Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa

NIGERIA

Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the Prime Minister of the Federation of Nigeria, was born in 1912 at the village of Tafawa Balewa, in Northern Nigeria, where he completed his elementary and secondary school studies. Later on, he joined Katsima College and qualified as a teacher.

He taught for three years, and went to London University for advanced studies. Though he wanted to be a teacher by profession, he was destined to be an astute and impressive statesman by nature. It was during his short stay in London, that he found politics to be his cup of tea. What he saw, heard, and studied in London, coupled with his natural magnetism and inclination, gave him the necessary ammunition to fight the problems of life and the burdens of politics.

He came to Nigeria, joined the Northern People's Congress Party, and worked his way through with determination and tact.

Before assuming his present post, to mention a few, he was Minister of Works, Minister of Transport, leader of the Northern People's Congress Party, and the Nigerian representative at the Commonwealth Conference in London. In 1960 when Nigeria became independent, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, knighted him with the title "Sir".

The Nigerian Prime Minister symbolizes the dignity, hopes and aspirations of the "African Elephant". His unshakable integrity and skillful administrative ability, keep him popular and respected.

He is reserved and unassuming - never a flamboyant politician. His rolling resonant oratory and superb command of the English language, have earned him the nickname of "the Golden Voice."

In his effort to lift and drive his developing country, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa is cautious, moderate, and diplomatic. He believes in gradual reform and evolution rather than revolution. His short stay in the USA in 1955 for instance, completely changed his outlooks on Nigerian Unity.

To this effect he said, "In less than two hundred years this country was wedged together with people of 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: the American citizenship. If the Americans can do it, so can we."