Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What Lord Lugard thought about Nigerians

I came across this article. Quite annoying!!

"In character and temperament, the typical African of this race-type is a happy, thriftless, excitable person. Lacking in self control, discipline, and foresight. Naturally courageous, and naturally courteous and polite, full of personal vanity, with little sense of veracity, fond of music and loving weapons as an oriental loves jewellery. His thoughts are concentrated on the events and feelings of the moment, and he suffers little from the apprehension for the future, or grief for the past. His mind is far nearer to the animal world than that of the European or Asiatic, and exhibits something of the animals’ placidity and want of desire to rise beyond the State he has reached. Through the ages the African appears to have evolved no organized religious creed, and though some tribes appear to believe in a deity, the religious sense seldom rises above pantheistic animalism and seems more often to take the form of a vague dread of the supernatural"


“He lacks the power of organization, and is conspicuously deficient in the management and control alike of men or business. He loves the display of power, but fails to realize its responsibility ....he will work hard with a less incentive than most races. He has the courage of the fighting animal, an instinct rather than a moral virtue...... In brief, the virtues and defects of this race-type are those of attractive children, whose confidence when it is won is given ungrudgingly as to an older and wiser superior and without envy.......Perhaps the two traits which have impressed me as those most characteristic of the African native are his lack of apprehension and his lack of ability to visualize the future."

---Lord Frederick John Dealty Lugard, The Dual Mandate, pg.70 (1926)"

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

the guy head no correct, you cant narrow these to to type as per race or culture because an average man doesnt neccessarily live based on that. Evry individual as their make up which has no direct relationship ti his race, it may influence or neccssiatate racial behaviour. secondly human beings are either this or that so in general there are nigerians who are like this and some not. But the which is the higher percentage???? may be he is correct.

Anonymous said...

It is difficult to accept that this comment was made many years back. It is so true about the character of the average Nigerian of today. If Lord Lugard actually did make this comment many years back, then it speaks volumes about the role of genetics with respect to character traits.

Anya said...

I can't find the link to the original article. This is interesting stuff.

Anonymous said...

this is true talk..like about 79% true talk

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that in this century fellow Africans think this way. Are you all saying that we or our leaders bear no responsibility for the state of things in our country?
Are you all saying that you are incapable of thinking? We might as well submit ourselves to the slave masters and the KKK for us to be violated. Wow! This is so incredible. So because we have some socio/political/economic problems imply that we are idiots?
What a shame! So Lugard is implying that their is nothing wrong with exploiting us and we all agree like lap dogs? Wow!

Oladimeji said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Will somebody tell me what part of Nigeria he was when he was writing this. Remember Bill Lynch of the famous "lets make a slave"? I am so shocked that any Nigeriandespite our troublescould agree with this. Colonia mentality still exist.

KO said...

I want to remind us that Nigeria, nay Africa is made up of many tribes. It will be interesting to know which Tribe he was describing as he cannot generalize. He cannot make such sweeping statement about Africans based on no emperical study. He must be damned wrong!!....KO

Abimbola said...

I once learnt from a great man, that in Nigeria, to think outside of the box is not really to build a fantastic machine.

Do the "unexpected" - be responsible, be thrifty, visualise the future, engage in fun but do so with a sense of responsibility...so many SIMPLE ways that we are perceived to lack in our constitution, but which we really can DO!

Fellow Nigerians, dont fight with your pen or with daggers, fight the norm in the perception of biased foreigners and locales by thinking outside the box when running your business (employers and employees alike)!

Simple things such as overpromising and lack of communication with your customer can be changed overnight and you'll be perceived from another angle and capture the market.

ayoola said...

It beats me how a man could so accurately predict a whole race by mere mind projection. As much as i dont like and hate to believe what he has said about us, it is sad that everything he has mentioned reflects our being in its entirety. sad thing is dat but for there selfish interest at that time and now, we would not see the remedy for this.
This begs the question, why are we the way we are?

Dienye Pepple said...

lord Luggard's impresion of Africa in 1926 is quite offensive. But what is more offensive and shameful is the fact that the statement is as close to the truth today as it must have been then. I rate it about 60% corect and that is bad enough. The question I have been asking my self since I came across this article is what can we do to change this impression. Instead of begrudging the late man or looking for who to blame I would rather Nigerians profer suggestions on the way forward. The worst any Nigerian can do is accept this and continue unperturbed.

Anonymous said...

evening all, please do some more research about lord lugard. "dual mandate" is over 670 pages. please do not judge him on few paragraph for a life time career.

He was using language before the invention of "Political Correctness". He also had a target audience for his choice of words.

I have not read the complete publication of the "dual mandate". I will reserve my judgment until then.

On another note the man was right about some of the animals that have taken over our past and present government. Tissues all round please! we are not all the same.

please have a nice day.

DANNI G. said...

Dear Nigerians,
Rather than be angry with Lugard comments about Nigerians, let everyone including our leaders show that he is wrong by our attitudes, behaviour and orientation.
How was Lugard able to predict Nigerians and their leaders of taday correctly?

Anonymous said...

The man is spot on, what with morons in power since independence and the rest of us incapable of taking action.One conclusion we fit in well with his observations. CHIKENA!

Anonymous said...

To say that on is not angry is to deny ones existence. However, if we are to take a hard look at ourselves and the state of affairs in our dear fatherland it won't be difficult to totally agree with Lord Luggard albeit with much pain.With the way we are going me thinks that we are going to be needing a gentic reordering with a view to correcting this inbalance in our make-up if we are to begin addressing this sad behaviourial trait.

Anonymous said...

Great nigerians
lets not be wailed down by ones perspective and believes about a race. one thing i believe strongly is that we (NIGERIANS) are not animals, we are good and talented fellows. you as individual you know yourself better and what you worth.

Anonymous said...

Left to me alone lets not this so called Lugardianism derail our Vision and sense of judgment fellow comrades. Clearly his utterances were based on his level of intellectuality which manifested as he couldn’t differentiate a bone from a tooth. I guess the best option for him was to criticize what he could not overcome that’s the power of the African mind!

soulchris1 said...

Lugard is entitled to his opinion and this is not true of all Africans because am a Ghanaian and African. I am responsible,thrifty, visualize the future and think better. You will only connect your self to his ideology if only you are not certain about your psychological independence.

Anonymous said...

Dear Nigerians,
Please start cracking down on wire fraud in your country. It's a shitty thing to do and it's being done on a massive scale in your country.

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

its unbelievable 4sumone frm foreign 2come 2our so calld motherland and take we over and run the entire native of da land like it was a local superstores 4everytn plus manpower and its resources all n da name of civilizatn christianity education,its all about divide amd rule wake up m ppls

Anonymous said...

its unbelievable 4sumone frm foreign 2come 2our so calld motherland and take we over and run the entire native of da land like it was a local superstores 4everytn plus manpower and its resources all n da name of civilizatn christianity education,its all about divide amd rule wake up m ppls

Anonymous said...

for as long dat we fail to realise who we were frm ancient tim dat we wasnt nigerians dat da name was derived frm da wickd atroucity done 2our ancestors by our so calld colonial master dat creatd a chaotic atmosphere tru measure of divide and rule dat crumbled all da empire n our land all 2their benefits shame

aerovulpe said...

It's most sad that no matter how much i want this not to be true it in fact appears to be. Obivously not all africans are like that, just an overwhelming majority. I don't think Luggard said this to insult us but it was what he saw around him. And like it or not africa as a whole has to change. How else explain why every country in africa is an LEDC?

Anonymous said...

firstly i here this comments from my pastor @ trem vision house which he said he did not agree with writer though he didn,t mention d writers name until when i see it on net today,i hv been mourmour since then bcos what d man said when myfather was just born still reflect in our life til today but we don't need to decives ourself we only need to lets all nigeria see d article and lets us make d corrections! From SOLADEMI B

Okey said...

ITS ONLY A BLIND AND DEAF MAN THAT WOULD FAULT THE ACCURANCY OF THAT COMMENT MADE DECADES AGO. THAT COMMENT IS 75% ACCURANTE OF THE AVERAGE AFRICAN AND NIGERIAN IN PARTICULAR. IS THERE HOPE FOR NIGERIA? THE FUTURE IS IN YOUR HANDS AND MINE.
CRITICISING WHAT LUGARD SAID WOULD NOT CHANGE ITS ACCURACY BUT RATHER OUR PROVING TO THE WOULD THAT WE CAN RISE UP FROM THE MIRE LIKE OTHER COUNTRIES AND CONTINENTS HAVE DONE. THE WORLD NOW SEE'S AFRICA AND NIGERIA AS HOPELESS CASE.
TRANSFORMING THE CONTINENT BY AFRICANS IS THE ONLY PANACEA AND NOT EMPTY HOT AIR PATROITISM.
MY SOLUTION: STARTING WITH NIGERIA, BEGIN WITH THE EXECUTION ALL THE CORRUPT LEADERS,MILITARY AND CIVILIANS, THESE ARE WICKED, DESPICABLE AND HEARTLESS MEN. INDEED I AM TEMPTED TO GO FAR AND ADVOCATE THAT THEIR ENTIRE FAMILIES BE WIPED OUT. LETS ELECT A NEW CROP OF LEADERS WHOSE HEARTS ARE BURSTING WITH PATROITISM AND ZEAL TO DEVELOP NIGERIA. THE WESTERN COUNTRIES SHOULD AS A MATTER OF URGENCY REPATRIATE ALL STOLEN FUNDS STASHED AWAY IN THEIR BANKS AND CONFISCATE ALL FRAUDULENTLY AQUIRED ASSETS INN THEIR COUNTRIES AND HAND THEM OVER TO THE COUNTRIES LOOTED. THESE ARE JUST STARTING POINTS.

Anonymous said...

To those Nigerians who disagree with Lord Luggard, I implore you to look closely and examine our culture, character and collective psyche and temperament. I am a Nigerian and one that loves Nigeria for that matter. I have lived in other societies and studied various others. Lord Luggards analysis of Nigeria is so true. It is painful that we have not changed. It is obvious we do not have good leadership but our leaders were ordinary Nigerians before they became leaders and to a large extent are very typical and example of ordinary Nigerians.There is a lesson to be learnt from his comments which clearly Nigerians have not learnt. We are still celebrating our mediocrity in governance and individual achievements and academic achievements rather than focus on leadership, refinement and educating our collective character.
We need to foster tolerance and real unity rather than only chanting unity in our national anthem. We need to discard and abandon our archaic mentality, traditions and behaviours that are no more useful. We need to focus on the very strong point Luggard made regarding deficiency in management and control of men or business. For instance, few years back in the UK I went to the Nigerian embassy and I was shocked at the pandemonium, lack of management and the utter shamble of the entire embassy within the UK. It was as though I was in ajegunle in lagos and I honestly nearly burst into tears. I believe we need a leader who is able to surround himself with not only well educated team members to advice him but those that are emotionally intelligent, refined, honest and have the necessary effective transformational leadership skills and will not be lost in obsequiousness.

Anonymous said...

I find it amusing that anyone would disagree with this. Despite the racist connotations, it is quite clear that this man had a clear understanding of the people he was referring to. This holds true today and I say almost 100%.

We are better educated and more exposed than before yet we do not appreciate the use of power. We worship wealth and do anything to gain it. We plunder our resources with no regard for the future. This is so true its unreal that anyone would think otherwise.

Those that don't see the truth in the article are definitely in denial or have lived outside Nigeria for most of their lives or just blatantly love the situation they explicitly choose to ignore it.

Anonymous said...

for those who do not like to hear the truth,go back to ur villages and tap palmwine.even with all the information in the world we r still getin it all wrong.As shakespare said it not in the stars but in us that we r underlings.imagine if it had been africans in europe what the world wud be like...try not to use your imagination.all the people i knw are in low places and as far as i can tell,they are worse,i cant tel the difference btw them and the so called bad leaders.

Anonymous said...

I have not been able to verify the authenticity of Lugard's comments. However if he actually made these statement eighty five(85) years ago then the 'excitable' part of me feels ashamed and i also feel challenge.

Anonymous said...

Can someone please tell me if this characterisation is incorrect??? This typically describes your average Nigerian. Period.

Anonymous said...

Intertesting but pretty harsh can we as africans look at ourselves in the mirror and convince oursleves that even @ this time and age that that's not who we are?look @ the current political situation in the country and tell me what you see.Does it not all amount to what lugard said about lack of self control and the deficiency of ability to lead?The greed for personal/selfish gain of the typical Nigerian african is such that it drizzles of uncontrollable disorderliness and corruption and does seem to appear like blacks/Nigerians are not capable of organzation and leadership.So sad but true

Anonymous said...

After Naija, where did lord lugard feature in British history?
NOWHERE
His opinion doesn't matter cos he was appointed by someone to oversee their looting activity.
He can say whatever pleases him.
It takes his girlfriend to coin a name for D̶̲̥̅̊ place he is overseeing, that tells U̶̲̥̅̊ he doesn't even think well or observe well.
For all I care, he may have been a lowlife there & his people sent him over here in Naija so D̶̲̥̅̊ people can help waste him:).
So, whatever he said about Naija no matter to me.
We can learn from our mistakes as a people & move on.
Long live Naija.

Anonymous said...

Una too vex, a guy makes a comment based on his anlogy of his interaction with a certian people and no one critically looks at it, analyse, tear it apart see if that cojmment made at that tijme was accurate, if we have changed, evolved or non like what he describe, i agree with him because what change has the continent of Africa experienced, what have we achievd since the slave masters left. Countries in Asia and the Middle east that were once call under-developed are ranked among wolrds most developed. If you call the british racist - he will not say no buy display no. Please no noise making on this page if you cannot accept who you are and hope you change.

Anonymous said...

@ Mr. C this seems the most commented page of all your articles and journals correct if am wrong please, i have only read a couple.
Nobody commented on the issues addressed in all the articles its the one that attacks your personality as an african we react to, get up, wake up: The african man is strong and resilient but thats not all that is required to cahnge its world. Stand up for whjat is correct, what is real and what is the truth.
the ought LL was rude but hey dont blame him for saying it the way it really is.

Miss.Zee said...

And to you blogger, what is opinion of the excerpt you have dumped on us or did i miss it somehow.

Miss Zee.

Anonymous said...

to b candid n sincere,lord lugard has given d tru picture of we 9jerians it's left 4us 2si d truth in dis which wil lead 2self discovery and self analysis.wen dis is done then self recovery taks d lead and here coms LIBERATION!sombody nids 2bell d cat 4 9ja 2b liberated

Anonymous said...

I believe no one has said that Lord Lugard was speaking from a paternalistic and condescending viewpoint and not considering that his assessments were on a more cultural basis than a real basis. He was looking at the differences in his world and the Nigerian world in an apples-to-oranges comparison.

Anonymous said...

Granted the words used in his analysis seems pretty harsh, there happens to be some validity when we critically look deep within ourselves. We have no organized religion, do we? How many aims have our leaders set that they have been able to achieve? We still do parties that block roads. I believe Lord Luggard hit the nail on the head. Even if we still do these things now, he couldn't have been more correct when he penned these words.

Herman said...

Interesting how Lugard completely forgets to mention the genetic traits of his lazy, cruel brothers running the plantations in the Americas, with all their work being done by the Nigerians etc he describes. Oh I forgot about the reluctant aid in the form of land they got from the American Indians. What was he doing in Nigeria anyway? Wasn't he on an armed robbery mission himself? He should have stayed in cold, resource-poor England and worked harder to survive like a real man!

Herman said...

Interesting how Lugard completely forgets to mention the genetic traits of his lazy, cruel brothers running the plantations in the Americas, with all their work being done by the Nigerians etc he describes. Oh I forgot about the reluctant aid in the form of land they got from the American Indians. What was he doing in Nigeria anyway? Wasn't he on an armed robbery mission himself? He should have stayed in cold, resource-poor England and worked harder to survive like a real man!

Anonymous said...

Lord Lugard's assessment is 83.67% accurate, taking into account 16.33% margin for error. To be honest I think he was a bit lenient. Nigerians of today are even worse than what he described. and DEFINITELY not just the so called 'leaders', also the the poor people, clergy, middle class, Nigerians in diaspora... i mean everyone. The mere fact that people celebrate or are proud of Nigeria further proves LL's assessment as fact!

H. MMECHA said...

I don't know why Nigerians seem to have a problem with Lord Lugard's assessment of Africans so many years ago. I think we should have made an effort to prove him wrong so that his descendants would be left with the responsibility of apologising for their fore- father's misconception about Nigerians/Africans. This would be in tandem with the saying 'the mouth that speaks evil will also speak good'. Unfortunately that mouth still speaks evil after so many years and nobody can fault it. It's a big pity.

Aderemi said...

Stupid Lugard is not in the best position to talk about Africans that way. He shouldn't have generalized the whole black race based on the contact he had with some African tribes. Besides, its very glaring that the European colonial policy of puting different nations (ethnic groups) together has caused and is still causing problems for present day African countries. So if Stupid Lugard maintained what he said then I will also conclude that an average European is a slave raider, a murderer (for killing thousands of Africans), a thief (for stealing our resources), an heartless and wicked dictator (for forcefully ruling us), a mean and wicked beast (always ready to use force even when he is wrong). So, if anybody can prove me wrong then Lugard's conclusion on the average African too is wrong.

Asumahu Ototole said...

We may remain in this state for ever unless we change. Change can only come once we all agree and say enough is enough and have vision like the Singapore did.