VIDEO: Alh. Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Official visit to USA , July 25-28 1961
Alh. Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa official visit to USA in July 25-28 1961
The late Prime Minister who was born in December, 1912, got a scholarship in 1945 to study in the Institute of Education of the University of London from 1945 to 1946, where he developed interest in politics and governance. On his return, he said, “I returned to Nigeria with new eyes, because I had seen people who lived without fear, who obeyed the law as part of their nature, who knew individual liberty.”
The Prime Minister and late Sir Ahmadu Bello jointly founded the Northern Peoples’ Congress (NPC) that started as a cultural group, before it transformed to become a political party in 1951. Tafawa Balewa was elected into the Colony’s Northern House of Assembly shortly after he returned from London in 1946, and later to the Legislative Assembly in 1947.
He became more popular in 1948 following his election as Vice President of the Northern Teachers Association, which was the first trade union in Northern Nigeria, before he became Minister of Works in 1952 before he was elected Chief Minister under the NPC in 1957.
Following the formation of a coalition government between his party, the NPC and the National Council of Nigeria and Cameroun (NCNC) led by Dr Nnamdi Azikwe, the Chief Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa became the Prime Minister when Nigeria got her independence for a four year term. He was re-elected for another term of four years as Prime Minister ,but was killed in 1966 before the expiration of his tenure in 1968.
Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, who played a very active role in the formation of the defunct Organization of African Unity (OAU) which later became a rallying point for African countries, delivered a heartwarming speech in 1963 in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, during the maiden meeting of the organization, where he got a standing ovation from other African leaders.
A British acquaintance after listening to the speech described him as “Perhaps the perfect Victorian gentleman,” while other African leaders at the meeting tagged him “The Golden Voice of Africa.”
Alhaji Sule MBS was a chieftain of the defunct Northern Element Peoples’ Union (NEPU) that gave NPC a very good fight as the major opposition party in the Bauchi native authority. He said even when Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa won his election.