Indirect was a policy of administration employed by the British to administer their African colonies
•Here they used African natives like Kings, chiefs, elders etc to administer their people on behalf of the British
• The British adopted their policy in the following baseline
• One of the proponents of the system Lugard wanted to civilize and train African leaders.
• The British wanted to preserve African institutions
• They wanted to minimize costs of administration
• They assumed that it would minimize resistance.
Note: Indirect rule was successful to substantial level in Northern Nigeria and Buganda
Extent of Success
1. The British managed to rule colonies were indirect rule was applied (Northern Nigeria and Uganda) with limited European personnel.
2. British rule met less resistance where indirect rule was applied compared other colonial masters.
3. The British government spent less costs on administrations compared to other colonial masters.
4. The British managed to win considerable confidence and support from African leaders like the Emirs in northern Nigeria and the Baganda chief.
5. African institutions and civilization was respected e.g. in Buganda
6. The indirect rule policy from northern Nigeria and Uganda was used as, model for other parts of Africa
7. Cash crop growing, taxation and other means of colonial exploitation were moderately accepted by the African thus promoting British exploitation.
8. Law and order was maintained in British colonies by the traditional leaders.
9. The problem of language barriers was minimized
10. African traditional leader were cheap as expected, e.g. they were paid meager salaries, given petty gifts yet performed good work.
11. It prepared for gradual transformation to African self rule e.g. in Buganda the Baganda leaders championed the struggle for independence.
1. Contrary to the popular motion of preserving traditional order African chiefs implemented British and not traditional policies
2. African rulers were degenerated in to British savants rather than sovereign traditional leaders i.e. they were paid salaries.
3. In northern Nigeria, Islamic codes were interfered with
4. The policy could not work in non centralized societies where there was no streamline leadership.
5. British rule was resisted even in those areas where it is thought to have succeeded e.g. Mwanga resisted in Buganda
6. The system disrespected the African traditional1eaders e.g. in northern Nigeria Lugard deposits some rebellious Emirs and caliphs, in Buganda Kabaka Mwanga was also dethroned.
7. Indirect rule was only applied at local government level but the top positions like districts provinces were reserved for whites.
8. Contray to the peaceful apprehitences, the British in some cases used force, the occasionally the police to depose uncooperative leaders.
9. The policy sidelined African elites from participating in the administration of their countries.
1O. 1t restarted the progress of self government and only promoted European rule.