Nnamdi Azikiwe

Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe, known as Nnamdi Azikwe or popularly known as Zik ( born November 16, 1904 in Zunguru, Nigeria, Nsukka † 11 May 1996 ), a Nigerian politician and the first president from 1963 to 1966 was.


Azikiwe went to the United States in 1925, where he first Storer College in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia attended to subsequently qualify for the Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, where he graduated in 1930. 1937 returned Azikiwe returned to Nigeria after he had worked for three years in Ghana as editor for the African Morning Post. A year later he joined the Nationalist Party Nigerian Youth Movement ( NYM), which began, however, a few years later reamed in leadership crises. Azikiwe was now by his journalistic work, in which he hotly fought for the emancipation of Nigeria from the United Kingdom, became known. In 1944, he participated in a conference for the independence of Nigeria in Lagos, was founded as the result of the NCNC, the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons. As president was elected Herbert Macaulay, the founder of the NNDP, the first political party in Nigeria at all, while Azikiwe was appointed Secretary General. As Macaulay died in 1946, Azikiwe became chairman. Two years later Azikiwe took over also to strengthen the cohesion of the Igbos in Nigeria to chair the Igbo State Union, a cultural organization with a mission. The fact that Azikiwe was in the chair, produced together with the fact that many members of NCNC Igbos were under the impression the NCNC it were an Igbo party, leading to disastrous political consequences in the following years.

The first regional elections in 1953, held in the three districts of northern Nigeria, West and East, made ​​the NCNC as the strongest party in the eastern region and thus Azikiwe as Governor. Decisive Azikiwe led the negotiations with Great Britain to lead Nigeria to independence. 1959 found in all districts Nigeria's elections a first joint Senate held that resulted in a coalition with the NCNC Ahmadu Bello's NPC. The appointment to the Senate President brought Zik only a more prestigious post, while the NPC faction leaders Tafawa Balewa as prime minister led the official official duties. This did not change after the proclamation of the Republic in 1963, where Azikiwe was appointed as President only with ceremonial duties. A military coup surprised Azikiwe in 1966 during a stay abroad. Although the coup was put down, he meant the end of the First Republic and the beginning of a long-lasting first 13 years of military rule.

The Biafran crisis in 1967 brought Azikiwe on the side of the secessionists, where he acted as a spokesman of the nascent Republic, their international recognition he championed. He also acted as advisor to the secession leader Chukwuemeka Ojukwu. After the war he taught from 1972 to 1976 at the Lagos University, around 1979, in the second republic to return to politics. Azikiwe founded the Nigerian People's Party, with which he vainly applied twice to the presidency. In 1986, he retired permanently retired from politics.


Nnamdi Azikiwe, who also introduced the popular title of honor The Great Zik of Africa, is one of the most important politicians not only in Nigeria but in West Africa in the transition from colonialism to independence. Passionate standing for the emancipation of Africa by the colonial powers, he sat still for a later friendship with Britain. By imposing height and strong physical constitution, he was very athletic and made ​​his way as a young man in the U.S. with any kind of under-privileged jobs. This background may have contributed to the fact that many Nigerians, despite occasional resentment because of his Igbo origin who have seen him as a messianic figure of a free Africa. He was all his life a staunch Democrat, a master of diplomacy and compromise, which advocated the expansion of prosperity and rule of law. Azikiwe founded five newspapers and wrote regular columns, also submitted their influence far beyond Nigeria. His students included a young age Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's first president later.


The Michigan State University awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1959.


It is better we disintegrate in peace and not in pieces. The quote is an untranslatable pun again, which means: It is better if we separate in peace ( peace ) and not in pieces ( pieces ).