LIFE AND TIMES OF DR NNAMDI AZIKIWE

Nnamdi Azikiwe was born on November 16, 1904, in Zungeru, northern Nigeria to the family of Mr. and Mrs. Chukwuemeka Azikiwe. He attended Holy Trinity Primary School, Onitsha. He started his secondary school at Hope Waddell Training College, Calabar and was later transferred to Methodist High School, Lagos. In 1927, He graduated from Lincoln University, Pennsylvania with a degree in political science. In 1930, he obtained his MA with honors from Lincoln. Among his contemporaries at Lincoln was the future President of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and past American Chief Justice, the late Thurgood Marshall. He was the first Nigerian to study in the United States.

In 1934, He worked as an editor for the African Morning Post, a daily newspaper in Accra, Ghana. The West African Pilot, the newspaper which he used to foster Nigerian nationalism was founded in 1937 alongside the Zik Group of Newspapers. He was the first Senate President of Nigeria from (1 January – 1 October 1960), the First President of Nigeria from (1 October 1963- 16 January 1966) and the third governor-general of Nigeria from (16 November 1960 – 1 October 1963). He supported Biafra, during the Nigerian Biafran civil war from May 1967 – January 1970. In August 1969, he came out against Biafran secession and in favor of one Nigeria.

He served as the vice chancellor of the University of Nigeria Nsukka from 1961 to 1966. He headed several sports organization for football, boxing and table tennis. He published several books, of which includes Renascent Africa, My Odyssey (an autobiography), Restoration of Nigerian Democracy, etc.

In 1936, he married Ogbenyeanu Ogoegbunam; the union was blessed with four children. He died on 11 May 1996 and was buried in his home town Onitsha.

To propagate his legacy, places were named after him such as the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium Enugu, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, etc. Also, his portrait is featured on the Nigerian five hundred naira currency note.

 

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