Read the full details and features of the Richards constitution here.
Below are the merits and demerits (advantages and disadvantages) of the Richards constitution of 1946
Merits/advantages of Richards constitution
- t brought about regionalism which served as a bedrock for federalism in Nigeria
- Unlike the Clifford constitution of 1922, the people were consulted (though not really) in the drafting of Richards constitution.
- The constitution paved way for constitutional development in Nigeria.
- The constitution promoted unity in Nigeria as it brought the North and South together in the central legislative council.
- The constitution geared up nationalism among Nigerians.
Demerits/Disadvantages of the Richards Constitution of 1946
- The constitution did not allow the full participation of nationalist leaders in the administration of the country.
- Nigerians were not fully consulted before the operation of the constitution. Therefore it was regarded as autocratic.
- 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.
- 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.
- The constitution represented colonial interests.
- The constitution was partial on the ground that it created the House of Chief in the north and none in the south.
- Franchise was limited to people from the upper class.
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