What do you know about Nigerian heroes and their contributions? Read interesting facts regarding the life and achievements of the past leaders who played a significant role in the history of our country.
Each country has its leaders, fathers of a nation or just famous people who made significant contributions to the development of the country. Nigeria is not an exception to the rules. In our history, there are a sufficient number of individuals who made lots of efforts to ensure that Nigeria will takes her worthy place among the most developed countries of the African continent and win the respect of the world community.
The Nigerian heroes are honoured for their painstaking work using their leadership qualities to fight for independence, human rights, democracy, justice and so on for and in Nigeria.
Here they are famous sons and daughters of Nigeria.
Nigerian heroes and their contributions
General Yakubu Dan-Yumma Gowon
His date of birth is October, 19 (1934). Yakubu was born in a small village of the Ngas tribe (Plateau State). He spent his childhood in Zaria. He got higher education in the Warwick University of the UK.
In 1954, he joined the Nigerian army and after training Yakubu received a Second Lieutenant position. During unstable period General Yakubu headed the Nigerian Federal Military Government (1966 - 1975.) His activity as Nigerian foreign minister (1966 – 1967) received high praise from all sectors of Nigerian community.
After an attempt of a military coup organized by Murtala Mohammed in 1975, Yakubu had to emigrate to the UK. The general came back to Nigeria only under president Shehu Shagari.
Sir Ahmadu Bello
His date of birth is June, 12 (1910). The place of birth is Rabbah Sokoto. Ahmadu Bello is esteemed as one of the most outstanding Nigerian fathers of the nation. He was engaged in political activities back in 1934. In twenty years, Sir Ahmadu Bello got the post of premier in the Northern Nigeria region. Together with Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the premier played significant roles in the fight for Nigerian independence.
Sir Ahmadu Bello was killed during the coup d'état on January, 15 (1966). In honor of the famous Nigerian leader, the Ahmadu Bello University was named. His portrait is placed on the 200 Naira banknote.
Funmilayo Ransome Kuti
Her date of birth is October, 25 (1900). The place of birth is Abeokuta. Funmilayo Ransome Kuti was one of the premier female leaders and feminists in Nigeria. She defended the rights of women. At the same time, Funmilayo struggled against the military government and human rights violations. Funmilayo Ransome Kuti was known as ‘the mother of Africa’ for her human rights work.
People elected her to the native House of Chiefs. She acted as an Oloye of the Yoruba nation. Funmilayo had membership in the National Council of Nigeria and Cameroon. Besides, she was the first Nigerian female to ever drive a car. In 1978, Funmilayo Ransome Kuti was thrown out of the window in the commune belonging to her son and died from her injuries.
Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe
His date of birth is November, 16 (1904). The place of birth is Niger state. Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe is one of the famous Nigerian fathers of the nation and the first Nigerian president after gaining independence from Great Britain. He was affectionately called ‘Zik.’
When Azikiwe worked as the editor of a Ghanaian newspaper, he spread African nationalist ideas. After he came back to Nigeria in 1937, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe organized the West African Pilot for the promotion of nationalism in Nigeria. He created the Nigerian and Cameroons National Council in 1944 together with Herbert Macaulay. In 1946, he was appointed to the post of secretary-general in the National Council and then elected to Nigerian Legislative Council.
Zik was the first Nigerian to be called to the Privy Council of the UK. He was the second and last Governor General (1960 – 1963). After Nigeria was proclaimed a republic in 1963, he became the first Nigerian president. Zik died in 1996. All his life Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe struggled for the independence and unity of Nigeria.
Her year of birth is 1951. The place of birth is Zaria city, Nigeria. Kudirat Abiola actively participated in the movement for democracy (1994). She took part in supporting the oil employees during their 12 week’s strike against the military. The strike was successful. The military government became weaker.
In 1995, Kudirat Abiola took part in the procession for freedom organized by democratic institutions together with supporters of Chief Anthony Enahoro. She was a true fighter for the democracy and inspired many people. Kudirat Abiola was named woman of the year two years in a row (1994, 1995). She was killed in 1996.
Chief Anthony Enahoro
His date of birth is July, 22 (1923). Chief Anthony Enahoro is one of the Nigeria's prominent active supporters of democracy and anti-colonialism. He was the youngest editor of the newspaper ‘Southern Nigerian Defender’ in 1944. Enahoro was 21 years old at that time. He was involved in the fight for Nigerian independence. Chief Anthony Enahoro became a student leader and organized objections.
The colonial authorities imprisoned him twice for insurrection and satirical papers creating. Enahoro was the first Nigerian who tried to organize the movement for independence in Nigeria (1953). So, he is considered as the father of the state. That attempt did not work out. Chief Anthony Enahoro died in 2010.
Her date of birth is June, 27 (1914). The place of birth is Creek Town, Calabar. Margaret Ekpo fought for women’s rights in Nigeria. She was among the first female political figures in the first republic of the country. Margaret Ekpo took an important place as a local and nationalistic political figure in Aba city. She had a membership in the Nigerian and Cameroon National Council.
In 1950, Ekpo together with Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti opposed the murders at the Enugu coal mine. There the leaders of anti-colonial protest were killed. In 1954, she organized the Aba Township Women’s Association. Until 1955, Aba’s women had exceeded the number of men’s votes in a broad city election. She died in 2006.
Chief Obafemi Awolowo
His date of birth is March, 6 (1909). The place of birth is Ogun state. Chief Obafemi Awolowo was one of the leaders who fought for Nigeria's independence. In 1950 he organized the Action Group (political party) which requested for the end of British domination in Nigeria. Obafemi Awolowo was the first premier of the Western Region. He refused the position of Finance Commissioner and vice chairperson of the Federal Executive Council in 1971 to object the extension of military rule. He died in 1987.
His year of birth is 1864. Herbert Macaulay founded Nigerian nationalism. Herbert Macaulay began the nationalist motion as he believed that the people with various origins inhabiting Nigeria had to get together as one. He organized the Lagos Daily News to provide the nationalist motion.
Macaulay created a political party in 1922. It was the National Democratic Party of Nigeria. He was the premier national president of the Nigerian and Cameroon National Council. That party was created by Herbert Macaulay together with Nnamdi Azikiwe in 1944. He died in 1946.
Hajiya Gambo Sawaba
Her year of birth is 1933. Hajiya Sawaba was an influential political and public figure in Nigeria. She was an adherent of the Northern Elements Progressive Union. Gambo Sawaba was an element of the political struggle fight that at last led to independent Nigeria. Although she was a low educated lady and early married by force, she was able to influence the fight for the African woman’s emancipation. Hajiya Gambo Sawaba advocated freeing female from African customs that were not good for women. She died in 2001.
Gen. Murtala Ramat Mohammed
We should complete the list with General Murtala Mohammed. His date of birth is November, 8 (1938). The place of birth is Kano. He was one of the Nigerian military leaders. General received his first political position as Communications’ Commissioner in 1974. He combined the post with his military obligations.
Although General Murtala Mohammed’s powers did not last long, his administration specified a new path for the country, strengthened the sense of duty and patriotism. He created nineteen states to increase the number of states in Nigeria from the of twelve that were created in 1967. He also established a Commission of Public Complaints which provided honesty for the society. Gen. Murtala Mohammed was killed in 1976. His portrait is placed on the 20 Naira banknote. The airport in Lagos was named after the famous General Murtala Ramat Muhammed.
Our people should remember Nigerian heroes and their achievements. Past leaders have made huge contributions to the establishment of Nigerian independence and Nigeria’s development. Many of these great individuals have paid with their lives for the bright future of Nigeria. We must treat them with due respect.
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