Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP)

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Origin of NNDP

The Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP) was formed by Herbert Macaulay in 1923 thus becoming the first party in Nigeria and British West Africa. The party was formed to tight the Oluwa land case and to contest the three seats allocated to Lagos on the Legislative Council by the Clifford Constitution of 1922.

Organizational Structure

The party had a highly centralized structure in which the provincial branches were subject to the control and direction of the party’s headquarters in Lagos.

Leadership and Support

The founder and president of the party was Herbert Macaulay. Other notable leaders of the party were Egerton Shyngle and Dr. E.C. Adeniyi Jones. The party had a large followership in Lagos where it was popular. It was hardly known outside the city.

Aims and Objectives of NNDP

The objectives of the NNDP included the following:

  • To achieve self-government for Nigeria.
  • To nominate and ensure the election of candidates for the three elective Lagos positions in the legislative council.
  • To establish branches of the party in every part of Nigeria.
  • To develop higher education and introduce compulsory education throughout the country.
  • To promote economic development under controlled private enterprise; To ensure fair treatment for Nigerian traders.
  • To encourage and support the Africanisation of the civil service.
  • To secure recognition for the National Congress of British West Africa and to ensure the success of its programmes.

Sources of Income

The party’s main sources of income were:

  • Donations by wealthy members
  • Levy on members of the party

Assessment of Performances

The NNDP won the three Lagos seats in the legislative council elections held in 1923, 1928 and 1933. It also achieved victory in the Lagos Town Council elections held once in three years during the aforesaid period. The NNDP was therefore the dominant party in Lagos from 1923 to 1933.

Although the NNDP took a firm stand on several national issues, it was not a national party as such as its activities were restricted mainly to Lagos. The poor performance of the party outside Lagos had often been attributed to the unwillingness of Herbert Macaulay to yield control of the party and allow provincial branches to grow. Macaulay feared that these branches would chanenge his leadership of the party.

The emergency of the Lagos Youth Movement in 1933 precipitated the eventual collapse of the NNDP.

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