Independence Month Series: October 1, 1960

After about 100 years of British imperialism, the country obtained independence from the colonialists on this day. The Northern People’s Congress (NPC) and the National Council of Nigeria and Cameron (NCNC) formed a coalition government that took over from the British.

The Nigeria Coat of Arms
The Nigeria Coat of Arms
Sir Balewa and Sir Robertson at the Searchlight tattoo ceremony
Sir Balewa and Sir Robertson at the Searchlight tattoo ceremony

Awolowo, Balewa, Bello and Azikiwe
Awolowo, Balewa, Bello and Azikiwe

Under this arrangement, Alhaji Tafawa Balewa of the NPC became the first Prime Minister, while Nnamdi Azikiwe became the nation’s first Governor – General. Nigeria adopted the parliamentary system of government as was practised by their colonial masters.

Sir Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa
Sir Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa
Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe
Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe

Nnamdi Azikiwe

On this day, Northern and Southern Cameroon were given the option of staying as part of Nigeria or leaving Nigeria. Southern Cameroon decided to leave while Northern Cameroon stayed.

The official opening of the palace of the Oba of Lagos by the Prime Minister was also held on this day.

Oba Adeniji Adele: The presiding monarch of Lagos at the time of Independence in 1960
Oba Adeniji Adele: The presiding monarch of Lagos at the time of Independence in 1960

Sources:

Historical Flashback Newspaper

Wikipedia.com

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