The criticisms that surrendered the Clifford constitution of 1922 led to the introduction of the Richards constitution of 1946.The major aims of the constitution were:
- To promote national unity
- To promote diversity within-in order words to cater for the social and political difference within the unity in the country.
- To allow for greater participation for Africans in the discussion of their own affairs.
Features of Richards’s constitution of 194
Introduces regionalism and house of assemblies in the north, easthern west in addition, he made provision for a house of chief in the north.
The constitution sought for great political socialization and participation by increasing the number of officials and unofficial members.
The preservation and incorporation of native administrative (especially in the north) in Nigeria constitution development.
Merit of Richards’s constitution of 1946
The introduction of regionalism as the major step towards the evolution of Nigeria federal system (i.e. federalism)
This constitution leads to the establishment of central legislative authority in the country to some extend and unties the country.
This constitution moved towards creating national consensuses for Nigeria self rule.
The constitution made provision to cater for the interest of the diverse element in the country
The constitution made use of native authorities as electoral unit to higher council. This ideal help to solve the problem of getting the educated elite in the country into the national administrative system
Demerit of Richards’s constitution of 1946
The constitution was criticized for the lack of adequate consultation of the people as the earlier promised, therefore it was imposed
The official and unofficial representative proved to be ineffective, they served as mere formalities. They have no legislative power no legislative power.
The constitution introduced regional institution regional institutionalized ethnic rivalry. This was because each of the regions corresponds to each major ethnic group in the country. In the north you have the Hausa ethnic group. West you have Yoruba ethnics group and the east they have Igbo ethnic group. This lead, the foundation of ethnic and tribal contradiction in politics. This confrontation among different ethnic groups becomes more evident in 1950s .
The membership of the executive council still excluded after like the Clifford constitution
The regional council were mere advisory and consultative bodies without power to appropriate revenue
The constitution was also criticized of being responded for colonial imposition of the political will on Nigeria. In order words, the constitution retain dominant colonial interest.