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Nigerian Independence Anniversary: Brief Historical Perspective Nigerian Independence Anniversary: Brief Historical Perspective
by Ovi Magazine Guest
2022-11-06 08:05:45
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Nigerian Independence Anniversary: Brief Historical Perspective
By Mr, Simeon Okoro

It is absolutely interesting to note that prior to the much anticipated independence day celebration in Nigeria, there were high expectations by the Nigerian populace and from our founding fathers (nationalists)at the dawn of a new beginning for the Federation of Nigeria which had operated and practiced the regional system of government which was created by the Richard's Constitution of 1946.

Sir Arthur Richard was the then British Colonial Governor-General who created and permitted our nationalists and founding fathers to embark on regional system of government for the Federation of Nigeria which did create the Eastern,Western and Northern Regions respectively.

Later, the Mid-Western Region was created in 1963 after robust deliberation and comprehensive discussion by nationalists from that part of the country. The Mid-Western Region was an extension of the Western Region for it shared a common geographical boundary with the Western Region and to an extent with the Eastern Region!

The then Mid-Western Region comprised of the present Delta and Edo States respectively which was formerly known as the old Bendel State.

The formidable grassroot Acton Group (AG)political party had a formidable grassroot and stronghold in the then Mid-Western Region with formidable politicians such as Chief Dennis Osadebey of the defunct vibrant, formidable and journalistic mobilization NCNC political party, Chief Anthony Enahoro of AG who moved the motion for Nigeria's Independence in the chamber of the Federal House of Representatives in Lagos at the age of 33 years old, Chief Arthur Prest of the defunct AG political party and other prominent formidable NCNC and AG politicians at pre and post independence Nigeria!

Our nationalists (politicians)attended various Constitutional Conferences begining from 1947 in London till the 1950s for various Constitutional Review Conferences and debated brilliantly and comprehensively in the House of Commons and House of Lords organs of the British Parliament on the need for Nigeria to be granted independence from Great Britain.

The various Constitutional Review Conferences attended in London had representatives from both the Southern and Northern extraction of Nigeria.

Prior to the 1940s political activism in Nigeria, the Nigerian Youth Movement and the Lagos Youth Movement were the most vibrant, formidable and articulate youthful political movement who canvassed and advocated aggressively for Nigerian youth involvement for Nigeria's independence from Great Britain.

The formidable leaders of the defunct NYM were: Professor Eyo Ita, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Hezekiah Oladapo Davies, Mr. Ernest Ikoli,Dr. James Vanghuan, Chief Kofo Abayomi, Oba Samuel Akinsanya, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and other prominent formidable youthful Nigerians.

From 1937-1959, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe's formidable and aggressive chains of newspapers known as West African Pilot Group of Newspapers, Sentinel, Western Guardian, The Comet, Ogoja Advocate chains of newspapers were on daily newspapers stand in major cities of Nigeria with remarkable as the mouthpiece, advocate and agitators for Nigeria's independence from Great Britain.

From 1923-1933, Nigerian National Democratic Party founded by Sir Herbert Macaulay in 1923 was the only formidable grassroot political party based in Lagos, Nigeria.

NCNC was founded in Lagos in 1946 by Sir Herbert Macaulay and Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe with other members such as Dr. Olorunminbe, Sir Louis Ojukwu and other prominent pioneers of the NCNC political party.

NCNC became a formidable national political party in Nigeria when Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe was voluntarily and unanimously appointed as the President-General of the political party after the death of Sir Herbert Macaulay in 1946 in Kano on a nation-wide tour of the NCNC political party to sensitize and mobilize Nigerians to support the party's agitation for Nigeria's independence from Great Britain.

AG political was formed in 1951,but it started as a socio-cultural organization known as Egbe Omo Oduduwa in 1946 in London by Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Mr.Akintola William (a brilliant first African Chartered Accountant), Dr. Oni Akerele, Dr. Akinola Maja, Sir Adeyemo Alakija and other pioneer founders of AG.

The Northern Peoples Congress, NPC, political party was founded in 1951 by Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Alhaji Shehu Shagari,Mallam Musa Yar’adua Senior as prominent pioneer founders.

There were other smaller political parties from 1950 to1966 such as NEPU founded by Mallam Aminu Kano, and other smaller political parties at that point in time of Nigeria's evolution of political parties!

Zikist Youthful Movement was founded by Mokgwugo Okoye, Raji Abdallah, Anthony Enahoro, Abiodun Aloba, Kola Balogun, Osita Agumna, Amaechi Mbazuilike, MCK Ajuluchukwu, Nduka Eze, Kingsley Ozumba Mbadiwe and other youthful Nigerians who identified with Zik's political ideology as prominent pioneers of the aggressive and vibrant Zikist Youthful Movement that advocated for independence from 1946 to 1950s.

Earliest foremost Nigerian and first set of nationalists of NNDP political party based in Lagos Alone (1920-1933):

Herbert Macaulay, Dr Akinwande Savage, James Johnson, Mojola Agbebi, Candido Da Rocha, Christopher Sapara Williams, Samuel Herbert Pearse, Cardoso, Adeyemo Alakija, John Payne Jackson, Orisadipe Obasa, Dr. Akinola Maja, Benjamin Euba, Reverend S.M Abiodun, John K. Randle,Kitoye Ajasa.

Some prominent politicians of the defunct NCNC political party from 1944-1966 were:

Herbert Macaulay, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Professor Eyo Ita, Hezekiah Oladapo Davies, Adeniran Ogunsanya, Theophilus Owolabi Shobowale Benson, Olu Akinfosile, Adedoyin Williams, Adegoke Adelabu, Kola Balogun, Ejike Mbonu, Michael Okpara, Alvan Ikoku, Senator Paul Okoro, Olufumilayo Ransomkuti, Margaret Ekpo, Nwafor Orizu, Mbonu Ejike, Dennis Olisadebey, Adeniran Ogunsanya, Modupe Johnson, Aja Nwachukwu, Jaja Nwachukwu, Raymond Njoku, Matthew Mbu, Richard Akinjide, Dr. Olorunminbe, Louis Ojukwu, Louis Mbanefo,

Kingsley Ozumba Mbadiwe, Amaechi Mbazuilike, Mokgokwo Okoye, Raji Abdullahi, Abiola Aloba, Professior Eyo, Professor Eni Njoku, Ogedengbe Macaulay and others.

*Some Prominent defunct Action Group political party from 1951-1966 were namely:

Obafemi Awolowo, Samuel Akintola, Bode Thomas, Stephen Awokoya, Oni Akerele, Arthur Prest, Frederick Rotimi Alade Williams, Michael Ajasin, Bola Ige, Ayo Adebanjo, Samuel Goomsu Ikoku, MCK Ajuluchukwu, Adisa Akinloye, Dawodu Ganiyu, Josiah Olawoyin, Abraham Adesanya, Anthony Enahoro, Alfredo Rewane, Lateef Jakande, Akintola Williams, Sir Adeyemo Alakija and others.

*****************************************

Simeon Okoro is a teacher by profession. He holds a B.Sc Economics (Education) degree. He's a professional Teacher of Economics, Commerce and Financial Accounting. Also, he's a prolific writer and researcher on Economics, Politics and History.


    
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