Once Upon A Country: Snippets from Nigeria We Lost

They have made all efforts to stop History as a subject so that critical information will be lost forever. But before that happens, please consider the following:

Once upon a time, once upon a country:

In 1956, there was a country… whose first City Mayor in a place called Enugu was a Fulani man by the name of Mallam Umaru Altine. He was not appointed but elected TWICE as Mayor.

There was a country which has a place called Port Harcourt. The people of Port Harcourt elected a man called Chief John Umolu (from Etsako in today’s Edo State) to represent its municipality in the Eastern Region House of Assembly.

In 1959, there was a country – a country where when its Eastern House of Chiefs was constituted, and a man named Mallam Umaru Yushau, the Sarkin Hausawa or Chief of the Hausas in Onitsha, was elected a member of the Eastern House of Chiefs.

In 1957, there was a country which has a city called Kano, one Felix Okonkwo, as a special member of the Northern House of Chiefs.

In 1950, in a place called Lagos Olorunimbe, was the first Mayor of Lagos with Mazi Mbonu Ojike as his deputy.

Founding fathers agreed to federalism

Nigeria’s First Republic political leaders. Left to right: Obafemi Awolowo, Tafawa Balewa, Ahmadu Bello, Nnamdi Azikiwe

In 1952, a man from Ogwashi-Ukwu by the name of Chike Ekwuiyasi represented Benin West in the Western House of Assembly.

In 1961, the people of Aba voted Margret Ekpo to represent them and Abakaliki voted Chief Eyo Bassey (father of AK. APC Pub. Sec), both non-Igbo, into parliament.

Alh. Ibrahim Abubakar Imam from Maiduguri represented Tivland Gboko in the House of Representatives.

Before all these, Obafemi Awolowo led the campaign for Ernest Ikoli, an Ijaw man who defeated Chief Akinsanya in an election in Lagos. Nnamdi Azikiwe led the NCNC to a clean sweep of legislative seats in Lagos.

A Ghanaian Barrister practicing in Calabar, called Atta Munu, represented his town of residence in the first legislature in this country elected by universal adult suffrage.

To the young people who have always imagined that Nigeria has always been a jungle where lawlessness and tribalism reign, …this was the way it really was and the way we were.

Merit, character, and patriotism held sway and the country kept pace with the world.

That was our Great Country, Nigeria, before the vultures took over…

Working together, we can have that country, that Nigeria back again.

Yes, we can!