The National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroon (NCNC)
The National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroon (NCNC) was formed in 1944. The first president was Herbert Macaulay and the first general secretary was Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe. At the death of Herbert Macaulay, Nnamdi Azikiwe became the president and when Southern Cameroun left Nigeria in August 1944, the NCNC changed its name to the National Council for Nigerian Citizens. This party was seen by some scholars as a truly national party.
Aims and Objectives of The National Council of Nigeria & the Cameroun (NCNC)
- Political reforms: To arouse mass interest and obtain overwhelming national support for political reforms.
- Political education: To achieve political independence by giving political education to the people of Nigeria.
- To provide the members with a medium of expression: In order to secure political freedom, economic secudty,social equality and religious tolerance a good medium 0f expression had to be introduced.
- The British mandate: To advance the interest of the people of Nigeria and the Cameroon under the British mandate. To organise and collaborate effectively:
- The NCNC aims and objectives was to organize and collaborate with all its branches throughout the country.
- To extend democratic principles: Another important aim was to extend democratic principles to the people of Nigeria.
The Contributions of the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroon (NCNC)
- The struggle for self-government: The party encouraged the unity of Nigerian and was foremost in the struggle for self-government in Nigeria.
- Political rights: It educated Nigerians on their political rights.
- Publications: It introduced and published the West African Pilot which served as a powerful platform for opposing colonial rule.
- Nationalist oppostion: The party was the brain behind nationalists opposition to the 1946 Richards Constitution.
- Constitutional conferences: It took part in most of the constitutional conferences, e.g. the 1953 London constitutional conference.
- Sending of delegates to London: The party was instrumental to the sending of delegates to London to protest the 1946 Constitution.
- Governance of Eastern Nigeria: The NCNC controlled the government of Eastern Nigeria in the First Republic (1963 – 1966).
- Formation of a coalition government: NCNC as a party, formed a coalition government with the Northern People Congress between 1960 and 1966.
- Creation of Mid-Western Region: NCNC worked in agreement with Northern People Congress (NPC) in creating Mid-Westem region out the then Western region in 1963.
Development of the National Council of Nigerian and the Camerouns (NCNC)
- Split: The first development was as a result of the split in the Nigerian Youth Movement (N.Y.M) over representation of the party in the vacant legislative council seat in 1941.
- Tribal sentiments: The Ibo Union in Lagos prevailed on Nnamdi Azikiwe to form a new party and this was what led to the formation of NCNC.
- Leadership of the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroon (NCNC): Nnamdi Azikiwe took over the leadership of NCNC as a result of the death of Herbert Macaulay in 1946.
- Reactivation of the party: Reactivation of the party was a bold step taken by Nnamdi Azikiwe to make the party more effective.
- Membership: NCNC was formed in 1944, and was seen as having a national base as its membership spread all over the country, irrespective of tribe and religion.
- National and international involvement: The party was outspoken on national and international (African) issues, for example, the 1945 workers strike. The party was represented at different constitutional conferences, e.g. 1953 London Constitutional Conference.
The leadership of Nnamdi Azikiwe more support from Eastern region of Nigeria where it formed the government. There was an official opposition in the West which was in a coalition with NPC in the federal legislature.
- Change of name: The name of the party was changed to the National Council of Nigerian Citizens, when Cameroon ceased to be part of Nigeria.
- The National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroon (N.C.N.C.) as a party: Even as a party, NCNC was part of the United Progressive Grand Alliance (U.P.G.A) in 1964.
- Decline: The party started to declined from 1964, after the general elections and ceased to exist when the military regime came in to power on 15th January, 1966.