Five Independence Day Heroes: No.5 Is My Namesake

On this day in 1960, Nigeria there was
jubilation in the streets and hope for the
future. That feeling was made possible by
these strong -willed men who were ready to
lay down their lives for the country they
loved and believed in.

Herbert Macaulay

Macaulay was known as the founder of
Nigerian nationalism and a strong
opponent of many colonial policies for
most of his life . Macaulay co -founded the
Nigerian Daily News, where he wrote
opinion pieces which made him a
prominent figure in political issues in
Lagos. In 1923 he founded the Nigerian
National Democratic Party (NNDP ) with the
aim to put candidates into the legislative
council, promote democracy as well as
increase Nigerian participation in the
development of Nigeria. He also became
the first national president of the National
Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons
(NCNC) , the party which he co -founded
with Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe in 1944 .

Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe

Nnamdi Azikiwe

Azikiwe was at the fore of Nigeria gaining
her independence . As the editor of The
Africa Morning Post in Ghana, he promoted
pro-African nationalist agenda. Returning to
Nigeria in 1937 , he founded The West
African Pilot which was used to promote
Nigerian nationalism. In 1944 he founded
the National Council of Nigeria and the
Cameroons ( NCNC) with Herbert Macaulay
and became the secretary general of the
National Council in 1946. He served as the
second and last Governor-General of
Nigeria from 1960 to 1963 and the first
President of Nigeria from 1963 to 1966,
holding the presidency throughout the
Nigerian First Republic .

Chief Obafemi Awolowo

Obafemi Awolowo

Awolowo was Nigeria’s foremost federalist,
through his first book Path to Nigerian
Freedom, where he criticised the British
administration and advocated for self-
governance. He was the founder of the
political party Action Group in 1950 , and as
head, demanded a federal constitution
which was introduced in the 1954 Lyttleton
Constitution, following the model proposed
by him as he led the Western Region
delegation . He was the first Leader of
Government Business and Minister of Local
Government and Finance , as well as the
first Premier of the Western Region under
Nigeria’s parliamentary system , from 1952
to 1959 .

Sir Ahmadu Bello

Ahmadu Bello

Bello’ s political activities started out in 1934
as the District Head of Rabah by Sultan
Hassan dan Muazu . In 1948 , he got a
government scholarship and was off to
England to study local government
administration. On his return, he
represented Sokoto in the regional House
of Assembly and used this position to
develop emirates such as Kano , Bornu, and
Sokoto. He was the first president of the
Northern Peoples Party ( NPP) and became
the first Premier of Northern Nigeria in
1954. He forged an alliance with Azikiwe to
form Nigeria’s first indigenous federal
government which led to independence
from Britain .

Chief Anthony Enahoro

Anthony Enahoro

My Namesake
Enahoro was one of Nigeria’ s foremost anti-
colonial and pro-democracy activists. At age
21, he became the editor of The Southern
Nigerian Defender, Ibadan , in 1944. In the
early 1940s , he was immersed in the
struggle for Nigeria’s independence as a
student leader and leading protests which
got him jailed by the colonial government .
In 1953 , he was the first to submit a
parliamentary motion for the Nigeria’s
independence and has been regarded by
academics as the father of “Nigeria State ”.
Enahoro’ s motion was eventually granted
in 1960 .: 

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