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REMINISCENCES IN THE CORRIDOR OF POWER CELEBRATING AFRICAN HEROES MEET THE NIGERIAN WHO MENTORED KWAME NKRUMAH OF GHANA

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‘’A prophet has no honour in his own country’’ Jesus Christ made this assertion following an observation by Him that the people of Nazareth, the town in which He grew up, refused to believe in His teaching. Reason: They considered Jesus to be one of them without an authority to preach to them. Indeed, familiarity breeds disdain. The current generation of Nigerians and Africans might not recognize the worth of those who fought spiritedly to give Nigeria, nay, Africa freedom from colonial rule. You may not be able to value freedom until it is lost. Nigeria was blessed with highly skillful orators and wordsmiths like Nnamdi Azikiwe, ‘’Golden Voice’’ Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Ladoke Akintola, thundery Adegoke Adelabu; bombastic Kingsley Ozumba Mbadiwe, Mbonu Ojike of the ‘’boycott the boycottables’’ fame; highly eloquent Yusuf Maitama Sule, and master strategists and thinkers like Obafemi Awolowo; who all, deployed their endowments into the liberation struggles that we are all enjoying today. These heroes reasoned brilliantly and spoke eloquently to persuade their followers and admirers. Their contributions are such that one might be tempted to think that colonialists from Europe and other First World nations that exploited Africa, might have regretted the opportunity accorded these brilliant minds to gain exposure through education abroad. Dr. Nnamdi Benjamin Azikiwe, fondly called ‘ZIK OF AFRICA’ by his teeming political admirers, was one of the frontline Pan Africanists who became stormy petrels to colonialists in Africa. He was the first Nigerian to obtain a university degree in an institution in the United States. Described as a great motivational speaker, Azikiwe’s image started looming large after he completed his university education at Howard University, Washington, D.C; and Lincoln University, Pennsylvania. Azikiwe opted to work as a journalist and founded the West African Pilot, a tabloid that was printed in Ghana. (Then Gold Coast) The publication was founded by Azikiwe, a freedom fighter, to sensitize the populace on the independence struggle. Only a few people, perhaps know that Azikiwe mentored fame Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, having attended the same university in the United States. He was one year ahead of Nkrumah in the university, after which their paths crossed again in the Gold Coast. ZIK OF AFRICA waged ‘’war’’ unrelentingly against colonialists such that Azikiwe, a champion of the rights of Africans had to flee Nigeria at a point in his glorious political career as an activist. He berthed in the…

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