Shehu Shagari’s first real political experience was in the national discussions which began in 1949, on reform of the “Richards” constitution. That constitution, introduced in 1947 and named after the then Governor, Sir Arthur Richards (later Lord Milverton), was the first which, however tentatively, treated Nigeria as a single political entity, and brought the “north” and the “south” into an (incomplete) administrative and, for the first time, legislative union. The constitution was criticised by nationalists, as much because no Nigerian had been consulted about it as because of its provisions, which were considered to give too little political responsibility to Nigerians. Even Britain’s House of Commons gave it only 29 minutes of debate, in a deserted Chamber.