World History Edu

Nnamdi Azikiwe – the First President of Nigeria

by World History Edu · September 27, 2020

write a short biography of nnamdi azikiwe

Nnamdi Azikiwe

Nnamdi Azikiwe was a Nigerian nationalist, journalist, and politician who fought bravely for Nigeria’s independence. After Nigeria became a federal republic in 1963, Azikiwe wrote his name in the history books by becoming the first democratically elected president of Nigeria. His presidency, which was characterized by tremendous gains in the health and education sectors, sadly came to an end following the 1966 military coup.

For his undying support of Nigerian nationalism, black pride and empowerment, he is generally considered as one of the key founding fathers of modern Nigeria. The article below presents the major facts and accomplishments of Nnamdi Azikiwe, the man who tried to restore the dignity and pride of the black man.

write a short biography of nnamdi azikiwe

Nnamdi Azikiwe quotes

Fast Facts: Nnamdi Azikiwe

Born: Namdi Benjamin Azikiwe

Date of Birth: November 16, 1904

Place of Birth: Zungeru, Northern Nigeria Protectorate

Date of Death: May 11, 1996

Place of Death: Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria

Father: Obed-Edom Chukwuemeka Azikiwe

Mother: Rachel Chinwe Ogbenyeanu (Aghadiuno) Azikiwe (1883-1958)

Sibling : Cecilia Eziamaka Arinze

Spouses: Flora Ogoegbunam (from 1936 to 1983); Uche Ewah (married in 1973)

Children: 7

Education: Howard University, Washington D.C.; Lincoln University; University of Pennsylvania

Political Party: National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC); Nigerian People’s Party

Offices held: First President of Nigeria (1963-1966), Third Governor-General of Nigeria (1960-1963); President of the Senate of Nigeria (January 1960-October 1960); Premier of Eastern Nigeria (1954-1959);

Most famous for: One of the key founding fathers of Nigeria

Ideology: Pan Africanism; Garveyism (the political, social and economic ideologies of famed African American philosopher Marcus Garvey); and Zikism

Nicknames: Zik

Major Accomplishments by Nnamdi Azikiwe

write a short biography of nnamdi azikiwe

Nnamdi Azikiwe’s statue at Owerri Imo State

He was a columnist for a number of famous African American newspapers

Influenced by the famous Ghanaian educator James Emman Kwegyir Aggrey (1875 – 1927), Nnamdi Azikiwe sailed to the United States to further his education. After a two-year preparatory course at Storer College in West Virginia, he enrolled at Howard University, Washington, D.C.

In 1932, he graduated with a master’s degree in religion from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. He followed this up with another master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1934. He briefly took up a graduate-student instructor job in the university before working as a columnist for famous newspapers such as: the Baltimore Afro-American, Philadelphia Tribune, and the Associated Negro Press.

His time in the United States also saw him become a disciple of Marcus Garvey’s political, social and economic policies, also known as Garveyism.

Fought very hard to end segregation during British colonial rule

In addition to his numerous achievements, Azikiwe was involved in efforts to desegregate the Nigerian football leagues. He viewed segregation on the basis of race, ethnic identities and religion as an affront to the blacks. And even after Nigeria gained independence (in 1960), he stayed at the forefront, fighting against people who wanted to use sports to perpetrate their diabolic political and ethnic agenda.

Such was his pursuit for equality and justice in sports that he created his own football club called Zik’s Athletic Club. The club was a place where people from all works of life, religion and ethnicity could come and freely participate in the beautiful game of football. The club even won the Lagos League in 1942.

Following those successes, Azikiwe established several other soccer centers across the nation in a bid to promote national unity. Some African historians have stated that Azikiwe’s football club laid the foundation of the Nigerian national team, which would later be dubbed the Super Eagles.

Founding member of the African Morning Post

Following his return to Nigeria around 1934, he had quite a challenging time finding a job of his liking. After failing to secure a teaching post at King’s College in Lagos, he turned his attention to Accra, Ghana. He took up Alfred Ocansey’s offer of senior editor at the African Morning Post in Ghana (formerly Gold Coast).

As editor, his professionalism was top-notch and beyond reproach, earning significant praises from his fellow journalists. He also took under his wings several journalists, inculcating in them a sense of black pride and pan-Africanist ideologies.

He was a vocal supporter of African culture and philosophy

While at the newspaper, he used the nickname ‘Zik’ in writing many of the articles in his very famous column– “The Inside Stuff by Zik”. Nnamdi Azikiwe blasted Africans in the upper class who were bent on maintaining the colonial mentality. He was quite dismayed at their unwillingness to criticize the manner in which African youth were indoctrinated into thinking Western culture superseded the various cultures in Africa.

Those ideas – Zikism – of his would later culminate in his book titled Renascent Africa (1973). He also used the newspaper to caution against petty ethnic and tribal conflicts. In his book he proposed five philosophical pillars that would underpin Africa’s revitalization and growth. Those pillars are social regeneration , economic determinism , mental emancipation , spiritual balance, and Risorgimento nationalism.

Founded the West African Pilot

After his exploits in Accra, Ghana, he returned to Lagos in 1937. He went on to establish the West African Pilot in order to champion the nationalistic ideologies in Nigeria. Extremely fed up with the colonial system in the country, he set up a number of similar newspapers across the country to support his pan Africanist ideas.

His Zik Group gradually became a leading player in journalism in the country; they managed for example the Southern Nigeria Defender (in Warri), the Eastern Guardian , and the Nigerian Spokesman .

Every one of those newspapers came to be famous for its community-inspired stories. Azikiwe also didn’t shy away from promoting women’s rights in the various women’s sections of his newspapers. By 1950, Azikiwe’s West African Pilot could boast of about 20,000 copies on a daily basis.

Established the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC)

Azikiwe’s West African Pilot was criticized by some ethnic and political groups because of what they believed were his undue suppression of some political figures in the Yoruba community. His friction with the Yoruba group started during his time in the Nigerian Youth Movement, where he accused some members of the group of being too critical of the Ijebu people. Shortly after, he left the movement, along with several Ijebu members, to form his organization.

With the help of Herbert Macaulay, he formed the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC) in 1944. He would later serve as the secretary-general of the council.

Leading member in Nigeria’s struggle for Independence

Following his successes in the newspaper business in Nigeria, Azikiwe gradually started shifting from blunt criticism of the existing colonial to several political causes, including Nigeria’s independence. He used the West African Pilot to call on the immediate political independence of Nigeria and the entire African continent. He drew inspiration from what the likes of Mahatma Gandhi and his movement were doing in India.

Azikiwe increasingly became fed up of Great Britain’s management of the Nigerian economy, including the wage ceilings of the 1940s. He lobbied for more social and political reforms that allowed for Nigerians to participate more in governance.

Nnamdi Azikiwe

Nnamdi Azikiwe’s legacy remains very much admired to this day in Africa. He is revered in almost the same fashion as legendary pan Africanists  Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, Nkrumah of Ghana, and Hastings Banda of Malawi

Nnamdi Azikiwe was at the forefront of the general strike in June 1945

As the world descended into chaos during WWII, several African countries had started growing very frustrated with colonial governments. In Nigeria, Azikiwe devoted considerable amount to the empowerment of the youth. He believed that reinforcing a sense of black pride and nationalism were the most potent ways of achieving Nigeria’s independence aspiration.

His usage of his newspapers in spreading the message was so effective (during the general strike of 1945) that it got the Nigerian colonial government to ban a number of his newspapers in July 1945. He was forced to stay away from the public after rumors of possible assassinations of influential nationalists in the country. From then onward, Azikiwe would continue to push for self-government using whatever means possible, including boycotting foreign goods.

Azikiwe-Nkrumah Hall

Lincoln University’s Azikiwe-Nkrumah Hall, built in 1865, is the oldest building on campus | Image

Campaigned for increased power to the regional house of assemblies

Azikiwe and the somewhat militant group, the National Youth Movement, fervently opposed the colonial government’s revision of the 1922 Clifford Constitution. Those proposals, which came from British governor Arthur Richards, wanted to increase the number of appointed members in the Legislative Council.

Although it was intended to include more Africans in the council, the fact that those members would be appointed caused a lot of unease among NCNC members. Azikiwe felt that the loyalty those appointed council members would lie with the colonial government and the British crown. He feared that those members would be handicapped in the push for self-rule for Nigerians.

Another bone of contention had to deal with the issue of Africans not given similar opportunities for advancement as their white counterparts in the colonial civil service. Azikiwe and the NCNC made plans for protests to be held in the United Kingdom in order to raise awareness to issues facing his country.

After the death of Herbert Macaulay, Azikiwe took leadership of the party and organized the delegation to London, where he met with the West African Students’ Union, the Fabian Society’s Colonial Bureau, and the Labor Imperial Committee.

Additionally, he helped raise funds in America for his movement. He also had a very fruitful meeting with Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt .

Premier of Nigeria’s Eastern Region

In 1952, Azikiwe contested and won a legislative council seat in the Eastern Assembly. He contested the election under the banner of the National Democratic Party – a party affiliated to the NCNC. His colleagues in the Assembly elected him to the position of chief minister and later he became premier of Nigeria’s Eastern Region in 1954.

First President of Nigeria

Owing to a hard fought battle by Azikiwe and his colleagues in the various legislative assemblies, Nigeria was able to become an independent republic within the Commonwealth of Nations on October 1, 1960. This feat came after the British Parliament passed the Nigeria Independence Act.

On November 16, 1960, he was appointed governor-general while Abubakar Tafawa Balewa was appointed prime minister. Azikiwe also had the honor of being a member of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom.

After immense agitations from the public, Nigerian parties in the various houses agreed to cut its relationship with the British crown in 1963. Subsequently, Nnamdi Azikiwe was elected the first president of Nigeria. His tenure as head of state witnessed massive amounts of investments in the health and education sectors of the country.

Unfortunately, his administration was forced out of power in the 1966 military coup, which resulted in Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi coming into power as head of state. Although the ensuing political turmoil claimed the lives of several top Nigerian officials, including Prime Minister Tafawa Belewa, Nnamdi Azikiwe luckily escaped.  And after two unsuccessful presidential bids (in 1970 and 1983), Azikiwe would go on to live to the ripe age of 91 before passing away on May 11, 1996 in Enugu. The renowned Nigerian statesman was buried at Onitsha, Nigeria.

write a short biography of nnamdi azikiwe

From left to right: 200 and 500 Naira notes contain the faces of Sir Abubakar Tafawa Belewa and Nnamdi Azikiwe respectively

Other Interesting Facts about Nnamdi Azikiwe

  • In Igbo language, Nnamdi Azikwe’s first name translates to “my father is alive”.
  • He was raised by Igbo parents – Obed-Edom Chukwuemeka Azikiwe (1879-1958) and Rachel Chinwe Ogbenyeanu. His father was a clerk in the colonial office, while his mother was a member of the royal family in Onitsha.
  • Owing to his father’s job as a civil servant, Nnamdi spent most of his childhood years in Northern Nigeria. As a result, he became very fluent in Hausa – the predominant language in those parts of Nigeria.
  • He also spent some of his childhood years with his aunt and grandmother at Onitsha. His father believed that his time there would allow him to get in touch with his Igbo-speaking paternal side of the family.
  • Built in 1865, the Azikiwe-Nkrumah Hall at Lincoln University was named after two of Africa’s most illustrious sons – Nnamdi Azikiwe and Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah (first president of Ghana). The hall holds the honor of being the the oldest building on campus.
  • There is a student hall at the University of Ibadan named after Nnamdi Azikiwe.  Nnamdi Azikiwe Hall.
  • He attended a number of mission primary and high schools; for example, he attended Methodist Boys’ High School in Lagos. Prior to that he had spells at Anglican and Catholic mission schools.
  • There is an international airport in nation’s capital named after him. The airport is called the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.
  • In the largest city of Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, there is a street called Azikiwe Avenue; a fitting recognition of Azikiwe’s distinguished contributions to the continent of Africa.
  • His political and social ideologies, Zikism, promote black pride and self-governance.

write a short biography of nnamdi azikiwe

Tags: African Presidents Nigeria Nnamdi Azikiwe Pan-Africanism West Africa

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Azikiwe, Nnamdi

November 16, 1904 to May 11, 1996

In November 1960 Martin Luther King traveled to Lagos, then Nigeria’s capital city, to attend the inauguration of Nnamdi Azikiwe as Nigeria’s first governor-general of African descent. Azikiwe, who later became the first president of Nigeria and was a life-long advocate of African independence, personally invited King to take part in the official inauguration festivities in a letter dated 26 October 1960.

Azikiwe was born 16 November 1904 in northern Nigeria and attended mission schools in Lagos. In 1925 he left for the United States, where he studied political science, earning a BA (1930) and MA (1932) from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. While a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, Azikiwe met Marcus Garvey and other leaders of the Back to Africa movement. In 1934 Azikiwe returned to Africa where he joined the Nigerian Youth Movement and founded the  West African Pilot  and several other periodicals that advocated independence from Britain. After more than a decade of working as a writer, Azikiwe was elected to the Nigerian Legislative Council in 1947 and began a career in government.

When King traveled to Nigeria in 1960 the liberation struggles there and in other African nations were having a profound impact on the American civil rights movement. Noting that Azikiwe and other African leaders were “popular heroes on most Negro college campuses,” King called the African liberation movement “the greatest single international influence on American Negro students,” offering the young people hope and guidance in their own struggle for freedom (King, “The Time for Freedom”). Azikiwe was elected the first president of Nigeria in 1963, but was removed from office by a military coup in 1966.

King, “The Time for Freedom Has Come,”  New York Times , 10 September 1961.

Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe: Beacon of Hope in the Struggle for Pan-Africanism

Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe Beacon of Hope in the Struggle for Pan-Africanism

Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, fondly known as “Zik of Africa,” was a remarkable leader who dedicated his life to the cause of Pan-Africanism. Born on November 16, 1904, in Zungeru, Nigeria, Azikiwe played a crucial role in shaping African history during the 20th century.

His life’s work is not just a testament to his commitment to Pan-Africanism but also to his determination to improve the lives of people across the continent. Dr. Azikiwe’s unwavering commitment to this movement, which aimed to unite African nations in their quest for self-determination and independence, has solidified his legacy as a true champion of Pan-Africanism.

In the following narrative, we will embark on a journey through the life, ideals, and lasting influence of this remarkable leader, whose tireless efforts continue to inspire the pursuit of a united and prosperous Africa.

Early Life and Education

Nnamdi Azikiwe’s journey began in Nigeria, where he received his early education. He went on to pursue higher education in the United States. He attended various institutions, including Howard University in Washington, D.C., and Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. His time in the United States exposed him to the African American civil rights movement, which profoundly impacted his worldview and political ideology.

Azikiwe’s Early Influences

Nnamdi Azikiwe’s formative years were marked by the struggles and aspirations of his fellow Nigerians. The country was under British colonial rule, and the desire for self-determination grew. Young Azikiwe was influenced by this atmosphere of change and the ideas of Pan-Africanism, which aimed at unifying African nations to resist colonial oppression.

Education in the United States

Azikiwe’s journey to the United States, where he sought higher education, was a significant turning point. He was exposed to the civil rights movement and the fight for racial equality. This experience broadened his perspective and deepened his commitment to social justice and self-determination.

Pan-Africanism and Political Activism

Upon returning to Nigeria, Azikiwe became deeply involved in the struggle for independence from British colonial rule. He used his platform as a journalist and editor (edited newspapers such as the “West African Pilot”) to promote nationalist and Pan-African ideas. Azikiwe’s writings and speeches inspired and mobilized many Africans to demand self-determination and an end to colonial oppression.

The Power of the Press

Azikiwe’s work in journalism was instrumental in spreading the message of Pan-Africanism. His newspaper, the “West African Pilot,” became a powerful tool for advocating for African independence and unity. It provided a platform for dialogue, raised awareness, and galvanized support for the cause.

The Ideals of Pan-Africanism

Azikiwe was a strong advocate for unifying African nations and establishing a united Africa. He believed that a united continent could better resist colonial exploitation and oppression. His vision of a Pan-African community was not limited to political unity but extended to the cultural, economic, and social ties that would bind African nations.

Pan-African Advocacy in Action

Azikiwe’s actions went beyond his words. He was a vocal participant in various Pan-African conferences and gatherings, where he actively lobbied for the cause. He believed unity was the key to Africa’s success in the modern world.

Participation in Pan-African Conferences

Azikiwe was a prominent figure in various Pan-African conferences and gatherings held during the mid-20th century. These conferences served as platforms for leaders, intellectuals, and activists from across the continent to deliberate on critical issues and chart a collective path toward African self-determination and unity.

One of the most notable conferences Azikiwe attended was the All-African People’s Conference, which was convened regularly in the years leading up to and following World War II. These gatherings aimed to promote African solidarity and address the challenges posed by colonial rule. Azikiwe’s active participation in these conferences helped build consensus among African leaders and demonstrated his dedication to Pan-African ideals.

Advocating for African Solidarity

Azikiwe believed African nations needed to work together to achieve their common goals, such as independence and economic development. He actively encouraged African leaders to set aside their differences and prioritize unity. 

His diplomatic efforts aimed to foster a sense of solidarity amongst African nations, recognizing that their collective strength would be the key to countering colonial exploitation and building a prosperous future for the continent.

Influencing the Formation of the OAU

Azikiwe’s work in Pan-African advocacy was crucial in forming the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1963. The OAU proved to be a significant milestone in the Pan-African movement, representing a formal organization dedicated to African unity and cooperation. Its establishment was a testament to the commitment of leaders like Azikiwe to overcome the challenges of nationalism, tribalism, and colonial legacies that divided the continent.

The OAU’s Charter echoed Azikiwe’s principles of non-interference in the internal affairs of member states, respect for territorial integrity, and the promotion of African unity. Azikiwe’s influence in shaping the OAU’s foundational principles underscores the depth of his commitment to the cause.

Azikiwe’s Role in Nigeria’s Foreign Policy

Azikiwe’s Pan-African advocacy also found expression in Nigeria’s foreign policy during his presidency. He actively championed promoting African unity, cooperation, and anti-imperialism in Nigeria’s interactions with other nations. This policy aligned with his vision of a united Africa that could work together to uplift its people.

Political Leadership and Achievements

In 1960, Nigeria gained its independence from British rule, and Azikiwe became the country’s first President. He later served as the ceremonial President of Nigeria from 1963 to 1966. During his time in office, Azikiwe advocated for African unity on the global stage, participating in Pan-African conferences and international forums.

Nigeria’s First President

Azikiwe’s election as Nigeria’s first President was a historic moment. His inauguration marked the end of colonial rule and the beginning of a new era for the nation. As President, he worked towards achieving social justice, economic development, and political stability.

A Global Advocate for Pan-Africanism

Azikiwe’s influence extended well beyond Nigeria’s borders. He was crucial in creating the Organization of African Unity (OAU), which later evolved into the African Union (AU). These organizations aimed to promote unity and cooperation among African nations. Azikiwe’s efforts on the international stage solidified his reputation as a Pan-African leader.

Legacy and Impact

Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe left an indelible mark on African history, and his legacy continues to influence the Pan-African movement. He played a vital role in forming the Organization of African Unity (OAU), which later became the African Union (AU), a regional body dedicated to promoting unity and cooperation among African nations.

The African Union: A Testament to Azikiwe’s Vision

The African Union is a testament to Azikiwe’s vision of Pan-African unity and addresses various challenges facing the continent, such as economic development, peace and security, and social progress. It embodies the spirit of cooperation and solidarity among African nations that Azikiwe championed throughout his life.

Azikiwe’s Influence on African Leaders

Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe’s leadership and advocacy have left an enduring imprint on the political landscape of Africa. Many African leaders, including those who followed him, drew inspiration from his vision and work. They continued to promote the ideals of African unity, self-determination, and independence, building upon the foundation he laid.

Azikiwe’s influence extended well beyond Nigeria’s borders. He became a respected figure in Africa and worldwide, earning recognition for his dedication to Pan-Africanism and leadership in Nigeria’s struggle for independence. His legacy continues to guide those who strive to unite the continent and uplift its people.

The Continuing Relevance of Pan-Africanism

Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe’s vision of Pan-Africanism remains as pertinent today as it was during his lifetime. This enduring ideology promotes unity and collaboration among African nations, recognizing that a shared purpose is critical to addressing the continent’s contemporary challenges.

In an increasingly globalized world, the diversity of African nations can be a strength, making Pan-Africanism even more relevant. It encourages cooperation among countries with varied cultures and histories to amplify their collective voice on the world stage. Pan-Africanism is crucial in tackling the complex issues of poverty, economic development, political stability, and health crises that persist in the 21st century.

The African Union (AU), which reflects Azikiwe’s vision, actively fosters regional integration, trade, and economic development. The AU’s Agenda 2063, focusing on the socio-economic transformation of the continent, underscores the continued influence of Pan-Africanism. It remains a guiding philosophy, offering a cohesive vision for Africa’s future as it faces global challenges and opportunities. Dr. Azikiwe’s legacy inspires leaders and citizens to work together toward a united and prosperous Africa.

In conclusion, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe’s life was a remarkable journey of dedication to the cause of Pan-Africanism. His unwavering commitment to African unity and the fight against colonialism made him a towering figure in the continent’s history. His legacy lives on, and his ideas continue to influence the ongoing pursuit of a united and prosperous Africa. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe’s impact on Pan-Africanism is immeasurable, and his vision remains as relevant today as it was during his lifetime.

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Nnamdi Azikiwe: A True National Hero

write a short biography of nnamdi azikiwe

Nnamdi Azikiwe was born on this day in 1904 in the Northern part of Nigeria. Concerned that his son was not fluent in Igbo, his native language, and the culture his father Obed-Edom Chukwuemeka Azikiwe sent him to Onicha to live with his paternal grandmother in 1912.

His pre-tertiary education was a mix of He attended religious affiliated primary schools (Christ Church primary school and Holy Trinity School).

After he was attacked by a dog, his father got him transferred to Lagos where he attended school in 1912. In 1918, he returned to Onicha to complete his primary education at CMS Central school. After this, he gained admission to Hope Waddell Training College where he had his first contact with Marcus Garvey’s teachings that will forever change his life.

write a short biography of nnamdi azikiwe

Thereafter, he was transferred to Methodist Boys High School. During this time, he met with an educator James Aggrey who was of the belief that Africans need gain education abroad and return to revolutionise their countries. Upon completion, he got employed as a clerk in the treasury department of the colonial service. This was an eye-opener to the racism in the government. Filled with determination, he attempted to travel to the US (Storer college) to further his education on his own but was met with ill-luck after his friend fell ill. His father then sponsored him to the Storer College. He transferred to Howard University. He was awarded a Master’s degree in religion in 1932.

He soon became and is responsible for the creation of a course in African history. Wanting to. He became a columnist for the Baltimore Afro-American, Philadelphia Tribune and the Associated Negro Press.

By the time he returned to Nigeria, he was known as a well-versed writer and landed a job as the editor of the African Morning Post in Gold Coast (now known as Ghana). He used the paper to criticize the colonial government and the rich Ghanaians who were unperturbed by the government’s treatment because they benefitted from it.

After getting arrested for sedition and his sentence was overturned, he returned to Lagos in 1937 and founded the West African Pilot to promote nationalism. He later established the Southern Nigeria Defender, the Eastern Guardian and the Nigerian Spokesman. He used his power to write against the colonial governments injustice against the natives thereby raising political consciousness.

write a short biography of nnamdi azikiwe

In 1944, he co-founded the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC) with Herbert Macaulay. On the 8th of July in 1945, the Pilot was suspended and resumed in August.

After an “alleged” assassination attempt, he went into hiding in Onitsha.

He went on to oppose the little influence and representation of the African man in the colonial government. He soon became the premier of Nigeria’s Eastern Region in 1954. In 1960, he became Nigeria’s governor-general and in 1963, Nigeria’s first president.

He retired from politics involuntarily after a 1983 military coup.

He died in May 1996 after battling a long-time sickness.

The New York Times described him as one who “towered over the affairs of Africa’s most populous nation, attaining the rare status of a truly national hero who came to be admired across the regional and ethnic lines dividing his country.”

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  • The Republic of Biafra
  • The First Nigerian Republic: Formation and Operation
  • The Colonial and Pre-Colonial Eras in Nigeria
  • Slavery--The European Impact
  • Echoes of the Biafran Era in Nigeria Today
  • The Structure and Operation of This Unit
  • Unit Goals and Suggestions for Evaluation
  • Why Was This Unit Created?
  • Biafra on the Internet
  • Background Readings

Nnamdi Azikiwe

A denunciation of european imperialism.

The most central figure in Nigeria's efforts to obtain independence was Nnamdi Azikiwe who began his efforts as a journalist in the 1930s.  The following biographical information is a typical textbook entry:  "In 1935, the Nigerian Nnamdi Azikiwe (b. 1904) first edited the Accra African Morning Post , and in 1937 he introduced in Lagos the West African Pilot , thereby introducing populist, revolutionary journalism to Africa.  Azikiwe learned his journalism in the United States, where he also experienced at first hand American racism and the efforts of radical journalists to combat it. Returning to Africa, he helped to launch political movements and parties through his newspapers." (Spodek, The World's History , 1st edition, p. 715).  You will note that all of these statements were made following World War II.  In a sense these statements bridge the space between Nigerian politics and the broader issues expressed by all Africans.

A.  From Nnamdi Azikiwe, Zik (Cambridge, England, 1961). From an address delivered at the Plenary Session of the British Peace Congress held at the Lime Grove Baths, Goldhawk Road, Hammersmith, London, on October 23, 1949:

Take a look at the map of Africa. You will notice that its contour presents a shape which reminds one of a ham bone. To some people this ham bone has been designed by destiny for the carving knife of European imperialism; to others, it is a question mark which asks whether Europe will act up to its ethical professions of peace and harmony. Yet the paradox of Africa is that its wealth and resources are among the root causes of wars. Since the Berlin Conference, the continent of Africa has been partitioned and dominated by armies of occupation in the guise of political trustees and guardians, represented by the following European countries: Britain, France, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Italy, and also the Union of South Africa.

When the Allied Powers sounded the tocsin for World War 1, Africa played a leading role not only as supplier of men, materials, and money, but as a theatre of war in which German colonialism in the Cameroons, in East Africa, and in South West Africa was destroyed. Again, when the Allied Nations beat the tom-tom for World War II, the African continent was used by military strategists in order to destroy the Fascist aims of Germany, Italy, and Vichy France. It is very significant that in the last two world wars, African peoples were inveigled into participating in the destruction of their fellow human beings on the ground that Kaiserism and Hitlerism must be destroyed in order that the world should be made safe for democracy--a political theory which seems to be an exclusive property of the good peoples of Europe and America, whose rulers appear to find war a profitable mission and enterprise.

Now the peoples of Africa are being told that it is necessary, in the interest of peace and the preservation of Christianity, that they should be ready to fight the Soviet Union, which the war buglers allege is aiming at world domination. Since the end of World War II, Field Marshal Lord Montgomery has been visiting several countries in Africa, including my country, Nigeria, which harbors uranium-233. Military roads are being constructed under the guise of economic development. American technicians are flooding Africa, and feverish preparations are being made for World War III. Certain factors have necessitated the stand which my organization, the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons, has taken in respect of the next war. In Nigeria and the Cameroons we face the inescapable reality that the blood of our sons has been shed in two world wars in vain. We remember that when during World War II the speaker requested Mr. Winston Churchill to confirm that the provisions of the Atlantic Charter applied to Nigeria, as was asserted by his Deputy, Mr. C. R. Attlee, the War Premier's reply, couched in diplomatic language and delivered with a soothing manner, contradicted President Roosevelt's interpretation to the effect that the Atlantic Charter applied to the whole world.

Today, in Nigeria, thousands of ex-servicemen are unemployed; they are disillusioned and frustrated, while some of them have been maimed for life, because they had been bamboozled into participating in a war which was not of their making. In spite of their war efforts, the people of Nigeria and the Cameroons have been denied political freedom, economic security, and social emancipation. Our national identity has been stifled to serve the selfish purposes of alien rule. We are denied elementary human rights. We are sentenced to political servitude, and we are committed to economic serfdom. Only those who accept slavery as their destiny would continue to live under such humiliating conditions without asserting their right to life and the pursuit of freedom, and joining forces with progressive movements for peace.

If I may be allowed to be frank, I must say that it is not enough for us to congregate here and adopt manifestoes for peace. We must search our hearts and be prepared to accept some home truths. Someone has rightly said that "Peace is indivisible." One-half of the world cannot enjoy peace while the other half lives in the throes of war. You may succeed in averting war between the two great blocs, but yours will be a hollow victor so long as any part of the world remains a colonial territory. It is clear that imperialism is a perennial source of war.

B.  From a speech delivered at Oxford University on Fridav, August 15, 1947:

The present colonial policy of the British Government can be reliable index of the prospects for the future. I mean no harm when I say without equivocation that such policy has been formulated in accordance with the logic of imperialism, buttressed by a false belief about the incapacity of the colonial peoples to develop initiative. To an extent, this policy was justified in the past, for historical reasons, but it can hardly stand the test of impartial analysis and criticism today.

Politically, British colonial policy has been to grant dependent peoples constitutions which are essentially autocratic. In spite of treaty obligations, Britain has ruled British Protectorates and mandates as if they were British Crown colonies. ...

Socially, the ogre of racial segregation and discrimination makes it extremely difficult for the colonial to develop his personality to the full. Education is obtainable but limited to the privileged. Hospitals are not available to the great number of the people but only to a negligible minority. Public services are lacking in many respects; there are not sufficient water supplies, surfaced roads, postal services, and communications systems in most communities of Nigeria. The prisons are medieval, the penal code is oppressive, and religious freedom is a pearl of great price.

Economically, the colonial peoples have been made to appreciate that colonial possessions constitute "undeveloped estates" specially reserved as a legacy for exploitation by the colonial power in control, either through a closed-door policy or a system of preferential tariff, or as a dumping ground for the unemployed of the "protecting state." This policy has affected the colonial peoples adversely. There exists in colonial territories a regime of monopoly which has a stranglehold on the country's economy. The system of taxation is arbitrary and inequitable. The civil service is not as efficient as it should be, owing mainly to favoritism, nepotism, and racism. ...

We demand the right to assume responsibility for the government of our country. We demand the right to be free to make mistakes and profit from our experiences.

C. From an address delivered at the Second Annual Conference of the Congress of Peoples Against Imperialism on "Colonies and War," Poplar, London, on October 9, 1949:

Every sixth man on the continent of Africa is a Nigerian. Every other person in the British colonial empire is a Nigerian. Add the British Isles to Belgium, Holland, Portugal and the Irish Free State, and then you have an idea of the area of Nigeria. There is gold in Nigeria. Coal, lignite, tin, columbite, tantalite, lead, diatomite, thorium (uranium233), and tungsten abound in Nigeria. There is palm oil galore. Rubber, cocoa, groundnuts, benniseeds, cotton, palm oil, and palm kernels are there in very large quantity. Timber of different kinds is found in many areas of this African fairyland. Yet in spite of these natural resources which indicate potential wealth, the great majority of Nigerians live in want.

... It is our considered opinion that factors of capitalism and imperialism have stultified the normal growth of Nigeria in the community of nations. We are confident that only by the crystallization of democracy in all aspects of our national life and thought--political, economic, and social--can we develop pari passu with the other progressive nations of the peaceloving world. We are determined that Nigeria should now evolve into a fully democratic and socialist commonwealth in order to enable our various nationalities and communities to own and control the essential means of production and distribution, and thereby more effectively promote political freedom, economic security, social equality, religious toleration, and communal welfare.

For these reasons, we define imperialism as the enforced rule of one nation by another nation. This we hold to be an antithesis of democracy, for the realization of which our sons have shed their blood in two world wars. Therefore, we are compelled to denounce imperialism as a crime against humanity, because it destroys human dignity and is a constant cause of wars. ...

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Augustine Agu holds a Ph.D. in Educational Administration, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard University. He is an international consultant and passionate education leader with over 30 years of educational experience. His career spans from teaching with the University of Ibadan and 21 years with UNICEF as Chief of Education for Somali, Tanzania, Ghana, Ethiopia and the Social Policy Adviser for Trinidad and Tobago. His areas of expertise include program planning; educational strategy development and national policy development. He is currently working on boy’s underachievement, poverty and well-being of children; issues of implementation, and the role of universities in promoting sustainable development.

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Nnamdi azikiwe

How Nigeria Got Independence: The Epic Story of Nnamdi Azikiwe

By Admin profile

November 05, 2021 -->

Nnamdi Azikiwe is a Nigerian hero. He was born in Zungeru, Nigeria on November 16, 1904 and died in London on January 13, 1996. His life spanned the period of British colonial rule to Nigerian Independence. In 1922 he went to study at Lincoln University (now University) Pennsylvania and there he met his wife Marjorie who later became an educator like him. After returning from studies abroad Nnamdi Azikiwe started teaching back home in 1929 but was soon fired because of his political views that did not agree with the colonialists' ideals; however this did not stop him from continuing to fight for independence and social justice for Nigerians!

Section 1: The Early Years

Born in Zungeru, Nigeria, on November 16, 1904, Nnamdi Azikiwe was the fourth son of the family. He was born after his father had moved from Umuleri to Zungeru in 1893 and after his mother had moved from Ogbaku in 1897. The Azikiwe family were of the Umuleri ethnic group who speak in the Ubangian language in addition to Hausa. In 1911 the Azikiwe family left Zungeru to live at Yapele in the present Aniocha Local Government Area of Delta State.

In 1912 Nnamdi Azikiwe was educated for the first time when he was sent to the King's School, Calabar, as a boarder by his father who was working as an English teacher there. It was at the King's School, where he learnt about the development of European civilization and was also exposed to Christianity.

The Fight for Independence

British colonial rule in Nigeria started with the 15th of July 1914, when Britain declared war against Germany. Britain had an interest in the area as it was in its sphere of influence. Britain faced stiff competition with other European powers, such as France and Belgium, who also wanted control over the colony, and decided to annex it without significant resistance. However, in 1876, Nigeria's demand to join the union of British West Africa (BBWA) had been rejected by the British government. Nigeria wanted to join the union of British West Africa as an equal partner, along with the Cape Coast and Gold Coast colonies.

Legacy and Death

After the colonial British failed to meet the promises they made to Nigerians in 1923 and 1931, Nnamdi Azikiwe founded the Action Group (AG) in 1935 which was a pro-independence organisation. He fought for and achieved independence for Nigeria in 1960.

Source: Wikimedia

The post How Nigeria Got Independence: The Epic Story of Nnamdi Azikiwe appeared first on Ngyab.

This post was syndicated from Ngyab. Click here to read the full text on the original website.

Nnamdi Azikiwe was born into a very ordinary middle class family in Zungeru, a small town in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria (in present day Nigeria), although he was the only child. As a boy he struggled to survive in an environment of intense struggle. His parents were poor farmers but they had a large number of children to look after as their husband and father died in his early 20s.

Nnamdi Azikiwe studied in the Hausa division of Lincoln University where he met his wife Marjorie who later became an educator. In 1923 he went to study at Lincoln University (now University) Pennsylvania where he met a whole new world with different people and different views of the world.


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agreement nigerian companies to provide services to africa technology-driven economy world trade organization call for urgent actions to transition the country’s economy from oil to a service and technology-driven one telcos shelve withdrawal ussd suspension customers to pay n6.98 kobo per ussd transaction post-covid recovery of african nations continental reinsurance plc private pan-african reinsurers astrazeneca vaccine who approves astrazeneca vaccines benefits of astrazeneca vaccine mba capital and trading investment limited saga mba's commitment to pay back investor mba unable to meet expected investment revenue mdas quarterly audit the accountant-general of the federation (agf) aims to reduce corruption in nigeria corruption cases in nigeria samsung new phones galaxy a32 galaxy a52 galaxy a72 zenith bank plc zenith bank plc dividend zenith bank plc approves a final dividend the lab arm-harith infrastructure investments limited sustainable urbanisation for west africa. mouka foam world sleep day importance of healthy sleep impact of sleep on human health engauge eyes smes mtn creates an innovative customer management solutions mtn launches customer engagement platform nigeria social insurance trust fund pharmacist council of nigeria nsitf collaboration with ecs dmo the launch of ijarah sukuk the 2020 sukuk bonds energy transition declining oil investment poor fiscal environment growing pressure to transit from fossil fuels effects on oil and gas company tariff increment in nigeria tariff increment for prepaid electricity consumers poverty in africa tony elumelu foundation world government summit dialogue: africa’s future post 2021 afcfta risks afcfta rewards the risks and rewards of the africa continental free trade area oil supply in nigeria nigeria government debt to ipman ipman threatens to cut petrol supply in nigeria african child protection family strengthening project children trafficking increase alert campaign to end torture against children ncaa charges azman air azman air charged safety infractions the nigerian civil aviation authority international civil aviation organization schemes to recapitalize ailing sectors of the economy inefficiency and underdevelopment in financial sector proposed refinery in katsina the three nigeria refineries refineries maintenance cost enough to build three new refineries n300b target credit facility (tcf) for households 30th seminar for finance correspondents and business editors leverage digital economy to drive growth president’s emergency plan for aids relief us invests $85tr globally in fight against hiv/aids us aim to fight hiv/aids government urged to enhance mobilization of savings savings pension funds critical to national development forensic bill the proposed chartered institute benefits of the proposed chartered institute the african economic challenges inter-sectoral framework to help reduce the the african economic challenges the africa advocacy programme aap the lekki deep sea port project progress on the lekki deep sea port project lekki deep sea port project to improve commerce in nigeria pan-african credit rating agency effects of coronavirus pandemic on the insurance industry nigeria insurance industry post the coronavirus pandemic the corporate social responsibility (csr) project free eye cataract surgery premium pension capitalization increase by various banks blue-chip stocks record gains the approval of 47 imtos 47 companies approved to operate as international money transfer operators ao and fa consulting aims to improve nigerian economy improvement in the financial advisory industry flexibility in accounting profession nigeria government to commit $3 billion to the power sector nigeria government to fund power sector to increase megawatts (mws) delay in apapa road construction anlca poor roads in nigeria the lagos state internal revenue service taxable persons file a return of income according to section 41 trade and investment in nigeria fg reaffirms business development telcos support to curb e-fraud in nigeria banks and telecommunication companies to unite and curb e-fraud in nigeria increase in e-fraud in nigeria $1 billion syndicated loan to support the micro small and medium enterprises the aim of the $1 billion syndicated loan by boi nnpc yet to remit money from domestic crude oil sales from 2015 national petroleum corporation 2015/2016 audit risks benefits of afcfta importance of public-private partnership nigeria’s active involvement in afcfta to help to reduce the effect of the current stagflation eco bank group 2020 revenue eco bank group capitalisation rises by n199 billion rise in mobile money transactions state of the industry report on mobile money registered accounts grew by 13 per cent globally in 2020 to more than 1.2 billion government industry and academia to diversify the economy nigeria’s natural resource export shrinking economy sustainability award fcmb achieves 100 sites leading commercial and industrial solar power provider in west africa clean-up initiative the multi-city beach clean-up exercise seasoned environmentalists nlng train 7 project infrastructure projects in nigeria participation of local companies in the implementation of nlng train 7 project itf selected to lift 100m nigerians out of poverty nigerian economy suspension of all export receipts at the lagos ports complex and the tin can island port till nigeria port suspension price-fixing regime in the foreign exchange experts seek end to price-fixing the foreign portfolio investors mou to support early project preparation financing and technical support services african export-import bank nigeria export-import bank integrated review of security integrated review of defense integrated review of development and foreign policy britain to boost trade and investment across the continent modalities to boost investment in infrastructure nigeria is in need of foreign direct investments securities and exchange commission infrastructure webinar n1 billion dividends to shareholders africa prudential plc declares n1 billion dividends effects of technology on professional practices benefits of data analytics how businesses enterprises could leverage it to transform their operations and income sec unveils new rules new rules on commodity trading vibrant commodities trading ecosystem ew rules on warehousing collateral management and other requirements. port’s electronic call-up scheme apapa 20th anniversary of nigerian society of engineers (nse) apapa branch misrepresentation in the foreign exchange management nigeria foreign exchange management controversy cbn urged to be proactive in fx management the national institute for legislative and democratic studies toolkit nilds develops a toolkit to enhance the benefit of the extractive industry. turkish airlines accused of violations of workers and trade union rights the nigeria labor congress to suspend turkish airlines congestion in lagos ports manufacturing firms in nigeria stressed about the congestion in lagos ports market capitalisation appreciate by n145 billion renewed appetite lead to an increase in the stock market dollar hits one-year yen rise in stock exchange market european and asian stock markets extended gains global economic recovery unbundling and partial concession of the transmission company of nigeria the responsive iso the power market market capitalization depreciated by n119 billion nigerian stock exchange declined equities the nigeria export processing zones authority a global economic concept that supports speedy infrastructure development africa’s food ecosystem food entrepreneurs in africa: scaling resilient agriculture businesses and discuss the theme preparing the next generation of entrepreneurs to transform africa’s food ecosystem seplat petroleum development company bond $650 million bond by seplat transaction overview of the $650 million bond by seplat starsight energy record growth starsight energy 2020 growth starsight energy growth analysis new banking professional examination and certification programme syllabus cibn ways to address skill issues in banks nigeria loses 20% passenger traffic over emirates etihad’s withdrawal from nigerian airspace the suspension of emirates airline the foreign direct investment the government urged to facilitate industrial growth and promote investment inflows details on the press parley in lagos on tuesday tudo app fintech launches new app tudo to drive digital revolution nigerian fintech outfit xerde limited new app low profitability in the nigerian national petroleum corporation media workshop organised by extractive 360 details nnpc crisis security architecture in kano kano state kano development kano is still nigeria’s investment destination iso 9001:2015 certification award beta computers limited awarded the iso certification pecb management system certificate eko electricity distribution company promises stable power during easter power distribution during eater season nigeria power distribution the approval of telecoms firm's restructuring plan $51m fresh funding of telecoms firm the aim of $51m funding of telecoms firm glo-sponsored tv programme two nigerian change agents to feature in glo-sponsored tv programme nigeria's economic growth rate in 2021 adopt reforms to ensure cost-reflective pricing in energy and other utilities. nigeria’s digital economy ftth as crucial enthronement of a digital economy in nigeria nigeria’s information and communications technologyindustry free medicare to lagos residents revolution plus group offers free medical care to over 1 000 persons lagos free medicare shell oil spill in bayelsa oil leakage at nun river in bayelsa oil spill by the shell petroleum development company ibadan auto spare parts market fire fire at ibadan auto spare parts market tire section cause fire at ibadan auto spare parts market telecoms operators crisis with the commercial banks ussd channels blocked telecoms customers unable to carry out major transactions financial results for fidelity bank plc fidelity bank plc growth fidelity bank plc growth as of december 31 2020 united bank for africa strategic investments in digital banking and technology united bank for africa promised improved returns on key investments mergers and acquisitions to form big-ticket firms experts charge insurers on mergers experts task insurers on acquisitions for big-ticket borrowers benefit from the microfinance institutions mfis smes face financing challenges advantages of doing business virtually effects of virtual business growth on technology nigeria's economy post pandemic. poor privatization deals in nigeria closures and total neglect of the nation's metal industries leads to the lose over n54.2 trillion yearly new sme offerings to increase the insurance market new smes to contribute maximally to the nation’s economy. 500m fund for tech creative sectors nigeria’s creative and technology industries afdb to source the $500m fund project ecobank receives sustainability award ecobank gets a reward for achieving 100 sites starsight presents sustainability award to ecobank fcmb group plc 2020 financial year fcmb posts n199.4b revenue fcmb posts profit apapa-yaba standard gauge rail apapa-yaba standard gauge rail set to begin operstions soon apapa-yaba standard gauge rail to deliver 500 containers daily effects of the waziri jetty closure deport owners urge the president to reopen the waziri jetty plea to reopen the jetty located along the dockyard road dangote commits to agric development dangote industries limited to partner with various tiers of governments all-share index (asi) appreciate by 0.02 per cent companies halt leads to all-share index (asi) appreciation highcap stocks pushes index by 0.02% nigeria as a key market for the business year nigeria was the second-most requested edition the business year 2020 nimasa nrc to revive railway foundry the resuscitation of the century-old railway foundry in lagos nse sustains positive profile capitalization gains n13b blue-chip stocks appreciation oil price volatility in nigeria federal government urged to leverage opportunities in exchange-traded derivatives federal government urged to eliminate the risk associated with oil prices investors fleeing mining sites due to bandits bandits infiltrate mining sites nigeria is losing huge revenue as bandits infiltrate mining sites firms trying to find sustainable ussd pricing model longer-term pricing structure for unstructured supplementary service data group experience loss to stripping operation hiccup a group of licensed customs agents laments n500m daily loss suspension of stripping activities at the bonded terminals in tin can island port complex 428 new oil gas projects to begin in africa nigeria named as one of the biggest crude oil producers in africa financial exchanges stumble end of the week unstable stock markets on friday friday stock exchange markets nigeria government to retain subsidy on premium motor spirit for the next six months petrol subsidy to remain in place for the next five to six months to enable government to carry out wide consultations the lagos- ibadan rail line project minister urges contractors to hasten lagos-ibadan rail project mutual benefits assurance plc operations to boost insurance adoption and market penetration efforts to develop the insurance business and create value purplepay unveils a new digital wallet electronic payment ecosystem a digital app that enables users to receive and send money for free and perform other banking services seamlessly depreciation in nigerian stock exchange analysts foresee a difficult future most all-share index downgraded by 0.13 nigerian breweries (nb) plc final dividend total nb dividend declared in 2020 to n7.51 billion total nb dividends to be paid to shareholders nigeria’s insurance industry downfall nigeria’s insurance industry unsustainability nigeria's insecurity causing the downfall of nigeria’s insurance industry tokyo stocks close down nigeria's investors cautious ahead of japan’s corporate results season tokyo stocks nigeria's islamic banking system the fintech era islamic fintech alibaba shares shares in tech giant alibaba soar the impact of $2.78 billion antitrust fine imposed by china ways to grow nigeria’s gross domestic product the take-off of commodities exchanges in nigeria the benefits of commodities exchanges mtn to put $6 billion value on mobile money unit sale or listing of a minority stake mtn mobile financial service cryptocurrency exchange launch shares on wall street bitcoin hits record high above $62 bitcoin value nigeria embarks on $47.4 billion gas projects nigeria has recorded progress on key gas projects nigeria’s enormous gas resources the publication of the book of states new publication detailing economic potential of states and their performances the federal government has unveiled a publication konn3ct competes for $78b virtual market konn3ct a nigerian meeting app set to compete with zoom google meet and microsoft teams recognition of firms that prioritize innovation and creativity award to recognize firms that prioritize value services for customer benefits yeli’s n10m business support seventeen youths have benefitted from the 2021 youth entrepreneurial and leadership initiative uba business series msme workshop and a capacity-building initiative of the bank uba to support the growth and sustainability of micro small and medium-scale enterprises nigeria-france business council industry minister pledge for the establishment of nigeria-france business council nigeria-france business council to enhance trade relations between the two countries digital substation model to boost power distribution in nigeria power distribution concerns in nigeria commercial flights take off global flight begin post pandemic nigeria record high number of commercial flights since coronavirus pandemic new approach to stimulating investments in energy nigeria faces a critical challenge in attracting investments to the enormous energy inadequate electricity trading the financial markets leverage techniques and tools you can use to make more money what is leverage empowerment programme amber drinks limited amber drinks to empower over 2000 nigerians amber drinks start-up loans concerns over rising inflation and debt sustainability in nigeria release today in nigeria concerns about the persistent increase in domestic prices bua group and axens of franc project signing of a progress acknowledgment statement between bua group and axens of franc bua to complete 200 000bpd refinery before 2025 imf endorses digital money digital money to enhance “faster easier and cheaper” remittance and cross-border payments coinbase makes stock market debut coinbase as the first major crypto business to go public in the u.s. coinbase zar pairs and xngusd octafx introduces new currency pairs new commodity four tradable currency pairs and one commodity/currency pair. adrc to eliminate unnecessary disputes and reduce litigation costs in the oil and gas industry adrc in lagos to help bring down cost of production gas constraint maintenance of jebba power plant and water shortage management in shiroro plant cause nationwide blackout in nigeria the implementation of national roaming services nin-sim exercise guidelines prescribing a regulatory framework union bank reaches 100 installations of starsight power starsight energy completes over 500 sites for its clients in nigeria bua cement company presents drugs and other medical items to seven primary healthcare centres in the wamakko bua cement company donates n10million worth of items the interception of n1.3 billion contrabands nigeria customs service raised debit notes worth n1.3 billion cold relationship between oil companies and their host communities the redrafting of the host community development section of the controversial bill nigeria is creating affordable reliable energy for its populace and transitioning nigeria is in transit for providing cleaner energy in line with the net-zero emissions global target. local airlines spike airfares foreign exchange liquidity crisis effects foreign exchange crisis on airlines oil demand is bouncing back increase in oil demand oil demand despite movement restrictions oil demand post covid- 19 africa's economy an over view of the africa's economy africa's economy post covid the reduction of human contact at the ports nigerian ports achieves 70% digitalization nigerian government explains reduction of human contact at the ports n42 billion debt for the ussd services telcos seek for an intervention of the cbn and ncc banks asked to to pay the n42 billion debt unstructured supplementary service data debt apapa-oshodi-ojota-oworonshoki road project the completion of apapa-oshodi-ojota-oworonshoki road project apapa-oshodi-ojota-oworonshoki road project to be completed in 9 to 10 months e-hailing companies asked to immediately increase fares being charged by the operators uber and bolt strike in lagos uber and bolt drivers threaten to strike until fares are increased insurance companies' obligations increase insurer pays n501million claims great nigeria insurance plc honor claims states’ internally-generated revenues slip state governments’ depend on abuja to fund its expenditures states’ internally generated revenues show two per cent dip in revenue mobilisation ‘dangote sugar investments to promote infrastructure growth’ dangote sugar refinery plc aims to turn nigeria to self-sufficient in sugar production. glo introduces new customer services glo ne services glo betters its customer experience with new services glo's friendly customer service gas-powered engine vehicles flash gas to begin conversion of cars to gas-powered engines from june gas-powered engine vehicles to drive gas utilisation and consumption in the country. nigeria’s national identification project’ ‘local companies advised to manage nigeria’s national identification project’ cryptocurrencies’ impact on diaspora remittances measures to insulate diaspora remittances against the impacts of cryptocurrencies. the launch of onepay for business. onepay for business onepay for business turns mobile phones to pos ending the gas-to-power challenges the perennial challenges facing gas-fired power plants in the country bottlenecks continue to cause power outages nigeria government announces its aim to plans to increase milk production government to provide the needed infrastructure to enhance milk aggregation cbn’s objectives to trade within africa objectives of enabling greater economic growth and creating employment opportunities for the country’s growing population mobile industry eyes zero carbon emission mobile industry aim at combating climate change mobile industry vision 2050 stakeholders decry the state of nigerian seaports stakeholders describe nigerian seaports as underdeveloped stakeholders comments on nigerian seaports mtn to invest $10b on nigeria mtn commits about $10 billion in the next five years to improve infrastructure mtn to improve africa’s telecoms infrastructure smile explains service outage smile recent service outage network upgrade and modernisation activities cause service outage at smile financial literacy as the key to sustainable development banks advocates advocate banks to compensate their customers agusto & co and a2ng assigns global accelerex an a- (stable outlook) agusto & co and a2ng credit ratings biden tax hike proposals rattles at wall street for biden tax hike is biden really considering a tax hike on wealthy stock investors aladdin digital bank launches a digital app digital bank unveils revolutionary app to save borrow make payments nigeria exports over $700m to indonesia over $700m nigeria-indonesia export nigeria export market uba q1 profit rises uba q1 records a 24% profit uba q1 profit in the first-quarter 2021 operations new local airlines routes local airlines rebound with traffic surge the end of liquidity emergency in the airline sector youth unemployment in nigeria boi to tackle youth unemployment bank of industry plans to use tech hub to reduce youth unemployment in nigeria businesses lose $29 billion yearly to poor electricity nigeria poor electricity affects business effects of poor power supply in nigeria the closure of ikorodu road inbound anthony road alternatives following the closure of ikorodu road inbound anthony president buhari overrules dpr and restored 4 oil blocks reason behind the president's overruling dpr and restoring 4 oil blocks to nnpc/addax healthcare investments in africa rise in africa healthcare investments challenges in healthcare in africa greenfield university abduction fg determined to continue fighting all forms of banditry us warns its citizens to reconsider travelling to nigeria nigeria identified as a high-risk area for for ransom terrorism and other security threats dangote’s interest in buying arsenal fc is dangote’s buying arsenal fc? dangote’s plans for buying arsenal fc unity bank increases loan portfolio unity bank gross loan portfolio increased by 94.3% nigerian arnergy gets the attention of bill gates and his billionaires’ friends nigerian arnergy recognized as one of the top companies that will help save the world international flight operations are yet to resume at kano ph airports issuing notice to airmen by the fg and low passenger turnout cause imo state governor’s house attacked imo state governor’s cars burnt imo state governor’s house under attack commercial banks’ loan exposure commercial bank loan portfolio exceeds 20tr national bureau of statistics report tesla reports higher profits tesla reports surging electric vehicle sales tesla upstart’s model 3 becoming the best-selling premier sedan in the world stakeholders charge smes on governance structure stakeholders charge smes on credit management nigeria leads digital revolution paxful has disclosed that it has traded about $1.5 billion with 1.5 million nigerian users on its platform local airlines spend n44b yearly on maintenance homegrown mro yet to be set up six years after it was muted kogi state secures $100 million afdb loan the loan to be channelled to funding special agro-industrial processing zones highcap stocks lift capitalisation by n356 billion market capitalisation appreciate access bank transacted 16.691 million shares worth 122.154 million nigerian politicians own properties worth $400m in dubai politically exposed persons (peps) in nigeria. nigeria’s moribund refineries huge funds being spent on nigeria’s moribund refineries nigeria’s moribund refineries generating minimal revenues for the nation. maritime looking for money to replace existing ships maritime looks to invest $3.4 trillion to replace existing ships olusegun ogunsanya announced as ceo of airtel nigeria to lead airtel in nigeria local airlines to roll out common ticket interlining arrangement that offers customers the benefit of the two airlines using a single ticket unity bank hits 43% profit in q1 unity bank unaudited q1 results nsia value campaign nsia value campaign to offer opportunity to deliver benefits of insurance to consumers cardinalstone financing spv plc n5 billion series one bond on fmdq fmdq securities exchange limited wema bank is commemorating its 76th anniversary wema bank as the longest surviving indigenous nigerian bank started operations in 1945 enforcement of compulsory insurance several insurance firms partner to enhance compulsory insurance improved q1 earnings lift stock market indices market capitalization appreciate by 1.36 per cent new digital currency trading app a mobile app that allows instant exchange of cryptocurrencies using the naira investment announcement inflows in quarter one nigeria received $8.4b investment announcement inflows in q1 investments to boost africa’s economy diversification to boost africa’s economy china’s domination of african economy world youngest crypto billionaire forbes names ethereum cryptocurrency co-founder as the the world youngest billionaire new dg of the delta economic summit group ekenem isichei appointed as the new director-general of the delta economic summit group mtn digital revenue grew by 101 per cent and fintech revenue by 28.5 per cent banks owe mtn n40 billion afdb ifad partner to strengthen africa's food security an alliance to address rising hunger on the continent. the free trade zone scheme nbs nepza partner on export import data in the free trade zone contactless tap-and-go payments and online shopping how nigeria consumers are adopting to the new contactless payment patterns ngx sustains sliding profile capitalization plunges further by n167b ngx extended bearish sentiment to three consecutive trading sessions copper and iron ore demand on the rise copper and iron ore prices hit record highs naira 4 dollar scheme extended fx crisis continue cbn extends ‘naira 4 dollar scheme’ indefinitely as fx crisis continues nigeria marginal field development program marginal fields to help with the development of local content in the oil and gas industry airlines record 73% traffic slump amid restrictions airlines in nigeria have recorded 73.7 per cent slump in passenger traffic for the month of march 2021

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Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe's biography: legacy of Nigeria's first president

Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe was a prominent Nigerian nationalist and statesman who played a significant role in the fight for Nigeria's independence from British colonial rule. Throughout his life, Azikiwe was an ardent advocate for African nationalism and independence.

Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe

Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe was a gifted orator and journalist using these skills to advance the cause of independence through his newspapers and speeches.

Profile summary

write a short biography of nnamdi azikiwe

Chiwetalu Agu’s biography: age, children, net worth, is he alive?

Nnamdi Azikiwe's history and biography

Azikiwe's contributions to Nigeria's independence and his commitment to African unity and progress earned him respect and admiration both within Nigeria and internationally. He was a vocal advocate for unity and nationalism in Nigeria and continued to be involved in Nigerian politics even after his presidency.

Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe's state of origin

Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe was born on November 16, 1904, in Zungeru, Northern Nigeria. His first name, Nnamdi, holds the meaning "my father is alive" in the Igbo language, reflecting his Igbo ancestry.

nnamdi azikiwe's achievements

His father, Obed-Edom Chukwuemeka Azikiwe, originally from Onitsha, served as a clerk in the British Administration of Nigeria. Azikiwe's mother, Rachel Chinwe Ogbenyeanu Azikiwe, was the third daughter of Aghadiuno Ajie. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe had a sister named Cecilia Eziamaka Arinze.

Nnamdi Azikiwe's educational background

Nnamdi Azikiwe pursued his education both in Nigeria and the United States. He attended various schools, including Holy Trinity School and Christ Church School in Onitsha, Wesleyan Boys' High School (now known as Methodist Boys' High School) in Lagos, and the Hope Waddell Training College in Calabar.

write a short biography of nnamdi azikiwe

Carolyna Hutchings (Caroline Danjuma)’s biography: age, husband, movies

He attended Storer College, Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Howard University in the United States. He obtained bachelor's degrees in political science and anthropology and master's degrees in religion and anthropology.

Career summary

Nnamdi Azikiwe was a Nigerian statesman and political leader. He served as the ceremonial first President of Nigeria during the First Nigerian Republic from 1963 to 1966. He was considered a driving force behind the nation's independence and earned the title "father of Nigerian nationalism."

Azikiwe was a prominent journalist and founded several newspapers, including the West African Pilot, to advocate for Nigerian and African nationalism. He co-founded the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC) with Herbert Macaulay in 1944 and became its secretary-general in 1946.

Azikiwe's political career spanned several decades, and he held various leadership positions, including becoming the premier of Nigeria's Eastern Region in 1954 and later serving as the Governor-General and the first President of Nigeria. His political journey was marked by his commitment to African independence and self-government.

write a short biography of nnamdi azikiwe

BREAKING: President Tinubu arrives in Cotonou, photo, details emerge

What did Nnamdi Azikiwe do for Nigeria?

Nnamdi Azikiwe was crucial in Nigeria's struggle for independence from British colonial rule. As a journalist, politician, and statesman, he advocated for Nigerian and African nationalism, promoting the ideals of self-government and African pride.

He co-founded the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC). He used his newspapers, such as the West African Pilot, to raise awareness about the need for independence and social justice.

Azikiwe was a key figure in the negotiations for Nigeria's independence , and he became the first President of Nigeria when it became a republic in 1963.

nnamdi azikiwe's children

Although his role as president was largely ceremonial, he remained influential in Nigerian politics and continued to advocate for unity and progress.

Achievements of Nnamdi Azikiwe

Nnamdi Azikiwe's achievements were significant and impactful. Some of his key accomplishments include:

  • Founding several influential newspapers to promote African nationalism and advocate for social and political change.
  • Established the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in 1960, which became one of Nigeria's leading universities.
  • Serving as the first President of Nigeria and the first Nigerian to be appointed to the Privy Council of the United Kingdom.
  • Earning the title of Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR), Nigeria's highest national honour.
  • Playing a leading role in Nigeria's struggle for independence and being regarded as the "father of Nigerian nationalism."
  • Advocating for unity and nationalism in Nigeria, despite challenges and conflicts in the country's early years as an independent nation.
  • Using sports, mainly through Zik's Athletic Club, to promote national unity and a sense of "Nigerian-ness.

write a short biography of nnamdi azikiwe

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Some of his honours include:

  • Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja
  • Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu
  • Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Awka, Anambra State
  • Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital in Nnewi
  • Nnamdi Azikiwe Library at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka
  • Nnamdi Azikiwe Press Centre, Dodan Barracks, Obalende, Ikoyi, Lagos
  • Azikiwe Avenue in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  • CRDB Azikiwe Branch in Dar es Salaam

Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe's children and family

nnamdi azikiwe's history

The late Nnamdi was married and had kids. He was married to Uche Azikiwe (1973–1996), Flora Azikiwe (1936–1983) and Ugoye Comfort Azikiwe. He had several kids, including Chukwuma, Emeka A., Nwachukwu, Ngozi, Molokwu, Uwakwe and Jayzik Azikiwe.

Where was Nnamdi Azikiwe buried?

Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, who passed away at the age of 91 on 11 May 1996, succumbed to a prolonged illness at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital in Enugu . He was laid to rest in his hometown of Onitsha, Nigeria.

write a short biography of nnamdi azikiwe

BREAKING: President Tinubu departs Nigeria for Benin Republic, details emerge

Quick facts about Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe

  • He was the chancellor of the University of Lagos from 1972 to 1976.
  • The picture of Nnamdi Azikiwe appears on Nigeria's ₦500 banknote since 2001.
  • He was inducted into the Agbalanze Society of Onitsha as Nnanyelugo in 1946.
  • He competed in boxing, athletics, swimming, football and tennis.
  • A Yoruba faction criticized him for utilizing his newspaper to stifle dissenting opinions and suppress opposing viewpoints.

The late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe's legacy remains influential in Nigeria's history and politics. His dedication to the cause of independence and his efforts to promote African nationalism has solidified his place as one of Nigeria's most important historical figures. recently published Austin North's biography . He is an American actor who played Logan Watson in the Disney Channel sitcom I Didn't Do It and Topper Thornton in the Netflix series Outer Banks.

Austin ventured into acting in 2014 and has amassed an impressive 13 acting credits to date. He also showcases his talent as a skilled drummer, often sharing his covers on his YouTube account. Read on to find out more about his life.


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BlackPast is dedicated to providing a global audience with reliable and accurate information on the history of African America and of people of African ancestry around the world. We aim to promote greater understanding through this knowledge to generate constructive change in our society.

(1959) nnamdi azikiwe speaks on the role of nigeria and other african states in world politics.

write a short biography of nnamdi azikiwe

On July 31, 1959, Nigeria was slightly more than a year away from full independence from Great Britain.  On that day Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Premier of Eastern Nigeria and National President of the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC), gave a speech to the London branch of his political party in which he outlined Nigeria’s future association with other African states and what he anticipated would be the role of his nation in world affairs.  That speech appears below.

In connection with the relationship between Nigeria and the other African States, the need for economic, social and political integration has been mentioned. Since many views have been propounded on how the free African States can be linked the situation is rather confusing. Perhaps it may be pertinent for me to pursue this matter further in order not to leave any room for doubt or confusion.

Nigeria should co-operate closely with the other independent African States with the aim of establishing unity of outlook and purpose in foreign policy. The pursuing of this objective should make for better understanding among the African States and a realization of identity of interest among them.  Moreover, it would advertise the importance of Africa in world affairs and help to heal the wounds that have been inflicted on this continent and which can be a basis of a revanchist movement.

There are many schools of thought on how the African States should be aligned. One school favours a political union of African States now. Another school favours an association of African States on the basis of community of interests. Still another school favours an alignment of a rigid or loose character on a regional basis. Other schools develop this splendid idea further and there can be no doubt that more will be heard from other quarters.

My personal opinion is that there is great need for close cooperation between Nigeria and the other African States. The nature of such close co-operation need not delay sincere efforts to attain such a desirable goal, but we must be realistic in pursuing this matter lest we plunge the continent of Africa in a maelstrom of conflicting personal ambitions and interests.

I would suggest that Nigeria, in the first instance, should explore with its nearest neighbours the possibility of a customs union. This would lead to the abolition of tariffs between tile two or more countries and would encourage ‘free trade’ in areas which might ultimately turn into a common market. With a free flow and interchange of goods, Nigeria and its neighbours would come closer in their economic relationship which is very fundamental in human relations.

I would also suggest a gradual abolition of boundaries which demarcate the geographical territory of Nigeria and its neighbours. The experience of Canada and the United States has been encouraging and should be explored. Once travelling is freely permitted, other things being equal, people will forget about physical frontiers and begin to concentrate on essential problems of living together.

I would suggest further that Nigeria should interest its neighbours in a joint endeavour to build international road systems which should link West African countries with East African territories, on the one hand, and North African countries with Central African territories, on the other. By encouraging the construction of autobahn systems across strategic areas of Africa, and by providing travelling facilities, in the shape of hotels, motels, petrol-filling stations, we should be able to knit the continent of Africa into a tapestry of free-trading, free-travelling, and free-living peoples.

I would finally suggest cultural exchanges on a wider scale than is practised at present. Students, dancers, artistes, traders and holiday-makers should be able to cross the frontiers of Nigeria and its neighbours with full freedom. They are usually the ambassadors of goodwill and they can help to produce the sense of one-ness which is so lacking in most of Africa at present. Given official support these ordinary folk would become the harbingers of a new era in Africa, because once a sense of one-ness has permeated the social fabric it facilitates the crystallization of common nationality, as the experience of Nigerian history vindicates.

I believe that economic and social integration will enable Nigeria and its neighbours to bring to pass the United States of Africa, which is the dream of African nationalists. It would be capital folly to assume that hard-bargaining politicians who passed through the ordeal of victimization and the crucible of persecution to win their political independence will easily surrender their newly-won political power in the interest of a political leviathan which is populated by people who are alien to one another in their social and economic relations. It has not been possible in Europe or America, and unless Africa can show herself different from other continents, the verdict of history on this score will remain unchallenged and unaltered.

Lest there should be any mistaken notion of my stand on the alignment of interests of African States, may I reiterate that I firmly believe in the attainment of an association or union of African States either on a regional or continental basis in the future. I would regard such a future as not within the life-time of the heroes and heroines who have spearheaded the struggle for freedom in Africa, these four decades. But I honestly believe that social and economic integration would so mix the masses of the various African territories into an amalgam of understanding that the objective might be realizable earlier than we expected.

In other words, the prerequisites of political integration in Africa are the economic and social integration of African peoples. Otherwise, we shall be precipitating a crisis which will find African leaders jockeying among themselves for leadership of peoples who are not only alien to each other but are unprepared for such a social revolution. This would be disastrous to the ideals of Pan-Africanism which all of us, as sincere nationalists, have been propagating all these years. It means going the way of Europe, which gave top priority to political integration before social and economic integration, only to disintegrate into unimportant nation-states after the Peace of Westphalia in 1648.

The role of Nigeria in world polities can inspire respect if, in addition to creating a healthy relationship, she either spearheads or associates herself actively in the movement to revive the stature of man in Africa. This implies the downright denunciation of the spurious theory of racial inferiority which has no scientific basis. Nigeria should not hesitate to consider it as an unfriendly act for any State in Africa to proclaim or to practise this dangerous doctrine of racialism.

We can revive the stature of man in Africa by associating Nigeria actively with all progressive movements which are busily engaged not only in demolishing racial bigotry but also in spreading knowledge of the fundamental equality of the races of man- kind. Nigeria should use its good offices to persuade African States which practise racial snobbery to mend their ways, and Nigeria should dissociate itself from organizations which condone the practice of race prejudice by their members.

The existence of colonies in Africa can no longer be justified in the light of science and history. It should be the manifest destiny of Nigeria to join hands with other progressive forces in the world in order to emancipate not only the people of Africa but also other peoples of African descent from the scourge of colonialism. Science has demonstrated that no race is superior to another. History has shown that no race is culturally naked. That being the case, Nigeria should be in the vanguard of the struggle to liberate Africans from the yoke of colonial rule.

May I at this stage refer to the reported plan of France to use the Sahara Desert as a site for testing its atomic bombs? I am not concerned in this lecture about the desirability or otherwise of using the atomic bomb as an instrument of war, but I am deeply concerned that a European State, which rules millions of Africans as colonial people, should calculatedly endanger the lives of millions of African people in a mad attempt to ape the Atom Powers.

The leaders and people of Nigeria are already reacting and I do not hesitate to warn France, with respect and humility, as I did in November 1958, when I first called the attention of the world to this attempt by France to perpetrate an atrocity against the peoples of Africa, that we will regard this Sahara test not only as an unfriendly act, but as a crime against humanity, in view of the dangers of radio-active fall-out and in view of the effect of the Sahara Desert on the climate of Nigeria.

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Nnamdi Azikiwe: The Triumph of Knowledge

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Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe, popularly called Zik, 2 has in the above crisp and succinct statement affirmed that the power of knowledge contributed to the towering heights he attained in Nigerian politics. He was wellversed in history and culture, and the rhetoric of political science and journalism. In addition, his uncanny understanding of the complex and dynamic political landscape of Nigeria helped him become an agent of history whose heroic achievements took on epical features embodied in the “Zikist myth.”

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Nnamdi Azikiwe, Renascent Africa (London: Frank Cass, 1937), 17.

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See K. A. B. Jones-Quartey, A Life of Azikiwe (Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books Ltd., 1965), 46. Azikiwe shortened his name to Ben Azikiwe at Storer College, but, as his fellow students found it difficult to pronounce the surname, they simply called him “Zik,” which became his most popular name. As for his baptismal name, Benjamin, he dropped it in 1934 as a protest against the British government’s refusal to allow him to participate as a runner in the British Empire games because Nigeria did not have a team in the competition.

Femi Ojo-Ade, Death of Myth : Critical Essays on Nigeria (Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2001), 39. Ojo-Ade made an interesting comparative but contentious study of Zik and Awo. See pages 11–51.

Nnamdi Azikiwe, My Odyssey: An Autobiography (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970), 7; Olajire Olanlokun, The Legend: Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe (Ibadan, Nigeria: Lantern Books, 2005), 1. P.R. Macmillan, 1961), 9–11.

Olajire Olanlokun, The Legend: Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe (Ibadan, Nigeria: Lantern Books, 2005), 1. P.R. Macmillan, 1961), 9–11.

Azikiwe, Ibid ., 10–12; Olanlokun, Ibid ., 7; Iketuonye, Ibid ., 11–13.

Azikiwe, Ibid ., 9; Olanlokun, Ibid ., 8; Iketuonye, Ibid ., 14; Jones-Quartey, A Life of Azikiwe , 56.

Azikiwe, Ibid ., 17; Olanlokun, Ibid ., 9.

Azikiwe, Ibid ., 11–12; Iketuonye, Zik of Africa , 18–24; Jones-Quartey, A Life of Azikiwe , 49.

Jones-Quartey, Ibid ., 2.

Azikiwe, My Odyssey , 73; Iketuonye, Zik of Africa , 33–35.

Azikiwe, Ibid ., 57; Iketuonye, Ibid ., 37–38; Olanlokun, The Legend , 27.

Azikiwe, Ibid ., 57–59; Iketuonye, Ibid ., 39–42; Olanlokun, Ibid ., 28–31.

Azikiwe, Ibid ., 60; Olanlokun, Ibid ., 31.

Azikiwe, Ibid ., 58–62; Iketuonye, Zik of Africa , 42–45.

Azikiwe, Ibid ., 83–84; Iketuonye, Ibid ., 49–54; Olanlokun, The Legend , 38.

Azikiwe, Ibid ., 85; see also Iketuonye, Ibid ., 55–57.

Azikiwe, Ibid ., 85; see also Olanlokun, The Legend , 39–40.

Azikiwe, Ibid ., 85; Iketuonye, Zik of Africa , 56.

Azikiwe, Ibid ., 85.

Iketuonye, Zik of Africa , 64–65; Olanlokun, The Legend , 41.

Azikiwe, My Odyssey , 95–97; Olanlokun, Ibid ., 48–57.

Molefi Asante, The Afrocentric Idea (Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1987), 94. Zik himself admitted that he was greatly influenced by the ideas of Marcus Garvey. See Azikiwe, My Odyssey , 66.

Azikiwe, Ibid ., 66.

For Zik’s accounts of the courses he took, his fellow students, and the teachers who influenced him in the various universities he attended, see Azikiwe, Ibid ., 116–151; Nnamdi Azikiwe, “A Nigerian in America,” in Crosscurrents in the Black Atlantic 1770–1965 , ed., David Northrup (Boston, MA: Bedford/Martin’s, 2008), 136–144.

Jones-Quartey, A Life of Azikiwe , 86.

See Levi Nwachuku, “Nnamdi Azikiwe and Lincoln University: An Analysis of a Symbiotic Relationship,” Lincoln Journal of Social and Political Thought 1, no. 1 (Fall 2002): 27–36.

Jones-Quartey, A Life of Azikiwe , 92; Azikiwe, “A Nigerian in America,” 114; Iketuonye, Zik of Africa , 91–94.

Olanlokun, The Legend , 66–67.

Azikiwe, My Odyssey , 232–249. Many receptions were held by communities and organizations in honor of Zik when he arrived in eastern Nigeria in November 1934. The organizations include the Onitsha Improvement Union, the Igbo Community in Onitsha, the Ibo Union, Port Harcourt, and the Ibo Tribe Union, Calabar. The receptions featured welcome addresses and gifts that included cash.

Azikiwe, Ibid ., 175–190.

Azikiwe, Ibid , 255–256; Ikotuonye, Zik of Africa , 118–121; Olanlokun, The Legend , 114.

Olanlokun, Ibid ., 81.

Azikiwe, Renascent Africa , 9–11; My Odyssey , 252–254; Jones-Quartey, A Life of Azikiwe , 120–121.

Azikiwe, Renascent Africa , 17.

Azikiwe, Ibid ., 21; Iketuonye, Zik of Africa , 119–123.

Azikiwe, Renascent Africa , 33; My Odyssey , 258–259.

Azikiwe, Renascent Africa , 24–34.

Azikiwe, My Odyssey , 59; Olanlokun, The Legend , 83.

Jones-Quartey, A Life of Azikiwe , 131; Iketuonye, Zik of Africa , 125–129.

Azikiwe, My Odyssey , 260–274; Jones-Quartey, Ibid ., 132–136.

In addition to his postulates, in this work Zik delved into African and world history and politics, questioning the justificatory myths of imperialism and highlighting the significant contributions Africans had made to human civilization.

Jones-Quartey, A Life of Azikiwe , 147–148. For Zik’s account of the history of his group of newspapers, see Azikiwe, My Odyssey , 286–308.

J. Coleman, Nigeria: Background to Nationalism (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1958), 220.

The Ijebu were the major slave traders, especially, during the Yoruba Civil Wars of the nineteenth century, hence other Yoruba people tended to dislike them.

Jones-Quartey, A Life of Azikiwe , 160–161. See also R. Sklar, Nigerian Political Parties: Power in an Emergent African Nation (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1963), 41–64 (providing an account of Nigerian political history leading to the founding of the NCNC).

Coleman, Nigeria , 264; Sklar, Ibid ., 56–58.

Nnamdi Azikiwe, Zik: A Selection of Speeches from Nnamdi Azikiwe (London: Cambridge University Press, 1961), 58–59.

Coleman, Nigeria , 265.

Azikiwe, Zik , 181.

Coleman, Nigeria , 271–282; Azikiwe, Ibid ., 381; Sklar, Nigerian Political Parties , 58–59.

Azikiwe, Zik , 320; Jones-Quartey, A Life of Azikiwe , 186.

Coleman, Nigeria , 292.

See Wole Soyinka, Ake: The Years of Childhood (Ibadan, Nigeria: Spectrum Books, 1981) (recounting, in his childhood days, the ovation Zik received while addressing the masses).

Coleman, Nigeria , 258.

Coleman, Ibid ., 284–285.

When I was in high school, I heard a variety of stories about Zik’s mythical powers. For example, it was believed that before he passed away, Herbert Macaulay gave Zik the key to the Lagos lagoon, permitting him to punish the British or his political opponents by flooding Lagos and its surrounding environs if they sought to undermine him. For similar accounts of Zik’s supernatural powers, see Jaiyeola Ajasa, “The Spirit-Man: Nnamdi Azikiwe,” The Week (May 27, 1996), available at There are also other accounts, such as the one by the computer wizard Philip Emeagwali, who dwelt on how Zik got his wisdom and power from an old woman who happened to be a spirit, and also how he tricked a mermaid, and acquired the power to flood Victoria Island if Lagosians upset him.

Coleman, Nigeria , 285–286; Jones-Quartey, A Life of Azikiwe , 167.

Coleman, Ibid ., 287.

Coleman, Ibid ., 296–302; see also Sklar, Nigerian Political Parties , 72–76. The movement was founded in 1946. Due to its militancy, the colonial government banned the movement in 1950.

Coleman, Ibid ., 294.

Azikiwe, Zik , 321–330.

Azikiwe, Ibid ., 325. See also Sklar, Nigerian Political Parties , 65–69, 101–112. For a detailed study of the ethnic dimensions of Nigerian politics and events leading to the collapse of the First Republic, see Richard Joseph, Democracy and Prebendal Politics in Nigeria (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987), 41–68.

Azikiwe, Ibid ., 327; Sklar, Ibid ., 87–101.

See K. Post and M. Vickers, Structure and Conflict in Nigeria , 1960–1966 (New York: Heinemann, 1973); A. Kirk-Greene, Crisis and Conflict in Nigeria: A Documentary Source Book, 1966–1969 , Vol. I (London: Oxford University Press, 1971); O. Aborisade and R. Mundi, Politics in Nigeria (New York: Longman, 2001), 10–21.

For a study of the religious dimension of the Nigerian crisis see Toyin Falola, Violence in Nigeria: The Crisis of Religious Politics and Secular Ideologies (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 1998), 137–265.

Azikiwe, “A Nigerian in America,” 136–137.

See Ojo-Ade, Death of Myth , 40–43; Sklar, Nigerian Political Parties , 261–283.

For a few of the numerous works on Biafra, see Ralph Uwechue, Reflections on the Nigerian Civil War (New York: Africana Publishing Corporation, 1971); Betty Nickerson, Letters from Biafra (Toronto, ON: New Press, 1970); Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, Biafra Revisited (Dakar, Senegal: African Renaissance, 2007).

Most of those who died (mainly children and the elderly), perished from hunger stemming from the federal blockade of Biafra. See Dan Jacobs, The Brutality of Nations (New York: Alfred Knopf, 1987), documenting high death tolls due to the federal blockade of the new country.

Joseph, Democracy , 94–108; Toyin Falola and Julius Ihonvbere, The Rise and Fall of the Second Republic (London: Zed Books Ltd., 1985), 206–265.

Azikiwe, Renascent Africa , 8.

Azikiwe, Ibid ., 8–9.

Ojo-Ade, Death of Myth , 39; Iketuonye, Zik of Africa , 23–29.

Azikiwe, Renascent Africa , 9.

Azikiwe, Zik , 36.

Azikiwe, Ibid ., 280–300.

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Oriji, J. (2013). Nnamdi Azikiwe: The Triumph of Knowledge. In: Chuku, G. (eds) The Igbo Intellectual Tradition. Palgrave Macmillan, New York.

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Zik's Lecture Series

An Initiative of High Chief Sen. Ben Ndi Obi, conveyed through the Faculty of Social Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.


write a short biography of nnamdi azikiwe

NNAMDI AZIKIWE A legend is someone who spent his life and time performing a greater cause, while a hero, according to Christopher Reeve, is an individual who finds the strength to persevere in spite of overwhelming obstacles. Suffice it to say that Right Honouraable Dr. Nnamdi Benjamin Azikiwe, Owelle of Onitsha is both a hero and a legend.

EARLY LIFE Born on November 16, 1904 and died on May 11, 1996, Dr. Azikiwe, popularly known as “Zik of Africa”, was a Nigerian statesman and political leader, who served as the first President of Nigeria from 1963 to 1966. Considered a driving force behind the Nigeria’s independence, Zik came to be known as the “father of Nigerian Nationalism”.

Zik’s father, Obed-Edom Chukwuemeka Azikiwe, born in 1879 and died on March 3, 1958 (two months after the death of his loving wife), Onye Onicha Ado na Iduu, was a clerk in the British Administration of Nigeria. He traveled extensively as part of his job. Nnamdi Azikiwe’s mother was Rachel Chinwe Ogbenyeanu Azikiwe, born in 1883 and died in January 1958. She was popularly called Nwanonaku and was the third daughter of Aghadiuno Ajie. Her family descended from a royal family in Onitsha, and her paternal great-grandfather was Obi (Ugogwu) Anazenwu. Nnamdi Azikiwe had one sister named Cecilia Eziamaka Arinze.

EDUCATION As a young boy, Nnamdi spoke Hausa very well. His father, concerned about his son’s fluency in Hausa and not Igbo, sent him to Onitsha in 1912 to live with his paternal grandmother and aunt. In Onitsha, Nnamdi Azikiwe attended Holy Trinity School (a Roman Catholic mission school) and Christ Church School (an Anglican primary school).

In 1914, while his father was working in Lagos, Nnamdi was bitten by a dog; this prompted his worried father to ask him to come to Lagos to heal and to attend school in the city. His father was transferred to Kaduna two years later, and Zik briefly lived with a relative who was married to a Muslim from Sierra Leone.

In 1918, he was back in Onitsha and finished his elementary education at CMS Central School. Zik then worked at the school as a student-teacher, supporting his mother with his earnings. In 1920, his father was posted back to southern Nigeria in Calabar. Nnamdi joined his father in Calabar, beginning secondary school at the Hope Waddell Training College. He was introduced to the teachings of Marcus Garvey, Garveyism, which became an important part of his nationalistic rhetoric.

After attending Hope Waddell, Nnamdi Azikiwe was transferred to Methodist Boys’ High School, Lagos. There, he befriended classmates from old Lagos families such as George Shyngle, Francis Cole and Ade Williams (a son of the Akarigbo of Remo). These connections were later beneficial to his political career in Lagos.

Zik heard a lecture by James Aggrey, an educator who believed that Africans should receive a college education abroad and return to effect change. After the lecture, Aggrey gave the young Azikiwe a list of schools accepting black students in America. After completing his secondary education, Azikiwe applied to the colonial service and was accepted as a clerk in the Treasury Department. His time in the colonial service exposed him to racial bias in the colonial government.

OVERSEA TRIP Determined to travel abroad for further education, Nnamdi Azikiwe applied to universities in the U.S. He was admitted by Storer College, contingent on his finding a way to America. To reach America, he contacted a seaman and made a deal with him to become a stowaway. However, one of his friends on the ship became ill and they were advised to disembark in Sekondi. In Ghana, Azikiwe worked as a police officer; his mother visited, and asked him to return to Nigeria. He returned, and his father was willing to sponsor his trip to America.

Zik attended Storer College’s two-year preparatory school in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. To fund his living expenses and tuition, he worked a number of menial jobs before enrolling in Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1927 to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science.

In 1929, he transferred from Howard University to Lincoln University to complete his undergraduate studies and graduated in 1930 with a BA in Political Science. Thereafter, Zik enrolled at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania and in the University of Pennsylvania simultaneously in 1930, receiving a master’s degree in Religion from Lincoln University and a master’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1932. He later became a graduate-student instructor in the history and political-science departments at Lincoln University, where he created a course in African history. He was a candidate for a doctoral degree at Columbia University before returning to Nigeria in 1934.

Azikiwe’s doctoral research focused on Liberia in world politics, and his research paper was published by A. H. Stockwell in 1934. During his time in America, he was a columnist for the Baltimore Afro-American, Philadelphia Tribune and the Associated Negro Press. Zik applied as a foreign-service official for Liberia, but was rejected because he was not a native of the country. By 1934, when Azikiwe returned to Lagos, he was well-known and viewed as a public figure by some members of the Lagos and Igbo community. He was welcomed home by a number of people, as his writings in America evidently reached Nigeria.

JOURNALISM CAREER In Nigeria, Zik’s initial goal was to obtain a position commensurate with his education; after several unsuccessful applications (including for a teaching post at King’s College), he accepted an offer from Ghanaian businessman, Alfred Ocansey, to become founding editor of the African Morning Post (a new daily newspaper in Accra, Ghana). Zik was given a free hand to run the newspaper. So, he recruited many of its original staff. Azikiwe wrote “The Inside Stuff by Zik”, a column in which he preached radical nationalism and black pride, which raised some alarm in colonial circles. As editor, he promoted a pro-African nationalist agenda. In his passionately denunciatory articles and public statements, he censured the existing colonial order: the restrictions on the African’s right to express their opinions, and racial discrimination. Zik also criticized those Africans who belonged to the ‘elite’ of colonial society and favoured retaining the existing order, as they regarded it as the basis of their well-being.

During Azikiwe’s stay in Accra, he advanced his New Africa philosophy later explored in his book, Renascent Africa. Zik did not shy away from Gold Coast politics. The Post published a May 15, 1936 article, “Has the African a God?” by I. T. A. Wallace-Johnson, and Azikiwe (as editor) was tried for sedition. He was originally found guilty and sentenced to six months in prison, but his conviction was overturned on appeal.

Nnamdi Azikiwe returned to Lagos in 1937 and founded the West African Pilot, a newspaper, which he used to promote nationalism in Nigeria. In addition to the Pilot, his Zik Group established newspapers in politically and economically-important cities throughout the country. The group’s flagship newspaper was the West African Pilot, which used Dante Alighieri’s “Show the light and the people will find the way” as its motto.

Other publications were the Southern Nigeria Defender from Warri (later Ibadan), the Eastern Guardian (founded in 1940 and published in Port Harcourt), and the Nigerian Spokesman in Onitsha.

In 1944, the group acquired Duse Mohamed’s Comet. Azikiwe’s newspaper venture was a business and political tool. He founded other business ventures (such as the African Continental Bank and the Penny Restaurant) at this time, and used his newspapers to advertise them.

Before World War II, the West African Pilot’s editorials and political coverage focused on injustice to Africans, criticism of the colonial administration and support for the ideas of the educated elites in Lagos. However, by 1940 a gradual change occurred. As he did in the African Morning Post, Zik of Africa began writing a column “Inside Stuff” in which he sometimes tried to raise political consciousness.

Pilot editorials called for African independence, particularly after the rise of the Indian independence movement. Although the paper supported Great Britain during the war, it criticized austerity measures such as price controls and wage ceilings.

In 1943, the British Council sponsored eight West African editors (including Azikiwe). He and six other editors used the opportunity to raise awareness of possible political independence. The journalists signed a memorandum calling for gradual socio-political reforms, including abrogation of the crown colony system, regional representation and independence for British West African colonies by 1958 or 1960. The memorandum was ignored by the colonial office, increasing Zik’s militancy.

Zik had a controlling interest in over 12 daily, African-run newspapers. He revolutionized the West African newspaper industry, demonstrating that English-language journalism could be successful. By 1950, the five leading African-run newspapers in the Eastern Region (including the Nigerian Daily Times) were outsold by the Pilot.

On July 8, 1945, the Nigerian government banned Zik’s West African Pilot and Daily Comet for misrepresenting information about a general strike. Although Zik acknowledged this, he continued publishing articles about the strike in the Guardian (his Port Harcourt newsletter). In August, the newspaper was allowed to resume publication.

Zik raised the alarm about an assassination plot by unknown individuals working on behalf of the colonial government. His basis for the allegation was a wireless message intercepted by a Pilot reporter. After receiving the intercepted message, Azikiwe went into hiding in Onitsha. The Pilot published sympathetic editorials during his absence, and many Nigerians believed the assassination story.

Azikiwe’s popularity, and his newspaper circulation, increased during this period.

POLITICAL CAREER Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe became active in the Nigerian Youth Movement (NYM), the country’s first nationalist organization. Although he supported Samuel Akisanya as the NYM candidate for a vacant seat in the Legislative Council in 1941, the NYM executive council selected Ernest Ikoli. Azikiwe resigned from the NYM, accusing the majority Yoruba leadership of discriminating against the Ijebu-Yoruba members and Igbos. Some Ijebu members followed him, splitting the movement along ethnic lines. Zik entered politics, co-founding the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC) with Herbert Macaulay in 1944. Azikiwe became the council’s Secretary-General in 1946. A militant youth movement, led by Osita Agwuna, Raji Abdalla, Kolawole Balogun, M. C. K. Ajuluchukwu and Abiodun Aloba, was established in 1946 to defend Zik’s life and his ideals of self-government. Inspired by his writings and Nwafor Orizu’s Zikism philosophy, members of the movement soon began advocating positive, militant action to bring about self-government.

Calls for action included strikes, study of military science by Nigerian students overseas, and a boycott of foreign products. Zik did not publicly defend the movement, which was banned in 1951 after a failed attempt to kill a colonial secretary.

In 1945, British governor, Arthur Richards, presented proposals for a revision of the Clifford constitution of 1922. Included in the proposal was an increase in the number of nominated African members to the Legislative Council. However, the changes were opposed by nationalists such as Zik. NCNC politicians opposed unilateral decisions made by Arthur Richards and a constitutional provision allowing only four elected African members; the rest would be nominated candidates. The nominated African candidates were loyal to the colonial government, and would not aggressively seek self-government. A tour of the country was begun to raise awareness of the party’s concerns and to raise money for the UK protest. NCNC president, Herbert Macaulay, died during the tour, and Azikiwe assumed leadership of the party. He led the delegation to London and, in preparation for the trip, traveled to the US to seek sympathy for the party’s case. Zik met Eleanor Roosevelt at Hyde Park, and spoke about the “emancipation of Nigeria from political thralldom, economic insecurity and social disabilities”. The UK delegation included Azikiwe, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Zanna Dipcharima, Abubakar Olorunimbe, Adeleke Adedoyin and Nyong Essien. The delegation submitted its proposals to the colonial secretary, but little was done to change to Richards’ proposals. The Richards constitution took effect in 1947, and Zik contested one of the Lagos seats to delay its implementation. Under the Richards constitution, Zik was elected to the Legislative Council in a Lagos municipal election from the National Democratic Party (an NCNC subsidiary). He and the party representative did not attend the first session of the council. Agitation for changes to the Richards constitution led to the Macpherson constitution. The Macpherson constitution took effect in 1951 and, like the Richards constitution, called for elections to the regional House of Assembly. Zik opposed the changes, and contested for the chance to change the new constitution. Staggered elections were held from August to December 1951. In the Western Region (where Azikiwe stood), two parties were dominant: Azikiwe’s NCNC and the Action Group. Elections for the Western Regional Assembly were held in September and December 1951 because the constitution allowed an electoral college to choose members of the national legislature; an Action Group majority in the house might prevent Azikiwe from going to the House of Representatives. Zik won a regional assembly seat from Lagos, but the opposition party claimed a majority in the House of Assembly and Azikiwe did not represent Lagos in the federal House of Representatives. In 1951, he became leader of the Opposition to the government of Obafemi Awolowo in the Western Region’s House of Assembly. Azikiwe’s non-selection to the national assembly caused chaos in the west. An agreement by elected NCNC members from Lagos to step down for Azikiwe if he was not nominated broke down. Azikiwe blamed the constitution, and wanted changes made. The NCNC (which dominated the Eastern Region) agreed, and committed to amending the constitution. Azikiwe moved to the Eastern Region in 1952 and the NCNC-dominated regional assembly made proposals to accommodate him. Although the party’s regional and central ministers were asked to resign in a cabinet reshuffle, most ignored the request. The regional assembly then passed a vote of no confidence on the ministers, and appropriation bills sent to the ministry were rejected. This created an impasse in the region, and the lieutenant governor dissolved the regional house. A new election returned Azikiwe as a member of the Eastern Assembly. He was selected as Chief Minister, and became premier of Nigeria’s Eastern Region in 1954 when it became a federating unit. Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe became Governor-General on November 16, 1960 (his birthday), with Abubakar Tafawa Balewa as Prime Minister, and became the first Nigerian named to the Privy Council of the United Kingdom. When Nigeria became a republic in 1963, he was its first president. In both posts, Azikiwe’s role was largely ceremonial. He and his civilian colleagues were removed from office in the January 15, 1966 military coup, and he was the most prominent politician to avoid assassination after the coup.

HONOUR After the war, Zik was chancellor of the University of Lagos from 1972 to 1976. He joined the Nigerian People’s Party in 1978, making unsuccessful bids for the presidency in 1979 and 1983. He left politics involuntarily after the December 31 1983 military coup. Azikiwe died at the age 91 on May 11, 1996 at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu following to a protracted illness. He was buried in his native Onitsha.

Places named after Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe include: Azikiwe-Nkrumah Hall, the oldest building on the Lincoln University campus; Nnamdi Azikwe Hall, University of Ibadan; Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja; Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu; Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Awka; Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital in Nnewi; Nnamdi Azikiwe Library at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Nnamdi Azikiwe Press Centre, Dodan Barracks, Obalende, Ikoyi, Lagos; Azikiwe Avenue in Dares Salaam, Tanzania, Awka, Enugu and other major towns in Nigeria; is picture appears on Nigeria’s ₦500 banknote since 2001. Dr, Nnamdi zikiwe was inducted into the Agbalanze society of Onitsha as Nnanyelugo in 1946, recognition for Onitsha men with significant accomplishments. In 1962, he became a second-rank red cap chieftain (Ndichie Okwa) as the Oziziani Obi. Chief Azikiwe was installed as the Owelle-Osowa-Anya of Onitsha in 1972, making him a first-rank hereditary red cap nobleman (Ndichie Ume) in the Igbo branch of the Nigerian chieftaincy system. He established the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1960 and Queen Elizabeth the second appointed him to the Privy Council of the United Kingdom. He was made Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR), Nigeria’s highest national honour, in 1980.

SPORTS In his early stages in life, Nnamdi Azikiwe competed in boxing, athletics, swimming, football and tennis. Football was brought to Nigeria by the British as they colonized Africa. However, any leagues that were formed were segregated. Zik of africa saw this as an injustice and he emerged as a leader in terms of connection sports and politics at the end of the colonial period. In 1934, Zik was denied the right to compete in a track and field event because Nigeria was not allowed to participate. This happened another time because of his Igbo background, and Zik decided that enough was enough and wanted to create his own club. Nnamdi Azikiwe founded Zik’s Athletic Club (ZAC), which opened its doors to sportsmen and women of all races, nationalities, tribes, and classes of Nigeria. Zik was indeed a great man. THANKS

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Two Nigerian activists lead the struggle for independence, and clash over the competing values of national unity and ethnic diversity.


• O. Awolowo, Path to Nigerian Freedom (London: 1947).

• O. Awolowo, Awo: the Autobiography of Chief Obafemi Awolowo (Cambridge: 1960).

• O. Awolowo, Thoughts on Nigerian Constitution (Ibadan: 1966).

• N. Azikiwe, Renascent Africa (London: 1968, originally published 1937).

• N. Azikiwe, My Odyssey: an Autobiography (New York: 1970).

• N. Azikiwe, Zik: a Selection from the Speeches of Nnamdi Azikiwe (Cambridge: 2010).

• O. Abegunrin, The Political Philosophy of Chief Obafemi Awolowo (Lanham: 2015).

• W. Adebanwi, Yoruba Elites and Ethnic Politics in Nigeria: Obafemi Awolowo and Corporate Agency (New York: 2014).

• W. Adebanwi, “Contesting Multiculturalism: Federalism and Unitarism in Late Colonial Nigeria,” in R.T. Ashcroft and M. Bevir (eds), Multiculturalism in the British Commonwealth: Comparative Perspectives on Theory and Practice (Oakland: 2019), 167-90. • M.A. Makinde, Awo as a Philosopher (Ife-Ife: 2002). • I. Nolte, Obafemi Awolowo and the Making of Remo: the Local Politics of a Nigerian Nationalist (Edinburgh: 2009).


I loved this episode. I can't pick a favourite, but this has to be top ten, if only because it intersects so much with my own work on post-war governance. Consequently, I have a lot of thoughts, so I will just stick to two: 1) If I'm ever in a position of writing a curriculum, I will use Nnamdi Azikiwe and Obafemi Awolowo's works to illustrate the arguments for and against consociationalism, or ethnic/confessional federalism. I had not realised—and feel stupid for not realising—that these debates would have raged in Africa among Africans long before the key texts were published in Western Academia following the rise of peacebuilding interventions after the Cold War. The same can be said for the increasing movement away from universalistic models of governance, or at the most creating a set of models to apply based on categorisations of contexts, toward paying more than lip-service to local needs and traditions.  2) On the subject of that Western Academia, one strong strain in the consociationalism literature is about breaking down the incentives and disincentives for political actors in different institutions. A pertinent question for Awolowo would be how to sustain a national, pan-Nigerian commitment if local politicians have local power bases. They would be incentivised to wrest more power and influence from the centre and exploit ethnic tensions to legitimise such actions—as indeed we are seeing with Nigeria's regional conflicts in 2022. The literature has its own, normally rather inward looking answers. What answers do African(a) philosophers come to? I would be fascinated to trace this debate through the ongoing constitutional struggles of post-independence Africa. What insights can they give to the violence between unitary and federalist movements in Ethiopia or the dictatorially imposed non-ethnic identity in Rwanda?  (Secret third: there's also an interesting blurring of the line between social science and philosophy here. Not suggesting that social science isn't normative, but here the very same questions are being treated with very similar tools.)

In reply to Consociationalism by Isaac of York

Zik and Awo

Thanks! So glad you liked the episode. Given your interests you will probably also get a lot out of the next one (which just went up today) on Nkrumah.

African consociationalism

I study consiciationalism and must confess that it also took me a while to appreciate its African roots. If you haven't already, check out Sir Arthur Lewis's Politics in West Africa - Lijphart cites it as a precursor to his own work and it clearly left a strong impression on early consociational research among European political scientists in the 60s.

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  1. Nnamdi Azikiwe

    write a short biography of nnamdi azikiwe

  2. Nnamdi Azikiwe

    write a short biography of nnamdi azikiwe

  3. Nnamdi Azikiwe

    write a short biography of nnamdi azikiwe


    write a short biography of nnamdi azikiwe

  5. Biography of the first Nigerian President Nnamdi Azikiwe

    write a short biography of nnamdi azikiwe

  6. Nnamdi Azikiwe

    write a short biography of nnamdi azikiwe


  1. Nnamdi Azikiwe

    Nnamdi Benjamin Azikiwe GCFR PC (16 November 1904 - 11 May 1996), usually referred to as Zik, was a Nigerian politician, statesman, and revolutionary leader who served as the 3rd and first black governor-general of Nigeria from 1960 to 1963 and the first president of Nigeria during the First Nigerian Republic (1963-1966). He was widely regarded as the father of Nigerian nationalism as the ...

  2. Nnamdi Azikiwe

    Nnamdi Azikiwe (born November 16, 1904, Zungeru, Nigeria—died May 11, 1996, Enugu) was the first president of independent Nigeria (1963-66) and a prominent nationalist figure.. Azikiwe attended various primary and secondary mission schools in Onitsha, Calabar, and Lagos.He arrived in the United States in 1925, where he attended several schools. Azikiwe earned multiple certificates and ...

  3. Nnamdi Azikiwe

    Nnamdi Azikiwe (1904-1996) was one of the fore most Nigerian and West African nationalists and the first president of Nigeria. Nnamdi Azikiwe was born on Nov. 16, 1904, of Ibo parents in Zungeru, Northern Nigeria, where his father worked as a clerk in the Nigerian Regiment. His parents gave him the name Benjamin, but he later changed it to Nnamdi.

  4. Nnamdi Azikiwe

    Other Interesting Facts about Nnamdi Azikiwe. In Igbo language, Nnamdi Azikwe's first name translates to "my father is alive". He was raised by Igbo parents - Obed-Edom Chukwuemeka Azikiwe (1879-1958) and Rachel Chinwe Ogbenyeanu. His father was a clerk in the colonial office, while his mother was a member of the royal family in Onitsha.

  5. Benjamin Nnamdi "Zik" Azikiwe (1904-1996)

    Nnamdi Azikiwe was the first President of Nigeria and was instrumental in founding a string of newspapers across Nigeria.. Azikiwe was born on November 16, 1904 in Zungeru which was then the capital of Northern Nigeria. His father, Chukwumeka Azikiwe, was a civil servant in the British colonial government. Azikiwe began attending school in 1912 after enrolling in the Church Missionary Society ...

  6. Nnamdi Azikiwe

    Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe (November 16, 1904 - May 11, 1996), usually referred to as Nnamdi Azikiwe, or, informally and popularly, as "Zik," was the founder of modern Nigerian nationalism and the first President of Nigeria, holding the position throughout the Nigerian First Republic. From 1960 until 1963 he was Governor-General of independent Nigeria. From 1963 until ousted by a coup in 1966 ...

  7. Azikiwe, Nnamdi

    Azikiwe, Nnamdi1904-1996Born of Igbo parents on November 16, 1904, in Zungeru, Nigeria, soothsayers had foretold a great future for Nnamdi Azikiwe. In a traditional African society where the gods saw all and knew all, one fortuneteller named the new babe Ibrahim after a local ruler who stoutly resisted British colonialism in northern Nigeria.

  8. Azikiwe, Nnamdi

    Azikiwe, Nnamdi. November 16, 1904 to May 11, 1996. In November 1960 Martin Luther King traveled to Lagos, then Nigeria's capital city, to attend the inauguration of Nnamdi Azikiwe as Nigeria's first governor-general of African descent. Azikiwe, who later became the first president of Nigeria and was a life-long advocate of African ...

  9. Nnamdi Azikiwe

    Nnamdi Azikiwe in 1967. Nnamdi Azikiwe (16 November 1904 - 11 May 1996), also known as Nnamdi Benjamin Azikiwe, was a Nigerian politician who was the first President of Nigeria during the First Nigerian Republic that existed from 1963 to 1966. He was considered a driving force behind the nation's independence and was known as the "father of Nigerian nationalism".

  10. (1962) Nnamdi Azikiwe, "The Future of Pan Africanism"

    Public Domain Image. By 1962 Nnamdi Azikiwe (1904-1996) was a well-known independence leader in Nigeria. As President of the Nigerian Senate he was one of the most powerful individuals in the government of the young nation. Azikiwe, like Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Leopold Senghor of Senegal, and Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, was also a leader in the Pan ...

  11. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe: Beacon of Hope in the Struggle for Pan-Africanism

    Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, fondly known as "Zik of Africa," was a remarkable leader who dedicated his life to the cause of Pan-Africanism. Born on November 16, 1904, in Zungeru, Nigeria, Azikiwe played a crucial role in shaping African history during the 20th century. His life's work is not just a testament to his commitment to Pan-Africanism ...

  12. Nnamdi Azikiwe: A True National Hero

    Nnamdi Azikiwe was born on this day in 1904 in the Northern part of Nigeria. Concerned that his son was not fluent in Igbo, his native language, and the culture his father Obed-Edom Chukwuemeka ...

  13. Nnamdi Azikiwe

    The most central figure in Nigeria's efforts to obtain independence was Nnamdi Azikiwe who began his efforts as a journalist in the 1930s. The following biographical information is a typical textbook entry: "In 1935, the Nigerian Nnamdi Azikiwe (b. 1904) first edited the Accra African Morning Post, and in 1937 he introduced in Lagos the West ...

  14. Nnamdi Azikiwe: A Pragmatic, Progressivist, Pan-Africanist Philosopher

    Nnamdi Azikiwe is the towering African pragmatic progressive philosopher, scholar, activist, and eminent journalist of the twentieth century. The scope of his interests, the depth of his insights and the sheer majesty of his prolific writings bespeak a level of genius unequaled among modern African intellectuals and leaders. Like all of us ...

  15. How Nigeria Got Independence: The Epic Story of Nnamdi Azikiwe

    Nnamdi Azikiwe was born into a very ordinary middle class family in Zungeru, a small town in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria (in present day Nigeria), although he was the only child. As a boy he struggled to survive in an environment of intense struggle. His parents were poor farmers but they had a large number of children to look after as ...

  16. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe's biography: legacy of Nigeria's first president

    Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe was a prominent Nigerian nationalist and statesman who played a significant role in the fight for Nigeria's independence from British colonial rule. Throughout his life, Azikiwe was an ardent advocate for African nationalism and independence. Doctor Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe on the day of his appointments, 16th November 1960.

  17. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe (1904-1996): A Detailed Documentary

    A Documentary on Azikiwe produced by the Institute of African Studies, UNN.

  18. (1959) Nnamdi Azikiwe Speaks on the Role of Nigeria and ...

    On July 31, 1959, Nigeria was slightly more than a year away from full independence from Great Britain. On that day Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Premier of Eastern Nigeria and National President of the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC), gave a speech to … Read More(1959) Nnamdi Azikiwe Speaks on the Role of Nigeria and other African States in World Politics

  19. My Odyssey: An Autobiography

    Nnamdi Azikiwe played a prominent role in the fight for the emancipation of Black Africa from colonial rule. During his secondary education, he was introduced to the writings of Marcus Garvey, the sermons of Dr. Kweygir Aggrey, and a biography of President Garfield. The messages of these men -- Garvey's call for the liberation of Africa from the colonial governments, Dr. Aggrey's hope for a ...

  20. Nnamdi Azikiwe

    Nnamdi Azikiwe. Nnamdi Azikiwe, PC, (16 November 1904 - 11 May 1996), usually referred to as "Zik", was a Nigerian statesman who was Governor General of Nigeria from 1960 to 1963 and the first President of Nigeria from 1963 to 1966 (when Nigeria became a republic).Considered a driving force behind the nation's independence, he came to be known as the "father of Nigerian Nationalism".

  21. PDF Nnamdi Azikiwe: The Triumph of Knowledge

    Nnamdi Azikiwe: The Triumph of Knowledge John Oriji There is no better means to arouse African peoples than that of the power of the pen and tongue.1 B enjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe, popularly called Zik,2 has in the above crisp and succinct statement affirmed that the power of knowledge contributed to the towering heights he attained in Nigerian ...


    NNAMDI AZIKIWE A legend is someone who spent his life and time performing a greater cause, while a hero, according to Christopher Reeve, is an individual who finds the strength to persevere in spite of overwhelming obstacles. Suffice it to say that Right Honouraable Dr. Nnamdi Benjamin Azikiwe, Owelle of Onitsha is both a hero and a legend. EARLY LIFE Born on November 16, 1904 and died on May ...

  23. 103. A Federal Case: Nnamdi Azikiwe and Obafemi Awolowo

    Early Writing in English. 33. Phillis Wheatley. 34. Lemuel Haynes. 35. Sancho and Banneker. 36. Cugoano and Equiano. 37. Haitian Revolution. 38. Baron de Vastey. 39. Garraway on Haiti. ... If I'm ever in a position of writing a curriculum, I will use Nnamdi Azikiwe and Obafemi Awolowo's works to illustrate the arguments for and against ...