Nigeria: Political Parties, Pressure Groups and Trades Unions Material

Scope and Content

Nigerian-related pamphlets, leaflets, badges, posters, speeches, reports, conference reports, letters, newsletters, cassette boxes and miscellaneous election materials, from 1957 onwards, issued at national and state levels by the Action Group (Nigeria), the All Peoples Party, the Alliance for Democracy, the Committee Against Nigeria's Exploitation, the Dynamic Party, the Greater Nigeria People's Party, the Kano People's Party, the Mid-West State Movement (Nigeria), the National Association of Nigerian Students, the National Committee on Civil Liberties (Nigeria), National Electoral Commission (Nigeria), the National Party of Nigeria, the Nigeria Advance Party, the Nigeria Labour Congress, the Nigerian National Alliance, the Nigerian National Democratic Party, the Nigerian People's Party, the Nigerian People's Union, the Nigerian Young Revolutionary Organisation, the Nigerian Youth Congress, the Nigerian Youth Movement, the Northern People's Congress (Nigeria), the One Kamerun Party, the People's Democratic Party (Nigeria), Progressive Peoples Party (Nigeria), the People's Redemption Party (Nigeria), the Social Democratic Party (Nigeria), the Socialist Workers and Farmers Party of Nigeria, the Talakawa Party (Nigeria), the United Progressive Grand Alliance (Nigeria), the Unity Party of Nigeria, and the Workers Party of Nigeria.

Administrative / Biographical History

Since achieving independence in 1960 Nigeria has oscillated between periods of civilian and military rule. From the start the fact that that the three main parties (the Northern People's Congress (NPC), the National Council of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC) and the Action Group (AG)) largely represented particular ethnic and linguistic groups made for a volatile political environment. Two coups in 1966 led to a suspension of electoral politics until 1979, when the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) led by Alhaji Shehu Usman Shagari took power following victory in the elections of that year. The result was repeated four years later, but against a background of vote-rigging allegations the military overthrew the government. Despite changes of leader, limited tolerance of political parties and aborted elections it was not until the 1999 polls that under Olusegun Obasanjo of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) the country returned to civilian administration. The vast majority of the holdings date from the periods when party politics was tolerated, and include regional and seperatist materials occasioned by the religious, tribal and linguistic divisions that have dogged Nigeria since independence. Another recurring theme is that of economic crisis and foreign exploitation, relected particularly in items originating from left-wing and nationalist political parties and in the small amount of trade union material. Besides items produced in Nigeria itself there are also a significant number of newsletters and pamphlets originating from the United Kingdom branches of parties and organisations, most of them dating from the periods of military rule.


Alphabetically by organisation, and then in rough chronological order.

Access Information

Open to all for research purposes; access is free for anyone in Higher Education.

Acquisition Information

Institute of Commonwealth Studies

Other Finding Aids

Records at item level on library catalogue (SASCAT)

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Daniel Millum, Political Archives Project Officer at the Institutes of Commonwealth and Latin American Studies.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies can usually be obtained - apply to library staff.

Custodial History

The Commonwealth Political Parties Materials collection was begun in 1960-61, with special emphasis being placed then, as now, on 'primary material such as party constitutions, policy statements, convention reports and election manifestos.' (ICS, Twelfth Annual Report 1960-1961). Since then, the main method of gathering material has been to appeal directly to political parties throughout the Commonwealth, though contributions from Institute members and staff following visits to relevant countries have been significant. More recently material has been collected by means of downloading documents from the websites of the major parties.


Further accruals are expected, some in electronic form.

Related Material

See also Political Party, Trades Unions and Pressure Group Materials for other Commonwealth countries and related material in the library's main classified sequence, all held at the ICS.