1. DR CURTIS CRISPIN ADENIYI-JONES. LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL ELECTIONS- 1923.
The first British Government possession in what came to be Nigeria, was the Colony of Lagos
established in 1861, after the Treaty of Cession, said to have been signed by Oba Docemo. In other
parts of Nigeria, British presence consisted of Consulates, in short diplomatic missions, since the other
territories retained their Independence, but worked with the British, ostensibly as trading partners.
Lagos was the first to come under direct British control, as per the treaty referred to.
The British through the Governor of Lagos, Henry Stanhope Freeman (Deputy John Glover),
established a Government in Lagos, consisting of: a. An Executive Council- to run the administration
of the Colony, which included the Governor, his Deputy, Chief Justice, Treasury Officials and later the
Head of the Constabulary Force (The Police) and other Government officials; b. A Judiciary (Court
Service), headed by the Chief Justice; and c. A Legislative Council – to make laws for the Colony, which
was once more headed by the Governor, and consisted of his Deputy, the Chief Justice, Government
Officials and by 1872, European businessmen and a couple of nominated Africans, the first being
Captain James Pinsent Labulo Davies.
Over the years several Africans were nominated to the Legislative Council of the Colony of Lagos, some
of these being rich businessmen like Davies and Clergymen like Rev James Johnson. The key being that
they were always nominated by the Governor, never elected. Yet they made laws for the Colony of
Lagos, which were mostly rubber-stamped anyway, although stubborn members like Rev James “Holy”
Johnson were real fighters for the rights of Africans.
When Nigeria was amalgamated in 1914, one of the instruments created by Lord Lugard (the
Governor-General), was a Nigerian Council, a Legislative Council which was meant to serve as a law-
making body for the whole of Nigeria. However, it was clear Lugard was merely going through the
motions, as it only sat once a year and consisted once again of nominees of the Governor, including
a few Africans, notably Sir Kitoyi Ajasa (Lugard’s friend).
Nigerian nationalists such as Herbert Macaulay, John Egerton-Shyngle etc. were unhappy with the fact
that Africans as a whole, did not have a right to vote in those who were making laws for them and
campaigned forcefully for the right to elect Members of the Legislative Council, in the press, in
speeches etc. They weren’t alone, African nationalists – at least in English-speaking West Africa (from
Ghana to Gambia) campaigned for this right.
A historic event occurred in March 1920, when some of these nationalists led by Ghanaian Lawyer
Thomas Hutton-Mills, organised a conference called the West African Conference, attended by
prominent African’s to discuss Constitutional Reform for West Africa. At the end, two of their demands
were: a. The right to vote and; b. The establishment of a West African University. A number of
Nigerians attended this event- Prince Bassey Ephraim Duke, a Prince of Calabar, educated in Public
School in England and President of the Customary Court, businessmen Adeniji Olugile, E.E.Offiong and
Deoye Deniga. The Conference presented its demands to the British Government, which flatly refused
them, stating that it was not feasible to allow Africans the right to vote.
On 22nd November 1922 however, the new Governor of Nigeria- Hugh Clifford, revised the old Lugard
Constitution of 1914 and quite surprisingly gave Nigerians the right to vote for Legislative Council
members. This was the first time this would be introduced in English-speaking Africa. The Conference
had finally achieved its aim and Nigeria was the benefactor. It was no surprise to a few who knew
Hugh Clifford, who was described as having Fabian Socialist views, as opposed to the ultra-
conservative views of Lugard before him. He had a more pragmatic sense of fairness and believed
Africans had a right to vote and duly pushed this through in the Constitution he enacted.
The man- Doctor Adeniyi-Jones
Curtis Adeniyi-Jones, was born in Waterloo, Sierra Leone in 1876 of parents of Yoruba origin. He
lived his early life in Sierra Leone, attending the Sierra Leone Grammar School and then proceeded to
Durham University to study Medicine in 1906. He qualified in 1911, specialising in Tropical Medicine
and returned not to Sierra Leone, but to Nigeria where he settled. He established his Hospital in 1914,
which was described as “an excellent Hospital with an operating Theatre and Wards for male and
He was also a highly conscious, articulate, principled man, whose education had given him a
confidence and awareness of his worth. He naturally gravitated towards Nationalists like Herbert
Macaulay and was one of those who had agitated for the right of Africans to vote. Whilst he had not
attended the West African Conference, he had supported its aims and decisions.
When Governor Clifford announced his new Constitution of 1922, Dr Adeniyi-Jones, Herbert
Macaulay and others, naturally felt a sense of triumph that their agitation of several years had finally
borne fruit- Africans had finally won the right to vote in their Legislator’s.
This was not however to be the first time Africans would vote in an election. In Lagos on March 29
1920, elections to the Lagos Town Council had taken place, based on which three Lagosians
Mr A.Folarin, George Debayo Agbebi and Dr Akinwande Savage, had been elected by a very limited
number of voters, into the Town Council, with very limited powers, based on the Township
Ordinance of May 29, 1919. The 1922 elections were different in that Africans would be elected to
make Laws for the country (aside from Northern Nigeria)
The Nigerian National Democratic Party and the first elections in Nigeria.
The Clifford Constitution provided that the elections would hold on the 20th of September 1923. The
composition of the new Legislative Council was to be comprise the following: The Governor, as
President; twenty-six Official Members; three elected Unofficial Members representing Lagos and
one for Calabar; and not more than fifteen nominated Unofficial Members. These fifteen were to be
selected to include nominees of the Chambers of Commerce of Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano, of
the Local Chamber of Mines, and of the Banking and Shipping interests. Also members representing
African interests in parts of the Colony and the Southern Provinces of the Protectorate which do not
return elected representatives to the Legislative Council i.e. every major town, apart from Lagos and
Calabar were to have representation by nominate members. Its powers were not to cover Northern
Nigeria though, the Governor would continue to be the sole Law-maker for the North.
Herbert Macaulay, Egerton Shyngle, Eric Moore (both Lawyers) and Dr Curtis Adeniyi Jones, now
given the opportunity, prepared for the election. The first step being to put together a structure for
the battle ahead, hence they decided to form a political party, which they named the Nigerian
National Democratic Party (NNDP). The party was launched on June 24 1923 and Egerton Shyngle
was elected President of the party and Dr Adeniyi Jones as Second President. Its basic manifesto
. Local self-government for Lagos (i.e the right of Lagosians to govern themselves)
. Non-discriminatory private enterprise (i.e a level-playing field in business for Africans)
. Introduction of free primary education
. The Africanisation of the civil service
The party immediately put its campaign strategy together. The first step was to understand the
electorate it was to appeal to. The electoral rules were clear, to qualify to vote, the person had to be:
a. Male; b. Over 21; c. Have resided in Calabar of Lagos, for at least 12 months before registration; d.
Have an income over £100 per annum. In addition, the following were barred: Bankrupts, Mentally
disabled persons, persons financially dependent on others, ex-Felons etc
This criteria clearly showed the NNDP that its target would be middle-class, wealthy, aware male
voters. This appealed to this demographic of voters, who identified with the radical, independent
campaign of the NNDP. They felt they had a right to govern themselves and manage their own affairs,
in the manner that the NNDP promoted.
The NNDP also had another trump card, it had the support of the Docemo Chieftaincy House of Lagos
and other Lagos Chieftaincy families. This was not surprising, on account of Herbert Macaulay having
supported Chief Amodu Tijani, the Oluwa of Lagos, who had sued the Colonial Government in a case
at the Privy Council in London, to reclaim ownership of the Apapa land, which was part of land seized
by the British from indigenous people in 1861. Macaulay without the help of a Lawyer had argued this
case on behalf of Oluwa and won. This had endeared Macaulay to the Chiefs of Lagos, who saw in it
a champion of the peoples’ rights. This guaranteed the votes of the wealthy Chiefs and local Merchants
of Lagos, most of whom were eligible to vote.
Also, the party had the support of the Market-women of Lagos, who identified in the party, a true
champion of the people at the grassroots of society. Whilst the Market-women could not vote- being
women, they were a highly influential force, campaigning vigorously for the NNDP . The party fielded
three candidates for the election in Lagos- these were its President- Joseph Egerton Shyngle, Eric
Olawolu Moore and Dr Curtis Adeniyi-Jones, its 2nd President. Its opposition was a more conservative
arm of the Lagos politics, led by Dr Joseph K Randle, who had in 1908 founded a political association
(not a party) called the People’s Union. They did not share the NNDP’s radical political perspective.
Their campaign platform was for the continuation of British rule and the peace and prosperity it had
introduced- as far as they were concerned. The NNDP on the other hand, pushed a strong agenda of
nationalism, demanding racial equality in business and Government appointments, in short treatment
of Africans as equals and better education for the populace.
The NNDP did not contest the election in Calabar, focusing solely on Lagos. At Calabar, the dominant
political force was the Calabar Improvement League, which fielded one candidate for the single
available slot. Strangely enough this was in the person of Prince Kwamina Ata-Amonu, a Barrister of
Ghanaian origins, based in Calabar.
On election date- Thursday 22 September 1923, a massive crowd gathered at the polling station set
up in the city centre, excited at the opportunity to vote and for the first time choose law-makers at
national level. They were also motivated by the powerful campaign display of the NNDP and
admittedly less so by Dr Randle and other candidates. At the end of the poll count, the NNDP swept
the polls decisively, with all three of its candidates winning the three available seats- these being
Joseph Egerton-Shyngle, Eric Moore and of course Dr Curtis Adeniyi-Jones. In Calabar, predictably
Prince Kwamina Ata-Amonu, on the platform of the Calabar Improvement League, won the single
contested seat convincingly History had been made. The elections had been free and fair, quite simply
because if the Colonial authorities had their way, the NNDP would not have contested the election
and presented candidates, simply because of their vehement anti-colonial stance, both before the
election and indeed, upon which their manifesto was based. However there was no question, they
were the choice of at least the people of Lagos.
The New Parliamentarian and Crusader for the rights of the oppressed.
The new Legislative Council was inaugurated by the Governor, Hugh Clifford at 9am on Wednesday,
the 31st of October 1923 and thus began an era in Nigerian History, whereby Nigerians were involved
for the first time in making laws for their country.
If the Colonial authorities had believed that Dr Adeniyi Jones was, at least, going to be a passive
member of the Legislative Council and that it would be a mere rubber-stamping exercise, as the
Nigerian Council had been, they were to find that to be wrong, fairly quickly. Dr Adeniyi-Jones, was a
consistent and vocal critic of Colonial high-handedness and racism, he would consistently barrage the
Government with questions on the conduct of Colonial Officials and on issues of policy, which he felt
were detrimental to the interests of Nigerians. Almost from the very first sitting of the Legislative
Council, it showed that he had prepared his briefs several years before and now given his opportunity,
he did not hold back.
His questions in Parliament were incisive, fearless and geared to cause the utmost discomfiture to
high-handed, racist and corrupt Colonial Officers. Samples were:
“The 1st Lagos Member: Dr C.C.Adeniyi Jones: a. To ask under what regulations, market dues are
collected at Agege? b. Whether it is a fact that market women are made to pay 4s per month for use
of half a shed, and hawkers and others, 1 Penny each on market days, even in cases where the hawkers
are children of those who pay rent for market sheds? C. Is it not a fact that at Agege defaulters , of
income Tax are sometimes tied and flogged in public, and under what law is that permissible?”
“The First Lagos Member Dr C.C.Adeniyi-Jones: In view of the fact that for many years, the duties that
appertain to the Chief Registrar’s branch of the Judicial Department were efficiently and creditabley
performed by Africans, and considering that the duties do not include those of an Official
Administrator, to ask whether the continuance or further employment of of a European as Chief
Registrar, with the enormous increase in emoluments and allowances consequent therein, is
necessary? If so;
b. To ask how?”
“The 1st Lagos Member: Dr C.C.Adeniyi Jones: To ask in view of the large bu8ildings being put up in
town, the possibility of saving life by a timely notification of an outbreak of fire, and the large quantity
of petrol and other inflammable fluids that is being storedin bulk at Apapa, to ask whether
Government still considers the establishment of fire-alarms in the principle centres of the town, an
unreasonable proposition simply because of its cost to the revenue?
To ask for
a. A statement of the number of cases over which the present Chief Registrar, Supreme Court, has
acted as referee since his assumption of office?
b. Whether these cases were presided over during his official or during his private hours?
c. What is the total amount paid by litigants for his services as referee?
d. Whether that amount is personal to himself or is paid into the revenue?
e. In how many of these cases is the furnishing of the report of his findings in arrears? and;
f. How long has each case been sent to him as referee?
The above questions were all from one sitting of the Legislative Council on 27th September 1930, of
which he asked at least six more similar questions. This was to be his average output in the Legislative
Council, which sat monthly. Of the debates in the Council, Adeniyi-Jones contributed at least 75% of
debates in council, between 1923 and 1938. He developed such a fearsome reputation in the minds
of the British Colonial Government that the then Governor of Nigeria, Donald Cameron, referred to
him as subjecting Parliament to “a tornado of questions”. He was simply a relentless, principled
defender of indigenous rights, articulate to the highest degree and with an outstanding knowledge of
English History (more-so than most of the British officials he contended with) and beyond doubt his
advocacy ensured a check on the excesses of Colonial power.
In the opinion of many, one of his greatest contributions was his insistence, alongside another
member of the Legislative Council- Samuel Obianwu, nominated member for Onitsha that there be a
second Panel of Enquiry into the killing of protesters, during the Aba Women’s Riot of 1929. The first
panel had been in the view pf many a whitewash. The pressure from Adeniyi-Jones and Obianwu,
amongst many others, resulted in the institution of a new panel- which for the first time, had two
Africans as members, investigating the conduct of British officials- Eric Moore and Kitoyi Ajasa, both
Lawyers and members of the Legislative Council. He also succeeded after years of campaigning and
debating on the floor Parliament, for improved educational standards and facilities all over Nigeria,
which resulted in the building 100’s of new secondary schools around the country.
His legacy in Parliament is summarised by the Political Scholar- Professor James Smoot Coleman, thus:
“..he was the most militantly critical member of the council…The debates of the Legislative Council
during his tenure in office, provide a good index to the growth of national and racial consciousness”.
He retired from Parliament in 1938, after 15 solid years of tireless work, fighting for the rights of
Conclusion and Significance:
a. The election of Dr Adeniyi-Jones and his other elected colleagues, was a watershed, it was the first
time Nigerians were allowed to vote in people who would make Laws for them as a whole.
b. His party, the NNDP was a party of highly principled, conscientious nationalists, passionate about
the future of their country and who had been strident fighters against racism, discrimination and
oppression. Their opponents, whilst decent gentlemen, were ultra-conservative and more accepting
of the status quo. The victory of the NNDP, was to kick-start the nationalist movement and bring a
new pride to Africans to have a voice speaking for them, that represented their own aspirations and
persona pride. It is possible that without the NNDP and its philosophies, Nigeria’s Independence might
have taken much longer.
c. It is also significant that the election was free and fair and the popular will of the people held the
day, with genuinely popular candidates, like Adeniyi-Jones, winning the election and retaining their
seats for several years on account of their work-rate and genuine commitment to the people.
d. Dr Adeniyi-Jones as the most activist member of the Parliament, was responsible for some of the
most powerful checks on Colonial excesses and also a catalyst for real change, driven by his tireless
determination and work-rate. Dr Adeniyi-Jones represented the best that our Law-makers could be.
e. Fundamentally, this was all possible because Nigerians, eligible to vote in Lagos and Calabar,
exercised that right, in-spite of the difficulties and their vote counted. Those Nigerians by voting
positively influenced the future of their country.
Umaru Altine was born in Sifawa (in present day Sokoto State) c.1918, to the Fulani Royal lineage of
Sokoto, being a direct descendant of Uthman Dan Fodio and by his birth would have been
considered for selection as Sultan of Sokoto. His early life as expected, conformed to the
conservative and strict traditional regime prevalent in Northern Nigeria at the time. His early
education consisted of strict Quranic training.
He was said to have received some secondary education later on in his life, whilst still at Sifawa,
under the tutelage of a CMS Priest, Reverend Okenwa (from Obosi, in present day, Anambra State).
From his youth, his outlook on life was worldly and cosmopolitan. He was a handsome, charismatic
young man, with an easy manner and a friendly disposition, which otherwise masked a steely
determination and strong social conscience.
His quest for adventure led him to seek a career in the Army and then the Nigerian Railway
Corporation. His restless spirit did not see him stay too long in paid employment. He embarked on a
career in business, becoming a successful Cattle dealer. Alongside this, he embarked on a career in
politics and is said to have contested for a seat in the local authority elections in Tambuwal (in
present day Sokoto State), on the platform of one ofthe affiliates of Aminu Kano’s- Northern
Elements Progressive Union.
It’s important to explain to the Political party dynamics in the North, to give insight into Altine’s own
politics. The Northern Elements Progressive Union, was a metamorphosis of the Northern Elements
Progressive Association, founded by Raji Abdalah. NEPU’s philosophy was simply to represent the
interests of the poor and down-trodden (the Talakawa) against the oppression of the conservative
elite- which often was the ruling Monarchies of Northern Nigeria. NEPU’s pillars of philosophy
included social justice for the poor, encouragement of mass literacy and safe-guarding women’s
rights. NEPU however faced a difficult task in most elections against the monolithic force of the
more conservative Northern People’s Congress (NPC). However it was extremely popular at
grassroots level amongst the socially disadvantaged, in-spite of its disadvantage in resources and
indeed the pressures its members faced. An example being the numerous detentions of its iconic
Women leader- Hajiya Gambo Sawaba.
Migration to the East
Altine was unsuccessful in his election bid and shortly after, his spirit of adventure led him to the
young town of Enugu in Eastern Nigeria in 1952, where, he re-established his Cattle-trading business.
He established strong filial links with the Hausa community at Enugu, whilst at the same time building
strong bridges with the indigenous Igbo community. He settled in the working class- Coal Camp area
of Enugu, largely populated by Miners and their families. His previous political affiliations and activities
with NEPU, were to come to the attention of the National Congress of Nigeria and the Cameroons
(NCNC) apparatus At Enugu. Enugu was the capital of the Eastern Region, at which the Premier of the
East (Dr Eyo Ita) was based. In particular the Region was under the firm control of the NCNC and thus
an important political outpost for the party.
In the interim, Altine integrated himself into his new home, even more significantly, by his marriage
to a young Igbo woman, Esther Ozueh in 1953. She became his visible, inseparable companion,
through the course of his sojourn at Enugu. Her fond recollections of the man reveal an urbane, man
of the world:
“Prince smoked, loved Nsala soup with fresh fish, he had a high sense of personal hygiene and had a
good command of English”.
He was to progress rapidly within the NCNC hierarchy, especially the NCNC Youth Association, of which
he was elected Vice-President in 1952. He was involved in the drama that played itself, when Dr
Azikiwe, after his loss in the Western Region elections, sought to return to the Eastern Region House
of Assembly as Premier. Dr Eyo Ita, the incumbent was however unwilling to resign his appointment,
to make way for Dr Azikiwe and a crisis ensued. The NCNC Youth Association, of which Altine was Vice-
President, threw its support behind Dr Azikiwe, requesting that Dr Eyo Ita and four other Ministers,
resign to make way for Dr Azikiwe to assume the Premiership, based on his seniority and leadership
of the party. The ensuing disagreement resulted in Altine’s detention, alongside other members of the
party- including former Aviation Minister- Mbazulike Amechi. Amechi is quoted as saying:
“After what happened at Ibadan and the crisis it precipitated in the East, Altine was fully involved
with us. He was arrested with me as I told you, and we were imprisoned together. That was in 1952.
I shared the same prison cell with him and one Ernest Obianwu and one Akunne Nwanolue, and one
Okeke, a blacksmith from Awka”.
Upon his release, after a few months in detention, he resumed his political activism for the NCNC
with renewed zeal and in 1953, and was elected President of the NCNC, Enugu Branch. A meteoric
rise which was made more remarkable by the fact that all of this had happened within one year.
This was not to be the end of his trajectory, in the following year 1954, he was nominated for and
filed papers to contest on the platform of the NCNC, for a seat on parliament of the Enugu Urban
District Council. By this time, his rapid progression and profile had begun to cause some disaffection
in some quarters, especially amongst indigenes of the Enugu area and some other Igbo’s who felt
threatened by the growing profile of a non-indigene. These groups formed themselves into an
umbrella association the Udi-Nsukka-Awgu United Front- these being towns in the immediate
vicinity of Enugu. This organisation pitted itself in contest against the NCNC’s selection in the
elections, the NCNC candidates however prevailed and Umaru Altine was selected by his colleagues
as Chairman of the Enugu Urban District Council, as leader of the NCNC in Enugu. This being a
feature of the British Parliamentary system which Nigeria practiced by virtue of the Lyttleton
Constitution of 1954. Effectively an election of the NCNC, was the election of its party leader, e.g the
election of the Conservative Party in the UK, was effectively the election of David Cameron as Prime
In the following year, 1956, Enugu was elevated into a Municipality (meaning a Sovereign
administrative authority, one level up from a District Council). For this purpose, a Mayoralty was
declared by Law and the annual elections were held in the same year for members of the new
Municipal Authority. The contest was once again between the NCNC core candidates and the
UNAUF. In the interim more opposition had built up under the aegis of the UNAUF, with further
disaffection with the NCNC’s choice of Altine, this being inspite of attempts to reconcile the factions.
The spirited campaign of the UNAUF nonetheless, the NCNC candidates prevailed at the election,
producing the majority of successful candidates at the election, with a narrow majority of 15-10- the
date being the 26th of March 1956. Altine was one of such successful candidates winning his
election at ward 25, with his address expressed in the return form as 3 Hassan Lane, Uwani, Enugu.
On the same date, Umaru Altine was nominated by his Municipal authority member colleagues as
the first Mayor of Enugu. History had indeed been made not just by the election of the first Mayor of
the young city, but by the election of a Fulani man from Sifawa in the then Sokoto Province, almost
700 miles away, who had lived in Enugu for less than 5 years.
Altine’s popularity was not simply based on his affiliation to the ruling party and the might of the
party machinery, but for the following reasons:
• His incredible personal charisma and charm, which endeared him across all ethnic, religious
barriers and social cadre, put simply, he had the support of Christian’s, Muslims, Igbo’s, Hausa,
Yoruba’s and all other ethnic groups;
• His genuine concern for the grass-roots, his approachability and ability to convey his message to
the electorate in a simple, substantial manner, and most importantly;
• His almost total support from the Market women of Enugu, whose cause he championed by
fighting their corner in ensuring a fair and equitable formula for the allocation o market stalls and his
efficient management of the administration of the Markets;
His style as Mayor remained the same as he had pursued throughout his career. He was
approachable, charming and built solid genuine bridges across all sectors of the community. He was
attentive, pro-active and a compassionate leader, who had a genuine interest in the advancement of
the grassroots. He is described as generally dressed in a Babanriga and Turban or Fez, which he
would replace with a suit, when his duties required it. He would equally attend Church services in
the course of his duties. The simple point being that Umaru Altine was very well loved and respected
by the people of Enugu on account of his personality and his genuine contributions to the city.
The political crisis in the NCNC continued in November 1956, when Altine came up for re-election as
the President of the Enugu NCNC. He was re-elected as President, however by this time, a teacher
and politician called C.O.C.Chiedozie, known to be one of the pillars of the indigenous political
interests, represented by the UNAUF whilst still a member of the NCNC, emerged as a political force.
Chiedozie, contested for re-election for the post of Secretary of the Enugu NCNC and was successful.
Altine and his Vice-President Dr G.C.Mbanugo, however stormed out of the meeting in protest at
alleged rigging of the vote, specifically that most of Chiedozie’s votes were void, being by non-party
The NCNC Executive stepped in and voided the said election, suspending Chiedozie and others.
However the fall-out of the crisis resulted in further factionalisation within the party, with the divide
being between the indigenes, represented by L.B.C Ezechi and Chiedozie and the non-indigenes
represented by Altine. The party hierarchy then ordered another election of all officers, this time
requiring a members list, so as to determine the correct number of voters. The voter registration
was however fraught with irregularities, with the Altine group, resentful at what it felt was the illegal
registration of voters by the other faction, which had given the other faction, now formally known as
Indigenous Elements Union, a huge majority. In protest, Altine’s group boycotted the re-scheduled
party election, at which LBC Ezechi, an indigenous Udi Trader emerged President and Chiedozie
Altine and his colleagues decided to set up an opposition political group to the new official NCNC
group and did so, registering the Stranger’s Element’s Association, as an independent association to
contest the next elections for the Municipal authority and in consequence the Mayoralty.
It is important to mention, that prior to this, as a result of all the crises covered above, there was
serious dissent within the Municipal authority membership, to the extent that Altine lost his position
as Mayor, even though he remained an elected member of the authority, having been popularly
elected by the people.
This popularity was to be tested severely at the elections, in which Altine’s Stranger’s Element’s
Association, pitted its popularity against the behemoth that was the NCNC party membership, fully
in the hands of the Indigenous Element’s Union- the so-called sons of the soil. The battle-line was
drawn, none more so than by an announcement by Dr Azikiwe calling on voters to supported the
NCNC candidates and ignore the opposing faction (Altine’s group). If there was going to be any test
of Altine’s personal popularity as a leader, this was it.
The election was fixed for 3rd March 1958 and in a display of incredible political savvy -and some
would say guts- the Strangers Elements Association, registered itself as political party, known as the
Association for One Nigeria, with Umaru Altine as its President. This was a direct challenge to Dr
Azikiwe and the NCNC machine. However on election day, all strategies and sleight of hand, would
only depend on one thing- the will of the electorate. The electorate however spoke and spoke loud
and clear. Out of the 22 wards contested and 7018 votes cast- the Association for One Nigeria won
13 wards (3329 votes) to the Indigenous Elements Union’s 12 (3316 votes). This was one of the
biggest upsets ever suffered by the NCNC- in what some had described as its fortress- Enugu. Altine
had done the impossible, but it was less a victory for him, and more a victory for true democracy.
Altine’s genuine popularity and track-record had spoken for him beyond mere ethno-religious
jingoism and tribal sentiments. He had absorbed everything the usual politics of sectionalism could
throw at him and had prevailed.
Altine ‘s support base basically consisted of the ordinary people of Enugu, who voted for his party in
numbers. There was also a strong base of conviction politicians of Igbo extraction, who genuinely
believed in him as a truly unifying leader- such as Chief D.A.Nwandu, Ikechukwu Areh, but none
more significant than the great Chief Christian Onoh- himself remarkably an indigene of Ngwo
– Enugu, who would have been expected to side with the Indigenous Elements Union, but who stood
on principle and supported a man who he believed to be the better candidate. Onoh was to suffer
for his choice, losing his own bid for the House of Representatives 2 years later. Senator Uche
Chukwumerije’s memorial tribute to Onoh says it all:
“A high point in his patriotic activities was his stand in the re-election of Umaru Altine as Mayor of
Enugu in 1957. Leading an intra-party lobby group ANOF (Association of One Nigeria) he supported
Mallam Umaru Altine (a Northerner resident in Enugu) against Mr Ezechi, an indigene sponsored by
a counter lobby UDAF (Udi-Nsukka-Awgu United Front). CC's stand was an unequivocal statement in
favour of a detribalized Nigeria.”
Umaru Altine was to serve one more term as Mayor of Enugu. Whilst his election as the first Mayor
of Enugu was spectacular and historic, even more sensational was his re-election against seemingly
insurmountable odds, emerging victorious, armed with his conviction, genuine commitment and
indeed his record of service. This was a victory over the base politics of tribal sentiment and an
enduring symbol of the finest example of Nigerian democracy.
SIGNIFICANCE AND CONCLUSION
1. Altine’s victory was the first in which a non-indigene would succeed in winning the premier
political seat in a major election in Nigerian history, this signified the fallacy of ethnicity in
politics and the triumph of merit over ethnic considerations
2. The slim margin of victory demonstrated the crucial significance of voter turn-out, for the
very reason that if a handful of Altine’s supporters had stayed away, he would have lost the
3. Altine’s strongest support base had been amongst women voters – especially the Market-
women, who revered him, for the simple reason of his having been an effective, honest
representative and custodian of their trust in his first term. Their dogged support was the
basis of his victory. The moral, if you deliver, you merit support, not merely on account of
financial incentives or ethnic considerations.
Aminu Kano was born to the family of an Islamic scholar, Mallam Yusuf of the scholarly Gyanawa
Fulani clan, who was a mufti at the Alkali court in Kano, while his mother who was educated in
Islamic tradition, taught him Arabic, as well as starting his Quranic education. He learnt English at the
Kano Middle School and in 1939, transferred to Katsina College, the first secondary school in the
North of Nigeria. From Kaduna College, he went on to teach at the Bauchi Middle School in 1949,
with future Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa as his Headmaster. At Bauchi, he was part of a
group known as the Bauchi Discussion Circle, which included Balewa, Abubakar Imam – later Editor
of the first Hausa language Newspaper, Gaskiya Tafi Kwabo. Also he made friends with a highly
intelligent and articulate Poet and former student of Yaba Higher College- Saadu Zungur, later on
these men were to make Nigerian Political History as shall be seen. Their first step was to start a
political association called the Bauchi General Improvement Union in 1943. Zungur and Aminu Kano,
were kindred spirits in the sense that they were both devout Northern Muslims, but possessed a
strong progressive attitude. They were certainly anti-establishment, in that they challenged the
autocratic tendencies of the Northern Emirs, under the Native Authority system which in their view,
gave the Emirs excessive powers, as well as challenging the high-handedness and racist practices of
the Colonial authorities.
Whilst Zungur veiled his protests in Poetry, which were written in Hausa and published in Gaskiya
Tafi Kwabo, Aminu Kano wrote powerful critical articles which were also published in Gaskiya and in
Dr Azikiwe’s West African Pilot. Their common view was that power should be wielded for the
benefit of the poor masses and in particular they felt the aristocracy had no interest in uplifting the
poor, so as to maintain power. In particular, they believed strongly in the education of the masses,
especially women, to give them the tools to escape poverty.
In 1946, Aminu Kano was sent on scholarship to study for a two-year course at the University of
London, Institute of Education in 1946. While in London, he Balewa and others founded the
Northern Teachers Welfare Association, which was set up to protect the rights of Northern Teachers.
He came back to Nigeria and was offered a senior Administrative post in Government, which he
refused, saying that he preferred to stay a teacher and educate his people. He was a founding
member of a new Association called the Jamiyar Mutanen Arewa (the Northern People’s Congress)
in 1949, which he was founding Joint Auditor. He was otherwise transferred to Sokoto to head the
Middle School and gained popularity with his students for his innovative teaching methods and clear
passion for his job. However the Sultan was less than pleased with his growing popularity and radical
liberal views. Needless to say, he of course had attracted attention to himself by his fearless and
outspoken nature. On one occasion he had engaged in a debate with a Colonial Administrator, in
which he described the Indirect Rule system operating in Northern Nigeria (where the British ruled
through Emirs), as “the most exploiting Colonial system, the world has ever known”.
In November 1950, he resigned his appointment due to growing friction between him, the Emirs and
the British, and went back to Kano. At Kano, he joined the Northern Elements Progressive Union,
founded by his friend Saadu Zungur and others. In April 1951, he was elected its Vice-President, but
by now he had come to be recognised as the leader of radical progressive Youth in Northern Nigeria.
He and three other NEPU members contested for elections into the National Parliament, the House
of representatives in November 195 and won the first stage, but lost at the second stage, due to a
combination of factors which included the fact that their opponents – members of the Northern
People’s Congress, which he had been a member of, but left after he felt it becoming too elitist)
were selected by the Emir of Kano and had the support of the Native Administration apparatus,
which the Emir of Kano headed- the same authority organising the election!?! It was to be Aminu
Kano’s baptism of fire. Thereafter, he devoted his time to rebuilding the party and advocating for the
rights of the poor, which for him and his followers was now a singular obsession.
The 1954 elections- second attempt.
Aminu Kano spent the years 1951-1954, building the support-base of his party- as a secondary
objective. His primary objective was the upliftment of the teeming poor in Northern Nigeria and
challenging the excesses as said of the Northern Emirs and the Colonial authorities. He challenged
the draconian taxation policies, the lack of progress in education and provision of infrastructure in
general and he also fought vehemently for the advancement of women’s rights. For NEPU members
however, it drew a backlash of crack-downs by the Emirs and British authorities
His message of equality and progressiveness won many followers, especially amongst the long-term
oppressed. One of such was a young, feisty woman Gambo, daughter of a Ghanaian immigrant
trader and Gold prospector. She had joined the party and made her name when on one occasion
when NEPU members had been scared to express themselves at a rally, she mounted the rostrum
and spoke eloquently, delivering a scathing criticism of the oppressive Colonials and Traditional
Rulers. She became an overnight star and was given the nickname Sawaba (the redeemer). Hajiya
Gambo Sawaba became the defacto leader of the women’s wing of the party and actively overcame
the barriers on campaign to women in purdah for men, by going in to campaign herself. For all her
activism, she was rewarded with arrest, trial and imprisonment. Upon her release, rather than be
cowed she came out and publicly protested the conditions in the prison, was re-arrested and
banished from Kano. This was to become common-place for the supporters of NEPU in the lead-up
to the 1954 elections.
By this time, the party’s popularity was growing with the clear and proven sincerity of its leaders,
who the masses could see, clearly spoke for them and their plight. The party prepared for the 1954
elections with renewed vigour, but knowing fully well that the whole might of the establishment
would be pitted against their ambitions. They were not to wait long, the first sign of the crack-down
came when children and young persons were arrested for the offence of signing NEPU songs or
painting the NEPU sign on their doors. Some of those arrested were as young as seven. 15O NEPU
members were arrested for campaigning. Aminu Kano himself, now the leader of the party was to
get a taste of this medicine, when he was arrested twice whilst campaigning. The first being for
flying a NEPU flag on his car, which was seen as “comparing” himself with Emir, since he equally flew
a flag on his car. He was also arrested for publishing articles with a seditious intent. This he denied
vehemently, stating those were mere campaign literature. He was charged, found guilty and fined
£50. The Native Administration then took the step of banning the use of NEPU badges or stickers
Needless to say NEPU’s chances were minimal and it duly lost the Parliamentary elections once more
to the NPC. Aminu Kano was to lose to the NPC’s candidate- the urbane Maitama Sule. Once again it
was back to the drawing board.
The 1959 elections: The power of perseverance
The 1959 Parliamentary elections were at that time to be the most important elections in the history
of Nigeria, as they were the elections that would herald Nigeria into Independence. There had been
two Constitutional Conferences in London in 1953 and 1956, in which it had been determined that
Nigeria would gain its Independence in 1960, so elections were held in 1959, to vote in a
Government to rule the new country.
NEPU prepared for these elections feverishly, it had once again continued its dogged activism in
Northern Nigeria, undeterred by the harassment it had faced from Colonial and Native Authority
agents. It had before this, once more contested the 1956 elections into the Northern Region House
of Assembly and lost once again. It had however become smarter and had taken its plight to the
International Community. In September 1954, he had supplied details of arrests and oppressive
conduct to Marjorie Nicholson, a member of the United Nigeria Committee and six British members
of Parliament. At the Constitutional Conference in 1958, which Aminu Kano had attended, he had
brought the plight of his party to public notice, showing the conference the photograph of a party
member- Alhaji Sheriff, who had been tied to a tree and flogged on the order of the Alkali Court. 375
members of NEPU had between 1955 and 1957, been arrested and detained on various doubtful
charges. Several were tied and flogged on the same doubtful charges. His outcry finally gained
results when the Colonial authorities were compelled to make a pronouncement that no-one was to
be punished, unless the offence was one known to the formal Criminal law of Northern Nigeria (The
Also NEPU had evolved over the years, it had in 1954, entered an alliance with the National Congress
for Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC) headed by Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, one year after Aminu Kano
was elected its President in 1953. The, craftsmen/artisan’s, petty-traders, shopkeepers and poor
disadvantaged people. It did not have the financial power of the NPC, which on one occasion in
1950, raised £16,000 in one day. NEPU depended on membership subscriptions and after its alliance
with the NCNC, received a small annual subvention of £4000. What it lacked in cash however, it
made up for in mass appeal and the passionate commitment of its workers and supporters. The
more they were subjected to oppression, the more committed they were. Aminu Kano represented
this ethos. A dogged fighter, many men would have been discouraged by the arrests, harassment,
intimidation and failure faced over the years, but Kano simply struggled on, stronger in his beliefs
with every phase of defeat. This spirit was infectious within the party, inspired by the following:
a. Aminu Kano’s sheer integrity and sincerity. He was a scrupulously honest man, completely
b. Aminu Kano’s courage in the face of adversity’
c. Aminu Kano’s incredible Intelligence and gravitas
d. His authenticity. Even though he was educated, he was a deeply religious man and a liberal at the
same time. He was a man who had enough Quranic knowledge to be a Muslim Scholar, yet who
fought for the rights of women to education and financial well-being. Which he in any event
attributed to the true teachings of the Quran.
It was with this growing profile that Aminu Kano led his party to the 1959 elections, as a result of the
restraint on the harassment of the previous years, the party was able for the first time to campaign
freely, albeit with minimal instances of intimidation. In this scenario, the true strength of NEPU’s
popularity shone through.
As the elections drew closer, it was clear that this was the party of the people. The elections were
fixed for 12 December 1959 and held all over Nigeria. By the time the votes were counted, NEPU
polled a total of 509, 050 votes, which amounted to 6.7% of the total votes cast in Nigeria and based
upon which it won 6 Seats in the Federal House of Parliament. One of its candidates was Mallam
Aminu Kano, who had finally achieved not just his dream but the dreams of 1000’s of poor,
underpriviledged Northerners (The Talakawa’s) and won election to represent them at the Federal
This was a huge achievement because NEPU had only campaigned in Northern Nigeria- it simply
couldn’t afford to campaign elsewhere. Furthermore, with extremely limited resources, it had
turned the tide and won half a million votes- an incredible tally on limited means. Aminu Kano
proceeded to Parliament and whilst he was offered a Ministerial appointment, he declined,
preferring to focus his attention and energy on representing the interests of his poor under-
privileged constituents. NEPU members of Parliament at large, were to work assiduously to promote
policies that promoted the rights of the poor
SIGNIFICANCE AND CONCLUSION
1. This was the first time a left-leaning, socially progressive party would win an election in Northern
2. The Northern Elements Progressive Union, succeeded in winning seats in the 1959 election,
In-spite of eight years of harassment and intimidation, overcoming all manner of obstacles – based
entirely on the commitment and determination of its supporters. Simply put, if its supporters
had been cowed by years of oppression and shown apathy, NEPU would not have made
history by winning seats in this election and been put in position to effect the change, albeit
how small, it managed to achieve in Parliament;
3. The personal integrity, sacrifice and commitment of Aminu Kano, provides an inspiring marker
for the efficacy of conviction politics and the triumph of persistence and character in the
pursuit of Social change. His example showed that the ballot box will always be the strength
the poor and voiceless have, to effect social change in-spite of any obstacles that the “system”
4. CHIEF MARGARET EKPO EASTERN REGION HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS 1961
Janet Mokelu and Margaret Ekpo- 1961
Margaret Ekpo was born in Calabar, in 1914 to an Igbo father and an Efik mother. She completed her
primary school in 1934 and hoped to progress her education to secondary school or Teacher training
College, however her father died in the same year, scuttling those plans. She however worked for a
time as a Teaching Assistant in Primary Schools. She got married in 1938 to a young Dr- John Ekpo in
1938 and settled into married life at Aba in Eastern Nigeria.
Her chance to further her education came, when she was admitted into the Women’s Institute
Dublin in 1944 to study Domestic Science, as was the case then with Middle class Africans who
would send their wives to what was effectively a Finishing School. Her nationalist consciousness was
aroused in her time in Ireland, when she noticed how Irish women did their own housework, unlike
European women in Nigeria, who had African servants do everything for them, she also noted that
women had far more social rights than in Colonial Africa.
Upon her return in 1946, she put her training to real use by setting up a Domestic Science and
Sewing Institute, she got involved in the Women’s movement almost immediately upon her return,
at the behest of her husband who was outraged at the Racism, he and his colleagues faced in the
Colonial Service and whilst he would have eagerly participated in protest meetings, he was barred by
his position as a Government official from doing this. Thus he nominated his wife to go in his place
and she began to attend meetings – chiefly of the leading party in the region the NCNC. There she
witnessed the energy and oratory of Dr Azikiwe, Ojike, Mbadiwe and others. She became a regular
attendee at these meetings, though she was constrained from joining the party, as women did not
yet have the right to vote in 1948. She however started organising a small group of women into a
Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, had by now founded the Nigerian Womens Union, as a powerful pressure
group, whilst also a member of the NCNC. The two women’s paths were to cross when in 1949, the
Colonial authorities shot dead 21 Miners, protesting conditions at the Iva Valley Mine, Enugu. Mrs
Ransome-Kuti, in characteristic fashion, mobilised and travelled to Enugu, linking up with Margaret
Ekpo. At Mrs Ransome-Kuti’s encouragement, Margaret Ekpo on 17 December 1949, addressed a
rally, where she condemned the brutality of the Colonial authorities in a powerful, empassioned
The die was cast, she had discovered her radical activist wellspring. Funmilayo-Ransome-Kuti’s
influence was pervasive and instant, Eastern women had before this, been apathetic to politics.
Margaret Ekpo often found herself the only woman at rallies. This was to change- she owed this to
Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti and expressed it in a letter to her in which she said “I cannot explain to you
what new spirit you have poured into me, I feel a 100 times stronger.”
She became the Secretary of the Nigerian Womens Union, with Ransome-Kuti, as President. She also
became the defacto Women leader of the NCNC in the Eastern Region. Her influence was so strong,
she was appointed alongside Janet Mokelu, as members of the Eastern Nigeria House of Chiefs in
1953, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti became a member of the Western Region House of Chiefs at the
same time. She also went on to form the Aba Township Women’s Association. Her efforts in
mobilising women were so effective that in the 1955 Council elections at Aba, majority of voters
She was now an indispensable force in her party. To underline this, she won her first election in
1958- unopposed into the Aba Urban District Council.
The 1959 elections
The 1959 elections were meant to herald Nigeria into an era of Independence, and elections were
duly fixed for December 1959. Margaret Ekpo, had expected that on account of her strong position
within the NCNC, she would have a chance at contesting for a seat on the Federal Parliament. She
was to be disappointed, as her party’s Executive Committee did not support her bid. This was a huge
blow for a woman who had been one of the party’s strongest assets in the Region and who had in
fact been nominated by the party top attend the Constitutional Conference held in London in the
same year. She had also been a tireless campaigner for Nigeria’s independence within the party.
She however persevered in-spite of what was clearly a sexist barrier. This had not been the first
time, she had faced sexism in politics or indeed in her party. In an interview, she revealed that she
had been the subject of constant advances from her male colleagues, but that she had stood firm in
the face of all the distractions thrown at her.
The 1961 Eastern Region House of Assembly elections
After the disappointment of her non-endorsement for the Federal Parliament, her time was to come
with the party finally acceding to nominate her to stand for election as a representative of Aba
Township, in the Regional Parliament, in the 1961 elections.
Her campaign was passionate and tireless. She rallied all her known allies and broke new barriers,
building new associations- all this for one simple reason- never in the history of Nigeria had a woman
ever been elected for Parliament, whether Federal or Regional. Whilst the first female Senator had
taken her place in the Senate in 1960- Chief Wuraola Esan, she had not been elected, she had been
nominated by Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and indeed made history in her own right. Margaret Ekpo
and her colleague Janet Mokelu would have to prove themselves in the electoral field, on merit.
As the election date approached, the expectation was that she would win, however she did not take
Chances, campaigning up till the very last legal limit. At the close of ballots, the votes were counted
and she had won by a landslide. As usual the majority of the votes were by women voters. Whilst
her party the NCNC had massive support, what was clear was that this support in Aba Town had
been largely as a result of the input of the women, which Ekpo had worked for years to mobilise- this
was her victory. She was to hold her seat, till the next elections, in 1963, where she was once again
SIGNIFICANCE AND CONCLUSION:
1. This was the first Parliamentary election contested for and won by a woman contestant, in
the history of Nigeria;
2. Her victory had been as a result of 13 years of painstaking campaigning and activism to
mobilise her fellow women to become politically aware.
3. This election cemented Margaret Ekpo’s legacy in history, by showing her mobilisational
ability, confounding the critics that had contended against her (and Janet Mokelu’s)
5: CHIEF FRANCA AFEGBUA: 1983 SENATORIAL ELECTIONS:
Franca Afegbua was born in Okpella, in the Etsako speaking area of present Edo State in 1943. She
trained as a Hair-dresser and built a small reputation for herself in her trade. She became a celebrity
Hairdresser, catering for high profile clients in the Lagos area. She was to attract a measure of
unwanted publicity, when she was cited in the press, as having been involved in a romance with
frontline Nigerian Politician- Joseph Sarwuan Tarka, who was at the time Federal Commissioner for
Communications. A matter which fuelled society gossip circuits at the time. She however pressed on
with her profession, winning glory for Nigeria by coming first at the International Hairdressing
Competition in London in 1977.
Her place in History was not going to be bench-marked merely on her Hairdressing skills (which were
undoubtedly significant) or the scandal as aforesaid. In 1979, Nigeria had returned to civilian rule,
after 13 years of Military rule and the Presidential elections had been won by then President Shehu
Shagari of the National Party of Nigeria, which also dominated both the Senate and House of
Representatives. The NPN Government dominated Nigerian politics, with opposition being mainly
from Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s Unity Party of Nigeria, Dr Azikiwe’s Nigeria Peoples Party, Aminu
Kano’s Peoples Redemption Party and Waziri Ibrahim’s Great Nigeria Peoples Party.
As the NPN Government approached the end of its first term In April 1983 and the parties jostled in
preparation for the up-coming General elections. Incumbent candidates sought to consolidate their
hold, whilst prospective candidates feverishly worked for the nomination of their parties, By now
Franca Afegbua had joined the National Party of Nigeria, the ruling party, and become a women’s
leader in her native Bendel State (which then comprised present day Edo and Delta States). Her task
was an extremely difficult one though, as the incumbent Professor Ambrose Alli was of the
opposition Unity Party of Nigeria. Professor Alli had distinguished himself in his first term,
establishing a solid track record of Governance in the State and building on his established
popularity with his proven works. Specifically the incumbent Senator John Umolu was a 64 year-old
veteran Politician and Trade Unionist who had been the former Mayor of Port Harcourt and a
member of the Unity Party of Nigeria, which controlled the State. He was a formidable personality,
who had been involved in organising the first successful commercial workers strike in 1950, by staff
of the UAC.
It was to this near-impossible setting that Franca Afegbua expressed her intention to contest for a
Senatorial seat in the then Bendel North Senatorial zone, in which her home-town Okpella was
located. The party hierarchy was not at all optimistic about her chances, for the reasons stated
above and this probably worked in her favour, as the competition for the slot was minimal. She
managed to secure the nomination of her party as its candidate on the zone, becoming the first
woman in Nigerian history to secure the nomination of a party to stand for a Senatorial election.
In-spite of this momentous achievement, very few actually believed she would succeed in winning
the election. The odds stacked against her were significantly real, present and historical. It was going
to be up to her to prove herself once more, in the same manner Margaret Ekpo and Janet Mokelu
had to do 22 years before. What skeptics had also forgotten was that Franca Afegbua was greatly
loved and respected in her constituency even before her foray into party politics. In 1979, she had
been conferred with no less than two Traditional Titles in her immediate local Government These
being as the Aidotse of Onwoyeni Town and the Memisesewe of Okpella (her hometown)
respectively, these two towns being as said in the old Estako local government of the old Bendel
State. Whilst male politicians may have sneered at her winning the global Hair-styling competition,
her community were clearly proud of her and thus recognised her achievements in bringing pride to
them. Fundamentally, these were the simple underpinnings of political success- acceptance and
recognition by one’s own constituents.
Franca Afegbua, set to work, first of all planning a simple campaign strategy of determining the
balance of votes needed to overhaul the majority of the incumbent and attacking the said
demographic of voters. Her target once more were women voters, who her opponent had largely
ignored. She mounted a massive door-to-door campaign, establishing personal contact with women
voters and building strong channels of rapport and trust. Slowly she built a wider base of supporters,
who in turn worked on her behalf, a ripple effect of political goodwill was spreading in her favour.
As Election Day approached, she relentlessly pursued her campaign, by now the opposition had
noticed the growing groundswell of support for Afegbua and belatedly tried to counter, It was simply
too late. On Election Day in August 15 1983, Franca Afegbua secured a slim majority, but enough for
her to emerge as the first Nigerian female Senator in the nation’s history. She was duly sworn in on 1
October 1983 and took her place as Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Sadly her term was to
last only three months, as the civilian Government was overthrown by the Military on 31st
December 1983. However her place in history had been secured.
SIGNIFICANCE AND CONCLUSIONS:
1. This victory was significant in that this was the highest elective office, to which a woman had
successfully aspired in the nation’s history at that time.
2. Afegbua’s victory was further significant in that, once again women voters, were a crucial factor in
determining the outcome of the election. The result once again showing that voter turn-out
and participation is a crucial element and can actually influence electoral outcomes;
3. The significance of Afegbua’s personal determination in overcoming the substantial odds
against her, allied with simple but effective planning in securing victory, is an inspirational
marker for both voters and potential candidates as a whole. In short it shows potential political
aspirants the possibilities that exist , in pursuing elective office in-spite of seeming odds. For
voters it shows quite simply that your votes count and that the popular candidate can and will
be elected, with proactive participation.