A good many have occurred to me, and I now want to pass on to you the more important ones among them. I do so in tabular form.
1. The Anglo—Nigerian Defense Pact, and the October 1 Agreement under which we assume and undertake all the rights and obligations of Britain under valid International instruments, should both be abrogated forthwith.
2. Every vestige and every channel of the undue influence of Britain and her allies in and on Nigeria should be totally eradicated. This, in my view, can be done in three significant ways. First, by the widening of the circle of our international friendship, and in particular by the immediate establishment of diplomatic, cultural, trade and other mutually beneficial relations with Soviet Russia, China, and Eastern Germany; second, by the progressive but accelerated termination of our undue economic dependence on British and other Western Agencies and Business concerns; and third, by the translation or transformation of Nigeria into a Republic, and by the initiation, at an early date, of steps to this end.
3. The Federal Government should right now set before the nation well-defined economic objectives and development programs which will be embodied in a successive series of five-year plans. The objectives and the program should be sufficiently bold and expansive to fire the imagination and stimulate afresh the hopes of Nigerians and their fellow-Africans. To this end three important considerations must be borne in mind. One, our economic objectives and development program must be rooted in and strictly guided by the socialist ideals of (a) equal opportunity for all,(b) equitable distribution of the national products,(c) the liberty, dignity, and well being of the individual, and (d) brotherhood among all mankind. Two, the admission of foreign investment into the country should be carefully regulated, and channeled in the overall national interests. In the words of the Report of the Conference on Administrative Organization for Economic Development — `To allow all foreign firms to enter indiscriminately may stifle nascent local enterprise and jeopardize the balance of economic expansion. It may also rob the country of valuable sources of income.` In this connection, a comprehensive list of categories of industries, specifying those that are in the present and in the near future reserved for the public sector, as well as those that are, in the short term, reserved for the private sector, should be prepared. Three, the development of agriculture (its modernization in every sense of the word) must go hand-in-hand with industrialization. If agriculture stagnates, industries will either not grow, or become a bane to the people.
4. In order that our planned economy may be in the best interest of our people, a high-powered Economic Planning Commission should be set up forthwith. This Commission would consist only of qualified Nigerian economists and public men, and its membership should be full-time. The Commission, may, from time to time, avail itself of such expatriate expert advisers as appear to them to be sufficiently well-meaning, and detached from local business interests. It will be the duty of the Commission to produce a five-year plan for the Federal Government. It will assess and appraise the various surveys of our natural and man-power resources, establish priorities, determine the type and the location of industries, work out and supervise details of the development program and the manner of its execution, and make a periodic review and any necessary modification of the program.
5. In order to correct the imbalance in our federal structure, more States or Regions should first and foremost be carved out of the existing Northern Region. To ensure viability, the North should, as a first step, be broken into three States — the Middle Belt, the Bornu and the Northern States. The Mid-West and the C.O.R. States should also be created as already proposed.
6. To ensure the advent and growth of democracy and democratic practices in the North, the following reforms should he introduced without delay: a) Emirs, District heads, Village Heads and Ward Heads, and other Native Authority functionaries should, from now on, have nothing at all to do with the maintenance of law and order during election and on polling day, and should be present at polling stations and in the polling booths only to cast their votes b) During elections (Federal, Regional or Local) there should be no restraint whatsoever on public meetings. Political parties should be free to hold public meetings where and when they choose, unless in the interest of law and order the prescribed authority is of the opinion that meetings of rival political parties should be regulated by the issue of permits, or by agreement among local party leaders. For this purpose, the Nigerian Police Force should be the prescribed Authority, and should also be responsible for maintaining law and order during elections in the Northern Region as well as in the other parts of the Federation c) Where suitable buildings are not available, polling booths with permanent materials should be erected by the Federal Government. On no account should private dwelling houses, palaces, or official residences be used as polling booths or stations. d) Symbols should be painted on all sides of the Ballot Box, and where this is not possible, they should be pasted on all sides of the Box by means of a transfer system. All ballot boxes should be made of steel. e) All Native Authorities should be democratized as has for long been the case in the East and West. Those who operate the present feudal system in the North and are, from head to toe, steeped in unabashed autocracy can never take kindly to the need for, and the practices of democracy and of a free and fair election.
7. The foreign policy of Nigeria should be independent and should be guided by the following principles:
A. In respect to the world in general:
1. The promotion of economic relations with all nations of the world.
2. Co-operation with all nations of the world in so far as they respect the ideals for which we stand.
3. Respect for the sovereignty of nations and non-interference in their domestic affairs.
4. The settlement of international disputes by peaceful negotiations directly or through the agency of the U.N.O.
5. Attraction of foreign assistance (capital, technical skills and training opportunities for Nigerians) on the most advantageous terms.
6. Lasting world peace through non-involvement in military pacts, discontinuance of the armament race, and an end to the establishment of military bases on foreign soil.
7. Respect for the United Nations Charter.
B. In respect to Africa in particular:
1. The immediate and complete freedom and sovereignty of all those African States which are at present only nominally independent (a) by the abrogation of any military or defense pact or ties as well as of all rights and privileges appurtenant to such pact or ties and (b) by the elimination of undue economic or technical dependence on any single alien country.
2. The setting of a target date or dates in the very near future for the complete liberation of all colonial territories wherever they may be on the Continent of Africa.
3. The immediate termination of the existence of any military base in any part of Africa and the evacuation of all occupation troops on the Continent whether they are attached to specific military bases or not.
4. The mobilization of all the forces at our command to assist in the immediate extermination of apartheid in South Africa and the restoration to the African in South Africa of his natural birth rights.
5. The outlawry of any form of discrimination or segregation against the black peoples in particular and Africans in general, in Africa and in other parts of the world.
6. The maintenance and defense of the dignity of the African (particularly black African), and of the sovereignty of any independent African State against derogation or violation from any quarter whatsoever.
7. The promotion and establishment of a community of interests among all the peoples of Africa, and to this end to work assiduously for the realization of the ideal of a political union or a confederacy (whichever is practicable in the prevailing circumstances) among all African States.
8. As a first practical step towards the emergence of an All-Africa political union, the immediate division of the Continent into Zones.
9. The initiation of steps for the immediate introduction in Zones of a Customs and monetary union as well as economic, technical, cultural and other forms of essential co-operation, and the fostering of an early emergence of a political union among the independent countries situate within each zone.
10. Non-involvement of all African countries in the present East—West power politics and struggles as well as non-partisanship in the Arab-Israeli dispute and conflict.
It is my considered view that our foreign policy should be bi-partisan, and should be taken out of the arena of party politics. I have repeatedly made suggestions to this effect both on the floor of the House of Representatives and privately to Sir Abubakar, but in vain.
There is only one answer to the second question. In the national interest, all the progressive elements in the country must come together now, and get themselves ready to take over the Government of the Federation at the earliest possible
time. We do not have long to wait. Our chance will come in 1964 or earlier. The life of the present Parliament comes to an end by effluxion of time in 1964. But Balewa might choose to go to the country much earlier. And the likelihood cannot be completely ruled out that the present coalition, which is an enforced association of incompatibles, might break and collapse under the mounting pressure of public discontent and indignation.
Whatever happens, 1964 does not appear to me to be too far ahead. In the meantime, it is our duty to mobilize public opinion, and bring it to bear on the Government, to the end that it shall accept a philosophy of action which springs from and is broadly based on all the principles, objectives, and proposals which, within the compass of this lecture, I have sufficiently elaborated.
There are many who are beginning to despair about the future of our great country. May I reaffirm, in all humility and unshaken faith, that there is no cause for despair. For, it is to the progressive and radical elements in Nigeria, whose numbers are rapidly increasing, that the morrow of our illustrious country belongs.(concluded)