Biography of Nnamdi Azikiwe (1904-1996)

Nigerian politician, born on November 16, 1904 in Zungeru, and died on 11 May 1996 in Lagos. He served as President of Nigeria from 1963 to 1966. It was one of the key figures in the defense of nationalism Ibo, an ethnic group of the Southeast region that was among the most important of the country.

Azikiwe began his studies in Nigeria, and continued in the United States from 1925 until 1934. From there he moved to Ghana, where he began work as a newspaper editor. 1937 was the year of the return to his native country, Nigeria. Its first activities were focused on the creation of a national newspaper chain, but at the same time became directly involved in the country's politics. He first acted within the Nigerian youth movement and, subsequently, within the National Council of Nigeria and Cameroon (NCNC), party of which he was one of the founders in 1944. Two years later, in 1946, as a member of the NCNC, he was chosen to be part of the Nigerian Legislative Congress. From this position, he greatly contributed to the progressive identification of his party with the Ibo ethnic group, from which it came. His dizzying ascent to the high positions of power continued in 1953, when he was elected Prime Minister of the Eastern Region, where he served until 1959. In that year, Azikiwe was presented in federal elections as leader of the NCNC; He won a significant victory and was able in this way to participation in the coalition Government, along with the party representative of the region North, known as the Council of the North village and led by Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. The agreement between both political leaders determined the position of Prime Minister Balewa federal, while President of the Senate and Governor Federal jobs went to Azikiwe.

After the proclamation of the Republic of Nigeria on October 1, 1963, Azikiwe became its first President, a position he held until the coup d ' état that took place in January 1966. In the following year, during a new military rebellion led by soldiers in the North of the country, many residents Ibos in the North were killed. Azikiwe participated together with his followers Ibos in the rebellion which sought the separation of the eastern region, named after its Biafran independence. A civil war began in July with the aim of annexing again to Biafra, but Azikiwe, who tried to find support in other African Nations, got no success. In January 1970, Biafra resistance was overcome. After this event, Azikiwe was part of the opposition to the ruling party and, after the promulgation of a new Constitution, was presented to elections in the summer of 1979, as a candidate for the Presidency of the Republic, representing a new party, the Nigerian Popular Party, which had been declared illegal in 1984. The result led him a slight defeat at the hands of his opponent Shehu Shagari.