The 1957 And 1958 Constitutional Conference

The 1957 Constitutional Conference

The major decisions taken include:

1. Eastern region will be given a bicameral legislature with the addition of a House of chiefs, just like the Northern and Western regions.

2. Regional status will be granted to Southern Cameroon with the provision of the office of the premier.

3. Both the Eastern and Western regions would be granted self government in August 1957 while that of the North would be in 1959. In line with this decision, the Eastern and Western regions had their self-government in 1957 and the North in 1959 respectively.

4. The Heads of Regional governments became known as Premiers, and each Premier was to be appointed by the Regional Governor and was usually the leader of the party that appeared to command a majority in the regional legislature.

4. A bicameral legislature to be established at the centre, will be known as Senate.

6. Membership of the House of Representatives to be increased to 320 at the end 1959.

7. Universal Adult suffrage to be used in electing representatives into the new Federal Legislature and in the Eastern and Western Regions as well as in Lagos and Southern Cameroon. Male suffrage to be used in the Northern Regions.

8. The office of the Primary Minister to be created and the Governor General is to appoint the leader of the party that commands majority support in the national legislature as Prime Minister.

9. Independence to be granted to Nigeria in 1960.

The 1958 Constitutional Conference

The 1958 conference in Lagos, was a follow up to the 1957 conference and was primarily convened to prepare grounds for Nigeria’s independence scheduled for 1960.

Major decisions taken include:

1. Nigeria should be granted independence in 1960.

2. Southern Cameroon should decide through a plebiscite whether to stay with Nigeria after the attainment of her independence or not.

3. More states are to be created before the independence.

4. Entrenchment in the constitution a list of fundamental human rights to protect the citizens of Nigeria against the arbitrary abuse of power by the Government.

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