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Text Box: Abubaka Tafawa 
Belewa
1912-1966

Text Box: Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (1912-January 15, 1966) was the first prime minister of an independent Nigeria. Born a commoner in the north of colonial Nigeria, he trained as a teacher, continuing his education at London University from 1944 to 1946. Upon returning to Nigeria, he entered politics, and was elected that same year to the colony's Northern House of Assembly, and to the Legislative Assembly in 1947. 
As a legislator, he was a vocal advocate of the rights of northern Nigeria, and together with Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, who held the hereditary title of (Sardauna) of Sokoto, he founded the Northern People's Congress (NPC).
Balewa entered the government in 1952 as Minister of Works, and later served as Minister of Transport. In 1957, he was elected Chief Minister, forming a coalition government between the NPC and the National Council for Nigeria and the Cameroons, led by Nnamdi Azikiwe. He retained the post as prime minister, when Nigeria gained independence in 1960, and was reelected in 1964. 
His term in office was turbulent, however, with regional factionalism constantly threatening his government. He was overthrown and killed in a military coup on January 15, 1966, as were many other leaders, including his old companion Ahmadu Bello. His body was discovered by a roadside near Lagos six days after he was ousted from office. Balewa was buried in Bauchi.
The Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University in Bauchi is named in his honour.
Served as foreign minister of Nigeria.
As first Prime Minister of Independent Nigeria, Tafawa Balewa developed a favorable reputation in international circles. He was considered a pro-Western leader but was very critical of South African racial policies and of French plans to test atomic devices in the Sahara. His last public act was to convene a Commonwealth Conference in Lagos to discuss action against the white supremacist unilateral declaration of independence by Rhodesia, on  11 November 1965.








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