Action Group Crises of 1962 and Federal Election Crises of 1964


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In today’s class, we will be talking about Action Group crises of 1962 and federal election crises of 1964. Enjoy the class!

Action Group Crises of 1962 and Federal Election Crises of 1964

Action Group Crises of 1962 and Federal Election Crises of 1964 |


A serious riot broke out in the ancient city of Kano in Northern Nigeria on May 16 1953. In March 1953, a member of Action Group (AG) in the House of Representatives, Chief Anthony Enahoro, moved a motion requesting that Nigeria should be granted self-government in 1956. The leader of the Northern People’s Congress (NPC), Sir Ahmadu Bello, moved a counter-motion. He proposed an amendment that self –government should be granted as soon as practicable. This led to disagreement over the motion and equally resulted in a strained relationship between the northern and southern leaders. All the AG and NCNC members in the house walked out as a result of the adjournment motion.

When the northern delegates left the house they were confronted by hostile crowds in Lagos who insulted, jeered and called them all sorts of names. Members of the northern delegation were embittered and in their Eight Point Programme in the Northern Regional Legislative House, they sort for secession. The last straw that broke the camel’s back was a tour by a delegation of the AG and NCNC led by Chief S. L. Akintola. That tour which was aimed at campaigning for self-government acted as the immediate cause of the Kano riot. It sparked off a chain of disorder that culminated in the riot.

Political implications of the Kano Riot
  1. The riot worsened the relationship between the northern and southern leaders.
  2. The riot showed that only the federal system of government could hold Nigeria together.
  3. The riot ushered in the London Constitutional Conference of 1953.
  4. The riot also brought about a temporal working alliance between the NCNC and the Action Group.


A population census was conducted in Nigeria in 1962, but the outcome of the result was widely criticized. Some people claimed it was rigged and should be cancelled. The government had to cancel it and another one was proposed in 1963. A census board was set up under the authority of the prime minister, to handle the 1963 population census. A new census was conducted in November 1963 and in February 1964 the provisional figures that put the population of Nigeria at 55.7 Million were published. A breakdown of the figures gave the north 29.8 Million, East 12.4 Million, West 10.3 Million, Mid-West 2.5 Million and Lagos 0.7 Million. However, it was accepted by the federal government, so also the Northern and Western Regions. The Eastern and Mid-Western Regions rejected the figures outright claiming that they were inflated and characterized by gross irregularities and inadequacies. Eastern Region went to the Supreme Court challenging the authenticity and the Federal Government’s acceptance of the results. The court ruled in favour of the Federal Government, stating that the Eastern Region did not have a locus standing to sue on the issue. These figures, therefore, remained the official figures used as base figures for projections for all developmental matters, constituency delimitations, allocation of seats to the parliament, boundary adjustments, etc.

  1. What is the implication of the census crisis of 1962/1963?
  2. Discuss the political implications of the Kano Riot of 1953.
  3. State the main provisions made by the Lyttleton constitution.
  4. Discuss 5 defects of the Lyttleton constitution.


In our next class, we will be talking about Western Nigeria Election Crises of 1965 and General election Crises of 1979, 1983.  We hope you enjoyed the class.

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