Britain’s “Amala Politics” of 150 years ago before “Britain’s first secret ballot” – The BBC

April 5, 2015

Arts & Culture

Ever wondered where Nigerians got their ideas of politicking as grand carnivals with party “chieftains” and rank and files in gawdy aso ebi (uniformed wears), massive daily cooking at chieftains’ residences almost year round – ọjọ gbogbo bi ọdun – everyday is a celebration, daggers, guns, hired killers, and stoning  for opponents(a nearly new one) … ?  

Well, the Brits might not have gone as wide and wild as things have become in Nigeria’s “poliTRICKS” as Nigerians describe the political process in Nigeria, check out where on the Brits’ scale of political evolution Nigeria seems to be right now.  TOLA.


“On polling day there would be a kind of suspension of the normal rules of society.

“In 1868 in Blackburn, a Tory voter was kicked to death by a gang of Irish navvies and, although people were not often killed, there was a certain relaxation of normality.”

Candidates would put on dinners, breakfasts and picnics for the public. In Gloucester during parliamentary elections in 1857 and 1859 the Tory party agent gave out food and drink to local supporters and lavished funds on Tory voters who acted as messengers, flag-bearers and bandsmen.

Voters would sometimes be threatened with violence to make sure they backed the right candidate

BRITAINs amala politics of 2 centuries back

This, and other illustrations and the rest of the story through the link below from BBC World News.


SUNDAY, APRIL 5, 2015.  3:40 p.m. [GMT]

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2 Comments on “Britain’s “Amala Politics” of 150 years ago before “Britain’s first secret ballot” – The BBC”

  1. Naijamum Says:

    It seems ‘owambe’ politics did not originate from us afterall. Thanks for this post, ma. I always love little doses of history.



    • emotan77 Says:

      Dear Naijamum,

      Thanks, too. It surprised me quite a lot that such an orderly society ever went through such but the culled story also offers a sliver of hope that Nigeria may possibly get it some distant day, albeit probably not until those weaned under the horrible and chaotic present system, are all gone. 150 years? Knock on wood.


      Liked by 1 person


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