Nigeria National Democratic Party

Nigeria National Democratic Party (NNDP), Nigeria’s first political party, founded by Herbert Macaulay in conjunction with Lagos intelligentsias such as Joseph Egerton Shyngle, Eric Moore, C.C. Adeniyi-Jones, and Dr. Adeyemo Alakija, in 1923 out of the need to contest elections into the new Legislative Council. The Nigeria National Democratic Party (NNDP) as a nationalist organization demanded free and compulsory education, a university, the Africanization of the civil service, a municipal government for Lagos, and overall end to racial discrimination.

The party’s popularity among different classes of Lagosians is attributable to the leader, Herbert Macaulay’s person, being an accessible and approachable man. By 1925, Macaulay had established the Lagos Daily News to spread the party’s propaganda. NNDP won all the three Lagos seats in the elections of 1923, and repeated the feat in 1928, 1933, continuing in its dominance till the emergence of a new Nationalist group comprising of younger nationalists of the 1930s such as Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe, and Samuel Akinsanya.

The new group, the Nigerian Youth Movement, NYM endeavored to depart form the norm of the NNDP by building a truly national party, unlike the NNDP, which was maligned as been national only in name and confining its activities only to Lagos. After the dispute and schism in this new youthful group that was now the elector’s choice, Macaulay, the NNPD leader teamed up with a breakaway leader of the NYM who commanded large followership to form the National Council of Nigeria and Cameroons in 1944.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer