought nearer, it may bring us nearer to peace, perfect and absolutely peace among human beings.

In moving this motion, therefore, and if this motion is accepted  to put an end to imperialism in this country, it might be a contribution  to which Nigeria can make towards the establishment of Universal peace.

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I feel as if I have satisfied the House that we are ready , in this year of  grace ,1957 and all  will end  up assuring  the House that nothing will make for the Unity of this country better than attainment of the self government.

We can afford  the luxury of  dissension  and we can make a mountain out of a molehill at the moment, because we are not the master of ourselves; but immediately  the responsibility passes  to our hands, you  will observe that the North will come  nearer to the East, East will come nearer to the West and all will come nearer  to the Cameroons and  we will admit that this country is our own, its future is our own and we can make or mar it, but I am quite sure that  it is the desire of every section of the House to make Nigeria, and not to mar it, We are United because we believe in our country ; we all want to create a new era in which  our children and children’s children will live as a citizens of a common country.

In spite of  these divisions which we have often  heard about and which  newspapers and other critics magnify, I notice  that the depth of Unity is much greater that  Is generally realized, The tribes marry and inter marry in this country which is not a small achievement. In spite of our division, in spite of  our dissensions, we are  united in the quest for political freedom, in the quest for independence , is there anybody who does not want his country to be self-governing? There is none.

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And as far as the question for Prime Minister is concerned, I noticed that Nigeria is coming closer and closer and closer together and with the attainment of  self government in 1957,I am quite sure that Nigeria will surprise the whole world. We will surprise the world in creating  the impression that we are one, one country  indivisible, and what will make  us still more united  is the fact that we have a government which is our own, a Federal government which belong to the whole of the people of Nigeria.

I am sure this honourable members here from every side will agree with me that Nigeria is yearning for independence: and the attainment of self government by the state of Ghana has given a new impetus to everybody in different parts of this country, our people will not be satisfied until we establish in this country a government of the people of Nigeria by the people of Nigeria and for the people of Nigeria.

Mr. Speaker sir, I beg to move.

source; Akintola and Self Government by OBC Nwolise


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