Why Indirect Rule Succeeded in Northern Nigeria, a Partial Success in Western Nigeria and a Failure in Eastern Nigeria
(i) Existence of centralized political System: The Hausa/Fulani traditional political system was suitable for indirect rule as the system was hierarchical and authoritarian.
(ii) Existence of taxation system: The North had a developed tax system already in place.
Each emirate already had its own tax assessment, tax collection and public treasury in existence.
(iii) Absence of radical educated elites: The majority of people in the North were illiterate. The few educated ones who could have posed a threat to the colonial administration were easily absorbed into the government.
(iv) It preserved the tradition and culture of the North: The system retained the traditional powers and functions of the traditional rules, religion, customs and traditions of the people.
(v) The system retained the traditional rulers and trained them in modern local government administration.
(vi) Existence of well Organized standing army which maintained internal and external security.
Why Indirect Rule was a Partial Success in Western Nigeria:
(i) The system of political administration in Western Nigeria contributed to its partial success.
(ii) The system in place was a constitutional monarchy with a number of in-built checks and balances. This fact was lost to the British colonial administration which gave unlimited powers to the traditional rulers which generated friction and strife between the Oba and his chiefs.
(iii) The taxation system introduced by the indirect rule system was different from the payment of tribute that was in existence in the west. People in the West resisted and protested and this caused pockets of revolts e.g Iseyin riot, the Abeokuta riot, etc.
(iv) The educated elites were excluded from the administration and they kept criticizing the administration.
(v) Growth of nationalist activities and literacy in the western region promoted political awareness. The nationalist kept mounting pressure on indirect rule.
(vi) Development of political parties and newspapers also mobilized and gingered the people against indirect rule.
Why Indirect Rule Failed In Eastern Nigeria (East and South-South):
(i) The political-administrative system in existence in Eastern Nigeria was at variance with the indirect rule system. The east operated republican democracy, where political power was highly decentralized and not concentrated on a single individual.
(ii) Imposition of warrant chiefs without regard to the traditional qualification of appointed people into exalted positions was alien to Igbo culture and they revolted against it.
(iii) Introduction of Taxation: Taxation was new to the people. When the warrant chiefs tried to impose taxes, the people resisted vehemently and this caused the Aba Women’s Riot of 1929.
(iv) Exclusion of educated elites from Indirect rule contributed to the failure.
(v) No respect for the culture, customs and traditions of Igbos were other reasons.
(vi) The effect of growing nationalist activities and literacy increased political awareness.
(vii) Establishment and impact of newspapers and political parties helped in the mobilization of the people and the creation of political awareness.
(viii) Excesses and high-handedness of the Warrant Chiefs were other factors for the failure of indirect rule in Eastern Nigeria.