As a result of the 1959 parliamentary elections, the Northern Peoples Congress (NPC) from the Northern Region of N...igeria under the leadership of Sir Ahmadu Bello (the Sardauna of Sokoto and Premier of the Northern Region) became the country's leading political party with 134 seats out of the 312 seats in the Parliament. National Council of Nigeria and Cameroun (NCNC) based in the Eastern Region of Nigeria under the leadership of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe obtained 89 seats in the same election. Chief Obafemi Awolowo led Action Group (AG) in the West, elected 73 members to the parliament in 1959. The NPC and NCNC (Chief Nnamdi Azikwe's party) coalesced to form the first government of the newly independent Nigeria with Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (the deputy leader of the NCP) as the Nigerian Prime Minister.

Soon after Nigeria got independence the Western region was in turmoil. Premier Ladoke Akintola and Chief Obafemi Awolowo (the federal parliament opposition leader) became embroiled in a protracted crisis. The leadership of the Action Group (AG), which formed the official opposition in the federal parliament, split in May 1962 as a result of the rift between the two party leaders.

The same month (May,1962). the Western House of Assembly was set to remove Chief Akintola after the party had earlier passed a vote of no confidence on the premier in a party meeting, crisis erupted on the floor of the house. The majority expelled Chief Akintola from the party. The then Governor of the Western Region, the Ooni of Ife, Sir Adesoji Aderemi demanded Chief Akintola’s resignation as Premier and named Alhaji Dauda Adegbenro as his successor. Crisis erupted in the Western Nigeria and this earned the region the appellation "Wild Wild West". Abubakar Tafawa Balewa led federal government intervened to curb the violence by imposing a state of emergency and appointed Dr Moses Majekodunmi (the Federal Minister of Health) as Administrator (interim premier of the Western region) on the 29th of June 1962. This became the first imposition of a state of emergency in Nigeria’s history due to heightened levels of violence. Following an alliance between Ladoke Akintola and Ahmadu Bello, Akintola was returned to power on the 31st of December 1962 in spite of protests by Dr Nnamidi Azikiwe who requested fresh elections rather than reinstating Chief Ladoke Akintola.

By 1963, the plot between Chief Ladoke Akintola, Alhaji Tafawa Balewa and Alhaji Ahmadu Bello was perfected and Chief Obafemi Awolowo was arrested for coup plotting/treason. His trial commenced in earnest and he was alongside some accomplices convicted for treason and jailed for 10 years. This again was the first alleged coup plotting and conviction in Nigerian history.

Intent on totally decimating Chief Awolowo, Chief Ladoke Akintola together with his Deputy Premier Remi Fani Kayode "Fani-Power" (both of Nigerian National Democratic Party) went into a political alliance with Prime minister Tafawa Balewa's Northern People's Congress (NCP) and new political party known as the Nigerian National Alliance (NNA) was formed. Dr Nnamidi Azikiwe led NCNC teamed up with incarcerated Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s Action Group (AG), the Northern Progressive Front (NPF), the Kano People's Party (KPP), the Northern Elements Progressive Union (NEPU), the United Middle Belt Congress (UMBC) and the Zamfara Commoners Party (ZCP). To form the United Progressive Grand Alliance (UPGA).

In 1964, federal elections became due. Ethnic chauvinism, intimidation and violence was part of the frenzied campaigning. Chief Remi Fani Kayode and Chief Ladoke Akintola’s campaign was almost entirely based on tribalism. When the elections were finally held, the result was a victory for the Northern People's Congress (NPC), which won 162 of the 312 seats in the House of Representatives, whilst the NNA held a total of 198 seats. Indeed Deputy Premier Remi Fani Kayode had famously boasted that “there is nothing they can do, whether they vote us or not, we will win.” This statement turned out to be true as massive rigging was orchestrated in the elections. Once again this became the first pioneering act of election rigging by indigenous actors in Nigeria’s history. The announcement of the rigged election results quickly sparked off unprecedented acts of thuggery, violence, arson, mass murders and general acts of lawlessness in the Western region.

Following the crisis, Dr Nnamidi Azikiwe requested the military GOC to intervene and reorganise the elections in the Western region to avoid catastrophe, but the military high command refused and Dr Azikiwe was briefly held in house arrest for making such a request. Without any resolution and with Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa and Alhaji Ahmadu Bello as fellow conspirators with Chief Ladoke Akintola and Chief Remi Fani Kayode in the massive election heist, nothing was done to curtail the violence which gradually intensified. Daily mass murders and arson became routine in the Western region (wetie).

In the midst of the constitutional crisis the elections to the Western House of Assembly were conducted on 11 October 1965. The decline in constitutionalism and disorder accelerated with this election. Ironically no state of emergency was declared; instead the Federal government sent security forces to support the victory of Chief Ladoke Akintola and Chief Remi Fani Kayode's NNDP. The violence and lawlessness in the Western region was to continue from 1964 until 1966. It was under these conditions that a section of the military finally struck and overthrew the government on 15 January 1966.

As a result of the 15 January (1966) military coup, which again was Nigeria's first military coup, key government officials and senior military figures including Alhaji Ahmadu Bello (the Premier of the Northern Region), Sir Tafawa Balewa (the Prime Minister), Chief Okotie-Eboh (the Minister of Finance), General Maimalari (the Chief of Army Staff), Brigadier Ademulegun(Commander of the Northern Garrison) Chief Ladoke Akintola (Premier of Western Region) and so many others were killed.

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