Sunday, 24 February 2013

OMATSOLA: Broadcaster who announced Nigeria’s Independence in 1960, goes home (VANGUARD)

By Emmanuel Edukugho (Vanguard Newspaper)
HE was a renowned broadcaster with specialisation in news reading, became known and acknowledged all over this country throughout the 19 years of his career.
Sir Emmanuel Aghanjuebitsi Ewetan Omatsola (KSC, OON) hailed from the family of David Omatsola Usitara of Mereje town, in Okpe Local Government Area of Delta State. He was born in Forcados, in the old Western Region, now Delta State on January 29, 1930.
After his secondary education at Igbobi College, Yaba, Lagos (1945-1950), which at that time was the only English-Model Public School in Nigeria, he joined the teaching staff of his alma mater in January 1951. Two years after, he left the teaching job and went into broadcasting in the then Nigerian Broadcasting Service (NBS), now Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), as a member of the pioneering staff. That was in 1953.
In the same year, according to his  biography obtained during the service of songs in his honour at his residence, Plot 121, 24th Street, DDPA Housing Estate, Ugborikoko, Effurun, near Warri, Delta State, Omatsola launched into news-casting as a news-reader.
Apart from his jobs of announcing, programme presentation and programme production, he also carved a niche for himself  as a Radio Outside Broadcast (OB) commentator on national events.
These occasions include Remembrance Day Services (November 11  every year) from the Anglican Christ Church Cathedral, Marina, Lagos, the visits of Queen Elizabeth II of England and Princess Anne to Nigeria, self-government celebrations in Kaduna and Enugu, the Independence Day on 1st October, 1960 and later when Nigeria became a Republic in 1963, replacing Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State with Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe as President while Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa remained Prime Minister.
At midnight on the 30th of September 1960, Omatsola was the radio commentator from the Race Course in Lagos who announced to Nigeria and the whole world that “Nigeria is a free, sovereign nation,” graphically describing the ceremony of the lowering of the British Union Jack  flag and the hoisting (for the first time) of the Nigeria flag of Green, White, Green perpendicular section. The Nigerian National Anthem (Nigeria We Hail Thee), played by a Massed Band, was sung also for the first time.
Undoubtedly, he was chosen on merit for that historic and monumental assignment.
Before  this assignment, he had been prepared by his employers at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) at its Overseas Service Headquarters at Bush House, London in 1959/1960, in time to return home for the approaching Nigerian Independence Day celebrations.
He spoke the first words, introduced the then Minister of Information, Hon. T.O.S. Benson, and read the first news bulletin on the Nigerian Television Service (now Nigeria Television Authority) in 1962 when the Federal Government introduced its own television service.
In April of that same year, Omatsola spoke the first words and read the first news bulletin when Voice of Nigeria, VON, the External Service of Radio Nigeria, was inaugurated. He rose through the ranks,  combining administrative positions and functions with his main professional duties.
He became Head of Presentation, VON (supervising the overseas broadcasting materials and output from the French, Swahili, Arabic and Hausa units).
During the Nigerian Civil War (Biafran War) (1967 to 1970), he was posted to head the Eastern Regional Service of Radio Nigeria at Enugu as Acting Controller. At cessation of hostilities, he supervised the three R’s (Reconciliation, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation) programme of the Federal Government for broadcasting colleagues and also produced and recorded the famous NO VICTOR, NO VANQUISHED broadcast by Mr. Ukpabi Asika, the then Administrator of Eastern Region to mark the surrender of Biafran forces.
The Voice of America (VOA) appointed him its stringer in Lagos for many years. On an American government scholarship, he attended Syracuse University, New York in 1962 to study mass communication with specialization in broadcasting.
Omatsola won one of his broadcasting “Caps” in 1979 when, even after he had left active broadcasting and gone into the Nigerian oil sector, he was chosen and invited by NTA to be the commentator at the ceremony at the Race Course, Lagos in which General Olusegun Obasanjo as military Head of State and his second in command, Major General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, handed over the reins of government to democratically elected President Shehu Shagari and Vice President  Alex Ekwueme.
The ace broadcaster joined Gulf Oil Company of Nigeria Ltd and its successor Chevron Nigeria Ltd from 1971-1990 retiring as Public Affairs Manager in their field operations area which stretched from Edo State, Akwa Ibom State (the whole of the Niger Delta).
Omatsola was a foundation member of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR); got, in 1995, Delta State Government Merit Award (Excellence in Media), Veteran Broadcasting Award (National Broadcasting Commission in year 2000), Member and Life Master of Ceremonies, Warri Choral Society, Honorary Citizen and Goodwill Ambassador, City of Houston, USA, Anglican Knight of the Sacred Order of St. Christopher (KSC) and the Nigerian National Honour of Officer of the Order of Niger (OON).
Before his death in 2012, and since retiring from service, he kept up his interest zealously in his professions of broadcasting and public affairs, giving advice and guidance from time to time.
Among those who attended the service of songs on Thursday, January 31st,  2013 were Chief Edwin Clark;  the National Ijaw leader; movie star, Justus Esiri; Publisher Eddie Yekovie; Ms Alero Edukugho; colleagues in the media; captains of  oil industry; Anglican Church members; the cream of Delta  personalities; and members of  social and religious groups. He was laid to rest in Mereje.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Gabriel Adebayo Fagbure on Nigerias First Military Coup

Gabriel Adebayo Fagbure was an editor of the West African Pilot in the 1950s. Prior to becoming editor of the Pilot, he worked at the editorial office of the Western Echo and Southern Nigerian Defender serving as editor and managing editor respectively.
Fagbure is a native of Iwo in Osun State. In the early 1960s, he was a principal information officer at the Nigerian house in London and during the first incursion of the Nigerian military in the governance of the country, he served as a commissioner in the old Western region of the country. However, he lost an election in 1979 during the preparation for the nation's second republic.
Fagbure attended Baptist schools in Iwo and later went to Regent Street Polytechnic, London.

(Source: Nigerian Wiki)

Here he is sharing his views on Nigerias first military coup 1966

Friday, 22 February 2013

NIGERIA: Down But Not Out (TIME Magazine Monday, Aug. 06, 1956)

 Monday, Aug. 06, 1956

In Pittsburgh one day in the late 19205, a tall, weedy college student named Nnamdi Azikiwe (commonly known as "Zik") learned that Boxer Jackie Zivic was looking for sparring partners. Fired with a sudden ambition, Zik offered his services. "They knocked me around so much," he recalled years later, "that I gave it up." Audacious tries and rough comeuppances are characteristic of Zik's dashing career.
Last week ebullient. ebony-black Nnamdi Azikiwe, now Premier of the Eastern Region of Nigeria, was taking the worst knocking around he had suffered since his sparring with Zivic. He was hard hit; he reeled; but he was not yet out.
Zik, now 51, has made a career out of battling the British in his native land. The son of a clerk in the Royal West African Frontier Force, Zik passed up Oxford or Cambridge to enroll in West Virginia's Storer College. Supplementing his original stake (his father's $1,200 retirement gratuity) with jobs as a coal miner, busboy and dishwasher, Zik spent nine years in the U.S., wound up with an M.A. in anthropology and government from the University of Pennsylvania.
Going back to Africa, Zik started the West African Pilot, filled it with rejuvenation ads, social notes and inflammatory anti-British editorials. It was an instant success. Today Zik owns five daily news papers in southern Nigeria.
Man with Six Tails. Alarmed by his agitation for Nigerian independence, the colony's British authorities in 1937 tried unsuccessfully to convict Zik of sedition, and in the decade that followed, some times had as many as six detectives tailing him at once. In the past few years, how ever, the Colonial Office's onetime hos tility toward Zik has changed to a re signed cordiality.
Today Britain is committed to giving Nigeria — like the nearby Gold Coast —independence within the Commonwealth as soon as Nigerian self-government proves workable. The chief obstacle is present ed by the Nigerians themselves. The largest (pop. 32 million) of British colo nies, Nigeria is divided among three mutu ally hostile peoples : the tough Hausa tribesmen of the Moslem north, the town-dwelling Yorubas of the southwest, and the aggressive, hard-driving Ibo farmers of the east. Each region now has its own semi-autonomous government. Britain would like them to federate with a strong central government. The only Nigerians who are keen for this idea, because they are confident they would dominate the federation, are Zik and his fellow Ibos.
Family Affair. Two years ago Zik became the Eastern Region's first Premier. Still simmering over an old experience in a British bank in Nigeria ("Not only did the manager keep me standing in his office for some minutes, but he was curt and condescending"), Zik used his new power to transfer $5,600,000 in government funds into a hitherto modest native bank, the African Continental. The catch was that the African Continental Bank had been founded by Zik himself, and, although he had resigned as a director upon becoming Premier, he and an organization called Zik Enterprises Ltd. still held 28,000 shares in it. A few months after the transfer of government funds, some of the bank's directors (who include Zik's father and cousin) quietly agreed to make Zik lifetime chairman of the board.
"My Humble Advice." These novel banking practices aroused no public comment until three months ago, when Zik, "aghast at public reports of corruption" in his government, fired an old crony from a cushy government job. The old crony, E. R. Eyo, is both an ex-convict and a member of the Eastern Region's House of Assembly. Out for vengeance, Eyo rose in the House to blurt out about the government funds in Zik's bank. The Speaker of the House ruled him out of order on a technicality. British Governor Sir Clement Pleass was not so easily silenced, asked for a commission of inquiry.
Fortnight ago, clearly hoping to scare the British into dropping the matter, Zik fired off to Colonial Secretary Lennox-Boyd in London a message threatening that he and his fellow ministers would resign en masse unless Governor Pleass, a man of "pathological stubbornness," was promptly removed. Stormed Zik: "My humble advice is that you be careful not to mess up the affairs of Eastern Nigeria as is the case in Cyprus and Singapore. We are ready for any eventuality, and will not stand nonsense from anybody. You have been warned."
"Invidious Task" Last week in the House of Commons, Lennox-Boyd gave his answer. Staunchly supporting Pleass, "who has a most difficult and invidious task," the Colonial Secretary ordered appointment of a commission to investigate Zik's relations with African Continental. The investigation, he added, would force postponement of the Nigerian constitutional conference originally scheduled for September, and consequently a delay in fulfillment of Britain's promise to give Nigeria self-government.
Oddly enough, as the inquiry got under way, Zik had the British in his corner, for a change. The British privately hoped that the accusations against Zik would prove unfounded. They are anxious to get on with federation, and if Zik proves not to be the man, they can see no one else in sight to build around.

BEN ENWONWU (14 July 1921–5 February 1994)

Enwonwu with Festus Okotie, Eboh Johnson, and others  

The Ben Enwonwu Foundation.

These pictures are from an exhibition which has passed but here are the details.... It was titled, Life and Times; a black and white photographic exhibition on the amazing artist and sculpture Ben Enwonwu.

The exhibition showcased carefully selected pictures from Enwonwu’s diverse photographic library that illustrated his private, public and most especially, his professional life.

Here is the link to the page enjoy! OMENKA GALLERY

"The Enahoro Affair" 1963

During the 1962 crisis in the old Western region, opposition party leaders of the Action Group found themselves accused of a coup plot and threatened with detention. One of the party leaders, Chief Antony Enahoro escaped via Ghana to the United Kingdom to seek political asylum.

Nigeria requested Enahoro's extradition under the 1881 Fugitive Offenders Act, preventing his application for political asylum.
The once best-known Nigerian politician in Britain was now a "fugitive offender". "The Enahoro affair"  triggered days of debate in the House of Commons, in 1963 as he battled against extradition.

"The Enahoro affair" became an issue of human rights versus the government's pusillanimous wish not to offend Nigeria, and put the Tory prime minister, Harold Macmillan, and his home secretary, Henry Brooke, in a difficult position.

He was extradited from the UK and imprisoned for treason. In 1966, he was released by the Military Government.

Here is a document highlighting the situation the UK government found themselves regarding the "The Enahoro affair".....I will post more declassified documents later.

1932 Olympics: Nnamdi Azikiwe Requesting Permission to Represent Nigeria in the 1932 Olympics

The 1932 Olympics took place during the Great Depression and fewer countries and athletes took part than in the previous Games. However, the standard and achievement of participants was high.

Here is a letter from a young Nnamdi Azikiwe requesting permission to represent Nigeria in the 1932 Olympics.....

NIGERIA: Wives For Sale Cheap (TIME Magazine Monday, Aug. 08, 1955 )

In Britain's West African colony of Nigeria, where men buy their wives and thereafter own them, the price scale got out of hand after World War II when soldiers came home with the Crown's mustering-out pay in their pockets. Soon they had to pay as much as $600 for an educated girl, $450 for an illiterate. Since this was far beyond the means of the average young tribesman, the Nigerians asked their British rulers to impose price controls on wives. The British stiffly refused. Last week a committee appointed by the Eastern Nigerian government to bring some relief to Nigerian males recommended: 1) a ceiling of $84 per wife, with installment payments permitted; 2) only one to a customer.

Jewish Troglodyte Family at Hadejia, Nigeria 1900

1900 Hadejia

Hadejia (also Hadeja, previously Biram) is a Hausa town in eastern Jigawa State, northern Nigeria. The population was approximately 47,400 as of 1991.The people of Hadejia are largely Muslim, although some follow indigenous belief systems. The town lies to the north of the Hadejia River, and is upstream from the Hadejia-Nguru wetlands, an ecologically important and sensitive zone.
Hadejia was once known as Biram, and is referred to as one of the "seven true Hausa states" (Hausa Bakwai),because it was ruled by the descendants of the Hausa mythological figure Bayajidda and his second wife, Daurama.By 1810, during the Fulani War, the Hausa rulers of the Hausa Bakwai had all been overcome by the Fulani.Hadejia Emirate itself had been founded two years earlier, in 1808, and lasted until 1991, when it was absorbed into Jigawa State. In 1906 Hadejia resisted British occupation, under the then Emir (Muhammadu Mai-Shahada)

Jews of the Bilad el-Sudan (West Africa)
According to the 17th century Tarikh al-Fattash and the Tarikh al-Sudan, several Jewish communities existed as parts of the Ghana, Mali, and later Songhay empires. One such community was formed by a group of Egyptian Jews, who allegedly traveled by way of the Sahel corridor through Chad into Mali. Manuscript C of the Tarikh al-Fattash described a community called the Bani Israel that in 1402 existed in Tindirma, possessed 333 wells, and had seven princes as well as an army.
Another such community was that of the Zuwa ruler of Koukiya (located at the Niger river). His name was known only as Zuwa Alyaman, meaning "He comes from Yemen". According to an isolated local legend, Zuwa Alyaman was a member of one of the Jewish communities transported from Yemen by Abyssinians in the 6th century CE after the defeat of Dhu Nuwas. Zuwa Alyaman was said to have traveled into West Africa along with his brother. They established a community in Kukiya at the banks of the Niger River downstream from Gao. According to the Tarikh al-Sudan, after Zuwa Alyaman, there were 14 Zuwa rulers of Gao before the rise of Islam in in the second half of the eleventh century.
Other sources stated that other Jewish communities in the region arose from migrations from Morocco and Egypt, and later from Portugal. Some communities were said to have been populated by certain Berber Jews, like a group of Tuareg known as Dawsahak or Iddao Ishaak ("children of Isaac"). They speak a language related to Songhay, live in northeast Mali in the region of Menaka and were formerly herders for Tuareg nobles. In addition, some migrated into the area away from Muslim rule in North Africa.

Information. Wikipedia

Photo source National Archives

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Education: Prince with a Purpose- Prince Nwafor Orizu. ( TIME Magazine Monday, Jan. 01, 1945)

From Time Magazine

Akweke Abyssinia Nwafor Orizu, of Manhattan, is a tall, black, sober young man of 24 who calls himself "Prince Orizu." He uses the title only to impress whites with the fact that Africa has traditional governments of its own. His hearers are usually sufficiently impressed to ask what he is prince of. His answer: Nnewi.
Nnewi is a progressive monarchy in the British Protectorate of Nigeria. A. A. Nwafor Orizu was offered its throne in 1938, on the death of his father, Ezeng-bonyamba I. Last week in his Manhattan office he explained why he hardly warmed the throne before turning it over to his brother. His ambition: to educate in turn: 1) Orizu, 2) Nnewi, 3) Nigeria, 4) Africa.
Says deep-voiced Prince Orizu: "The type of education that is safe for our peace is the education that has no bitterness." His recently published Without Bitterness (Creative Age, $3) throws some bitter sidelights on the intellectual darkness of his native continent. The illiterate Nigerian man-in-the-jungle outnumbers his educated brother by more than ten to one. Orizu believes that only universal free education can help to stem the growing spirit of revenge in his long-exploited continent ("Can it be that my Africa is without brothers?").
Pragmatism and Polygamy. Though Europe's universities outrank the U.S.'s in Nigerian esteem, Orizu heard American universities praised by a fellow countryman, came to the U.S. in 1939, at Ohio State took his degree in government with honors, proceeded to an M.A. at Columbia. Through his American Council on African Education he has thus far secured 150 U.S. college scholarships for his countrymen. In a few months he expects to go home (where he may or may not resume the throne) and begin working at first hand to improve Nigeria's 36,626 schools, 380,305 pupils. Nnewi and three other Nigerian states, he reports, have already contributed more than $120,000 for new colleges.
A strong believer in cultural reciprocity, the Prince wants Nigeria's 23 accredited colleges to offer research-scholarships to U.S. students. Besides such hard-to-find courses as Arabic language and Nigerian history, they would provide Western visitors with insights into Nigeria's "stable family system and immaterial culture."
Prince Orizu is so literate that he has no time for the movies or dancing, once missed an appointment because he read himself to the end of the line in a Manhattan bus. His idol is Patrick Henry, one of his favorite words is American philosophy's "pragmatism," and he does not like to be called "chief." Pragmatically, Orizu has not yet decided whether polygamy, which was good enough for his father (at least 170 times a groom), is good enough for him.

Here 4th from the right visiting the White House with K.O Mbadiwe and "Boycott king” Mbonu Ojike

Sir Adetokunbo Ademola 1959

This picture was taken at Londons Middle Temple when
Sir Adetokunbo Ademola the Chief Justice of the Federation Nigeria was called to the High Table to take his seat as a Honorary Bencher of the Inn. He is the first African ever elected to this rare honour - April 1959


Chief Anthony Enahoro, The Nigerian Minister of Home Affairs, is one of the keenest golfers in Nigeria. He is seen here as he drives off from a tee at Sudbury Hill Golf Club near London. Watching his shot is Dave Thomas the club professional who recently returned form a tour of America.

Chief Enahoro who is a full member of the Sudbury Club - which is the only club in Great Britain to have an African Chief as a member - took up golfing only two years ago.
He is a member of the Ibadan Golf Club in Nigeria and has a handicap of twelve.

Now, in Britain on a 10 day visit before leaving for the United States on Government business, Chief Enahoro spends most of his spare time on the golf course.
He is keen to encourage the young people of Nigeria to take up the game, so much so that's he also looks out for second hand golf clubs which he can take back with him to Nigeria. "Lack of equipment is one of the reasons why golf is not popular in Nigeria but many of the caddies in Ibadan and Lagos love the game as much as I do" May 1959
I was at the National Archives today looking over documents etc regarding the amalgamation of Nigeria . This will be my second home till I go to Nigeria lol

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Medicine: Smallpox Apotheosized (TIME Magazine July 02 1923)

In this issue of TIME magazine

Dr. Oguntola Shapara, Nigerian physician, was decorated by King George. Dr. Shapara discovered an African secret society which worshipped smallpox as a fetish. The members spread the disease as part of their rites, making it impossible for the health officials of Nigeria to stamp out the plague. Dr. Shapara was initiated into the society and took part in its secret ritual in order to learn how to combat it. With this knowledge the Government of the colony was able to abolish the clan and to control smallpox.

This African secret society worshiped  Sonponna, the Yoruba deity of Smallpox.

Eastern House of Assembly in Enugu 1960

I received this post card this morning, it's a picture of the old Eastern House of Assembly in Enugu. c.1960

The Eastern House of Assembly (created by the Richards Constitution in 1946) served as a moderator between the local native authorities and the legislative council in Lagos.
Enugu became a municipality in 1956 and Umaru Altine became its first Mayor.
In 1960 Enugu became the capital of the eastern region but as a result of the 1966 coup the House of Assembly was dissolved.

The Leaked Video Of Gen. Diya Oladipo Pleading With Gen. Sanni Abacha - Oputa Panel

Here, " Gen. Diya is crossed examined at the Human Rights Violation Commission (HRVIC) on the coup plan 1997 to overthrow Gen. Sanni Abacha, He bluntly denied the fact that he was part of the plan but he admitted he knew about the plan. He ...further explained that he was afraid of being killed by the Coup Master Planner if he revealed the plan.

He denied pleading with Gen. Sanni Abacha but was shocked to see the video where he truly knelt down before Gen. Sanni Abacha as tendered by the Lawyer..." Long but interesting

Very sad indeed

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

The Cement Block (TIME Magazine Monday, Oct. 27, 1975)

Like the greedy little boy whose eyes were bigger than his stomach, oil-rich Nigeria, thanks to a colossal spending binge, is in one dreadful financial mess. The most visible sign of it was outside Apapa, port for the capital city of Lagos. Last week no fewer than 406 ships of all shapes and sizes were backed up waiting their turn for dock space. At least one vessel has been stuck outside Apapa since last February. Maritime experts call it the worst shipping jam in modern history.
Nigeria last year earned $8 billion from oil revenues, prompting the government of former Head of State Yakubu Gowon to embark on a gargantuan program to develop and modernize Black Africa's most populous country. Unfortunately, no one stopped to figure what would happen when all the goodies arrived. One item in desperate need of modernization was the port of Apapa itself; the ordered machinery and parts are stuck in ships unable to dock.
More than half the waiting ships are loaded down with cement, 2.4 million tons of it. And that's only a part of the order. In all, Nigeria somehow managed to contract for 21 million tons of cement, about ten times the total amount that the lagoon port could handle in a year even without other cargo to unload. Because of the chemical makeup of the cement, much of it may not be usable for building after six months. Last week Brigadier Murtala Mohammed, who ousted Gowon in a coup last July, ordered an official inquiry to see whether the cement purchase was made to "sabotage the economy through a deliberate embarrassment of riches."
Nigeria's economy, as one official puts it, is "suddenly encased in a wave of cement." The country is paying a demurrage charge of $4,000 a day to many of the backed-up ships; total cost in the past six months: $18 million. Unscrupulous shipowners, the government believes, have added to the shambles by putting old tubs into line to collect demurrage, since it is more than they can make on the high seas. Paperwork is so fouled up that one shipper collected for demurrage and for cargo, even though he docked with nothing in his hold. In a desperate effort to find relief, Nigeria has tried to revoke the supposedly irrevocable letters of credit from the Nigerian Central Bank that backed the purchases in the first place. That move is wreaking havoc among international traders, and may cause some producers and shippers to be bankrupted.
Last week the Nigerian government belatedly requested a halt to the shipping of any cargo to its ports until further notice. If the request is honored, it should help matters some, but at least 50 more ships are already en route to Apapa and will join the line within the next month. If nothing is done, a large London shipping group estimates, the latest arrivals will have to wait ten years before unloading. At best, the port is not expected to be unscrambled for a year.
Nigeria is not the only oil-rich country with cargo headaches. In Iran, ships wait up to three months to dock at Persian Gulf ports, trucks are backed up at border customs checkpoints and valuable military supplies are rusting away out on the sand or in warehouses while authorities try to process them. "It resembles a chaotic flea market," says one U.S. Pentagon officer. An aide to Defense Secretary James Schlesinger has been sent to Tehran to help unclog the backlog in order to make way for still more supplies, including the first of 80 F-14 Tomcats, that are on the way.

The picture above is of Apapa wharf in 1936

Nigerian Ads from the 1950s

The Men of Sandhurst. (TIME Magazine Friday, Jan. 28, 1966)

Outside the federal parliament building in Lagos, troops with fixed bayonets warned a swarm of curious small boys to "Go 'way, go 'way, this is no place for children today." In the lobby of the Ikoyi Hotel, scrubwomen used Dettol antiseptic to scour bloodstains off the marble floor. Throughout the capital city, telephones were mysteriously out of order. Alerting Nigeria to stay tuned for an important announcement, the government radio station canceled its regular programs, filled the time with music, 15 minutes of talking drums, a taped travelogue and a well-worn recorded sermon. The needle got stuck on the words "Charity envieth not charity envieth not charity envieth not . . ."
Finally came the announcement the nation had been waiting for. An exuberant voice proclaimed: "I, J.T.U. Aguiyi Ironsi, general officer commanding the Nigerian army, have formally been invested with authority as head of the Nigerian armed forces." So saying, Major General Johnson Aguiyi Ironsi (pronounced Agwee-yee Ironsee) abolished the constitution of Africa's most populous nation, eliminated the offices of President and Prime Minister, fired the Premiers of Nigeria's four semi-autonomous regions, and announced that military governors would take their places. Democracy, for the time being at least, was dead in Nigeria.
Mock Invasion. Its death was swift and violent. In a single night, a conspiracy led by five young Sandhurst-trained officers killed or neutralized their superiors and grabbed control of big units of the army. Then, in simultaneous strikes throughout the nation, they killed or kidnaped Nigeria's most powerful feudal lord, the Sardauna of Sokoto; its two most corrupt politicians, Finance Minister Chief Festus Okotie-Eboh and Western Region Premier Chief Samuel Akintola; and its most prestigious international figure, Prime Minister Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.
The raids were brilliantly planned, precisely executed (murmured one resident Englishman: "Sandhurst training certainly leaves its mark"). In the dusty northern capital of Kaduna, Major Chukwuma Nzeogwu, 29, had been holding night maneuvers for six straight weeks, once even led his troops through a mock invasion of the sprawling white palace of Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna (Emir) of Sokoto, religious leader of 12.5 million Nigerian Moslems, boss of the nation's ruling political party, and the real power behind the Balewa government. So accustomed had the city become to the sound of night gunfire during the maneuvers that not even the police bothered to investigate when Nzeogwu threw a hand grenade through the palace's front door, then, with his men, shot it out with the palace guards, dragged the Sardauna outside, propped him against a wall and shot him.
Handcuffs & Dash. A similar scene was occurring at the same time in Ibadan, capital of the Western Region, where the Sardauna's political ally, Regional Premier Chief Samuel Akintola, was shot and his house burned down.

In the exclusive lagoon-front district of Lagos, the commander of the presidential guard led a handful of troops to the homes of Prime Minister Balewa and his Finance Minister. Sir Abubakar, summoned from prayers, told his servant that "this means there is trouble," but submitted with dignity. He appeared fully dressed, arms above his head, wrists together, ready for handcuffs. Not so Okotie-Eboh, known throughout Nigeria as the king of "dash"—the word used throughout West Africa for the ever-present bribery. Producing a thick wad of bills, he tried to buy off his captors, then, dressed in pajamas, ran outside, screaming "Don't kill me!" until two soldiers knocked him down and jumped on him. His body was found three days later in a ditch 30 miles from Lagos. Not far away lay Sir Abubakar, also dead.
All in all, it was the bloodiest military coup any black African nation has yet suffered. At least 40 civilians and 24 army officers were killed, and throughout the week bullet-stitched bodies kept turning up in such unlikely places as the 13th tee of a Lagos golf course. It was all the more shocking because Nigeria in its five years of independence has been held up as a showcase of stable African democracy. Unfortunately, the showcase was badly cracked long before the coup that shattered it.

Shoes & Paychecks. Like most African nations that inherited their boundaries from their former colonialist masters, Nigeria is not really one country at all. It has 250 tribes speaking 250 languages. Its vast Northern Region, in which live more than half its 55 million people, is predominantly Moslem; its three southern regions are Christian or pagan. Because of its size, the north has been able to dominate national politics from the start, a fact that the more advanced south actively resents.

The result in recent months has been organized anarchy. Corruption of all kinds was rampant on all levels of government. Congressmen saw their mandates as springboards to instant wealth. Ministers wheeled and dealed: Okotie Eboh almost openly accepted dash from large corporations in return for favored treatment, and used his position as Finance Minister to drive through prohibitive tariffs to protect his own private shoe factory. In the Western Region, all but one of the government party's 54 regional assemblymen drew fat extra paychecks for doubling as Ministers or parliamentary officials—a feat that President Nnamdi Azikiwe (who sat out the revolt in England, recuperating from a recent illness) once described in disgust as "a world record."
Sir Abubakar himself was widely respected as a man who sought to bring the feuding regions together. He was also one of the continent's leading moderate statesmen, opposed equally to colonialism and to Kwame Nkrumah's brash brand of African nationalism. But many of the men in his government, especially the northerners, ran roughshod. The government was widely suspected of tampering with the 1963 census figures to ensure northern control in the federal parliament. In 1962, it jailed Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the anti-north Premier of the Western Region, and installed its own man, Chief Akintola, in his place. So blatantly did it rig the 1964 national elections that the leading Western Region party boycotted them and the Eastern Region threatened to secede.
What brought things to a head were elections last October in the Western Region. Chief Akintola had labels switched on ballot boxes, prevented opposition candidates from running, even reversed local vote counts to give his party a lopsided victory despite a hostile electorate. A wave of violence immediately broke out, and the wave became a flood. Political riots and assassinations have taken more than 150 lives in the past three months. Gunmen of the opposition Action Group ranged the roads, stopping cars and trucks and demanding money for the party. Police, unable to control them, warned motorists to stay off the roads, and truck drivers demanded hazard pay.
Fortnight ago, Akintola and the Sardauna of Sokoto met secretly in Ibadan, decided to call in the army to crush the growing rebellion. As far as the junior officers were concerned, that was the last straw. They launched their long-planned coup. "Our enemies," said Nzeogwu, "are the political profiteers, the men that seek bribes, those that seek to keep the country divided permanently so they can remain in office as Ministers, tribalists and nepotists, those that have corrupted our society and put the political calendar back."
Coffin & Banner. It is probable that the conspirators, who believe with Nzeogwu that "only in the army do you get true Nigerianism," intended to follow the coup with a Nasser-style revolution based on a permanent military regime. But they quickly lost their control of the army to the remaining senior officers under Army Commander Aguiyi Ironsi. A tough and respected soldier who served as commander of the United Nations forces in the Congo, "Johnny Ironsides," as Ironsi is known, had other ideas. He recalled Nzeogwu from the north, replaced him with a moderate northern officer, appointed other moderates as regional military governors, and announced that his military regime would step down eventually —whenever a new constitution can be drawn up and approved. "Our only purpose is to maintain law and order," he told his countrymen.
Not surprisingly, Nigerians fell in immediately behind their new regime. Businessmen and labor unions cheered, university students paraded through the streets of Lagos bearing a coffin and a banner proclaiming "Tyranny Has Died." All political parties—including the deposed Northern People's Congress—swore their allegiance. Editorialized the West African Pilot: "This great country has every reason to be proud of the military, which has taken over the fumbling feudal and neocolonialist regime. Today, independence is really won."
That still remained to be seen. For while the joy was obviously genuine in the south, it was just as obviously mixed in the north. Any new constitutional convention is almost bound to slice up the north into several regions to cut it down to size. And the assassination of the Sardauna of Sokoto raised a possibility that southerners have long feared: a Moslem holy war of reprisal. Besides, it was far from clear that the power struggle within the army itself had been fully resolved.

ADELABU "Penkelemesi" : End of a Charmed Life (TIME Magazine Monday, Apr. 14, 1958)

Adelabu in London (Note: the robe is made from 'Ade' cloth)
Alhaji Adelabu and Alhaji Adegbenro pose together

Adelabu and Awolowo share a car

Adelabu as a co-operative official seated far right

Ade and Awo at a London dance

The half-million Moslems of Ibadan in Western Nigeria have two heroes: Hogan Bassey, the Nigerian boxer who is featherweight-champion of the world, and Ade-goke Adelabu, 43, a spellbinder whose Ibadan People's Party is their first line of defense against surrounding .tribes. The latest ring victory of their first hero (see SPORT) was not enough to compensate last week for what happened to their second.
On the eve of local elections, Adelabu drove to Lagos to confer with colleagues in the capital on how best to defeat the candidates of Obafemi Awolowo, Prime Minister of Western Nigeria and chief of the industrious Ijebu tribe. Returning home, Adelabu was speeding through the constituency of his rival, Awolowo, when his car sideswiped another and crashed into a ditch, killing Adelabu and two of his relatives. Many of his supporters could not believe his death: having survived 18 "political" trials in five years with no more punishment than a few chiding words from presiding judges, Adelabu was believed to have a charmed life. A hundred thousand mourners gathered for his funeral, and the rumor spread among them that their leader's death had been caused by Ibeju witch doctors using a lethal juju so powerful and selective that it killed Adelabu but preserved the lives of the occupants of the car that had crashed with his. Thousands of fanatics ranged the streets, beating up political opponents of the Ibadan People's Party, burning their houses, setting fire to cars parked in the streets. A tribal chieftain and his family were chopped to death because they showed insufficient grief at the passing of Adelabu. "Mammy wagons" (rural buses) that did not carry the traditional green twigs of mourning were overturned and destroyed, and the passengers forced to run for their lives. In ten days the official death toll was 20, and many lay in the hospitals. When the mob ran out of political opponents, it turned its fury on government tax collectors.
Prime Minister Awolowo, describing as "wicked and utterly false" the rumor that Adelabu's death had been caused by black magic, ordered in federal police reinforcements, who used tear gas and gunfire to break up the raging mobs, killing two and arresting 296 of the rioters. At week's end. Ibadan was still under a state of emergency. But Adelabu was dead and buried, and neither riot nor witchcraft could bring him back alive.

( All pictures from the book The Price of Liberty: Personality and Politics in Colonial Nigeria By K. W. Post, George D. Jenkins)

NIGERIA: The Black Rock. (TIME Magazine Monday, Dec. 05, 1960)

(Cover Story)
At five minutes before nine the warning bell clanged, and the chattering parliamentarians in the lobby began to file into the House to take their seats. Precisely on the hour, a voice raised the traditional cry "Mistah Speakah," and the legislators froze as a bemedaled attendant solemnly descended the nine red-carpeted steps into the well of the House and laid a golden mace on the table separating the government front benches from those of the opposition. After a prayer calling down God's protection on the nation and Queen Elizabeth II, the Speaker, in his English-accented English, called "Odah, odah," and the debate began. Scarcely had it got into full swing when a proud, ascetic figure strolled slowly toward the government bench and all eyes converged on the ebony face of Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, O.B.E., K.B.E., C.B.E., LL.D., Prime Minister of Nigeria.
Along with its echoes of Britain's Westminster, the legislature over which Sir Abubakar presided last week had some of the flavor of a Pan-African Congress. On its benches tall, haughty Hausas, splendidly robed in green and scarlet, sat amongst volatile Ibos draped in white and azure gowns. Across the aisle were Yoruba tribesmen wrapped in gold, yellow and orange with little porkpie beanies on their heads. Between them, they constituted one of the world's noisiest Parliaments. Each speaker was greeted with cries of "Heah, heah" from his friends and derisory shouts of "Sit down, you wretched fool" from his foes; from the rostrum came the perennial plea for "Odah, odah!" But somehow, through the din, the nation's problems got discussed and decided.
In the hurly-burly of 1960's African avalanche of freedom, Nigeria's impressive demonstration of democracy's workability in Africa is too often overlooked. Next-to-newest of the 18 nations* to win independence this year (see p. 23), Nigeria entered the world community without noisy birthpangs or ominous warnings of its determination to avenge ancient wrongs. Since moderation and common sense are not the stuff that headlines are made of, the world's eyes slid past Nigeria to focus worriedly on the imperialistic elbowings of Ghana's Nkrumah, on the heedless plunge into Marxism taken by Guinea's Sékou Touré and above all, on the bloody chaos in the Congo.
In the long run, the most important and enduring face of Africa might well prove to be that presented by Nigeria. Where so many of its neighbors have shaken off colonialism only to sink into strongman rule. Nigeria not only preaches but practices the dignity of the individual. And where such other islands of order in Africa as Liberia. Togo and the former French Congo lack the size and power to overbalance thrusting Ghana and Guinea (combined population: 8,665,000), the Federation of Nigeria stands a giant among Lilliputians; last October, when Nigeria's 40 million people got their independence, the free population of Black Africa jumped 50%. Backed by such numbers, Nigeria's sober voice urging the steady, cautious way to prosperity and national greatness seems destined to exert ever-rising influence in emergent Africa.
The Perfect Victorian. No man better symbolizes the strengths and hopes of independent Nigeria than Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (pronounced Bah-lay-wah). At 47, he is slight of figure (5 ft. 8½ in., 136 Ibs.), and his wispy mustache and greying, crew-cut beard make him look older than he is. Reserved and unassuming, he is a rare bird in a land famed for flamboyant politicians, was once described by an African magazine as a "turtledove among falcons."
But for all his lack of drama, Sir Abubakar is an astute and impressive statesman. His rolling, resonant oratory and superb command of English have won him the nickname "The Golden Voice."
For his crucial role in Nigeria's advance to independence, Britain has heaped him with honors and his native admirers hail him as "The Black Rock of Nigeria." (As a devout Moslem, the title he prizes most is that of alhaji—one who has made the pilgrimage to Mecca.) In his drive to lift his backward land into the 20th century, Balewa's piercing eyes exude calm and sureness, and he rarely speaks in anger. "He is," says a longtime British acquaintance, "perhaps the perfect Victorian gentleman. He simply will not be rushed."
Hershey Bars & Chickens. Sprawled along 580 miles of the choppy Gulf of Guinea, Sir Abubakar's Nigeria is a ragged rectangle the size of Texas and Oklahoma combined. Just behind the beach, guarded by a great green mangrove wall, lie sweltering swamps—and the mosquitoes whose deadly bite kept white men from settling Nigeria as they did Algeria, Kenya and the Rhodesias.* Beyond the swamps is the thick layer of tangled rain forest, where the natives pick cocoa pods for the world's chocolate factories and gather oil palms for the big soap firms. Then comes the undulating grass country, rising in the north to the crusty, arid, mile-high floor and then to the hot Sahara's edge, where by day nomadic cattle herders bow to Mecca and muffle their faces against the sun and grit-filled harmattan winds with robes that keep out the bitter chill when the sun goes down.

Scattered across this diverse land, Nigeria's cities throb with the vigor of noisy commerce and the color of exotic dyes. In the federal capital of Lagos (pronounced Lay-gahs), where gleaming buildings rise among the slums, the streets are a cacophony of honking autos and a torrent of heedless jaywalkers. Lagos' open-air market is a constant melee: picking their way through tall piles of blinding indigo or scarlet cloth, vast platters of red peppers on bright green leaves, and mounds of white salt, hordes of shrieking women peddle alum, alarm clocks, Hershey bars, live chickens, hair tonic—all from overloaded trays atop their heads.
Around the Y. But the central fact of Nigerian politics is not a clash between townsman and bush dweller. It is, instead, racial and religious rivalries pointed up by the mighty Y that is stamped across Nigeria's face (see map) by two great rivers—the winding Benue that pours from the cloud-ringed Camerounian mountains in the east, and the majestic Niger that comes in from the west to join the Benue in a single mighty stream running south to the Gulf of Guinea.
Under the Y's left arm, in the Western Region (pop. 8,000,000), live the most advanced of all Nigerians—the Yoruba tribesmen, who worship 400 different deities, including Shango, god of thunder, and boast a centuries-old tradition of political organization.
Under the right arm of the Y is the heavily forested Eastern Region (pop. 9,000,000), home of the Ibo. a fiercely independent people, half Christian, half pagan, and known, because of their get-up-and-go, as "the Jews of Africa."
Black Africa's first TV station and Nigeria's first university are in the Western capital of Ibadan, where three-quarters of a million people cluster noisily under a sea of tin roofs. Between them, the Yoruba West and bustling Ibo East dominate Nigeria's commerce and furnish most of the country's bureaucrats. But the real weight of the nation rests on the top of the Y. Here, in the Northern Region, live close to 20 million people, mostly Moslems, who still remember the jihad (holy war), in which, 156 years ago, the Fulani horsemen of Imam Othman dan Fodio overwhelmed the original Hausa inhabitants. Though it is still an essentially feudal society in which Hausa-speaking masses are ruled by stern Fulani emirs, the North today, by sheer weight of numbers, controls Nigeria's federal House of Representatives and, in the person of Sir Abubakar, lords it over the bright brats of the South.

To the New World. It was in the North too that Nigeria's written history began—in the walled-caravan center of Kano, whose chronicles date back to A.D. 960 and whose big, modern airport today is one of the world's busiest. For coastal Nigeria the ages passed without written record until the late 15th century, when Portuguese adventurers sailed and marched up the creeks to Benin, whose 16th and 17th century bronzes (some of which depict Portuguese traders) are now among Africa's most treasured art objects. To the Portuguese—and the English who eventually displaced them—Nigeria's most valuable commodity was its people. Between 1562 (when Sir John Hawkins carried Britain's first slave cargo to Haiti) and 1862 (when the last Nigerian was sold in the U.S. South), Nigeria's chiefs sold so many hundreds of thousands of their countrymen into slavery in the New World that Nigeria became known as the Slave Coast.

With slavery's passing and the coming of the Industrial Revolution, Britain's interest in Nigeria shifted from people to palm oil. To get the oil, British trading companies began to penetrate the interior of Nigeria—and after them came the Union Jack. By 1903, when Sir Frederick Lugard (later Lord Lugard) began his campaigns against the Northern emirs, British rule in Nigeria was an accepted international fact. But even yet no one conceived of northern and southern Nigeria as having anything but a geographical connection; the word Nigeria itself was coined by a London Times contributor named Flora Shaw—who later became Lady Lugard. Not until 1914, when Lugard, one of Britain's great colonial administrators, took over as Governor General of both North and South, was modern Nigeria born.
A Matter of Chance. The man who rules Nigeria today is two years older than his country. He was born simply Abubakar, the child of Yakubu, a minor official in the regime of the emir of Bauchi. (According to northern custom, he later added to his given name that of his village—Tafawa Balewa.) Though Abubakar was not of the mighty Fulani—his family belonged to the Geri tribe—his father's position won him the rare privilege of schooling in a region almost totally illiterate. After secondary school he was even able to get into Katsina Teachers' Training College, normally open only to sons of the northern feudal elite.
Armed with his rare education, Abubakar returned to the windswept Bauchi Plateau and settled down on the staff of a Boys Middle School; he was a born teacher, and might have spent his life there except for a chance remark by a friend, who said that no northern Nigerian had ever passed the examination for a Senior Teacher's Certificate. Piqued by this reflection on northern intelligence, Abubakar took the exam and, to the astonishment of southern colleagues, passed it with ease. Impressed, London University's Institute of Education granted him a scholarship in 1945.
Ferment at Home. Uninterested in politics, Abubakar stuck to his books, never met such hot-eyed young nationalists as Ghana's Kwame Nkrumah and Kenya's Jomo Kenyatta, who were also in London then. When the BBC sought a Nigerian to read Nigeria's new 1946 constitution on its overseas service, Abubakar willingly took the job but had, he later confessed, not the slightest idea what the document he had read was all about.
Back home, there were plenty of noisy young men who did. Noisiest was the flamboyant Nnamde ("Zik") Azikiwe, a nimble Ibo spellbinder who had spent nine years in the U.S. working as a coal miner, professional boxer and gatherer of university degrees (Lincoln University, the University of Pennsylvania). Returning home, he became the loudest advocate of an independent, united Nigeria. Under the rising pressure, the British agreed to set up—as "advisory" bodies only—local Houses of Assembly in all three regions, plus a federal legislative council.
A Mere Intention. Abubakar Tafawa Balewa was hardly back from his year in London when the northern emirs, suddenly confronted with the need to find literate occupants for the northern seats in the federal assembly, pressed him into service. Like the emirs themselves, Abubakar started off with the fear that in a unified Nigeria the backward North itself would be swamped by the vigorous, better educated South. "Nigerian unity," he told the assembly, "is only a British intention for the country. It is artificial, and ends outside this chamber!"
With Zik & Co. sowing the seeds of rebellion in the South, the days of British rule in Nigeria were clearly numbered. But at conference after conference, the bemused British could only sit apart and smile as the Africans themselves delayed independence by interregional quibbling. Not until 1951 did the shape of the ultimate solution begin to appear: in return for accepting a federal legislature with real power, the North would get as many seats as the East and West combined.
A Rebel's Conversion. By then Nigerian politics had taken on a permanent three-way stretch. In the Ibo East, Zik's National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons held sway. In the West, the Action Group, headed by shrewd, stodgy Chief Obafemi Awolowo (pronounced Ah-Wo-lo-wo), spoke for the Yoruba people. Northern power then (as now) meant tall, solemn Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna (commander) of Sokoto and boss of the Northern Peoples Congress.
Since the Sardauna had no interest in settling in Lagos among the "southern barbarians," Abubakar became the protector of northern interests in the capital. Grudgingly, he went along with federal unity to the extent of becoming Minister of Works. "From the start he was the best minister of them all," recalls a British civil servant. "He did his homework and sent his paperwork through swiftly." But he remained a northerner, not a Nigerian.
A Single Pride. His moment of enlightenment came in 1955, when Abubakar journeyed to the U.S. to find out whether what the U.S. had done to develop water transport on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers could be applied to the sand-clogged Niger. One night, as he sat in a Manhattan hotel room, he got to thinking about what he had seen in the U.S. His thoughts as he recalls them: 'In less than 200 years, this great country was welded together by people of so many different backgrounds. They built a mighty nation and had forgotten where they came from and who their ancestors were. They had pride in only one thing —their American citizenship." That night he wrote to a friend in Nigeria: "Look, I am a changed man from today. Until now I never really believed Nigeria could be one united country. But if the Americans could do it, so can we."
Day of Freedom. With that, a united, independent Nigeria became only a matter of constitution writing and tidying up the details of transferring power. The British, their long and successful work of tutoring done, were ready. In 1957 Sir Abubakar stepped in as Nigeria's first Prime Minister, to prepare the nation for full freedom. Last October 1, as drums rumbled, guns blared and exuberant citizens gleefully shuffled through the high-life dance, Nigeria's green and white banner rose over Lagos in place of the Union Jack.
Along with independence. Nigeria acquired one of the most stable and genuinely representative governments in Africa. To ensure the votes necessary to push through his programs, Abubakar brought Zik's N.C.N.C. into coalition with his own Northern Peoples Congress. As payment, longtime Firebrand Zik unpredictably accepted the ceremonial job of governor general. Chief Awolowo resigned himself to the role of Opposition leader.
Time & Tolerance. Despite the favorable omens under which Nigeria was born, the burdens on Sir Abubakar's slender shoulders are awesome. The diversity that gives Nigeria's government a kind of built-in system of checks and balances also poses the ever-present threat of fragmentation; to weld Nigeria's 250 major tribes with as many languages into a single, indivisible nation will require not only time but tolerance. With only 175,000 pupils receiving secondary education, schools are desperately needed. In terms of university graduates, Nigeria is better off than the Congo, but there are still only 532 qualified Nigerian doctors, 644 lawyers, 20 graduate engineers. Awolowo and others are demanding that Abubakar throw out the British holdovers who still occupy half of Nigeria's senior civil service posts; yet, as Abubakar points out, "Nigerianization" of the civil service cannot sensibly be completed until enough Africans themselves can be trained.

Economically, Nigeria is a "have" nation by African standards, is close to self-sufficiency in food. But with a per capita income of only $84, capital is lacking to move the economy beyond its present agricultural base. Tin, columbite (for jet-engine alloys) and coal are all being exported, but there is no money to develop the lead, zinc and iron ore that have been found in quantity. Abubakar dreams of building West Africa's first steel mill and a huge dam on the Niger. But the big hope is oil. After 25 years, Shell finally hit a gusher in 1956, figures the Niger Delta swamps contain reserves of perhaps one billion barrels.

The Cold Stare. Within Nigeria's brand-new government, corruption flourishes—to the chagrin of Sir Abubakar, who startles his colleagues by actually handing back the surplus of his expense-account money when he returns from a trip abroad. And where honesty exists, talent is often lacking. To get results, Sir Abubakar, normally mild and patient, hounds his ministers, occasionally displaying to inept underlings a towering temper never seen in public. An error can bring simply a long, cold stare; it can also bring an explosion, as it did recently when a minister tried to justify an obvious goof. "That is quite enough," snapped the Prime Minister. "Shut up and get out!"
To avoid wasting time in the horrendous Lagos traffic—where auto trips are measured in the number of cigarettes consumed rather than in minutes—Sir Abubakar lives in a modern, two-story cement house near his office with his wife and nine children—plus the swarming families of his chauffeur and police orderly. In the Moslem tradition, his wife does not appear in public; for formal dinner parties, Abubakar borrows the Irish wife of a fellow minister to act as hostess. Up for prayers at 6:30, Abubakar breakfasts in time to arrive at his office precisely at 8:15, heads home again at 2:15 in the afternoon with enough folders full of state papers to keep him busy until bedtime. Once a heavy smoker, Abubakar swore off after his 1957 pilgrimage to Mecca, now combats the tensions of his job by chewing the bitter kola nuts that he keeps in the pocket of his long white riga.

The Christian Virtues. In his public contacts, Abubakar is quiet and self-effacing, but in Parliament he has lately begun to vary his usual restrained tactics. Fortnight ago, when the House of Representatives was debating a mutual defense pact that would allow Britain's R.A.F. to retain facilities at Nigerian airfields, Opposition Leader Awolowo, intent on embarrassing the government, cried out in outrage that the proposed pact was a "swindle" that would automatically involve Nigeria in war if Britain got in trouble. In his rich, rolling bass, Sir Abubakar fired back: "I have always regarded the leader of the Opposition as a good Christian; in Christianity as in Islam, it is a sin to tell a lie." While Awolowo stared grimly at the ceiling, the Assembly ratified the treaty by a vote of 166 to 38.
Last week, on the heels of the defense-treaty debate, the avant-garde of Nigeria's young intellectuals were sneering at Abubakar's open admiration and affection for Britain. And all across Black Africa, the smart set of extreme nationalism accused Abubakar of the African version of Uncle Tomism. They were distressed by the instinctive anti-Communism that prevents him from joining in the delightful game of giving the "colonialists" the shivers by cozying up to Moscow. (At Nigeria's independence celebrations, when Russia's Jakob Malik cheerily announced that the Soviets planned to open a Lagos embassy immediately, Abubakar bluntly told him: "As a diplomat, you must understand that things are not done that way. You must submit an application for diplomatic relations, and we shall judge it on its merits.") Above all, the extremists are shocked that Abubakar can barely conceal his contempt for showboating Kwame Nkrumah and his schemes for Pan-African unification, instead urges that for the time being, African cooperation be limited to such practical steps as technical and cultural exchanges, a common U.N. front and, perhaps, economic agreements.
But for all of Ghana's contempt for its bigger Johnny-come-lately rival, Nigeria, less than two months after winning its independence, is on its way to becoming one of the major forces in Africa. Nigeria's dynamic U.N. Ambassador Jaja Wachuku is chairman of Dag Hammarskjold's Congo Conciliation Commission. A number of African nations, notably those of the French Community, are beginning to sidle up to Nigeria in visible relief at the emergence of a counterweight to the firebrands of Ghana and Guinea. And Abubakar himself has begun the wheeling and dealing abroad expected of a sovereign nation's leader; at last week's end he headed for London to mull over Commonwealth problems with Harold Macmillan, stopped off en route to discuss the Algerian war with Arab leaders in Tunis.

Like everything else about him, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa's basic foreign policy principles are unpretentious: "We consider it wrong for the Federal Government to associate itself as a matter of routine with any of the power blocs . . . Our policies will be founded on Nigeria's interests and will be consistent with the moral and democratic principles on which our constitution is based." If Nigeria lives up to his words, Africa and the world will have cause to be grateful.

*The 18th, Mauritania, becomes independent this week.
*In tribute to this involuntary ally against colonialism, the flag of Nigeria's Western Region today bears a symbolic mosquito.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Staff Of The Southern Nigeria Surveyors c.1910-1911

Here are the staff of The Southern Nigeria Surveyors. c.1910-1911
I researched them because I have just been given the personal documents of a Captain Rowe ( who is seated second from the left).

When I have finished going through them I will definetly be posting for you to see xx

Saturday, 2 February 2013

The Nigeria Quartely Magazine 1950

So, this morning I received a lovely little package .....
A copy of The Nigeria - A quarterly magazine of general interest (1950)
 I have taken a couple of pictures of some of its content. I will definitely take more later (its a little fragile so it will need a bit of TLC lol)

The Nigerian Railway is also featured in this issue too. All I can say is GOSH!