Reasons why the Local Chiefs wanted British Annexation
- The chiefs believed that Britain would introduce Western Civilization and Christianity and this would put an end to murder and idol worshiping.
- They wanted English laws in their towns. This was because they were impressed with the manner in which Britain settled trade disputes in the court of equity in Douala and criminal matters in the court of Justice in Victoria.
- Disputes in their country usually led to wars and many deaths. They wanted Britain to annex the territory order to stop the wars and deaths.
- The natives were impressed with the success of the English Baptist Missionaries. The Missionaries have opened schools, churches, promoted agriculture and so on. This made the natives to Developed love for the British.
- Cordial relations had developed between the Douala Chiefs and the British naval officials at he coast. Also-the chiefs felt satisfied with the annual dash that the British government gave them for their collaboration with naval _officials in the abolition of slave trade.
- The local chiefs were under pressure from British traders and even the British Missionaries to appeal for British annexation. In fact some historians held that the British traders instigated some of the letters.
- The natives and the local chiefs had become accustomed to the English culture such as Pidgin English. It became the language used between the natives and the Europeans. They also developed love for English titles such as Duke, King, and Prince.
- It was also because of the trade that had developed between the British and the natives whereby the coastal people were allowed to play the role of middleman.
- Furthermore, the British were considered as a humanitarian people considering their efforts in the abolition of the slave trade.
- Local chiefs and traders who visited old Calabar already under the rule of a British consul were satisfied with peace and order that reign there. And that is why they wrote “Oh we shall be very glad to be like Calabar now”.
- The chiefs wanted protection against their subjects and the restoration of their authority
- The British owned more stores and trading firms like R.W. Kings, Ambas Bay Company and John Holt which brought benefits to the local population.
The chiefs wanted British protection against encroachments. The French were advancing from the South of Cameroon