“If politics in this country will turn this way, for innocent people to lose their lives, I think that all of us had better think seriously of the future. Democracy does not mean that a man can do what he likes. Indeed all of us, and all political parties are to blame.
When I heard on the floor of this House [of Representative] yesterday, I think, from an honourable member of this honourable House referring to our law courts with great contempt, I began to fear that, if we do not abide by our Constitution and if we do not respect our law courts, the future of this country is very gloomy.
It is for all of us – Members of this House and Members of the Regional Legislatures – to put our heads together now and think of the future.
When we are hurt we say all sorts of things. When we are excited we get even out of control, and we are damaging things. I said on the floor of this House that words are like arrows. When one shoots them out, one cannot recall them. They cause a lot of unhappiness and a lot of bitterness.
I have been in this place for quite a number of years, and I know that there are very well meaning people in this country. I wonder if the well-meaning people cannot put their heads together and really try to find a solution to many of our faults which, I think, sometimes are unnecessary.
So, I would appeal to all members of this House that we should approach these delicate matters objectively and with all sense of responsibilities.”
Sir Tafawa Balewa speaking on the floor of the House of Representatives on the controversies arising from the Western Regional elections, October 1965.