Nigeria's Forgotten Heroes: Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (part 2)

altContinued From: http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/articles/max-siollun/nigerian-martyr-the-story-of-abubakar-tafawa-balewa-part-1.html

Political Calling

Balewa was no firebrand political radical. He may have remained a teacher for the rest of his life had southern politicians such as the flamboyant intellectual Nnamdi Azikiwe not pushed for Nigerian independence. Although not overtly political he founded an organisation named the "Bauchi Discussion Circle" in 1943, and was elected vice president of the Northern Teacher's Association (the first trade union in Northern Nigeria) in 1948. Anxious not to be politically upstaged by the southerners, Northern leaders sought educated Northerners to serve in political posts. Balewa helped found the Northern People's Congress (NPC), which was originally intended as a cultural organisation but by 1951 morphed into a political party due to the need to present a Northern response to the rapid and sophisticated political groupings emerging in the south. Balewa was called into political service as the Bauchi Native Authority's representative to the Northern House of Assembly. The House of Assembly also selected him to become a member of the Nigerian Legislative Council.

Despite political involvement, Balewa remained suspicious of Nigerian unification and feared that the Northern Region would be dominated by the better educated and dynamic south. He said that "the southern tribes who are now pouring into the north in ever increasing numbers...do not mix with the northern people in social matters and we...look upon them as invaders. Since 1914 the Brirish government has been trying to make Nigeria into one country, but the Nigerian people themselves are historically different in their backgrounds, in their religious beliefs and customs, and do not show themselves any sign of willingness to unite. So what it comes to is that Nigerian unity is only a British intention in the country."

He later became the federal Minister of Works and in 1954 Minister of Transport and the senior minister and leader of the NPC in the House of Representatives. His conversion from regional to federal outlook came after he visited America in 1955 on a fact finding mission. He reminisced that "In less than 200 years, this great country [America] was welded together by people of so many different backgrounds. They built a mighty nation and had forgotten where they came from and who their ancestors were. They had pride in only one thing - their American citizenship... I am a changed man from today. Until now I never really believed Nigeria could be one united country. But if the Americans could do it, so can we."

Position Without Power?

Even though Balewa was only the deputy leader of the NPC, the NPC leader the Sardauna of Sokoto sent Balewa to Lagos to become the federal Prime Minister in 1957. The Sardauna had no interest in living in the south. When Nigeria became independent in 1960, he became the newly independent country's first Prime Minister and received the instruments of independence from Princess Alexandra (cousin of Queen Elizabeth II). Although the country's Prime Minister, he was not the leader of his own party (the NPC) and thus remained in the paradoxical position of being a head of government that had to defer to, and take instructions from his boss (the Sardauna). In 1963 he gave a spellbinding eloquent speech at the Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) inaugural conference of the Organisation of African Unity.

As Prime Minister he maintained a thoroughly dignified comportment. A British acquaintance called him "perhaps the perfect Victorian gentleman". He gained several awards from the British: OBE in 1952, CBE in 1955, Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in January 1960 and was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Sheffield in May 1960.

Balewa proposed an amendment to Nigeria's constitution to give due recognition to the nation building role played by then Governor-General Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe. Balewa proposed that "Nnamdi Azikiwe shall be deemed to have been elected President and Commander in-Chief of the Armed Forces" because "Nigeria can never adequately reward Dr. Azikiwe" for the nationalist role he played in building Nigeria and achieving independence. Azikiwe is referred to by name in Nigeria's 1963 constitution, and to my knowledge Azikiwe was the only living individual constitutionally enshrined by name in his democratic country's constitution.

Death and Beyond

On January 15, 1966 he was kidnapped from his official residence by armed soldiers who were executing Nigeria's first military coup. He was missing for several days and a search for him was ordered by the new military regime headed by Major-General Aguiyi-Ironsi. His family and friends continued to believe he was alive. Rumours claimed the rebel soldiers were holding him alive and that he would be released as part of a prisoner swap involving the imprisoned Chief Awolowo. However these hopes were dashed when his decomposing corpse was found a few days later, dumped in a roadside bush. His corpse was taken to Ikeja airport in the company of Police Commissioner Hamman Maiduguri, Inspector-General of Police Kam Selem, Maitama Sule and his wives Laraba and Jummai who accompanied it as it was flown to Bauchi where he was buried. His body now lies inside a tomb declared a national monument. The tomb includes a library and a mosque. The famous race course square in Lagos was renamed "Tafawa Balewa Square" in his memory. His image appears on the 5 Naira note.

His mother Hajiya Inna died less than a year after him. He was survived by his four wives Jummai, Umma, Zainab and Laraba, and 19 children. He married Jummai (from Sokoto) when she was 13 years old. He also had a posthumous daughter (Zainab) who was born by Jummai two weeks after his death. Although all of Balewa's widows remarried after his death, their subsequent marriages collapsed and they returned to the Prime Minister's house in Bauchi to live together. Balewa's third wife Hajiya Zainab (aka "Hajiya Umma") died earlier this year at the age of 73.

His two sons in England were comforted and looked after by their headmaster Trafford Allen with the support of their guardian J.E.B. Hall, with their school fees at Epsom College being paid by the military government of General Gowon. His son at Keffi Government College did not know of his father's death until the school caterer broke the news to him. His children include Mukhtar, Sadiq, Hajia Uwani, Umar, Ahmed, Haruna, Aminu (a journalist who has since died), Hafsat, Amina, Zainab, Yalwa, Saude, Hajia Binta, Yalwa (widowed early and became an organiser of women's education), Rabi (resisted early marriage in favour of study), Ali (died aged 9), and Hajia Talle Aishatu (now deceased).

maxsiollun@yahoo.com

http://maxsiollun.wordpress.com/



1 2 3
Re: Nigeria`s Forgotten Heroes: Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (part 2)
Eja posted on 11-05-2009, 08:21:02 AM
I am not sure...is this meant to be satire?

I mean, Tafawa Balewa is a "Nigerian Hero"? The same Tafawa Balewa who was on one side of the sterile shenanigans that caused hundreds to be burnt alive in the Western Region?

The same Tafawa Balewa who was a part of the political class whose incompetence led directly to the Nigeria-Biafra war and the ongoing mess that is Nigeria today?

OK, I will agree (even if na satire).

However, Max Siollun should please give an undertaking that he will do a write-up in 30 years time that will drape Sani Abacha with the mantle "Nigerian Hero"....

Sir, with your permission, I will put forth the following pertinent points:

  • Within a shorter period of time, Abacha did more with a lot less money than both Obasanjo and YarAdua.
  • He pursued a more independent foreign relations policy.
  • He wore goggles with great panache.
  • He was strong enough to take on multiple ashewo every night (unlike the sick-note we now have at Aso Rock - a man who does not even have the strength to fart without medical assistance).


And, like Eace, I too would love to read anything from the mind of the man Tafawa Balewa that can serve as guidance as I wander through life's rocky roads....
Re: Nigeria`s Forgotten Heroes: Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (part 2)
AISAGBON OMOGIADE posted on 11-05-2009, 09:03:59 AM
In less than 200 years, this great country [America] was welded together by people of so many different backgrounds. They built a mighty nation and had forgotten where they came from and who their ancestors were. They had pride in only one thing - their American citizenship... I am a changed man from today. Until now I never really believed Nigeria could be one united country. But if the Americans could do it, so can we.\"

The tribal barons amongst us should read this and reflect!!
Re: Nigeria`s Forgotten Heroes: Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (part 2)
Eja posted on 11-05-2009, 09:20:16 AM
QUOTE:
In less than 200 years, this great country [America] was welded together by people of so many different backgrounds. They built a mighty nation and had forgotten where they came from and who their ancestors were. They had pride in only one thing —their American citizenship... I am a changed man from today. Until now I never really believed Nigeria could be one united country. But if the Americans could do it, so can we.\\"

The tribal barons amongst us should read this and reflect!!


That passage shows nothing more than the amazing naivety of the man Tafawa Balewa. Or maybe he was just been disingenous.

Nigeria is nothing like the USA and, it was even much less so at the time he said those words.

The USA which he was hailing was/is a country built and founded by people who had a common history and who were motivated by that common history. Unlike Nigeria.

The USA was manufactured by ones who saw themselves as having the following identities in common : 'white', western European and, Christian. Unlike Nigeria where even today, some think they are a type of Arab, some think they are a lost tribe of Israel and some have no concept of what it means to be an African.

Right from its inception, and even up to time when Tafawa Balewa wrote his song of praise (AKA Bismillah!! I have seen the light and the light has shown me the way...), the USA was country where ones who did not possess the characteristics of the ruling 'race' were kept far from power.

But perhaps this is what he admired about the place. Perhaps, what he meant was that he admired how one set of people succeeded in taking over a land that was not originally theirs and welding it into something that looked like one nation. In other words, perhaps his acceptance of the USA as an example to be followed had more to do with his desire for the establishment of a Fulani hegemony over Nigeria in the manner that Western Europeans (specifically Protestants from the British Isles) had succeeded in establishing a hegemony in the USA over others not from that original homeland.
Re: Nigeria`s Forgotten Heroes: Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (part 2)
Bode Eluyera posted on 11-05-2009, 11:34:27 AM
QUOTE:
I really dont know how you define heros but Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa cannot be a Nigerian hero under any circumstances.

Perhaps he was a Northern hero but he was`nt and cannot be a Nigerian hero!


SOD, thanks a lot for that comment. Wonders will never end. Every Dick and Harry is now being called a hero. Wonders will never end! If I am not mistaken, the author should be from the middle belt: either Benue or Plateau. Therefore, I am not surprised that he has decided to transform another mediocre into a national hero. Bauchi people need to be grateful to the Niger Deltans because thanks to the money from their oil Tafawa Balewa was able to maintain 4 wives and 19 children - and even trained one to become a surgeon. Can you imagine somebody, a P.M. for that matter having 19 children for God's sake! Did he maintain them from his P.M. salary? Is that complete irresponsibility and inability to plan?

I appreciate the autor's effort. The only grudge I hold against him is his calling Tafawa Balewa a forgotten hero. What did Tafawa Balewa do for Nigeria to deserve being called a hero? For marrying 4 wives and having 19 children? NONSENSE. OPPORTUNISTS! PARASITES! LIABILITIES!

SOD, do you now understand why I keep on telling you that the best option for your people is not amnesty or federation but SOVEREIGNTY - you need your own country where you will have TOTAL CONTROL over your resources and not allow opportunists, parasites, mediocres and LAZY BONES who have no other goals in life except marrying 4 wives and fathering 19 wives to use your resources to feed their wives and children.

Only Allah know how many children and wives the guy would had had if he was not eliminated!!! God Damn it. Hero ko Heroine ni!!!
Re: Nigeria`s Forgotten Heroes: Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (part 2)
Bode Eluyera posted on 11-05-2009, 12:00:12 PM
QUOTE:
That passage shows nothing more than the amazing naivety of the man Tafawa Balewa. Or maybe he was just been disingenous.

Nigeria is nothing like the USA and, it was even much less so at the time he said those words.

The USA which he was hailing was/is a country built and founded by people who had a common history and who were motivated by that common history. Unlike Nigeria.

The USA was manufactured by ones who saw themselves as having the following identities in common : 'white', western European and, Christian. Unlike Nigeria where even today, some think they are a type of Arab, some think they are a lost tribe of Israel and some have no concept of what it means to be an African.

Right from its inception, and even up to time when Tafawa Balewa wrote his song of praise (AKA Bismillah!! I have seen the light and the light has shown me the way...), the USA was country where ones who did not possess the characteristics of the ruling 'race' were kept far from power.

But perhaps this is what he admired about the place. Perhaps, what he meant was that he admired how one set of people succeeded in taking over a land that was not originally theirs and welding it into something that looked like one nation. In other words, perhaps his acceptance of the USA as an example to be followed had more to do with his desire for the establishment of a Fulani hegemony over Nigeria in the manner that Western Europeans (specifically Protestants from the British Isles) had succeeded in establishing a hegemony in the USA over others not from that original homeland.



Eja, God will BLESS you for your ENLIGHTENING AND BRILLIANT posts.

Concerning Abacha, I can assure you that we won't have to wait for another 30 years. On the 27th of September 2009, a debate was organised at the Nigerian embassy in Moscow with the title"Is Civilian better than Military regimes for Nigeria?" My brother you will not believe it but the opposing side, arguing in favour of military regime praised Abacha. He argued that during his time things in general were much better than now. But can we really blame him? It's the fault of opportunists like Yaradua, a LAME DUCK, a descendant and relative of Tafawa Balewa who was imposed on us.

It is because of articles like this that I keep on arguing in my series "One Nigeria: To be or not to be?" - available on this site - that that country MUST BE BROKEN UP. There should be no compromise on this issue. We need to get rid of these people for good! We need to do it as soon as possible.

WE NEED TO START BUILDING OUR OWN COUNTRY WITHOUT THE DESCENDANTS AND RELATIVES OF TAFAWA BALEWA!!!

Don't be surprised that next year Yaradua can spend ONE BILLION DOLLARS to build a monument in memory of Abacha with the inscription, 'A NATIONAL HERO THAT WAS NOT APPRECIATED IN HIS TIME' in the centre of Abuja. Believe me with these morally bankrupt opportunists in power, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE in that country.

I also think that it's high time we started a campaign in the south that the monument in memory of Tafawa Balewa in Lagos should be renamed and demolished. I have been thinking about this for long. It's good the author reminded us again.
Re: Nigeria`s Forgotten Heroes: Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (part 2)
Dove posted on 11-05-2009, 12:25:50 PM
But I think I understand where the writer is coming from. In my undertanding, this is the issue of the land of the blind where a one-eyed man is made the king.

To explain further, Nigeria is a country without a hero, so anybody whose performance is/was remarkable (irrespective of how much) ,has automatically become a "hero". Else, list the names of those we should refer as heroes and lets see.
Re: Nigeria`s Forgotten Heroes: Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (part 2)
Chinedu Nwobu posted on 11-05-2009, 14:06:38 PM
It beats me how anybody can call Tafawa Balewa a hero when he so callously overlooked the crisis in the Western region that killed thousands of people, this is also the same Tafawa Balewa who inspite of his deceitfully humble looks was fraudulent and criminal enough to conspire with Akintola to organise the mass rigging of elections in the Western region in 1964 that saw Obafemi Awolowo loss out completely.

That mass rigging was the first of such and set the stage for the cancer of election rigging in which nigeria remains trapped.

Balewa's misrule led to the Jan. 1966 coup and civil war. How such a derelict fraud qualifies to be a hero is a mystery. At this pace, one day Babangida, Abacha, Idi Amin and Adolf Hitler will soon become heroes.
Nigeria`s Forgotten Heroes: Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (part 2)
Max Siollun posted on 11-05-2009, 20:49:29 PM

altContinued From: http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/articles/max-siollun/nigerian-martyr-the-story-of-abubakar-tafawa-balewa-part-1.html

Political Calling

Balewa was no firebrand political radical. He may have remained a teacher for the rest of his life had southern politicians such as the flamboyant intellectual Nnamdi Azikiwe not pushed for Nigerian independence. Although not overtly political he founded an organisation named the "Bauchi Discussion Circle" in 1943, and was elected vice president of the Northern Teacher's Association (the first trade union in Northern Nigeria) in 1948. Anxious not to be politically upstaged by the southerners, Northern leaders sought educated Northerners to serve in political posts. Balewa helped found the Northern People's Congress (NPC), which was originally intended as a cultural organisation but by 1951 morphed into a political party due to the need to present a Northern response to the rapid and sophisticated political groupings emerging in the south. Balewa was called into political service as the Bauchi Native Authority's representative to the Northern House of Assembly. The House of Assembly also selected him to become a member of the Nigerian Legislative Council.

Despite political involvement, Balewa remained suspicious of Nigerian unification and feared that the Northern Region would be dominated by the better educated and dynamic south. He said that "the southern tribes who are now pouring into the north in ever increasing numbers...do not mix with the northern people in social matters and we...look upon them as invaders. Since 1914 the Brirish government has been trying to make Nigeria into one country, but the Nigerian people themselves are historically different in their backgrounds, in their religious beliefs and customs, and do not show themselves any sign of willingness to unite. So what it comes to is that Nigerian unity is only a British intention in the country."

He later became the federal Minister of Works and in 1954 Minister of Transport and the senior minister and leader of the NPC in the House of Representatives. His conversion from regional to federal outlook came after he visited America in 1955 on a fact finding mission. He reminisced that "In less than 200 years, this great country [America] was welded together by people of so many different backgrounds. They built a mighty nation and had forgotten where they came from and who their ancestors were. They had pride in only one thing - their American citizenship... I am a changed man from today. Until now I never really believed Nigeria could be one united country. But if the Americans could do it, so can we."

Position Without Power?

Even though Balewa was only the deputy leader of the NPC, the NPC leader the Sardauna of Sokoto sent Balewa to Lagos to become the federal Prime Minister in 1957. The Sardauna had no interest in living in the south. When Nigeria became independent in 1960, he became the newly independent country's first Prime Minister and received the instruments of independence from Princess Alexandra (cousin of Queen Elizabeth II). Although the country's Prime Minister, he was not the leader of his own party (the NPC) and thus remained in the paradoxical position of being a head of government that had to defer to, and take instructions from his boss (the Sardauna). In 1963 he gave a spellbinding eloquent speech at the Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) inaugural conference of the Organisation of African Unity.

As Prime Minister he maintained a thoroughly dignified comportment. A British acquaintance called him "perhaps the perfect Victorian gentleman". He gained several awards from the British: OBE in 1952, CBE in 1955, Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in January 1960 and was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Sheffield in May 1960.

Balewa proposed an amendment to Nigeria's constitution to give due recognition to the nation building role played by then Governor-General Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe. Balewa proposed that "Nnamdi Azikiwe shall be deemed to have been elected President and Commander in-Chief of the Armed Forces" because "Nigeria can never adequately reward Dr. Azikiwe" for the nationalist role he played in building Nigeria and achieving independence. Azikiwe is referred to by name in Nigeria's 1963 constitution, and to my knowledge Azikiwe was the only living individual constitutionally enshrined by name in his democratic country's constitution.

Death and Beyond

On January 15, 1966 he was kidnapped from his official residence by armed soldiers who were executing Nigeria's first military coup. He was missing for several days and a search for him was ordered by the new military regime headed by Major-General Aguiyi-Ironsi. His family and friends continued to believe he was alive. Rumours claimed the rebel soldiers were holding him alive and that he would be released as part of a prisoner swap involving the imprisoned Chief Awolowo. However these hopes were dashed when his decomposing corpse was found a few days later, dumped in a roadside bush. His corpse was taken to Ikeja airport in the company of Police Commissioner Hamman Maiduguri, Inspector-General of Police Kam Selem, Maitama Sule and his wives Laraba and Jummai who accompanied it as it was flown to Bauchi where he was buried. His body now lies inside a tomb declared a national monument. The tomb includes a library and a mosque. The famous race course square in Lagos was renamed "Tafawa Balewa Square" in his memory. His image appears on the 5 Naira note.

His mother Hajiya Inna died less than a year after him. He was survived by his four wives Jummai, Umma, Zainab and Laraba, and 19 children. He married Jummai (from Sokoto) when she was 13 years old. He also had a posthumous daughter (Zainab) who was born by Jummai two weeks after his death. Although all of Balewa's widows remarried after his death, their subsequent marriages collapsed and they returned to the Prime Minister's house in Bauchi to live together. Balewa's third wife Hajiya Zainab (aka "Hajiya Umma") died earlier this year at the age of 73.

His two sons in England were comforted and looked after by their headmaster Trafford Allen with the support of their guardian J.E.B. Hall, with their school fees at Epsom College being paid by the military government of General Gowon. His son at Keffi Government College did not know of his father's death until the school caterer broke the news to him. His children include Mukhtar, Sadiq, Hajia Uwani, Umar, Ahmed, Haruna, Aminu (a journalist who has since died), Hafsat, Amina, Zainab, Yalwa, Saude, Hajia Binta, Yalwa (widowed early and became an organiser of women's education), Rabi (resisted early marriage in favour of study), Ali (died aged 9), and Hajia Talle Aishatu (now deceased).

maxsiollun@yahoo.com

http://maxsiollun.wordpress.com/



..Read the full article
Re: Nigeria`s Forgotten Heroes: Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (part 2)
Son of the Delta posted on 11-05-2009, 20:49:29 PM

altContinued From: http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/articles/max-siollun/nigerian-martyr-the-story-of-abubakar-tafawa-balewa-part-1.html

Political Calling

Balewa was no firebrand political radical. He may have remained a teacher for the rest of his life had southern politicians such as the flamboyant intellectual Nnamdi Azikiwe not pushed for Nigerian independence. Although not overtly political he founded an organisation named the "Bauchi Discussion Circle" in 1943, and was elected vice president of the Northern Teacher's Association (the first trade union in Northern Nigeria) in 1948. Anxious not to be politically upstaged by the southerners, Northern leaders sought educated Northerners to serve in political posts. Balewa helped found the Northern People's Congress (NPC), which was originally intended as a cultural organisation but by 1951 morphed into a political party due to the need to present a Northern response to the rapid and sophisticated political groupings emerging in the south. Balewa was called into political service as the Bauchi Native Authority's representative to the Northern House of Assembly. The House of Assembly also selected him to become a member of the Nigerian Legislative Council.

Despite political involvement, Balewa remained suspicious of Nigerian unification and feared that the Northern Region would be dominated by the better educated and dynamic south. He said that "the southern tribes who are now pouring into the north in ever increasing numbers...do not mix with the northern people in social matters and we...look upon them as invaders. Since 1914 the Brirish government has been trying to make Nigeria into one country, but the Nigerian people themselves are historically different in their backgrounds, in their religious beliefs and customs, and do not show themselves any sign of willingness to unite. So what it comes to is that Nigerian unity is only a British intention in the country."

He later became the federal Minister of Works and in 1954 Minister of Transport and the senior minister and leader of the NPC in the House of Representatives. His conversion from regional to federal outlook came after he visited America in 1955 on a fact finding mission. He reminisced that "In less than 200 years, this great country [America] was welded together by people of so many different backgrounds. They built a mighty nation and had forgotten where they came from and who their ancestors were. They had pride in only one thing - their American citizenship... I am a changed man from today. Until now I never really believed Nigeria could be one united country. But if the Americans could do it, so can we."

Position Without Power?

Even though Balewa was only the deputy leader of the NPC, the NPC leader the Sardauna of Sokoto sent Balewa to Lagos to become the federal Prime Minister in 1957. The Sardauna had no interest in living in the south. When Nigeria became independent in 1960, he became the newly independent country's first Prime Minister and received the instruments of independence from Princess Alexandra (cousin of Queen Elizabeth II). Although the country's Prime Minister, he was not the leader of his own party (the NPC) and thus remained in the paradoxical position of being a head of government that had to defer to, and take instructions from his boss (the Sardauna). In 1963 he gave a spellbinding eloquent speech at the Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) inaugural conference of the Organisation of African Unity.

As Prime Minister he maintained a thoroughly dignified comportment. A British acquaintance called him "perhaps the perfect Victorian gentleman". He gained several awards from the British: OBE in 1952, CBE in 1955, Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in January 1960 and was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Sheffield in May 1960.

Balewa proposed an amendment to Nigeria's constitution to give due recognition to the nation building role played by then Governor-General Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe. Balewa proposed that "Nnamdi Azikiwe shall be deemed to have been elected President and Commander in-Chief of the Armed Forces" because "Nigeria can never adequately reward Dr. Azikiwe" for the nationalist role he played in building Nigeria and achieving independence. Azikiwe is referred to by name in Nigeria's 1963 constitution, and to my knowledge Azikiwe was the only living individual constitutionally enshrined by name in his democratic country's constitution.

Death and Beyond

On January 15, 1966 he was kidnapped from his official residence by armed soldiers who were executing Nigeria's first military coup. He was missing for several days and a search for him was ordered by the new military regime headed by Major-General Aguiyi-Ironsi. His family and friends continued to believe he was alive. Rumours claimed the rebel soldiers were holding him alive and that he would be released as part of a prisoner swap involving the imprisoned Chief Awolowo. However these hopes were dashed when his decomposing corpse was found a few days later, dumped in a roadside bush. His corpse was taken to Ikeja airport in the company of Police Commissioner Hamman Maiduguri, Inspector-General of Police Kam Selem, Maitama Sule and his wives Laraba and Jummai who accompanied it as it was flown to Bauchi where he was buried. His body now lies inside a tomb declared a national monument. The tomb includes a library and a mosque. The famous race course square in Lagos was renamed "Tafawa Balewa Square" in his memory. His image appears on the 5 Naira note.

His mother Hajiya Inna died less than a year after him. He was survived by his four wives Jummai, Umma, Zainab and Laraba, and 19 children. He married Jummai (from Sokoto) when she was 13 years old. He also had a posthumous daughter (Zainab) who was born by Jummai two weeks after his death. Although all of Balewa's widows remarried after his death, their subsequent marriages collapsed and they returned to the Prime Minister's house in Bauchi to live together. Balewa's third wife Hajiya Zainab (aka "Hajiya Umma") died earlier this year at the age of 73.

His two sons in England were comforted and looked after by their headmaster Trafford Allen with the support of their guardian J.E.B. Hall, with their school fees at Epsom College being paid by the military government of General Gowon. His son at Keffi Government College did not know of his father's death until the school caterer broke the news to him. His children include Mukhtar, Sadiq, Hajia Uwani, Umar, Ahmed, Haruna, Aminu (a journalist who has since died), Hafsat, Amina, Zainab, Yalwa, Saude, Hajia Binta, Yalwa (widowed early and became an organiser of women's education), Rabi (resisted early marriage in favour of study), Ali (died aged 9), and Hajia Talle Aishatu (now deceased).

maxsiollun@yahoo.com

http://maxsiollun.wordpress.com/



..Read the full article
Re: Nigeria`s Forgotten Heroes: Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (part 2)
Agidimolaja posted on 11-06-2009, 01:10:52 AM
When I coined the word "intellectual mugun" with which I nicknamed some Nigeria's intellectuals that I consideredgraduated but were never educated, did I go too far, folks?

If I should add the name of this pathetic author to the list of "intellectual mugun", will it not be quite ok?

Who else but an intellectual 'mugun' would ever called Tafa Balewa a hero?

Not long ago another person listed Balewa among our "founding fathers", whatever is so called. When I read such useless nonsense, all I could do was to scream,FOUL!

Here again the same guy is coronated as "NIGERIA'S HERO".Gbooza!

But, this author failed to tell us what is the definition of hero and what qualified Balewa to be Nigeria's hero.

Was it his locking up of Obafemi Awolowo and setting Western Region on fire after criminally supporting the Premiership of Ladoke Akintola that earned himsuch title as "hero"? Habba!

Was it his wasted six years in office as Prime Minister that is heroic?

What on earth could have qualified Balewa who did nothing towards the attainment of Independence to be painted as hero? Pls help me folks!

It is not in my knowledge what is heroic in Balewa's total failure as Prime Minister to nurse upthe newly emerged independent nation of Nigeria.
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