Merits and Demerits of the Richards Constitution of 1946

Read the full details and features of the Richards constitution here.

Arthur Frederick Richards. Richards constitution of 1946
Arthur Frederick Richards

Below are the merits and demerits (advantages and disadvantages) of the Richards constitution of 1946

 

Merits/advantages of Richards constitution

  1. t brought about regionalism which served as a bedrock for federalism in Nigeria
  2. Unlike the Clifford constitution of 1922, the people were consulted (though not really) in the drafting of Richards constitution.
  3. The constitution paved way for constitutional development in Nigeria.
  4. The constitution promoted unity in Nigeria as it brought the North and South together in the central legislative council.
  5. The constitution geared up nationalism among Nigerians.

Demerits/Disadvantages of the Richards Constitution of 1946

  1. The constitution did not allow the full participation of nationalist leaders in the administration of the country.
  2. Nigerians were not fully consulted before the operation of the constitution. Therefore it was regarded as autocratic.
  3. The governor exercised veto power – The governor was not bound to accept the recommendations of the legislative council. The council only served as an advisory body.
  4. The Richards constitution introduced regionalism in Nigeria which brewed regional rivalry because each region represented one or more ethnic groups. The Northern region represented the Hausa/Fulani people, the Eastern region represented the Igbo people, the Western Region represented the Yoruba people and the Mid-Western Region represented Benin and Delta people. This gave birth to ethnic and tribal contradictions in Nigerian politics.
  5. The constitution represented colonial interests.
  6. The constitution was partial on the ground that it created the House of Chief in the north and none in the south.
  7. Franchise was limited to people from the upper class.

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