Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe

NIGERIA

Men are not alike in capacity or in character. People who work hard are reasonably praised and respected. Some men are endowed with energy and imaginative wisdom that they distinguish them from others. One such person is Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe. Many call him an outstanding statesman, a top-notch intellect, a self-sacrificing saint, who will die in defense of Africa. Others call him a hair-lifting orator who brings people to the brink of hysteria. Some recognize him as being the father of Nigerian nationalism and others see him as a talented athlete.

Governor-General Nnamdi Azikiwe was born fifty-nine years ago in the town of Ontisha, in Northern Nigeria. Educated in his native town and in Calabar and Lagos, Dr. Azikiwe displayed his capacity for leadership and ability to learn very.

Dr. Azikiwe studied for nine years in the U.S.A. Yet, nothing came easily for him. First and foremost, there were the numerous problems of Nigeria; problems that he could not have changed with a mere stroke of the pen. Secondly, the lack of fund to finance his studies used to worry him. Nevertheless, he carried his problems with dignity and courage.

Governor-General Azikiwe studied in Storer College, Howard, Lincoln, Pennsylvania and Columbia universities. He has degrees in Philosophy, Anthropology, History, and Political Science. For sometime, he was also an instructor in History and Political Science at Lincoln University.

As a journalist of a considerable reputation, he established a chain of newspapers in Ghana and Nigeria. His newspapers, like the African Morning Post and the West African Pilot, inspired nationalism in West Africa at large. The result, needless to say, proved exactly what he expected.

As a scholar, he wrote a number of books such as "Liberia in World Politics," "Political Blueprint of Nigeria", "Economic Reconstruction of Nigeria" and "Renascent Africa".

In his book "Renascent Africa", among other things, he speaks of "the flowering of Ethiopia in antiquity and of Songhai in the Middle Ages", "of the slave trade and the devil of imperialism that contributed a lot to holding the African to the point of status quo."

As a politician first, and a statesman second, he was a member of the Executive of the Nigerian Youth Movement, Organizer of the Nigerian Reconstruction Group, President of the National Council of Nigeria and Cameroon, leader of the opposition in Western Nigeria's Assembly, Premier of Eastern Nigeria, and President of the Federal Senate. And today, he is not only Governor-General of the Federation of Nigeria, but also Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President of the Lagos Football Association and the Nigerian Amateur Athletic Association.

He often says, "Selfish men cannot build lasting unity. Morally defeated men, motivated by self aggrandizement cannot rise above self interest."

Having the intellect, the drive and almost a legendary prestige among his countrymen, one can only wish him the age and the well being in the role he plays to Nigeria's growing maturity.