Thursday, 1 October 2015

In Retrospect : Nigeria at 55 - Heroes of Nigerian Independence

Fifty-five years ago on this date, Nigeria became independent and some Nigerians made this dream come true.

One of them is Anthony Enahoro who moved motion for independence. That was 7 years before 1960.

Enahoro has been regarded by academics and many Nigerians as the "Father of Nigeria State".

Another hero of independence is the first and last Governor-General of Nigeria, Nnamdi Azikiwe.

Azikiwe was also the first president and one of the leading figures of modern Nigerian nationalism.

Tafawa Balewa was the first and only Prime Minister. He entered government in 1952 as Minister of Works, and later served as Minister of Transport.

Balewa became Prime Minister when Nigeria gained independence in 1960, and was reelected in 1964.

Obafemi Awolowo was the first Premier of Western Region and Former Federal Finance Commissioner. He was responsible for much of the progressive social legislation that has made Nigeria a modern nation.

Sir Ahmadu Bello was the first premier of the Northern Nigeria region from 1954-1966. He was also the Sardauna of Sokoto.

One of his greatest legacies was the modernization and unification of the diverse people of Northern Nigeria.

Acknowledged as the founder of Nigerian Nationalism, Herbert Macaulay was a politician, engineer, architect, journalist, and musician rolled into one.

The grandson of Africa's first bishop, Ajayi Crowther, argued successfully for local chiefs whose land had been taken by the British. This move forced the colonial government to pay compensation to the chiefs.

One lady, Funmilayo Ransome Kuti was instrumental.

The Renowned Women’s Rights Activist was a strong advocate for the Nigerian woman's right to vote.

She oversaw the successful abolishing of separate tax rates for women, and was the first woman in Nigeria to drive a car.