Connected decolonisation, disconnected struggles: unpacking nationalist struggles, press agitations and labour protests in the years of decolonisation and early postcolonial Nigeria
(Obafemi Awolowo University)
Paper short abstract:
This study explores networked approach in the process of mobilisation against the British colonial administration in Nigeria by examining connections and ruptures in the patterns of relationships that existed among the labour unions, newspaper press (the press) and the nationalists.
Paper long abstract:
Existing narratives on anticolonial movements in Africa have blurred various individual and institutional agitations into nationalist struggles. Such narratives have hardly recognised the importance of networks in the process of anticolonial struggles in Africa. This study explores networked approach in the process of mobilisation against the British colonial administration in Nigeria by examining connections and ruptures in the patterns of relationships that existed among the labour unions, newspaper press (the press) and the nationalists. The study argues that, in spite of the interconnection of labour agitations with nationalist movements during the colonial period, the former was both characteristically independent and interlinked with the latter. Similarly, not all human rights related activities by the press were anticolonial movements. Second, the nationalists, through networking process, benefited from labour agitations and press activism by expanding and moulding local protests as anticolonial movements. Third, that labour agitation only shifted from being the economic survival of workers alone to the economic liberation of the country when the nationalists exploited labour crises of the period for political independence. The proposed period, 1945-1965, represents the height of press activism, labour agitations and nationalist struggles for independence. The study uses empirical data from archival documents particularly colonial records, reports, gazettes, ordinances and bulletins obtained from the British National Archives and National Archives Ibadan. Other relevant sources of data include newspaper reports and editorials. The West African Pilot is selected for analysis for its national outlook and consistent agitation for human rights. These are subjected to critical historical analyses.
Connected decolonisations: networked approaches to anticolonial struggles in Africa, 1950s-80s