LUGARD, Lord. Frederick (1857-1945)

Mr Amalgamation by(Koye Fadairo). Lord Frederick Lugard was born in India on 22 January 1857 and died in Surrey. Eng land in April 1945. The pattern of being born abroad, and only coming home to re tire and await the end, epitomized the lives of many colonial administrators of the once mighty British Empire. It is perhaps symbolic that Lugard died in 1945. the same year the Second World War ended a date which also signified the beginning of the demise of the British colonial empire. It was in the British colonial venture that Lugard distinguished himself as being responsible for the creation of an important colony - probably second only to India in terms of human and material resources. It was Lord Lugard who created, nurtured and first governed the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates on l January 1914. laying the foundation of the 'geographical expression" now known as Nigeria. In Lugard's pedigree, soldiering was a family tradition.This would explain his many successful military campaigns and his passion for conquering territories for the British Crown, mainly in Asia (Hong Kong)and Africa (Nigeria. Uganda, etc.). His birth in India was, however, as a result of his parents sojourn in that country. Reverend Frederick Lugard (Snr.), even in digressing from the family soldiering tradition, remained ensconced within the military precincts as an army chaplain to the colonial contingent in Madras. India, where he also met Lugard's mother, a CMS missionary. As was the practice in the period of British colonialism, children of British parents serving in the colonies were usually sent back to England on reaching school age to begin their education in preparatory schools. Hardly had Frederick (Jnr.) landed in Eng land at the tender age of five - as if the premature separation from his parents was not enough - when he lost his mother in 1865. Mrs Lugard, who was described as "a devout and affectionate woman" died while giving birth to Frederick's only sibling, Edward. According to Margery Perham. Lugard's major biographer, however, the initial trauma of losing his mother at that tender age. far away from home and all atone, could be responsible, as an innate psychological reaction, for the undaunting and cold character he later displayed which defied any perceived human weakness.The fundamental aspect of this character was reinforced in the course of growing by two factors: joining the army and a love affair which exploded in his face. Joining the army, apparently in keeping with the-ferrrrly tradition, could also have been an outlet fora man who felt that despite an early deprivation in life he could still prove himseJf. There was no way he could have towed the line of his reverend father. Frederick opted for the larger family passion for combat. Lugard's enrolment in the prestigious Sandhurst Military School in 1878 coincided with the peak period of the British colonial campaign for territories to be acquired purely for economic reasons and mostly by combative conquest. So demanding was the Empire s call that the regular 2-year course was being crammed into 8 weeks at the end of which Lugard was commissioned. It is questionable, especially considering the truncated arrangement, how much of the "gentle" was cultivated in these 'gentlemen officers*. In any case, was the 'gentleman' aspect of the officer needed for a colonial expedition in which people might be compelled to surrender their land and all there was therein. As a commissioned officer, Lugard's first posting was to the Afghan War of 1879. Thereafter, he returned to India, which had become his second home. In the next few years, pending the next call-up, he was involved in his favourite 'leisures', which were the toughening ones, namely, polo, elephant-riding and tiger-hunting. He was so immersed in these and other kindred pastimes that he never had time for the social circles and the young ladies. When he did finally decided to socialize and fell in love, fate decided to play another trick on him; he lost out one more time. This was due to his stark naivety about the ways of women and two-timing. Lugard fell blindly and madly in love with a married British woman on a visit to India, taking it for granted that she was single. The woman did nothing to correct this false impression. She travelled back to England on account of an illness - real or imagined. Love-struck, Lugard took leave and sailed to England to offer his doting companionship to a lover in time of need. Once in the UK, he discovered that she was married, and Lugard's affection was the last thing she needed. Lugard's eyes opened but it was doubtful if the 'madness' from the love affair ever left him. If the trauma of losing his mother at an early age could be understood as divine intervention, and therefore unquestionable, this latter one hit Lugard harder as it was humanly contrived. A standard reaction of a bruised ego is to prove to itself as well as to the outside world that it is still capable of great and daring achievements. Corroborating this prognosis, Lugard's biographer doubted whether Lugard ever fully recovered from this 'shattering episode', as revealed by his activities inthe next eleven years. His first self-imposed campaign took him to Nyas a land (present Tanzania), attracted by the works of the famous missionary, Dr. David Livingstone. There, Lugard single-handedly took on the Arab slave traders, as he had apparently become suicide-prone. In this campaign, a spectacular bullet hit him in the left arm, pierced his chest, and finally found a resting place in his right wrist, but not without some bits of paper from Lugard's chest pocket. It was his first brush with death. Probably an attempt 'to go into oblivion', quoting Perham. Nevertheless, Lugard had a destiny to fulfil. Undaunted upon recovery, he headed back to East Africa to serve with the Imperial British East Africa Company and eventually got Kabaka, the Ugandan monarch, to sign a treaty with England in 1892. It was from there that he came to West Africa in 1894,to the 'Niger area' to be precise, in the service of the Royal Niger Company. This was a prophetic move, as he was later to effectively take control of this area as the first governor-general. As thevarious solo missions were not officially ordered, his activities did not attract the attention of the Colonial Office until 1897.Having demonstrated his acquired temperament, albeitun officially, Lugard came into the high-scale reckoning of the colonial office as the man for the mission of first conquering by arms, and then administering the area, now known as Nigeria, especially at the peak period of European balkanization of the African continent. Initially, the geographical entity now known as Nigeria was divided into three major parts:the Northern Protectorate, the Southern Protectorate and the Colony of Lagos. Lugard's activities were primarily carried out in the Northern Protectorate, which he finally sub dued with the conquest of Sokoto, the seat of the Caliphate, in 1903. Prompted by the per-existent, efficient, albeit autocratic administrative machinery in the North, Lugard not only found it convenient to rule through the existing emirates, but went onto develop his pet theory stated at length in his often-quoted book, The Dual Mandate in British Tropical Africa (London: 1922). In his dedication to the North, which went as far as preserving its Islamic traditions, could he have imagined that he would be called upon to amalgamate his favorite Northern Protectorate with the Southern Protectorate, with which he was both unfamiliar and uncomfortable. The amalgamation issue, to say the least, brought out the contradictory character of Lord Lugard. For example, while his vaulted indirect rule system worked in the North, it failed to work in the South, where there was a growing African elite class, and where even the rulers did not possess absolute powers, as was the case of the emirs of the north. It was now onder then that his administration of Nigeria pre-andpost-1914,the year of the amalgamation, was characterized by the polarities of pseudo-intellectualism and brute assertions of power. His personal dilemma was expressed in a letter to his wife, dated 24 December 1912, on his return to his base in Kaduna, after his first official visit to the South.He described his experience as "...extraordinary-Northern Nigeria runs itself... In Southern Nigeria, on the other hand, papers pour in and they have large questions of policy..." While the basis for the amalgamation itself was purely economic("if we lump together the prosperous Southern and the struggling Northern Protectorates, the result will be to diminish the burden on the Treasury" - G.V. Fiddes, Colonial Office, 13th December 1911) its execution proved to be the most testy period of his career until he retired in 1919. After the earlier heart-breaking love affair, Lugard understandably did not venture into matrimony until the age of44, when he married Flora Shaw (a journalist with the London Times), who was very much part of Lugard's administration -sending dispatches to the Times about affairs in the colony and even credited with giving the colony its eventual name Nigeria. Although his amalgamation policy was unpopular in the North and South alike, and although his system of administering the amalgamation was neither unitarynor federal in the real sense, "Lugard was nonetheless the primogenitor of diarchyas a pattern of administration, in terms of combining military expediency with civil imperatives - a pattern which successive indigenous military regimes have adopted in the course of the chequered history of the nation". Acknowledging his contribution to the development of the British Empire, Lugard (knighted in 1901) was elevated to the British peerage in 1928.
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