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Text Box: Nnamdi Azikewe

Text Box: Dr. Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe, usually referred to as Nnamdi Azikiwe, or, informally and popularly, as "Zik", (November 16, 1904-May 11, 1996) was Nigeria's first President. Early in his academic career, Azikiwe attended Storer College, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, but later enrolled and graduated from Lincoln University (Pennsylvania) in 1930, where he became a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. 
Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe returned to Nigeria to enter politics, and in 1953 became leader of Nigeria's Eastern Region. Very soon after the granting of Nigeria's independence in 1960 he gained the office of Governor-General, and with the proclamation of a republic in 1963 he became the first and only ceremonial president of Nigeria, while Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa was the Prime Minister.
He and his civilian colleagues were removed from power in the military coup of January 15, 1966.
During the Biafran (1967-1970) war of secession, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe became a spokesman for the nascent republic and an adviser to its leader Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu. 
After the war, he served as Chancellor of Lagos University from 1972 to 1976. He joined the Nigerian People's Party in 1978 and made an unsuccessful bid for the presidency in 1979 and again in 1983. He left politics involuntarily after the military coup on 31st December 1983.
His time in politics spanned most of his adult life and he was referred to by admirers as "the Great Zik of Africa". His motto in politics was "talk I listen, you listen I talk".
Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe died in 1996 at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu. His portrait adorns Nigeria's five hundred naira currency note.
During1950 and 1960s  Nnamdi Azikiwe  played the single most vigorous role in Nigeria's march toward independence. While premier, he greatly expanded educational facilities in the Eastern Region and laid the foundation of the University of Nigeria at Nsukka, formally opened in September 1960. 
As Nigeria's first president,  he was a champion of African nationalism and master of compromise in his country's turbulent politics. Widely known as "Zik of Africa," the politician, scholar, poet and journalist helped to end the Biafran civil war that had plunged his Ibo people into mass suffering.
" Nnamdi Azikiwe 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." - The New York Times
“Originality is the essence of true scholarship. Creativity is the soul of the true scholar.” - Nnamdi Azikiwe

Credit: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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