Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP) – First Political Party in Nigeria

Herbert Macaulay of Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP) First political party in Nigeria
Herbert Macaulay of Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP)

The Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP) was formed in 1923 by Sir Herbert Macaulay who is popularly regarded as the “father of Nigerian nationalism”.

This was the first of its kind in Nigeria. It was the Clifford constitution of 1922 that paved the way for the formation of NNDP because it (the constitution) established the elective principle for the first time in Nigeria.

 

NNDP was founded in conjunction with Lagos brilliant minds such as Dr Adeyemo Alakija, Joseph Egerton Shyngle, C.C. Adeniyi-Jones and Eric Moore.

The Nigeria National Democratic Party (NNDP) as a nationalist organization demanded free and compulsory education, the establishment of a university, Africanization of the civil service, a municipal government for Lagos and an end to racial discrimination.

This Party won all the three seats in Lagos into the Legislative Council in the elections of 1923, 1928 and 1933. It also won the elections into the Lagos Town Council when the elective principle was established. The party’s popularity among different classes of Lagosians is attributable to the leader, Herbert Macaulay’s personality, being a man who identified himself with the people.

However, the Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP) which happens to be the first political party in Nigeria did not have a national outlook as it was mainly based in Lagos. The party continued to dominate the political scene of Lagos until 1938 when it was defeated by the Nigerian Youth Movement (NYM).

For a long time, the party’s activities remained unnoticed until 1964 when Samuel Ladoke Akintola accepted it as his party. It was a move made in an attempt to collapse the Action Group party led by Obafemi Awolowo.

It is worthy of note that the NNDP of Herbert Macaulay founded Lagos Daily News. This was an arm of the party that helped to encourage political activities, especially in Lagos.

Aims/Objectives Of NNDP

  1. To elect members into the Lagos Legislative Council.
  2. To upgrade Lagos to a full municipal status.
  3. To encourage compulsory education to the natives.
  4. To fight for and obtain independence for the country.

Achievements of the Nigerian National Democratic Party

  1. It won all three seats to the Lagos Legislative Council in the elections of 1923, 1928, and 1933.
  2. It provided a platform for testing true representatives.
  3. It fostered political consciousness.
  4. It contributed to the fight for Nigeria’s independence.

As a student, now you should be able to answer questions such as: who formed the first political party in Nigeria? What is the first political party in Nigeria? When was NNDP founded? etc.

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References:

  1. Nigerian Youth Movement (NYM, 1935); Teslim Opemipo Omipidan; highlifextra.com.
  2. Dibie C. Chris. Essential Government Textbook. Tonad Publishers
  3. “Transforming Nigerian Party System” – The Tide.