The Clash Between Nigerian Culture and Western Ideas and Traditions

Topics: Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, President of Nigeria Pages: 4 (1351 words) Published: February 11, 2007
The British took Nigeria as a colony around 1885 and into the early part of the 1900s. In 1914, Northern and Southern Nigeria were brought together to create one single entity known as Nigeria. The British created a legislative council in 1922. The council started off mainly Britains but slowly began to incorporate Western educated Africans. In 1947, the Britains established a new form of government in Nigeria based on a system of three regions. The regions were Eastern (Ibo), Western(Yoruba), and Northern(Hausa and Fulani). They did this to try to help the regional and religious problems that had been created in Nigeria, and to make it easier for all of the different ethnic groups to co exist. The next change to this set up came in 1951 with the input of a ministerial government, and finally ended with independence in 1954.

The independent government was not, however, completely self-governing. Because the different groups all had different interests, the British implemented different strategies to make all of the regions happy. These compromises included a federal government that was to work with smaller regional governments. The federal government would be responsible for defense, the police force, the terms of national trade, custom duties, finance and banking. Healthcare, agriculture, education and economic development were the responsibility of the separate regional branches. On October 1,1960, Nigeria finally gained independence.(Source A)

In the novel, Achebe portrays the confrontation between Western ideas and Nigerian tribal traditions. Some examples of this include Obi and his siblings were not allowed to eat at other people's houses when they were little because their food had been sacrificed to the gods, and the were not allowed to eat anything sacrificed to the gods because they were Catholic. Obi's father had told the children that the food was "heathen" food, which Obi felt he should share with one of the house owners. The food issue was...

Bibliography: - Source A - "Nigeria: History and Politics". Institute for Security Studies. http://www.iss.co.za/AF/profiles/Nigeria/Politics.html. Pg. 1-4.
- Source B - "Nigeria". US Department of State. 02/06. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2836.htm#gov. Pg. 6,7.
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