Tanko Yakasai, an elder statesman has condemned former British colonial official, Harold Smith’s claim of Britain rigging the 1959 general elections for the North to control Nigeria.
Yakasai who countered the claim in a paper titled, ‘My take on the claim of alleged British manipulation of the outcome of the pre-Independence Nigerian federal elections,’ accused Smith of telling lies and trying to rewrite history.
The elder statesman insisted that a third-rate colonial Labour Official with questionable integrity, who failed to graduate in university, cannot change Nigeria’s national historic truth.
“If such world renowned American academics as Professor James Coleman and Professor Emeritus Richard Scalar, who both closely studied and wrote extensively on Nigeria’s struggle for self- determination from colonial rule and nationalism, would not see and reflect this aspect of rigging elections in their great scholarly works, then surely, it exists only in the warped minds of those who want it to exist.
“A third-rate colonial Labour Official with questionable integrity and who failed to graduate in university cannot change Nigeria’s national historic truth.
“That Mr Smith, who was born in 1927, two years after my birth, was recruited and sent to work in Nigeria in 1955, two years after the conclusion of the 1953 Nigerian London Constitutional Conference in Lagos; the issue of Nigerian independence was discussed though not concluded during that conference.
“The1953 constitutional crisis brought about by Chief Enahoro’s motion for independence in 1956 forced the British colonial authorities to convene the conference.
“The refusal of members of parliament from the North to attend further meeting of the House of Representatives in Lagos in protest against the attack by some hooligans against them after the vote in the House against Enahoro’s motion for independence led to the convening of the conference in London by the colonial authorities in 1953.”