In this post, we shall examine the objectives of the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons as a political party that dominated Nigerian colonial politics. At the end of this lesson, students should be able to highlight these guiding objectives that defined the operations of NCNC in colonial Nigeria.
The National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC) was a prominent political party in Nigeria during the colonial era and the early post-independence period. This party was founded by Nnamdi Azikiwe on 26th August 1944.
NCNC dominated Nigerian politics from its inception until the arrival of Action Group (AG) in 1951 and the Northern Peoples Congress (NPC) on the Nigerian political scene. NCNC was later renamed the National Council of Nigerian Citizens after Nigeria’s independence.
The party played a significant role in advocating for political reforms and striving for Nigeria’s independence. It was served by the propaganda of powerful newspapers like West African Pilot and the Comet it had at its service.
Objectives of Azikiwe’s NCNC
The main objectives of NCNC were to:
- Arouse mass interest and obtain overwhelming national support for political reforms: The NCNC sought to create widespread awareness and garner massive public support for political reforms in Nigeria. This involved mobilizing the masses and encouraging their active participation in the political process.
- Achieve political independence through political education: One of the primary objectives of the NCNC was to achieve Nigeria’s political independence from British colonial rule. To accomplish this, the party emphasized the importance of political education, enlightening the people about their rights, and fostering a sense of national identity and unity.
- Provide members with a medium of expression for securing freedom, economic security, social equality, and religious tolerance: The NCNC aimed to be a platform for its members to express their aspirations and advocate for freedom, economic prosperity, social justice, and religious harmony. It sought to address the diverse needs and concerns of the people.
- Advance the interests of the people of Nigeria and the Cameroons under British mandate: The NCNC was dedicated to advancing the welfare and interests of the people living in Nigeria and the British-administered Cameroons. It sought to challenge policies that negatively impacted the well-being of the people in these regions.
- Organize and collaborate effectively with all branches throughout the country: The NCNC aimed to establish a well-organized and efficient party structure with branches spread across the country. Collaboration and coordination between these branches were critical for effective political mobilization.
- Promote higher education and compulsory free education for children: Education was considered a key instrument for national development. The NCNC sought to promote higher education and advocated for the implementation of compulsory free education for children to enhance human capital and social progress.