chapter  Chapter V
41 Pages

The Pacification of Northern Nigeria

WithArthur Norton Cook

The coming of Joseph Chamberlain to the Colonial Office in 1895 was a clear indication of the fact that England had definitely re-embarked upon a policy of aggressive imperialism. The possibility of building up the “undeveloped estates” appealed strongly to Mr. Chamberlain, who was very definitely of the opinion that Nigeria was a most suitable place to try out his theories of colonial development. The pacification of Northern Nigeria, therefore, was more than the mere extension of an existing regime; it was a new enterprise in the hands of a new man, and the fourteen years of its separate existence as a government were destined to be of far-reaching significance. The public prisons were places of torment, and very few prisoners emerged alive. Perhaps the best description of these prisons is given in the official report of the High Commissioner of Northern Nigeria. Parliament rarely questioned the Government with respect to its policy in Nigeria.