Politicians have been contributing to the development of their countries and Nigeria is not an exception. But all politicians can’t be equal; the efforts put by one can be far greater than another.
Some outstanding politicians had contributed to Nigeria positively and can hardly be forgotten by Nigerians just like Americans can’t forget Abraham Lincoln. Just as some had contributed positively, there are some that had contributed negatively to the country. Follow me as I revealed to you something you never knew.
This list is not in any special order.
1. Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa
This is a man that is revered even among his pairs. His outstanding etiquettes as an individual can hardly be paired with none other. He is an anti-segregationist and had worked for the unity of Nigeria than any other person. He played a vital role in Africa’s formative indigenous rule. As Prime Minister, he was an important leader in the creation of the Organization of African Unity. As far as Nigerians know, no traces of corruption is attributed to Balewa despite the claims of the military that leaders of the first republic were involved in massive looting of public funds which led to to the January 1966 coup that led to his death.
Balewa could be seen as a great orator most especially in the English language. Nigerians can’t forget his outstanding speeches delivered at his visits to America and the United Kingdom and shall forever be proud of once having a Prime Minister whose personality can’t be forgotten. He is also a quite simple man that cares less about luxury as the above picture portrays.
Read Wikipedia’s article on Tafawa Balewa for more.
2. Herbert Macauley
This is a person whose contributions to the independence of Africa has been almost forgotten due to the allegations leveled against him by his British Superiors when he was Surveyor of Crown Grants. That notwithstanding is not enough to cover up his contributions towards Nigeria’s Nationalism. He is a grandson of the first African Bishop, Samuel Ajayi Crowther and went to one of the best schools of his time CMS grammar school, Lagos and also schooled abroad for his collegiate.
He showed open discontent at the ill-treatment of Africans by the British and spoke openly about it.
Nigerians that are quite familiar with the one naira coin or note had marveled at the reason why his image graciously sat on the money as he is no president or governor-general but after some research they would find out that he is an ordinary man that had contributed greatly to the actualiztion of the Nigerian state which time didn’t allow him to see as he died in 1946.
To know more on Herbert Macaulay read more here: Who is Herbert Macaulay?
3. Sir. Ahmadu Bello
Sir. Ahmadu, just like his friend and fellow politician, Tafawa Balewa is a true nationalist whose major aim is the progress of his region and the country as a whole. He had participated avidly on the referendums that brought about Nigeria’s independence. He was the Premier Northern Region and contributed in the education and enlightenment of the northerners. Before independence, there were very few educated northerners and school enrollment in the north was grievously low so that most of the civil servants in the north were expatriates or Nigerians from other regions. On seeing that, Sir. Ahmadu made education compulsory for all northerners and grant instant employment on graduation from grade 7. This, in turn created massive development in northern Nigeria’s human resources.
His effort towards education is immortalized in the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. It is also believed that it was he who sent Kaduna Nzeogwu – who killed him during the 1966 coup – to school when he saw him at Kaduna railway. It’s unfortunate that his legacies are not continued.
4. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe
This list would never be complete if this great man is not included. He is among the pan-Africans who together with the above mentioned work harmoniously to achieve the Nigerian project. He served first as the first indigenous Governor-general from 1960-1963 and later from 1963-1966, as the first President of the Republic of Nigeria – a ceremonial role. Before then, he used his role as a journalist to encourage pan-Africanism and the movement for independence in Africa.
No wonder Zik – as he is popularly known – was immortalized on our 500 naira note.
5. General Murtala Muhammed
It is generally known that the military regimes in Nigeria were nothing to write home about except for few: Gen. Murtala Muhammed’s and Gen. Muhammadu Buhari’s.
Although most of us were not born during Murtala’s regime, the praises he garnered from our parents are too fabulous to be true. Murtala came to power in a coup against Gen. Yakubu Gowon and within a short period created a blueprint for the country’s unity and development; he proposed the creation of a new federal capital centrally situated to foster national unity.
He can’t be forgotten for his harsh policies and high-handedness which had helped in bringing unity to the country. His foreign policy emphasized on ‘Nigeria first’ and that made Nigeria neutral rather than non-aligned in international affairs. He made state-run universities to be controlled by the federal government. He was assassinated just when he was about to actualize his great plans for the country.
So this is the list of the reformers, let’s take a look at the deformers below.
The motive of every politician is to reform or transform positively his community and although there are some who had deviated from such course, none of them planned for the mess they created. As such, the list below highlights the politicians whose wrong policies or neglect of duty lead to great deform of the Nigerian project:
1. Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida
No doubt Ibrahim Babangida popularly called IBB was a household name amongst northerners, and his achievements in the Nigerian projects can’t be forgotten easily most especially by Niger State people. But the ills perpetuated by him during his reign and after can’t also be hardly forgotten. He had seen to the actualization of the new Nigerian capital, Abuja and created 11 additional states.
His offences include the intentional devaluation of the Naira to garner support from foreign powers and the massive looting he allowed his lieutenants and supporters.
The most unforgettable moments during his regime is the assassination through letter-bomb of Dele Giwa, a newspaper editor and critics of IBB. Although the allegation is yet to be confirmed, there are few people – supporters and critics alike – that would believe that IBB is innocent. Also, he can’t be forgotten most especially by the westerners for his role in the 1993 annulled elections.
2. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and 3. Dr. Goodluck Jonathan
Even the supporters of this two men can affirm to the fact that there was no regime were corruption was at its maximum than during the regime of Goodluck and his former political god-father, OBJ. That was a time a single person could steal massive billions of naira and no one and I mean it, no one would ever prosecute him/her. In fact, it reached a stage where convincted looters like Patricia Etteh and Stella Oduah – to mention a few – can walk freely with no fear of prosecution. A lot could be told about this two but I don’t wish to open an almost healed wound.
This post is not politically motivated and is not created to garner support for any political group or region. This post is meant to express my opinion on the above topic which is based on what I heard and observed from people around me and the social media. By no means should this post be used to support or argue any argument – formal or informal.
So, this is the list, if you have anything kindly comment on the comment box below and don’t forget to like and share to your friends.