On assuming the office of prime minister, Chief Jonathan was clearly aware that his BNP government's retention of power, under the country's Westminster-style constitution, would depend to a large extent on its ability to satisfy the popular aspirations raised during the independence struggle. "I know," he said in a speech in December 1965, "that after five years you could cast us among useless thorns. . . . But in order that you should reelect us during the next election, our duty is to fulfill the promises we have made to you." 1 Given the magnitude of the difficulties confronting his regime, this was clearly destined to be an uphill struggle. By 1970 only his most ardent supporters were prepared to claim that much headway had been made.