FEDERAL ELECTION CRISES OF 1964
The federal election crises of 1964 was a crises that shook the foundation of Nigeria and threating the unity of the country. In readiness for the election, all the political parties in the country polarized into alliance. The national council of Nigerian and Cameroon NCNC, Action Group AG, and the northern progressive front NPF joined together to form United Progressive Grand Alliance UPGA under the leadership of Dr M.I Okpara. The Northern People’s Congress NPC, Nigeria National Democratic Party NNDP, The Mid-western Democratic Party MDP, The Niger Delta Congress NDC and the Dynamic Party DP joined together to form the Nigeria National Alliane NNA under the leadearship of Sir Ahmadu Bello. When the federal electoral commission declared the nomination of candidates open, the United Progressive Grand Alliace UPGA candidates were unable to get nomination papers. More so, some electoral officers were hiding themselves away from United Progressive Grand Alliance UPGA candidates that wanted to fill their nomination papers.
By December 21, 1964. 78 candidates comprising mainly of Nigeria National Alliance NNA had been return unopposed, thereby indicating that the election will be rigged in favor of Nigeria National Alliance NNA. The chairman of federal electoral commission Mr Ey Ita Esua on December 22, 1964 promised to do something about it, yet nothing was done. United Progressive Grand Alliance reacted by sending delegation with a letter to the president Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe to register their complain about the irregularities, they also threating to boycott the general election if the abnormalities were not rectified. The president the urged the prime minister to postpone the election but the prime minister rejected the idea. When the election started on December 30, 1964 as schedule, United Progressive Grand Alliance UPGA boycotted it and voting did not took place in the eastern region, whereas voting were recorded in the northern and western region. When the vote were counted, Nigeria National Alliance NNA won but the president noted that he find it difficult to call on the winning party to form a government but at last the president called the Nigeria National Alliance NNA to form a government. The government was made up of members of National Council of Nigeria and Cameroon NCNC but no single member of Action Group was included in the cabinet.