History of Sir. Abubakar Tafawa Balewa
Daily Hint 23/7/2018
Abubakar Balewa was born late in 1912 in Bauchi, the son of a district head in the Bauchi divisional district of Lere. Balewa’s father Yakubu Dan Zala was of Gere ethnicity, and his mother Fatima Inna was half Gere half Fulani.
He started early education at the Koranic School in Bauchi and like most of his contemporaries, he studied at the Barewa College for further education and soon acquired his teaching certificate. He returned to Bauchi to teach at the Bauchi Middle School. In 1944, along with a few learned teachers from the north, he was chosen to study abroad for a year at the University of London’s Institute of Education, which today forms part of University College London. Upon returning to Nigeria, he became an Inspector of Schools for the colonial administration and later entered politics. He was elected in 1946, to the colony’s Northern House of Assembly, and to the Legislative Assembly in 1947. As a legislator, he was a vocal advocate of the rights of northern Nigeria, and together with Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, who held the hereditary title of Sardauna of Sokoto, he founded the Northern People’s Congress (NPC).
From self-government to independence
Balewa entered the government in 1952 as Minister of Works, and later served as Minister of Transport. In 1957, he was appointed Chief Minister, forming a coalition government between the NPC and the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC), led by Nnamdi Azikiwe. He retained the post as Prime Minister when Nigeria gained independence in 1960, and was reelected in 1964.
Prior to Nigeria’s independence, a constitutional conference in 1954 had adopted a regional political framework for the country, with all regions given a considerable amount of political freedom. The three regions then were composed of diverse cultural groups. The premiers and some prominent leaders of the regions later took on a policy of guiding their regions against political encroachment from other regional leaders. Later on, this political environment influenced the Balewa administration. His term in office was turbulent, with regional factionalism constantly threatening his government.
However, as Prime Minister of Nigeria, he played important roles in the continent’s formative indigenous rule. He was an important leader in the formation of the Organisation of African Unity and creating a cooperative relationship with French speaking African countries. He was also instrumental in negotiations between Moise Tshombe and the Congolese authorities during the Congo Crisis of 1960–1964. He led a vocal protest against the Sharpeville Massacre of 1960 and also entered into an alliance with Commonwealth ministers who wanted South Africa to leave the Commonwealth in 1961. However, a treason charge and conviction against one of the western region’s leaders, Obafemi Awolowo, led to protest and condemnation from many of his supporters. The 1965 election in the region later produced violent protests. Rioting and violence were soon synchronous with what was perceived as inordinate political encroachment and an over-exuberant election outcome for Awolowo’s western opponents.
As Prime Minister of Nigeria, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, from 1960 to 1961, doubled as Foreign Affairs advocate of Nigeria. In 1961, the Balewa government created an official Foreign Affairs and Commonwealth Relations ministerial position in favour of Jaja Wachuku who became, from 1961 to 1965, the first substantive Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Commonwealth Relations, later called External Affairs.
In January 1960, Balewa was knighted by Elizabeth II as a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Sheffield in May, 1960.
He was overthrown and murdered in a military coup on January 15, 1966, as were many other leaders, including his old companion Ahmadu Bello. The circumstances of his death still remain unresolved. His body was discovered at a roadside near Lagos six days after he was ousted from office.
But according to a historical novel on Nigeria’s First Coup D’etat by Ayomide Akinbode ” A Carnage Before Dawn” The incident was described this way;
“You’re under arrest sir,” Ifeajuna said, pointing his gun at the Prime Minister, who looked startled. “Get up sir, we don’t have a lot of time.”
“Alright,” the Prime Minister replied gently, “allow me to dress up.”
He put on a white flowing robe with white trousers, a pair of slippers and his prayer beads. Without fear and a disciplined face, he trudged out of the room and the residence gently as Ifeajuna and his soldiers accompanied him with pointed guns.
When they reached the parked vehicles, Ezedigbo had arrested the Finance Minister, Chief Okotie-Eboh, and had tossed him like a bag of groundnuts into the back of the 3-Ton truck while the Prime Minister was assisted into the backseat of Ifeajuna’s luxurious car, a red Mercedes Benz, as the convoy drove off to the rendezvous.
Some few kilometers to their rendezvous, the Prime Minister became restless and was muttering to himself as he rattled his prayer beads. Okafor hinted Ifeajuna of the situation who quickly slammed the brakes and came out of the car.
“Are you alright sir?” Ifeajuna asked the Prime Minister as he opened the side door. “Or would you like some fresh air?”
To Tafawa-Balewa, it was a rhetorical question and the decision to answer or not rested on him. Without answering the Major, he gently alighted from the car and ambled towards the darkness as Ifeajuna watched anxiously, oblivious to what the Prime Minister was up to.
Then from a slow walk, to a pace and a sprint, the Prime Minister dashed for the darkness. Ifeajuna did not bother to pursue. Quickly, he grabbed his gun from the car, cocked it and aimed for the fleeing Prime Minister whose white outfit contrasted the darkness and conspicuously gave him away.
The “revolution” had failed and the Prime Minister had become a liability to their movement anyway. The Major shot sporadically at the fleeing figure sending the tranquility of the darkness to a bustle of gunfire like the crackle of burning dried leaves.
Tafawa-Balewa fell as Ifeajuna stared in horror at the darkness whether he got his target. The Golden Voice of Africa had been silenced.
Quickly, he moved towards the still body of the Prime Minister and after confirming he was dead, dragged him to a tree trunk and rested the body in a seating position with his clothing still intact.
Then he and Okafor brought out Largema’s corpse from the boot of the car and laid it down beside Tafawa-Balewa’s body. Having realised the coup had failed on their part, they sped, en route Abeokuta-Sagamu, towards Enugu in the East, which was nearly 450 kilometres away.#HistoryVille
Balewa was buried in Bauchi. News of his assassination spurred violent riots throughout Northern Nigeria and ultimately led to the bloody counter-coup of July 1966.
Today, his portrait adorns the 5 Naira Note. The Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University in Bauchi is named in his honour.
Nigeria Army Mourns its Commander death as a result of Boko haram ambush
Nigerian Army mourns its commander death as a result of Boko Haram ambush
By Madu Mohammed, Maiduguri
The Nigerian Army and the Operation Lafiya Dole have lost a gallant commander in a Boko Haram ambushed after he led a successful clearance operation again at Boko Haram insurgents along Sabon Gari Wajirako axis in Damboa local government area of Borno state.
The Operation Lafiya Dole in a statement issued by ihe Deputy Director Army Public Relations ( DDAPR), spokesman, Col. Ado Isa said. “Operation LAFIYA DOLE wishes to intimate the general public of the demise of one of our gallant and finest war heroes Col DC Bako.”.
” It could be recalled that the professional, gallant senior officer who always led from the front and a patriotic Nigerian, led a patrol to clear Boko Haram Terrorists from Sabon Gari-Wajiroko axis near Damboa when his patrol team entered an ambush at about 10 a.m Sunday 20 September 2020. Under his able leadership, the troops cleared the ambush resulting to the killing of scores of terrorists and recovery of weapons and equipment,” the statement added.
The Army said “Sadly however, he was wounded in action and immediately evacuated by the Air Task Force Operation LAFIYA DOLE to the 7 Division Hospital at Maimalari Cantonment. The late senior officer was recuperating well after successful operation at the hospital, in good spirit and also said his prayers in the early hours of this morning before his sad passing on at the hospital. May Almighty Allah grant his soul eternal rest. Ameen. “
While comesurating with the bereaved family, the troops of the Operation Lafiya dole,, the Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen TY Buratai on behalf of himself, gallant troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE and indeed well meaning Nigerians expressed heartfelt condolences to his esteemed family..
“We are most grateful for his contributions and sacrifices to the mother land. May God grant eternal rest to the gentle soul of Col DC Bako and the souls of all Nigerian Army officers and soldiers who paid the supreme prize in the defence of our father land,” General Buratai quoted to have said.
Fuel, Electric hike, don’t take Nigerians for Granted, NANS tells FG
Fuel, Electricity hike, don’t take Nigerians for granted, NANS tells FG
By Madu Mohammed, Maiduguri
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has called in the federal government not to take Nigerians for granted as they protest the recent hike in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularity known as petrol and electricity tariff.
The NANs in a protests led by the zonal Coordinator of NANS Zone “C” Comrade Suleiman Muhammad Sarki in Maiduguri on Monday were at the NUJ Press Centre, holding placards with several inscriptions such as, ‘Government should not be sadistic and thinks less of its citizens”, The dead is dying again, ” Increase of fuel price is too daring,”among others and singing all kind of solidarity songs against what they described the hike as the highly erroneous action of government against citizens at the time the world is recovering from COVID 19.
Comrade Sarki said ” We call on government to stop pushing Nigerians to wall. This is too daring; stop killing the dead. The country and indeed the whole world are facing serious problem right now due to covid19 pandemic, such mistaken decision is just as adding salt to injury.”
“Instead of dealing with insecurity, we are taking actions that will further heighten insecurity. The hike in petrol pump price will lead to hikes in price of goods and services.”, The NANS added.
The Association therefore condemn the increase in petrol price and electricity tarrif by federal government and call for the immediate reversal.
” We are not out of COVID 19, a lot of citizens are loosing their jobs, people are getting poorer and more responsibility, school closure, young people are roaming the streets unemployed, therefore fuel hike at this time is shocking”, the NANs further stressed
Comrade Sarki said Nigerians have gave this administration under President Bihari so many excuses than any other government in the history of Nigeria and therefore, called on the Federal government not to take Nigerians for granted.
Set up Independent Panel to investigate Alleged Commercialization Counter Insurgency War – Group Tells FG
Set up independent
Panel to investigate alleged comeilaluzation counter insurgency war – group tells FG
By Madu Mohammed, Maiduguri
A group called Borno Emirate Concerned Citizens Forum (BECCF) has appealed to the Federal Government to constitute an independent investigation panel to investigate the alleged commercialization of war against insurgency in the Northeast.
The group at a press briefing held at the NUJ Press Centre, Maiduguri yesterday and led by it’s Chairman, Zannah Hassan Boguma the group called on the Federal Government to constitute an independent investigative panel to investigate the commercialization of the war against insurgency in the Northeast.
The group said ” regarding the commercialization of the war against the terrirists, the Forum holds similar view with the Borno state Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum. Because, once the fundermentals behind the formation of this Forum is a report by the district head of Baga that some miscreant among the security forces are engaged in all sort of bussiness, including farming and fishing business in the fringes of Lake Chad’.
“We strongly condemn and urge the Nigerian government to bring those responsible for the horrific crime to justice,” Boguma stressed.
“The recent developments in the state including abduction of innocent people, attacked on Governor’s Motorrcade, terrorising innocent people and shedding blood, constitutes a form of Injustice can never be tolerated by all well meaning individuals in the state , which viewed them as gross crime and sinful acts which undermining the peaceful circumstance of the people of Borno state”, Boguma added.
The group urged the people of Borno state to unite against those terrorising them and those who.permits the killing of non.contants without justification stressing that Islam has declared the spilling of blood and the destruction of.property as obsolute prohibition until the Day of Judgement.
” We urge all well meaning individuals and groups to desists from the culture of silence to denounce the terrorists act and their sponsors by revealing thieir secrets and exposing their lies. We believed that the conservative nature of our people has seriously made enemies within and outside to take chance to create havoc on our society, the group stressed.
The group further said ” the Armed Forces should take cue their counterparts in Tchad Republic. If the President of Tchad, Idriss Debby Itno and his soldiers cleared and annihilated Boko Haram Terrorists in 8 days in their territory Why is it taking Over 10 years (not ten days ) for the Nigerian Armed Forces?, Therefore, we suggest that the Chief of Army Staff Lt General Tukur Buratai should lead the war and fish out the terrorists”.
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