The nationalist criticize Richard constitution of being imposed on Nigeria and that there was no constitution before imposing the constitution on Nigeria.
Base on this, the nationalist of national council for Nigeria and the Cameroun on (NCNC) under Herbert Macaulay and Dr, nnamdi azikiwe worked very hard using the Nigeria people to send a protest letter against the Richard constitution claiming that it lacks constitution and therefore it was imposed on the people
Based on this protest and other issue Richard was intended to last for nine (9) years and was replace in 1951 by the Macpherson, however, succeeded sir Arthur Richard as a governor. He was very sensitive to the criticism that the Richard constitution lacked consultation with the Nigeria people. Therefore he took three years 1948-1951 to present his proposed constitution to public opinion. He tok his proposed constitution to the district, provincials and regional level for the people to expresses their views. The various recommendation from various levels were considered and many of them included in the final version of the constitution
The features of mecpherson constitution of 1951
- The constitution established a central legislative and executive council
- The Centre legislative body is known as “house of representative” it was a single chamber legislative
- The Centre executive body is known as the council of ministers. This central executive is made up of the president, 6 ex-officials members and 12 ministers
- The constitution also established regional legislative and executive council for north, west and east.
- The region legislative council in the north and west was made up of two chambers, the house of chief and the house of assemblies
- The eastern region had only a single chamber legislative council- the house of assembly, there was no house of chief.
- The regional executive council is head by lieutenant governor and member of the regional legislature appointed by lieutenant governor
- The regional legislature was only allowed to legislate on certain prescribed issue like agriculture, education, local government etc.
- The Centre legislature was given the power to legislate on al issues as well as volte on regional legislations.
- The constitution established a public service commission, whose function was for appointment, dismissal and other disciplinary control of public officers.
Merit of mecpherson constitution of 1951
- The constitution was an improvement from Richards constitution in the sense that it was established after due consultation of Nigeria
- The constitution introduced a ministerial post in Nigeria for the first time.
- A quasi-federalism was introduced in Nigeria
- The constitution introduced for the time a revenue allocation formulae in Nigeria based on the principle of derivation needs and national interest
Demerit of mecpherson constitution of 1951
- The constitution failed to give Nigeria a full responsible government rather it gave Nigeria a full responsible government rather it gave Nigeria a semi or quasi- responsible government
- The constitution did not provide for a true political leadership either at the Centre or in the region, for example, there was no provision for the post of the prime minister or premier. Consequently, the government of the federal had not effective leadership
- The constitution did not provide for cohesion or team spirit in the council for Nigeria and Cameron (NCNC) in the eastern region was responsible for the collapse of the Macpherson constitution of 1951.