NIGERIA: The Unsmoked Cigar

At the House of Representatives in the West African city of Lagos (pop. 250,000), British Colonial Secretary Oliver Lyttelton rapped for order one day last week at a conference of Nigeria's political leaders. "This is one of Churchill's cigars," said the Colonial Secretary, depositing a miniature torpedo in the center of the conference table. "I propose not to smoke it unless we get into difficulties, but if you see me light it you will know that a crisis has been reached."

The Africans round the table took heed: they well understood that if the cigar was lighted, Nigeria's hopes...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!