Indirect colonial rule in Northern Nigeria
Indirect rule in Northern Nigeria
Not long after Lord Lugard conquered the caliphates of the Northern Nigeria, he gathered the cooperative emirs and enthroned an amir al-mumin at Sokoto. He also permitted an alkali courts to function normal as before the conquest. But still the British residents would give advise and if deemed necessary would force the emirs to follow what would be approved by the conquerors.
The British residents sometimes act as force behind the rule of the emirs by enforcing laws even using arms. This reminded the emirs their importance in the rulling. Slowly these forces started to decide the people thereby indirectly undoing the unification achieved by Uthman Dan fodio a century earlier. This is how the indirect rule started in Northern Nigeria and it was never going to cease.
The indirect rule in the region was regarded by the British as a success, their reasons were it brought peace and tranquillity to the region. However there were little disputes but still it was considered a stagnation especially since there was impending tranquillity.
There were a number of factors that prevent the caliphate from the great twentieth century world movements and westernisation and anti – European nationalism. And when the Muslim world was beginning it’s modern transformation, the caliphate loose contact with it and colonial boundaries completed the isolation.
During the surrender terms, the British promised not to interfere with the Muslim religion. This was Interpreted by both parties to mean that Christian missionaries should not be encouraged. As a result the boundaries for Northern Nigeria was increased and hence the region missed the influence of West which was dominant in southern Nigeria and was the main agent of westernisation.
Most scholars believed that the British did not foreseen the what this immunity to missionary might cause. It indeed slowed down the change the sought. Although Northern Nigeria was protected from the influence of West but at the same time it was separated from Maghreb and the Middle East.