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Founding Fathers of Nigeria: Their Biographies, Achievements & Life History

founding fathers of nigeria

Dec 17, 2011 – Founders of Nigeria: Their Biographies, Achievements & Life History

Nigeria as a Nation is blessed today because of the sacrifice and determination of these top 10 heroes of our times.

With a deep sense of appreciation for their efforts, has put together this article.

Below are the top 10 founding fathers of Nigeria (founders of Nigeria)and their biographies

The founding fathers of Nigeria are:

Sir Herbert Macaulay

founders of Nigeria

He lived from 1864 to 1946

Biography and Life History of Herbert Macaulay

HERBERT MACAULAY, a politician, a nationalist and founder of Nigerian nationalism was born in Lagos on 14th November 1864, the son of a school principal. He trained as a land surveyor and civil engineer in Plymouth England.

After his graduation , he returned to Nigeria to Nigeria in 1893, he worked with the colonial government, and later resigned to establish a private practice in Lagos. Subsequently, he began a campaign against colonial rule and discrimination, and in 1922, he founded the Nigeria National Democratic Party, which won all the seats to the Legislative Council.

He was later to become the first president of the National Council of Nigeria and  Cameroon’s formed by Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe in 1944.

Sir Herbert Macaulay died in Kano on 7th May 1946 in the course of leading the party on a nation wide campaign tour.

 Dr Alvan Ikoku

alvan ikoku

He lived from 1900 to 1971

Biography / Life History of Alvan Ikoku

DR. Alvan Ikoku, an educationist and a politician was born at Amanagwu in Imo State, Nigeria on  August 1st, year 1900 to a wealthy merchant family.

He is a trained teacher who later obtained his degree in Philosophy.

In 1931, Ikoku resigned to establish his own college called the Aggrey Memorial College, named after the eminent Ghanaian educationist, Dr Aggrey.

Alvan Ikoku was actively involved in the activities of the Nigerian Union of Teachers and he became its National President in 1955. He also participated in politics, serving  both in the Eastern Nigeria House of Assembly  as well as the Legislative Council in Lagos.  While in government, he applied his influence to foster the interests education. He died on 18th November 1971.

Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe

Nnamdi Azikiwe

He lived from 1904 to 1996

Biography / Life History of Nnamdi Azikiwe

Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, a politician, and one of the founders of modern Nigeria was born at Zungeru, the son of a clerk. Dr. Azikiwe was educated in Nigeria and the United States of America.

In the year 1937, Dr. Azikiwe founded a newspaper, the West African Pilot, and later co-founded the National Council of Nigeria and Cameroons, a political party which he was the secretary and later president.

He was elected into both the Western and Eastern House of Representatives, and later became Premier of the Eastern Region (1952-59). At the Federal level, he served as Senate President, Governor-General (1960-1963) and later President (1963-1966).

Dr. Azikiwe is best remembered for his commitment to the Nigerian nation.

He passed away on the 11th May, 1996.

Chief Obafemi Awolowo

obafemi awolowo

He lived from 1909 to 1987

Biography / Life History of Obafemi Awolowo

Chief Obafemi Awolowo, a Nigerian nationalist and a political leader,  was born in Ikenne, a town in Ogun State.

Obafemi Awolowo is the son of a farmer, Awolowo trained as a lawyer.

He became involved in politics in the 1940’s and organised the Action Group in 1951. He was elected Premier of Western Nigeria from 1954 to 1959, after which he became the opposition leader in the Federal House of Representatives.

An unyielding advocate of federalism and socio-economic programmes, he was arrested in 1962 for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government. Imprisoned in 1963, he was freed three years later by General Yakubu Gowon, head of Nigeria’s military government, who appointed him the Federal Commissioner for Finance and Deputy Chairman of the Federal Executive Council, a position he resigned in 1971. In 1979, he ran unsuccessfully for president. Obafemi Awolowo passed away on the 9th of May year 1987

Sir Ahmadu Bello

Ahmadu Bello

He lived from 1909 to 1966

Biography / Life History of Ahmadu Bello

Sir Ahmadu Bello, the late Sardauna of Sokoto and a Nigerian political leader, was born on June 12, 1909 in Rabbah, Sokoto State.

His father Ibrahim, the Chief of Rabbah was a grandson of Usman Dan Fodio, the founder of the Sokoto Caliphate. Sir Ahmadu Bello trained and worked as a teacher, and later became the district head of Rabbah and Secretary of the Sokoto Native Authority.

In 1949, Sir Ahmadu Bello co-founded the Northern People’s Congress, and was successively regional Minister of Works, of Local Government, and of Community Development. In 1954, he became the first Premier of Northern Nigeria, a position he held until 1966. His greatest legacy was the modernization and unification of the diverse people of Northern Nigeria.

He was murdered in January 1966 military coup.

Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa

tafawa balewa

He lived from 1912 to 1966

Biography / Life History of Tafawa Balewa

Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the first Prime Minister of of independent Nigeria (1960-1966) was born in Tafawa Balewa, a town in Bauchi State, and was educated as a teacher.

He later became a politician, and was elected to the Northern Region’s House of Assembly in 1947, and in 1951, to the Federal House of Representatives. He was a founder and until his death, the deputy president of the Northern People’s Congress.

Tafawa Balewa became Prime Minister  in 1957, and at independence in 1960, he remained in the post. Sir Tafawa Balewa was widely admired for his simplicity and humility. He was murdered in January 1966 military coup.

General Murtala Ramat Mohammed

general murtala mohammed

He lived from 1938 to 1976

Biography / Life History of Murtala Mohammed

General Murtala Mohammed, an army general, Head of State (July 1976 – February 1976), and first national hero, was born 8th November 1938 in the Kurawa Quarters of Kano City.

Murtala Mohammed enrolled into the Nigerian Army after high school, and trained at  Sandhurst Royal Academy,  the Catterick School of Signals, and the Joint Services’ Staff College, all in England.

General Mohammed served in the Nigerian contingent to the United Nations’ Peace Keeping Force to Congo, and on his return, returned to the Signals Corp of the Nigerian Army. During the Nigerian civil war, he was the first General Officer Commanding, Second Infantry  Division. After the civil war, General Mohammed returned as head of the Signals Corp, but later served as a Commissioner in the military government. On 29th July, 1975, he was named Head of State and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces following a military coup.

General Mohammed’s short reign had a major impact on subsequent developments in the Nigerian nation. On assumption of office, he reformed the civil service and other major institutions. His government outlined a political program that included the creation of seven more states, the drafting of a new constitution, and the organization of state and national elections as a prelude to a return to civilian rule on 1 October 1979. A committee on a new federal capital was appointed, the findings of which culminated in the change of the Federal capital from Lagos to Abuja. His government also ran a dynamic foreign policy.

He was assassinated  on the 13th of February, 1976 in an abortive coup.

All the other founding fathers of Nigeria are:

Alhaji Aminu Kano

Mr Joseph Tarka

He died on March 30, 1980

Chief Dennis Osadebay

Let us unite as a nation in order to leave a good legacy for the upcoming generations.

God bless Nigeria !

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  1. Olaide

    December 17, 2011 at 2:23 PM

    Excellent article. This is one of the best article I have ever seen on Nigeria keep it up naijagists

  2. Marilyn

    December 18, 2011 at 6:00 PM

    Thank U much for this article the History we never learn in American schools.

  3. Engr Suleman ismail

    March 22, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    I pray our leaders wil copy 4rm our past heros

  4. Dayo O2

    May 28, 2012 at 8:33 AM

    Its nice

  5. Mike

    September 5, 2012 at 8:28 AM

    These are great men. Thank you very much for this article.

  6. samuel olayori

    September 26, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    nice page, useful

  7. James-Wisdom Abhulimen

    September 26, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    Thank you

  8. malik idris mashood

    October 4, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    Visionary leader,phillantropist leader,they are men to be remember always…………..

  9. abiola efundowo

    November 7, 2012 at 1:22 AM

    I love this article, I wish Atiku and the rest will learn

  10. Alli Adeola

    November 21, 2012 at 5:19 AM

    The ar d good politician of nigeria.

  11. Abdulrahman Lawal

    December 6, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    Nigeria my father land, very soon will shall regain d Gaint of Africa back. ooooh GOD come are Bless us. bcos Nigeria is in need of YOU. citizen of Nigeria Together we can do it. with UNITY

  12. madu israel

    December 8, 2012 at 3:13 AM

    Very educating and resourceful…helpful with projects and assignments…thumbs up.

  13. Victor

    January 31, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    Awesome. I wish we learn from them

  14. Ekeke Chigozie Michael

    February 15, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    I cherish the hope that the labour of our heroes aforementioned shal not be in vain.Thanks for naijagist for their acknowldgement in posting these sensitization artcle 2 us,keep d fire burning.


    February 20, 2013 at 4:00 PM


  16. olalekan alabi

    March 21, 2013 at 5:39 AM

    Rest in perfect peace, Tank u very much

  17. Akpe David Uba

    May 6, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    We must make these great Heroes happy wherever they may be by now by emulating and holding on to their ideologies,then follow suite.May our Great Leaders souls rest in peace.

  18. Uba David

    June 13, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    I think good education will help in instilling our past heroes’ ideologies in the minds of the upcoming generation who will easilly step into our past heroes shoes,so as to making our past heroes fill fulfilled whereever the may be by now.

  19. Chairman Benney Ikokwu

    June 27, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    World Nigerian Consortium of Organizations, WORLD NIGERIAN recognizes the contributions of the founding fathers of Nigeria and all the sacrifices they made and their struggles, which cost some of them their lives. Nigerians no matter what tribe they come from will aways be grateful to them even though it is difficult to say how long Nigeria will remain one due to all the political, economic, financial, tribal, regional and religious problems which plague the country. We say to, Sir Herbert Macaulay, Sir Abubaker Tafawa Belawa, President Nnamdi Azikiwe (The Owelle Of Onitsha), Dr. Chief Obafemi Awolowo, General Aguiyi Ironsi, General Odumegwu Ojukwu, General Yakubu Gowon, Dr. Alvan Ikokwu, General Ibrahim Babangida, President Shehu Shagari, President Olusegun Obasanjo, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, Chief Dennis Osadebey, Alhaji Amino Kano, Chief K.O Mbadiwe and a long list of many others, thank you and may God bless you and reward you and your progenies abundantly. You’re the great heros and titan of Nigeria and Africa! We’ll cherish you forever. Chairman Benney Ikokwu, World Nigerian

  20. Almustapha

    August 11, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    is not well arranged so far

  21. Adejare Ope

    October 8, 2013 at 10:18 PM

    may we live to rule well

  22. Tolani

    October 19, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    I really enjoyed d articles,it makes me 2 imagine hw great and useful they ar 2 us,smtimes i wish they ar still alive,all this Boko haram issue will av been sorted out and d fuel scarcity wuldn’t av happened,buh all the same,may their soul rest in peace. GREAT NIGERIAN LEADERS!.

  23. Ogunsusi G. Olusegun

    November 28, 2013 at 10:32 AM

    I salute the courage of these great men, May their gentle souls continue to rest in peace. I live to remember you the great HEROES.

  24. paul anuge

    February 17, 2014 at 4:09 PM

    how i wish nigeria can be as they were b4 independence,nigeria is a blessed country but we dont recognise it why?????????????????????even our president isnt a good ruler please we need good leaders,Gov. fashola is trying his good best,God is great

  25. Ennis Romeo Aluju

    May 21, 2014 at 9:21 PM

    What a usefull page

  26. gabriel yong

    May 28, 2015 at 12:31 PM

    wish i can get the opportunity of being a forever remember hero like our past ones positively.

  27. joy beddu johnson

    June 16, 2015 at 8:04 AM

    I love dis page,i think we should always remember them for their contributions to building a better nation and also the present leaders should learn from them. Am a secondary school teacher making this research to teacher the children about our great hero’s. God bless Nigeria

  28. sankun kasey

    January 19, 2016 at 3:51 PM

    Lovely article. Thanks to naijagist for this educative history of our founding fathers.

  29. sankun kasey

    January 19, 2016 at 3:53 PM

    Nice one naijagist

  30. ohams ugochinyere

    February 19, 2016 at 8:03 PM

    good articl i hope that it work out just that way

  31. Onuoha Promise Uchenna(Milla)

    March 21, 2016 at 5:28 PM

    My humble submission is that the labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain.

  32. Smith

    April 20, 2016 at 11:00 AM

    Thank u vry much… These article gave me exactly what i needed for my assignmnts. Kip it up@ naijagist!

  33. joshua

    July 22, 2016 at 11:47 AM

    Thanks it went a long way I really needed this thanks

  34. Kave

    October 12, 2016 at 2:58 PM

    Why should the work done by heroes shall pass away in the hands our todays’ criminals? in the name of politics. I sincerely prayed to God almighty that, may their souls forever be granted eternity rest.

  35. Kave

    October 12, 2016 at 3:00 PM

    Why should the work done by heroes shall pass away in the hands our todays’ criminals? in the name of politics. I sincerely prayed to God almighty that, may their souls forever be granted eternity rest.

  36. David Okorosokoh

    October 18, 2016 at 8:00 PM

    Using that for my project

  37. tumininu

    January 21, 2017 at 12:00 PM

    nice work and very useful informaion.i would like to know the contributions of ladoke akintola and sardanna of sokoto.

  38. Jimoh Raji

    April 18, 2017 at 8:05 AM

    Good job.

  39. Jimoh Raji

    April 18, 2017 at 8:09 AM

    We’re proud of the elites of colonial Nigeria. However, the elites of today have failed us.

  40. Galadima

    August 6, 2017 at 9:15 PM

    i pray that our leaders of 2day should more than what they do


    September 21, 2017 at 7:16 AM

    Nigeria first political party was formed in 1923 not was the elective principle that was introduced in 1922 by the Clifford constitution

  42. chika

    May 16, 2018 at 8:33 PM

    Alvan Ikoku was from arochukwu in Abia state, NOT amangwu IMO state

  43. Maisamari kefas

    June 23, 2018 at 1:49 PM

    Only if our present leader would look unto God then they can do better than the past leader

  44. Ken Nwachukz

    November 29, 2019 at 7:33 AM

    Well what i can only see here is the same lies that the Nigerian govt. and the colonial masters have been telling the world since the creation of NIGERIA.
    Yes, there are some gallant men that died in the cost of trying to do the best but were killed because some people are not happy with their intentions.
    My questions are:
    [1] All these people that fought to keep Nigeria one and united, who are they fighting with???
    [2] The fight to keep Nigeria ONE to whose DETRIMENT??

    Here, i want to bring to the notice of every sensible human that Nigeria was not created to assist human nor to better the lives of people but Nigeria was created to a selfish and ungodly interest.
    The Britain has been fighting to make sure that Nigeria REMAIN INDIVISIBLE, but they forget that even GOD’S creatures do DIES in a certain time.
    They have made sure that anyone that will speak or work against the contraption will end sudenly and mysteriously and by so doing killing the INNOCENTS to keep Nigeria onee….YET THEY ARE NOT ONE!!!!

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