December 28, 2006 | posted by Nigerian Muse (Archives)
NIGERIA'S FOUNDING FATHERS
Sir Herbert Macauley
(1864 - 1946)
HERBERT MACAULEY, politician, nationalist and founder of
Nigerian nationalism was born in Lagos on 14th November 1864, the son of a
school principal. He trained as a land surveyor and civil engineer in Plymouth
Upon his graduation and return to Nigeria in 1893, he
worked with the colonial government, and later resigned to establish a private
practice in Lagos. Subsequently, he began a campaign against colonial rule and
discrimination, and in 1922, he founded the Nigeria National Democratic Party,
which won all the seats to the Legislative Council. He was later to become the
first president of the National Council of Nigeria and Cameroon's formed by
Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe in 1944.
Sir Herbert Macauley died in Kano on 7th May 1946 in the
course of leading the party on a nation wide campaign tour.
Alvan Ikoku (1900-1971)
DR. Alvan Ikoku, educationist and politician, was born
at Amanagwu in Imo State on 1st August 1900, to a wealthy merchant family. He
trained as a teacher, and later bagged a degree in Philosophy. In 1931, Ikoku
resigned to establish his own college called the Aggrey Memorial College,
named after the eminent Ghanaian educationist, Dr Aggrey.
Ikoku was actively involved in the activities of the
Nigerian Union of Teachers and he became its National President in 1955. He
also participated in politics, serving both in the Eastern Nigeria House of
Assembly as well as the Legislative Council in Lagos. While in government,
he applied his influence to foster the interests education. He died on 18th
Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe
(1904 - 1996)
Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, politician, and one of the founders
of modern Nigeria was born at Zungeru, the son of a clerk. Dr. Azikiwe was
educated in Nigeria and the United States.
In 1937, Dr. Azikiwe founded a newspaper, the West
African Pilot, and later co-founded the National Council of Nigeria and
Cameroons, a political party which he was the secretary and later president.
He was elected into both the Western and Eastern House of Representatives, and
later became Premier of the Eastern Region (1952-59). At the Federal level, he
served as Senate President, Governor-General (1960-1963) and later President
(1963-1966). Dr. Azikiwe is best remembered for his commitment to the Nigerian
He died on 11th May, 1996.
Chief Obafemi Awolowo
(1909 - 1987)
Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Nigerian
nationalist and political leader, was born in Ikenne, a town in Ogun State.
The son of a farmer, Awolowo trained as a lawyer. He became involved in
politics in the 1940's and organised the Action Group in 1951. He was elected
Premier of Western Nigeria from 1954 to 1959, after which he became the
opposition leader in the Federal House of Representatives. An unyielding
advocate of federalism and socio-economic programmes, he was arrested in 1962
for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government. Imprisoned in 1963, he was
freed three years later by General Yakubu Gowon, head of Nigeria's military
government, who appointed him the Federal Commissioner for Finance and Deputy
Chairman of the Federal Executive Council, a position he resigned in 1971. In
1979, he ran unsuccessfully for president. He died on May 9, 1987
Alhaji Sir Ahmadu
Bello (1909 - 1966)
SIR Ahmadu Bello, the late Sardauna of
Sokoto and Nigerian political leader, was born on 12th June, 1909 in Rabbah,
Sokoto State. His father Ibrahim, the Chief of Rabbah was a grandson of Usman
Dan Fodio, the founder of the Sokoto Caliphate. Sir Ahmadu Bello trained and
worked as a teacher, and later became the district head of Rabbah and
Secretary of the Sokoto Native Authority.
In 1949, Sir Ahmadu Bello co-founded the
Northern People's Congress, and was successively regional Minister of Works,
of Local Government, and of Community Development. In 1954, he became the
first Premier of Northern Nigeria, a position he held until 1966. His greatest
legacy was the modernization and unification of the diverse people of Northern
Nigeria. He was killed in the January, 1966 military coup.
Alhaji (Sir) Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (1912-1966)
Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the first Prime Minister
of of independent Nigeria (1960-1966) was born in Tafawa Balewa, a town in
Bauchi State, and was educated as a teacher. He later became a politician,
and was elected to the Northern Region's House of Assembly in 1947, and in
1951, to the Federal House of Representatives. He was a founder and until
his death, the deputy president of the Northern People's Congress.
Balewa became Prime Minister in 1957, and at
independence in 1960, he remained in the post. Sir Tafawa Balewa was widely
admired for his simplicity and humility. He was killed the January 1966
Ramat Muhammed (1938 - 1976)
General Murtala Mohammed, an army
general, Head of State (July 1976 - February 1976), and first national
hero, was born 8th November 1938 in the Kurawa Quarters of Kano City. He
enrolled into the Nigerian Army after high school, and trained at
Sandhurst Royal Academy, the Catterick School of Signals, and the Joint
Services' Staff College, all in England.
General Mohammed served in the
Nigerian contingent to the United Nations' Peace Keeping Force to Congo,
and on his return, returned to the Signals Corp of the Nigerian Army.
During the Nigerian civil war, he was the first General Officer
Commanding, Second Infantry Division. After the civil war, General
Mohammed returned as head of the Signals Corp, but later served as a
Commissioner in the military government. On 29th July, 1975, he was named
Head of State and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces following a
General Mohammed's short reign had a
major impact on subsequent developments in the Nigerian nation. On
assumption of office, he reformed the civil service and other major
institutions. His government outlined a political program that included
the creation of seven more states, the drafting of a new constitution, and
the organization of state and national elections as a prelude to a return
to civilian rule on 1 October 1979. A committee on a new federal capital
was appointed, the findings of which culminated in the change of the
Federal capital from Lagos to Abuja. His government also ran a dynamic
He was assassinated on the 13th of
February, 1976 in an abortive coup.
Alhaji Aminu Kano
Mr. Joseph Tarka ( - March 30,
Chief Dennis Osadebay