The Nigerian Youth Movement (NYM) of 1935

Eyo Ita Esua of Nigerian Youth Movement (NYM)
Eyo Ita Esua of Nigerian Youth Movement (NYM)

The Nigerian Youth Movement (NYM) was founded in 1935 after the introduction of the Clifford constitution of 1922 which paved the way for the formation of political parties in Nigeria.


History of the Nigerian Youth Movement (NYM)

Prof. Eyo Ita Esua was known to be the founding father of NYM, and others like Earnest Ikoli, the first editor of the Daily Times of Nigeria (1926), Samuel Akinsanya and Dr. C. Vaughan were founding members.

The Nigerian Youth Movement competed for the political control of Lagos with the Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP) of Herbert Macaulay. It is believed that the defunct Lagos Youth Movement (LYM) of 1934 metamorphosed into NYM.

Later on, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Samuel Ladoke Akintola, Obafemi Awolowo and H.O. Davis joined the party. The party was the first to have a national outlook in Nigeria based on the composition of its members. Prof. Kofo Ayobami was the president of the party, while Earnest Ikoli was the vice president, and H.O. Davis served as the secretary.

Membership of NYM

The membership of the party was open to all citizens of Nigeria, especially those residing in Lagos. NYM dismissed some of their members due to some political reasons but they were later accepted back into the party through the intervention of Nnamdi Azikiwe who promoted the spirit of Pan-Africanism among NYM members.

The aims of the Nigerian Youth Movement were to work towards the unity of Nigeria and to gain self-rule or independence for the nation. In 1938, NYM won the three seats in Lagos by defeating NNDP in the elections for the Lagos Town Council. NYM strongly opposed the system of indirect rule with support from traditional rulers.

In a charter published by the party in 1938, a paragraph said: “We are opposed to the term “Indirect Rule” literally as well as in principle. Honest trusteeship implies direct British Rule with a view to ultimate self-government.”

Contributions of the Nigerian Youth Movement (NYM)

1. It promoted national unity by composing its members from several ethnic groups in Nigeria.

2. It fought hard for the political independence of Nigeria.

3. It aroused modern nationalism among Nigerians.

4. NYM played a prominent role in the abortion of the indirect rule.

5. It led to the formation of other political parties like NCNC (1944), AG (1951) and NPC (1951).

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  1. Omipidan, Teslom O. The Development of Political Parties in Nigeria. highlifextra. tag/developments-of-political-parties-in-nigeria/