Government 2, May/June 2014  
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General Comments

question 8

(a)        Outline three features of the Macpherson Constitution.
(b)        State two reasons for the breakdown of the Lyttleton Constitution.



This was a popular question and those who attempted it performed well. Candidates overall performance in this question is fairly above average. However, the candidates were expected to give the following points as answers to the question:


  1. The establishment of a central legislature known as House of Representatives.
  2. The establishment of Central Executive Council.
  3. Provision for the establishment of regional legislatures.
  4. Establishment of a unicameral legislature in the Eastern region.
  5. It provided for the establishment of Regional Executive Council in each region.
  6. The extension of franchise from Lagos and Calabar to other parts of  Nigeria.
  7. Establishment of bicameral legislatures in the Northern and Western Regions.


  1. The Constitution failed to provide for the post of a Prime Minister at the federal level.
  2. The Federal Ministers were more loyal and committed to their regions than to the federation.
  3. The retention of the official (non-elected) members who were regarded as mere colonial government stooges in the Federal Executive Council.
  4. It failed to provide a uniform electoral system for the country.
  5. The Constitution failed to address/tackle the minority issues which led to the setting up of the Willinks Commission in 1957.
  6. Formation of political parties based on regional boundaries.
  7. The hostile inter-regional/ethnic friction, mutual mistrust and hostility made the Constitution practically unworkable.
  8. The inability of any single political party to have the required majority with which to control the federal parliament.
  9. It failed to grant political independence to Nigeria contrary to the expectations of the nationalists and the political party which moved the motion for the independence in 1953.
  10. The Constitution was weakened and made almost irrelevant by the resolutions of the 1957/1958 Constitutional Conferences.
  11. The attainment of political independence by Nigeria in 1960.
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