Library Weekly

The ASCL's Library Weekly is our library’s weekly spotlight on African people and events. Inspired by the SciHiBlog, this service is based on information retrieved from Wikipedia and Wikidata and is completed with selected titles from the ASCL Library Catalogue. 

N.B. The weeklies are not updated and reflect the state of information at a given point in time.

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Nnamdi Azikiwe

Nnamdi Azikiwe, ca. 1972 (Wikimedia Commons, NSAG Collection, CC-BY-4.0)On 11 May 1996, Nigerian lawyer, political scientist, journalist, political activist and statesman Nnamdi Benjamin Azikiwe, usually referred to as "Zik", passed away at the age of 91 at Enugu, after a long illness. He was the first President of Nigeria from 1963 to 1966.

Nnamdi Azikiwe was born on Nov. 16, 1904, to Igbo parents in Zungeru, Northern Nigeria, where his father worked as a clerk in the Nigerian Regiment. He attended various primary and secondary mission schools in Onitsha, Calabar, and Lagos. When he discontinued his secondary school education in 1921, he was fluent in the languages of the three major ethnic groups of Nigeria, namely Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba. In 1925 Azikiwe went to the United States to study, where he attended several schools. He earned multiple certificates and degrees. In the early 1930s, he taught political science at Lincoln University for three years before returning to Africa, where he founded the first of the five newspapers he would create, The African Morning Post, in Accra, Ghana.

In 1937 Azikiwe returned to Nigeria and worked as an editor and essayist before getting directly involved in politics. He became a member of the Legislative Council in 1948, and he later served as premier of the Eastern region (1954–59). At independence from Britain in 1960, Azikiwe became Governor General of the Nigerian Federation, and President in 1963, when the country was declared a republic.

In the Nigerian-Biafran civil war, from May 1967 to January 1970, Azikiwe first backed his fellow Igbo, traveling extensively in 1968 to win recognition for Biafra and to ask for help from other African countries. However, in 1969,  realizing the hopelessness of the war, he threw his support behind the federal government in favour of a united Nigeria.

From 1978-1983 Azikiwe led the Nigeria People's Party (NPP); he was its candidate in the presidential elections of 1979 and 1983. He retired from politics in 1986.

In addition to being an important figure in the history of Nigerian politics, Azikiwe had broad interests outside that realm. He served as chancellor of the University of Nigeria at Nsukka from 1961 to 1966, and he was the president of several sports organizations for football, boxing, and table tennis.

(Sources: Wikipedia & Encyclopaedia Britannica)

Selected publications on Nnamdi Azikiwe

‘Zik af Africa’- an appraisal of the contributions of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe to African socio-political and economic growth in the twentieth century / Austine Uchechukwu Igwe. 
In: Global journal of arts, humanities and social sciences, vol.3, no.4, pp.14-27, April 2015
Nnamdi Azikiwe : the triumph of knowledge / John Oriji.
Lagos [etc.] : Minaj Publishers, 1996.
Nnamdi Azikiwe : the philosopher of our time / by Agbafor Igwe. - Enugu : Fourth Dimension Publishing, 1992.

Selected publications by Nnamdi Azikiwe

Liberia in world politics / Namdi Azikiwe. - Westport, Conn : Negro Universities Press, [1970]
Note: Reprint of the 1934 ed.
Zik : a selection from the speeches of Nnamdi Azikiwe. - Cambridge : At The University Press, 1961.
The development of political parties in Nigeria / N. Azikiwe. - London : Office of the Commissioner in the United Kingdom for the Eastern Region on Nigeria, 1957.
Renascent Africa / Nnamdi Azikiwe. - London : Cass, 1937.
Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe (1904-1996): A Detailed Documentary.
A Documentary on Azikiwe produced by the Institute of African Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN).

Timeline of Nnamdi Azikiwe via Wikidata