Nigeria’s Post-Independence: Did it Come on a Platter of Gold?

When discussing Nigeria’s post-independence era, it’s crucial to understand the circumstances that led to the country’s independence in 1960. The phrase “on a platter of gold” suggests that independence was handed over without struggle or sacrifice. However, the reality is more complex and nuanced. While it’s true that Nigeria’s path to independence was less violent compared to other African nations, it was not without its challenges and struggles. This article will delve into the intricacies of Nigeria’s journey to independence and its aftermath.

The Road to Independence

Contrary to the notion that Nigeria’s independence was handed over on a platter of gold, the country’s journey to freedom was marked by a series of negotiations, constitutional developments, and political maneuverings. The process began in the late 1940s and early 1950s when Nigerian nationalists started demanding more political representation and autonomy from British colonial rule.

Political Struggles and Negotiations

The road to independence was paved with political struggles and negotiations. Nigerian nationalists like Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, and Ahmadu Bello played significant roles in these negotiations. They formed political parties and used these platforms to articulate their demands for independence. The process was marked by regional and ethnic tensions, as each region sought to protect its interests.

The Independence and Its Aftermath

On October 1, 1960, Nigeria finally gained its independence from Britain. However, the post-independence era was far from smooth. The country was plagued by a series of political crises, including a civil war, military coups, and periods of military rule. These challenges have shaped Nigeria’s political and socio-economic landscape in profound ways.

Was It a Platter of Gold?

Given the political struggles, negotiations, and post-independence challenges, it’s clear that Nigeria’s independence did not come on a platter of gold. While the country did not experience a violent anti-colonial war like Algeria or Kenya, the path to independence was not without its hurdles. The post-independence era has also been marked by significant challenges that continue to shape the country’s trajectory.


In conclusion, the phrase “on a platter of gold” oversimplifies Nigeria’s journey to independence and its aftermath. It’s a journey marked by political struggles, negotiations, and post-independence challenges. Understanding this history is crucial for appreciating the complexities of Nigeria’s political and socio-economic landscape.