BRITISH COLONIAL ADMINISTRATION
Britain administered her former colonial territories through indirect rule. The rule was introduced by Lord Fredrick Lugard.
Indirect Rule entails a system of administration in which the British employed the traditional political institutions to rule the people according to the traditional practices but under the guidance of British officials. The major participants in the indirect rule were the Obas, the Emirs and the Warrant Chiefs (in the East) of Nigeria.
FEATURES OF INDIRECT RULE
i) Recognition of the status of traditional rulers.
ii) Protection and continuation of the Nation’s authority.
iii) Colonial influence through local chiefs.
iv) Governance was based on the traditional political system.
v) Efficiency of traditional institutions.
vi) Native authority conducted the domestic governance of their territories.
vii) Overall control of government by colonial masters such as resident and direct officers.
WHY DIRECT RULE WAS INTRODUCED
i) Few foreign colonial administrators.
ii) Lack of fund.
iii) Protection and preservation of traditional institutions.
iv) Resistance by the colonial territories.
v) Poor communication network.
vi) Poor infrastructural development.
FRENCH COLONIAL ADMINISTRATION
French colonial policy was different from the British. French adopted Direct Rule to administer her colonies. France ruled her territories as an integral part of the French Republic.
The Main Stages of Constitutional Development in Ex – French Territories
1) The Stage of Assimilation: The principle of assimilation sought to absorb or assimilate the people of French territories into the main stream of French culture. Under this policy, privileges were given to the educated Africans who were called French – Africans.
Assimilation assumed a system of direct rule and regarded the African culture as primitive.
2) The Stage of Association: The stage was attained after the failure of the principle of assimilation. Principle of Association defines a socio-political condition, for co-operation between France and her colonial territories. Under this principle, traditional rulers exercised some political authority but under the supervision of French administration. It entails decentralization and autonomy for the territories.