IN the beginning, there was no Nigeria. There were Ijaws, Igbos, Urhobos, Itsekiris, Yorubas, Hausas, Fulanis, Nupes, Kanuris, Ogonis, Gwaris, Katafs, Jukars, Edos, Ibibios, Efiks, Idomas, Tivs, Junkuns, Biroms, Agnas, Ogojas and so on. There were Kingdoms like, Oyo, Lagos, Calabar, Brass, Itsekiri, Benin, Tiv, Borno, Sokoto Caliphate (with loose control over Kano, Ilorin, Zaria etc) Bonny, Opobo, etc. Prior to the British conquest of the different nations making up the present day Nigeria, these Nations were independent nation states – and communities independent of each other and of Britain.
The 1951 (MacPherson) Constitution
The 1951 Constitution was the one that really introduced fundamental changes into the Imperial/Native relationship and the relationship between the Native Nigerian groups themselves. The following points need to be noted:
“The Central Legislature and Executive must retain both residual and overall powers, but since the Central Legislature and Executive will themselves be made up of representatives of the Regional Legislatures and since the policy of greater regional autonomy is so widely accepted, we do not fear that there will be any desire at the Centre unnecessarily to interfere with purely regional legislation or administration”.
In his book, “History and the Law of the Constitution of Nigeria”, Dr. Udo Udoma noted that for the first time in the history of the foundation of British-Nigerian relationship and the establishment of Nigeria’s regions by the Richard’s Constitution of 1946, Regional Legislatures were granted powers to legislate over a variety of subjects within the Region. These included: Local government; town and country planning; agriculture and fisheries; education; public works for the region; public health in the region; forestry; veterinary services; land; welfare; local industries; native courts; (subject to central legislation regarding appeals to courts outside the regions); direct taxation (other than income tax and companies tax).
The General Conference was of the view that over-centralisation would be a grave error “in this vast country with its widely differing conditions and needs”, and that the policy which had received enthusiastic support throughout the country was the policy of achieving unity at the Centre through strength in the Regions. It was confidently expected that when the Regions felt that they had wide powers to run their own regional affairs, they would be more likely ready to co-operate with the other Regions through their representatives in the Council of Ministers and the House of Representatives in serving the interest of Nigeria as a whole”.
The Period 1954-60
Between 1954 and 1959, all officials in the House of Assembly and the Central Legislature, were progressively withdrawn. In 1954, there was, for the first time, direct elections into the Federal Legislature. In 1958, all modes of indirect elections were abolished and throughout Nigeria, all elections from then on were by direct polls. The Governors ceased to preside over the Executive Councils in the East and West by 1957 and in the North, in 1959.
In 1954, the office of Premier was created in the Regions and the office of Prime Minister was established at the Centre in 1957. Subsequent changes were not fundamental, but merely in further preparation for full independence. For example, the Western and Eastern Regions attained self-government (with the Regional Governor becoming a mere titular figure) in 1957 and in the North in 1959.
From the very brief account given of the background of the establishment of the State called Nigeria, the following inferences are irresistible.
(i) establish that Nigerian Communities have no identity outside the British colonial legacy
(ii) show that the Nigerian Federal State is the successor of the British colonial master
(iii) it follows that the Federal State is now the colonial master of Nigerian Nationalities and Communities
(iv) since the Federal State was handed over to the Hausa-Fulani, it further follows that the Hausa-Fulani are the current colonial masters of the Nations of Nigeria, and therefore, like any other slave master, the owner of the resources of his slaves. For slaves insert Southern Nigeria, with special emphasis on the Niger Delta.
We have seen at the end of the First National Conference in 1950 held by the representatives of Nigerian Nations and Communities, the delegations opted unanimously for Federalism. Why?
Let us seek an answer from the most consummate student of federalism Nigeria has ever known – Chief Obafemi Awolowo (see ‘Thoughts on Nigerian Constitution’, pp.48-49). “From our study of the constitutional evolution of all the countries of the world, two things stand out quite clearly and prominently. First, in any country where there are divergences of language and of nationality – particularly of language – a unitary constitution is always a source of bitterness and hostility on the part of linguistic or national minority groups. On the other hand, as soon as a federal constitution is introduced in which each linguistic or national group is recognised and accorded regional autonomy, any bitterness and hostility against the constitutional arrangements as such disappear. If the linguistic or national group concerned are backward, or too weak vis-à-vis the majority group or groups, their bitterness or hostility may be dormant or suppressed. But as soon as they become enlightened and politically conscious, and/or courageous leadership emerges amongst them, the bitterness and hostility come into the open, and remain sustained with all possible venom and rancour, until home rule is achieved.
Secondly, a federal constitutional is usually a more or less dead letter in any country which lacks any of the factors conducive to federalism. From the facts and the analysis thereof which we have given and made in this section, the following four principles or laws can be deduced:
More well known of course is Awolowo’s famous or notorious (depending on your view) statement in “Path to Nigerian Freedom” (Faber & Faber, 1947, page.48) wherein he said: “Nigeria is not a nation. It is a mere geographical expression. There are no ‘Nigerians’ in the same sense as there are ‘English’, ‘Welsh’, or ‘French’. The word ‘Nigerian’ is merely a distinctive appellation to distinguish those who live within the boundaries of Nigeria from those who do not. There are various national or ethnical groups in the country. Ten such main groups were recorded during the 1931 census as follows: (1) Hausa, (2) Ibo, (3) Yoruba, (4) Fulani, (5) Kanuri, (6) Ibibio, (7) Munshi or Tiv, (8) Edo, (9) Nupe, and (10) Ijaw. According to Nigerian Handbook, eleventh edition, ‘there are also a great number of other small tribes too numerous to enumerate separately, whose combined total population amounts to 4,683,044.
“It is a mistake to designate them ‘tribes’. Each of them is a nation by itself with many tribes and clans. There is as much difference between them as there is between Germans, English, Russians and Turks, for instance. The fact that they have a common overlord does not destroy this fundamental difference.
“The languages differ. The readiest means of communication between them now is English. Their cultural backgrounds and social outlooks differ widely; and their indigenous political institutions have little in common. Their present stages of development vary.”
This view, though popularised by Awolowo, was the almost universally held view about the best form of government for Nigeria. In 1953, during the debate on the famous motion for independence by Chief Anthony Enahoro, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Premier of the North and leader of the ruling NPC, made one of the most eloquent cases for true federalism when he said:
“Sixty years ago there was no country called Nigeria. What is now Nigeria consisted of a number of large and small communities all of which were different in their outlook and beliefs. The advent of the British and of Western education has not materially altered the situation and these many and varied communities have not knit themselves into a composite unit…. Whatever Nigerians may say, the British people have done them a great service by bringing all the different communities of Nigeria together.”
Thus not only was Awolowo’s statement absolutely correct, it is even more accurate about today’s Nigeria than the Nigeria of the ’40s. Inter-ethnic intolerance which has become chronic, confirms that we are a country of many mutually distrustful nations, as is evident from the clashes we have experienced since the return of civil democratic rule in 1999. There is clearly a need for the Nigerian nationalities to enjoy separate and autonomous existence as states, whilst uniting with each other through a Federal Government exercising some basic powers, and running some common services.
Federalism is, therefore, an arrangement whereby powers within a multi-national country are shared between a federal or central authority, and a number of regionalised governments in such a way that each unit, including this central authority, exists as a government separately and independently from the others, operating directly on persons and property with its territorial area, with a will of its own and its own apparatus for the conduct of affairs and with an authority in some matters exclusive of all others. In a federation, each government enjoys autonomy, a separate existence and independence of the control of any other government. Each government exists, not as an appendage of another government (e.g. the federal or central government) but as an autonomous entity in the sense of being able to exercise its own will on the conduct of its affairs free from direction by any government. Thus, the Central Government on the one hand and the State Governments on the other hand are autonomous in their respective spheres.
As Wheare put it, “the fundamental and distinguishing characteristic of a federal system is that neither the central nor the regional governments are subordinate to each other, but rather, the two are co-ordinate and independent.” In short, in a federal system, there is no hierarchy of authorities, with the central government sitting on top of the others. All governments have a horizontal relationship with each other. Thus, there can be no federalism under military rule.
Nwabueze has identified the following additional characteristics in a federal system:
The Independence and Republican Constitution (1960 and 1963)
In view of the above, it is hardly surprising that the 1960 and 1963 Constitutions epitomised true Federalism. The 1950 National Conference had been followed by others in 1953, 1954, 1957 and 1959, in which the practice of true federalism were perfected.
It can thus be said that the period 1950 to 1959 represented a 10-year period of negotiations between the major stakeholders in the Nigerian project and that what they finally arrived at in the form of 1960 Constitution was, subject to minor, non-structural modifications, the only legitimate basis of association of all the different nationalities in Nigeria.
One important feature of the 1960 Constitution is the extensive powers granted the Regions, making them effectively autonomous entities and the revenue arrangements which ensured that the regions had the resources to carry out the immense responsibilities.
Under the 1960 and 1963 Constitutions, a true federal system made up of strong States or Regions and a Central or Federal ‘state’ with limited powers, was instituted. Both the 1960 (Independence) Constitution and the 1963 (Republican) Constitution were the same. The only differences were the provisions for ceremonial President (1963) in place of the Queen of England (1960) and the judicial appeals system which terminated with the Supreme Court (1963) rather than the Judicial Committee of the British Privy Council (1960).
The following features, which emphasised the existence of a true federal system composed of powerful and autonomous Regions and a Centre with limited powers are worth noting:
Thus, apart from items like Aviation, Borrowing of moneys outside Nigeria, Control of Capital issues, Copyright, Deportation, External Affairs, Extraction, Immigration, Maritime Shipping, Mines and Minerals, Military Affairs, Posts and Telegraphs, Railways, all other important items were in the Concurrent List, thus permitting the Regions equal rights to legislate and operate in those areas. The most significant of these included; Arms and Ammunition, Bankruptcy and Insolvency, Census, Commercial and Industrial Monopolies, Combines and Trusts, Higher Education, Industrial Development, the Regulation of Professions, Maintaining and Securing of Public Safety and Public Order, Registration of Business Names, and Statistics.
It is important to observe once more that anything outside these two lists was exclusively a matter for Regional jurisdiction. Other features indicative of the autonomous status of the Regions included:
It will be observed that Mines, Minerals, including oil fields, oil mining, geological surveys and gas were put in the Exclusive Legislative List in the 1960 and 1963 Constitutions. This was a carry over from the provisions of the 1946 Minerals Act, under which the Colonial Government gave itself the exclusive ownership and control of all minerals in Nigeria. This was understandable under a Colonial Regime whose objective was the exploitation of the colonised peoples, but certainly not acceptable in an independent country constituted by autonomous (Federal) Regions. It is, therefore, not surprising that what was lost by placing mines, minerals, oil fields, etc., in the Exclusive Legislative List, was regained by the very strict adherence to the principle of derivation in the revenue allocation formula, particularly the allocation of the proceeds from mineral exploitation.
No one has given the term “resource control” an official definition. Indeed it is the very recent coinage of the Southern Governors, particularly Governor James Ibori of Delta State. However, I believe we all know what the term means, because we are all involved in the situation that brought it into existence.
Resource control in my view involves three major components:
Resource control, which in certain circumstances can be referred to as fiscal federalism (in a federation), goes hand in hand with true federalism. This was recognised and implemented faithfully in the Independence and Republican Constitution (1960 and 1963).
The Regional Constitutions, in the 1960 and 1963 Constitutions, described each Region as “a self-governing Region of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.” To buttress the self-governing status of each Region, adequate provision were made to guarantee the economic independence of the Regions, thus avoiding the hollowness of a declaration of self-governing status totally undermined by economic dependence. Moreover, consistently with the Federal character of the country, i.e. country of many nations, the basis of revenue allocation was strictly derivative.
Section 140 which made provision for the sharing of the proceeds of minerals, including mineral oil, stated that: “There shall be paid by the Federal Government to a Region, a sum equal to fifty per cent of the proceeds of any royalty received by the Federation in respect of any minerals extracted in that Region and any mining rents derived by the Federal Government from within any Region.” For the purposes of this section, the continental shelf of a Region was deemed part of that Region. This is totally consistent with international law which characterises the continental shelf as a seaward extension of the land of the coastal state.
By Section 136(1) 30 per cent of general import duties were paid into a distributable pool for the benefit of the Regions. With regard to import duties on petrol, diesel oil and tobacco, the total sum of import duty collected less administrative expenses, were fully payable to the Region for which the petrol or diesel oil or tobacco was destined. A similar provision was made for excise duty on tobacco.
With regard to produce, i.e. cocoa, palm oil, groundnuts, rubber and hides and skin, the proceeds of export duty were shared on the basis of the proportion of that commodity that was derived from a particular Region. As noted above, the derivative bases of the allocation of revenue and the proportionate share of such proceeds that went to the Region it originated from, clearly buttressed the operating base of.
Until the discovery of oil in the Niger-Delta and its increasing role as a major income earner, the North was always a reluctant partner in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It will be recalled that at the National Conference at Ibadan, the Northern delegates declared adamantly that they would not be part of Nigeria, unless they were allocated at least 50 per cent of the seats in the Federal Legislature. In other words, they demanded and got not less than the combined number of seats of both the Eastern and Western Regions.
After the acrimonious debate on Chief Anthony Enahoro’s motion for independence in 1956 which pitched the Northern and Southern Legislators sharply against each other, the Northerners issued an 8-point demand as a condition for remaining in Nigeria as follows:
Even Nigeria’s much praised first Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, stated in 1947 that “Nigeria has existed as one Country only on paper, and that it was still far from being considered as one country, much less think of it as united.”
After the counter-Coup of 29 July, 1966, the original intention of the Northern mutineers was to withdraw from Lagos and the rest of the South and secede from Nigeria. As Ahmadu Kurfi recounts in this book, “The Nigerian General Elections 1959 and 1979”, (Macmillan 1983, pp.38-39):
“The original intention of the July 29 counter-coup leaders was to seize the reigns of government and then announce the secession of the Northern Region from the rest of the country. This was in line with the general mood of the people of the North whose clarion call during the May 29 disturbances in the North, which claimed many Igbo lives, was Arabaor Aware (Hausa word for ‘secede’). As soon as the success of the insurgency was apparent, the leaders of the coup who were based at the Ikeja Garrison informed Northern elements resident in Lagos to leave the metropolis for the North, giving a deadline within which to comply. At the expiry of the deadline, the coup leaders planned to dynamite, if not sink, the whole of Lagos. So serious was the threat that many senior Federal Government officers in Lagos actually trooped to Ilorin, Kaduna and other Northern towns. The families of the coup leaders had earlier been airlifted in a hijacked VC 10 plane of a British airline.”
Only wise counsel that the North could not survive without the South, persuaded the rebels to jettison the plan. But they insisted that a relatively junior officer, Lt. Colonel Gowon, should supercede many senior Southern officers to become the new military Head of State.
Even during the conferences that followed the July 29 coup, the Northern Delegation submitted a memorandum, demanding a Confederation as the basis of association of the Regions, including the right to secede. When they subsequently modified this position, their proposals still clearly revealed their half-hearted commitment to Nigerian Unity. They called for Regional Commands for the Army, made up only of people from that Region and controlled by a Regional Commander. They also called for a Rotational Presidency and Prime Ministership and each state was to contribute an equal number of members to a unicameral Federal Legislature.
Why then have the same Northerners become the advocates of a powerful Central Government controlling all the country’s resources and weak client states fully dependent on the Centre for survival? The answer is simply the enormous wealth that is being generated from the Niger Delta’s petroleum resources. Even in the midst of the crisis brought about by the bloody counter-coup of July 29, 1966 and the pogrom that followed, the Northern Delegation, with one foot outside Nigeria and halfway into secession, had started craving for the wealth of the Niger Delta’s oil. On mines, minerals, including oilfields, oil mining, natural gas, etc., the Northern Delegation took the following clear position which they have held onto, till this day:
It is obvious that as has already been noted, the Northern position is predicated on their permanent right of control over a predatory Federal Government, that expropriates the resources of a weak Niger Delta. Let us now scrutinise the mechanism used for this permanent control of government and power which are supposed to be a common patrimony of all Sectors and Nationalities of Nigeria.
Origins and Methods of Permanent Northern Sovereignty over Southern Nigeria’s Resources.
In his seminal expose on the events of June 12, 1993, entitled, The Tale of June 12: Betrayal of Democratic Rights of Nigeria, Professor Omo Omoruyi went to the British Archives and earthed a can full of worms on the British machinations and manipulations which have resulted in the enslavement of Southern Nigeria.
The position can be summarised as follows:
“We have released Northern Nigeria from the leading strings of the Treasury. The promising and well conducted youth is now on an allowance on his own and is about to effect an alliance with a Southern lady of means. I have issued the special license and Sir Frederick Lugard will perform the ceremony. May the union be fruitful and the couple constant”.
Thus, in this “marriage”, the North, right from the beginning, was to be “man” and “husband” and the South, the “woman” and “wife”.
The use of the term, “Youth” (man) for the North and “Lady” (woman) for the South was not an accident, nor an exercise in humour. It was a deadly serious matter, with the game plan being to bring the two parties together in order to give the North political power over the South and permanent control over Southern resources.
In the England of the time of Lord Harcourt, married woman had no independent existence outside their marriage. All the women’s property and resources automatically became the husbands’. The woman could not enter into a contract in her own right. Her husband had to conclude all her contracts on her behalf.
Although this position altered by the Married Women’s Property Act of 1882, Lord Harcourt had the Common Law position in mind when he decided to marry the young man without means, to the young lady of means. That latter was to provide the wherewithal for the former to live well and be master of the house for the rest of their lives. Omo Omoruyi has lamented as follows, regarding the devastating consequences of this marriage on the Southern lady of means:
“Today, the “Southern Lady of Means” is richer and the bridegroom “the well conducted youth” from the North is poorer and poorer over the years, a situation not even anticipated in 1914. Hence the “husband” in the typical Nigerian fashion would ensure that the relationship is maintained at all cost, even if it means killing the bride in order to take over her wealth. This is the situation the oil producing part of the South finds itself in today. According to Alhaji Gambo Jimeta, the North (husband) will go to war over oil”.
The Northern politicians understood the plan perfectly and have implemented it faithfully and fervently since then. They are well focused on how to cling to power, for they know that that is the route to Southern resources. How have they retained power? The formula has been an amazingly simple one: Control of the Army and manipulation of the Census figures. All this, combined with help from British Administrators of Nigeria right up till independence, have assured the North of permanent political power and control of Southern resources.
British Manipulation of Access to Power
Having installed the North as ‘husband’ of the South and Master of Nigeria in 1914, the British Colonial Master did not let matters rest there. At every stage they ensured that the reins of power would remain in the hands of their beloved proteges.
Thus, in preparing the North for its future role as the Rulers of Nigeria, the British rigged the very first Nigerian-wide population Census conducted in 1931, in favour of the North. The Figures awarded by the British were as follows:
Northern Region -11,434,000; Western Region – 3,855,000; Eastern Region – 4,641,000; Total = 19,930,000. Plurality in favour of the North = 2,938,000.
Thus, from the very beginning, a permanentmajority in population which was intended to translate into a permanent majority in the future Central Legislature and consequently a permanent control of power, was programmed for the Northern Ruling class.
It will be recalled that at the 1950 National Conference, the North demanded at least 50 per cent of the seats in the Central Legislature, as a condition for being part of Nigeria. That demand was based on the Census figures that had been rigged in their favour. The Colonial Masters quickly granted the Northern demand and distributed the seats in the 1951 Central Legislature as follows: Total Number of Elected Members =136; North – 68, East – 34, West – 34.
In the 1952 Census, the balance of 1931 in favour of the North was again meticulously maintained by the British. The increase of population in the 21 years between 1931 and 1952 was doctored so carefully that the birth rate in the three Regions was virtually the same and the difference between the population of the North and that of the South remained virtually the same. The figures this time:
Northern Region – 16,840,000; Western Region – 6,369,000; Eastern Region- 7,971,000. Total = 31,180,000. Plurality in favour of the North = 2,500,000.
Finally, in the last Federal elections before independence, which was organised by the British Masters, the Governor-General, Sir James Robertson, was so anxious for the Northern Peoples Congress to retain power, that he called on Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa to form a new government whilst the votes were still being counted and results were being announced. When the final results were announced, the NPC did not have a simple majority in the House of Representatives, an it is clear that on the basis of the results, the NCNC (89 Seats) could have successfully established a coalition government with the Action Group (73 Seats) and put the NPC (134 Seats) in the opposition benches. Omoruyi explains the hasty action of Sir James Robertson in the following way:
“Sir James Robertson was the shrewd implementor of Northern rule earlier fashioned by Lords Harcourt and Lugard. Sir James was especially recruited by the British Government in 1955 because of his experience in the Sudan with an identical situation to Nigeria. He is on record as confessing that he did not handle this phase to the satisfaction of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Sir James confessed that he called Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa to form the government in 1959 ‘by persuading some of the Southern members to support him and Sir Abubakar assured him he would get a Southern group to work with him. Sir James did this before the results were released in full. He confessed that he did this to appease the Sardauna of Sokoto, the Leader of NPC, to stop him from taking the North out of Nigeria’. The question is: Why was he more interested in the feelings of the Sardauna of Sokoto and not in the feelings of Dr. Azikiwe and Chief Awolowo? Was this not in furtherance of the design of the Colonial Government? We shall come to this again.
“The ‘Model’ of a free and fair election sold to the successor regime, the North, was another issue which we should recognise. The way the 1959 election was handled taught the successor regime that the result of any election must be tailored to suit the anticipated outcome. What General Babangida did in preparation for the June 12 election was vehemently opposed by the former Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki, on behalf of the Northern leadership because the North was not able to determine its outcome in favour of the North. Alhaji Ibrahim tried to prevail on the President to cancel the presidential election as early as May 19, 1993 because the plan was seen as capable of reversing the British design. What could Britain have done in 1959? The three parties should have been allowed by Sir James to negotiate and if he wanted to help, that would have been an opportunity for Sir James to pressurise them to form a Government of National Unity that would have ushered in independence in an atmosphere of intergroup trust. But Sir James was too much in haste to formalise a succession and formally named a Northerner as the Prime Minister who was to be the successor to his executive power at independence.”
The British predilection for the North, particularly the Arewa North, can be summarised in the following views expressed by Sir James Robertson about the differences between Northerners and Southerners. In his assessment, he referred to “the differences in ordinary custom and behaviour between the dignified, polite and rather aloof Northerner and the uninhibited, vociferous Southerner, who noisily showed his disagreement in Council and Parliament without good manner and restraint.”
Arewa Implementation of the British Legacy
The Arewa North has remorselessly sustained and adamantly implemented this British legacy of permanent Northern rule. When the very first post-independence challenge of Northern control arose, in the form of the 1964 Federal elections, the Northern Peoples Congress moved fast to put the election results beyond doubt.
The strategy was simple. Prevent the candidates of the UPGA from filing their nomination papers, and NNA candidates would be returned unopposed. It was a simple scheme and it was successfully implemented. In the North alone, 78 NPC candidates out of a total of 167 constituencies were unopposed. The tactic was repeated in the West, although the proportion of un-opposed NNDP candidates was smaller, only 15 out of about 94 seats. The UPGA boycotted the election and the country was precipitated into a crisis that nearly ended in violence and country-wide anarchy.
The matter did not end there. When for a period of 4 days, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, the President, refused to endorse the fraudulent elections and therefore refused to call Abubakar Tafawa Balewa to form a new government, the NPC hierarchy concluded plans to declare Zik medically unfit, install Sir Adetokunbo Ademola to form a government. There were also plans to call on the Military hierarchy not to recognise Azikiwe as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
These desperate measures designed to ensure the continued Northern hold on power were recently revealed by the former President, Alhaji Shehu Shagari as follows:
“In the evening that same day, Senator Dr. Majekodunmi and I visited Sir Adetokunbo Adegboyega Ademola, the Chief Justice of the Federation, at his residence, where we also met Dr. Taslim O. Elias, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice. Both told us that there were strong indications the Army might intervene very soon at the instance of the President, and advised that something be done immediately. They had already asked Dr. Majekodunmi to advise the PM to instruct the Service Chiefs to disoblige any orders from the President. They now wanted me to help persuade Balewa to act instantly. I proceeded to Balewa’s residence and urged him to accept their advice, or the one earlier offered by Sir Ahmadu. Balewa refused both but after continuous urging he decided to summon the Service Chiefs the following morning rather than that night as I insisted.