Below is Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu’s last and famous interview with Mr. Dennis Ejindu of ‘Africa and the World‘ few months before the outbreak of the Nigerian civil war.
Ejindu: I am glad to meet you, Sir. How would you feel if you knew that you are being regarded as a hero?
Nzeogwu: Very pleased naturally. But the truth is that I am not a hero. If there was any famous Major Nzeogwu, I have never heard of him.
Ejindu: It is rumored that you have just finished writing a book, what is it like?
Nzeogwu: Good gracious! Ninety-nine per cent of all the stories you hear in this country are false. I have not written any book because there was nothing to write about. You can only write about a finished job. It would have been a useful means of warding off boredom though, but one did not do it for the fear that the authorities might seize the papers. However I had enough time to make detailed notes on what happened, and one might use them if in future there was any need to write something.
Ishola Oyenusi, popularly known as Doctor Oyenusi, was a notorious armed robber who terrorized the people of Lagos and other neighboring cities in the 1970s. Ishola Oyenusi and his gang of six were highly skilled in snatching cars, robbing banks, factories, stores and killing people like chickens. Doctor Oyenusi, as he was called, was not a doctor by profession but adopted the title for the fun of it. The evidence lies in a confession he made few minutes before his execution. He confessed that his parents were not capable of furthering his secondary school education and that was what forced him into robbery. So without having a secondary school education, Oyenusi by no way could have been a medical doctor.
The Benin massacre and expedition of 1897 were two disastrous events that left the kingdom of Benin ransacked, devastated and deprived of valuable artifacts, artworks, sons, daughters and a great king. The Benin massacre acted as a chain that pulled the “punitive expedition“, as it was called by the British, into existence. On January 4 1897, a fraction of Benin army killed a British officer, Consul Philips, alongside his men for his obstinacy to enter Benin when he was not welcomed. In retaliation, the British authorities sent about 1,200 troops to destroy Benin and punish its King. Below is a detailed account of the massacre and expedition.
It is worthy of note that Benin kingdom has existed from time immemorial and had thrived extensively as one of the most prosperous and mightiest kingdoms in West Africa. Benin kingdom traded slaves, ivory, pepper and palm oil with the Portuguese as early as 1485 and at the peak of its power, Benin influenced places as far as Akure and Owo in the western part of modern-day Nigeria. Continue reading Benin Massacre and Expedition of 1897→
Below is Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu‘s speech announcing the first military coup in Nigeria on January 15, 1966.
“In the name of the Supreme Council of the Revolution of the Nigerian Armed Forces, I declare martial law over the Northern Provinces of Nigeria. The Constitution is suspended and the regional government and elected assemblies are hereby dissolved. All political, cultural, tribal and trade union activities, together with all demonstrations and unauthorized gatherings, excluding religious worship, are banned until further notice. The aim of the Revolutionary Council is to establish a strong united and prosperous nation, free from corruption and internal strife. Our method of achieving this is strictly military but we have no doubt that every Nigerian will give us maximum cooperation by assisting the regime and not disturbing the peace during the slight changes that are taking place. I am to assure all foreigners living and working in this part of Nigeria that their rights will continue to be respected. All treaty obligations previously entered into with any foreign nation will be respected and we hope that such nations will respect our country’s territorial integrity and will avoid taking sides with enemies of the revolution and enemies of the people. My dear countrymen, you will hear, and probably see a lot being done by certain bodies charged by the Supreme Council with the duties of national integration, supreme justice, general security and property recovery. As an interim measure all permanent secretaries, corporation chairmen and senior heads of departments are allowed to make decisions until the new organs are functioning, so long as such decisions are not contrary to the aims and wishes of the Supreme Council. No Minister or Parliamentary Secretary possesses administrative or other forms of control over any Ministry, even if they are not considered too dangerous to be arrested.Continue reading Speech by Major Kaduna Nzeogwu Announcing the First Coup of January 15, 1966→
In 1948, Sir John Stuart Macpherson succeeded Sir Authur Richards as the Governor-General of Nigeria. Soon after he (Macpherson) resumed office, he began to draft a new constitution for the country. He was very patient and careful in the process so as not to repeat the mistake of his predecessor, Sir Authur Richards. Sir Authur Richards’ constitution, also known as Richards constitution of 1946, was severely criticized by Nigerian nationalists on the ground that it was imposed on Nigerians and operated without prior consultation. Continue reading Macpherson Constitution of 1951→
Before we dive into the list of EFCC chairmen, you might want to know the full meaning of EFCC and what it is as well. EFCC simply means Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. It is an anti-graft body in Nigeria established in 2003 to fight corruption and financial crimes which include embezzlement, money laundering and fraud (419). Continue reading List of EFCC Chairmen- Past And Present→
Were you told that the social life of Ibadan, the third largest city in Africa, is boring and unexciting?! If yes, you have been told a hell of a lie! If you have been pondering lately on places you can visit in Ibadan to catch a lot of fun and have a nice time either with your family, friends or just you alone, no doubt, this article is for you! Below is a compilation of top 5 places you can spend and enjoy your day in Ibadan, the capital city of Oyo State.
1. Heritage Mall, Dugbe– This big, beautiful and spellbinding mall is one of the most visited places in Ibadan. Located in Dugbe, the heartbeat of Ibadan, Heritage Mall can boast of shops that hold almost everything a visitor might need ranging from mobile products to writing materials. The three-storey mall also houses FilmHouse cinema, Shoprite (Africa’s leading retailer), Mr Price, a food court with three outlets of eateries, a painting shop, an exquisite club and escalators that connect the three floors of the mall. The cinema offers movies at N500 on weekdays till 6pm while on weekends, it’s N1000 for a movie. Don’t you think Heritage Mall is a wonderful place to visit? Continue reading Top 5 Places To Spend And Enjoy Your Day In Ibadan→
The burial place of the legendary and biblical Queen of Sheba, locally known among Yoruba people as Bilikisu Sungbo, has turned a place of worship and tourism in Nigeria. Millions of people visit annually from different parts of the world to share the mystery surrounding Bilikisu Sungbo grave-turned-shrine located in Oke-Eri, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, Nigeria. The historical queen, Bilikisu Sungbo, was said to have traveled all the way from Ethiopia down to Ijebu-Ode where she died and was buried. The natives of Ijebu-Ode hold strong and popular claims about the identity of the controversial Bilikisu Sungbo. They claimed that she was the Queen of Sheba mentioned in the bible to have visited the wise king Solomon at height of his powers. They also claimed that Bilikisu Sungbo was the Quranic Queen Baliqs of Ethopia (from which the name Bilikisu was derived) who visited king Sulaiman. Another source has it that Bilikisu Sungbo was a wealthy woman and the leader of a group of women potters who traveled to far away places. Also, she was believed to possess supernatural powers with which she dug ditches around villages in Ijebu-Ode. Continue reading The History And Mystery of Bilikisu Sungbo Shrine In Ijebu Ode, Ogun State→
Valentine’s day is celebrated on the 14th of February, every year, to show affection to a person, people or loved ones by sending cards, flowers, love messages or even having fun together.
Nigerians are not left behind when it comes to celebrating special days like this. Below is a picture showing how some Nigerians celebrated Valentine’s day in 1965, a long way back! So you can see that the lifestyle of Nigerians back in the 60s, 70s and 80s was shrouded in fun, love and glamour.
Let us know how you celebrated your Valentine’s day; kindly share it in the comment box below. Thank you!
The Yoruba people of south western Nigeria are known for their varieties of delicious and tantalizing soups that sends the bowel yearning for a lick. The delicacies of the Yoruba people comprises predominantly solid foods (what Nigerians call SWALLOW) like: Amala, Eba, Fufu, Iyan, etc. that are needed to be eaten with soup for sweet and easy passage down the throat. One of such soups is ‘Gbegiri‘ which is prepared with beans. Are you surprised that a soup is prepared with beans?! Do not be surprised! Gbegiri is one of the best soups in Yoruba land that helps a woman construct a pathway to the heart of a man.
Here are the ingredients needed to prepare Gbegiri soup:
Nigeria is made up of over 250 tribes which all have their peculiar cultures and traditions of which dance is among. The cultural or traditional dances of Nigerian tribes are used for so many purposes which include: unifying the members of a tribe; telling folktales or the history and traditions of a community; showcasing the wealth and strength of a tribe; celebrating; performing religious duties; entertaining and so on. Below is OldNaija‘s compilation of probably the best and most entertaining traditional dances from selected Nigerian tribes.
1. The Ekombi Dance– The Ekombi dance is peculiar to the Efik people of Calabar, Cross River state. It is a beautiful and entertaining dance in which maidens are dressed in multi-coloured attires sewn in a mini skirt and blouse form which exposes their tummy. The maidens are also decorated with beads of different colours and sizes. The Ekombi dancers whine gracefully to the rhythmical beats of the Efik drummers in the movement of ocean tides. The Ekombi dance of the Efik people shows the beauty and maturity of a woman.
The act of circumcising babies in Igbo land is an ancient culture and tradition of the Igbo people which has its origin from their traditional religions. “Circumcision is the act of removing female genitalia, or a simple fold of skin (foreskin and prepuce) that covers the head of an un-erect penis”. In ancient times, the Igbos circumcise both male and female children, but as modernization set in, the circumcision or genital mutilation of Igbo female children was stopped while that of male continued till today. Continue reading Ibi Ugwu (Male Circumcision) In Igbo Land→
In Yoruba land, one of the most important things done when a child is born is to give the child a name. This comes after the child’s ritual birth, massage of specific body parts and other rites as well. Names are given to the child by the father, mother, grandparents (paternal and maternal) and some close relatives also. But sometimes, the circumstance of a child’s birth will automatically give the child a name. This name is known as ‘orúko àmútọ̀runwá’ (pre-destined or generic name) in Yorubaland. Continue reading Oruko Amutorunwa (Pre-Destined Names) In Yorubaland→
Samuel Sochukwuma Okwaraji was a prolific and professional Nigerian football player who played for both international clubs and his country. He was born in Orlu, a city in Imo State, to a duty officer, Mr. David Okwaraji and a headmistress, Lady Janet Okwaraji on the 19th of May, 1964. Samuel Okwaraji attended WTC Practicing School, Enugu for his primary education and Ezeachi Secondary School, Orlu, Imo State. Sam Okwaraji also attended Federal Government College in Orlu and finally completed his studies in law in the University of Rome, Italy, but did not take up the profession after schooling. While bagging his masters in international law in the University of Rome, Samuel Okwaraji played for NK Dinamo Zagreb, VfB Stuttgart and SSV Ulm 1846 where he performed exceptionally. Continue reading Samuel Okwaraji- Life, Career and Death→
The Yoruba people are one of the three major ethnic groups in Nigeria. They inhabit the south western part of the country and are the second most populated of the three major Nigerian ethnic groups, followed by the Igbos of eastern Nigeria. The Yoruba people are well known for their strong desire for peace and unity at home and in diaspora. They are also known for their rich cultures and traditions which include: lifestyle, religions, dressings, beliefs and so on. The Yorubas, also called ‘Omo Odua’ (offspring of Oduduwa- the progenitor of the Yoruba tribe), cherish every aspect of their cultures and traditions; none is being overlooked or handled with less importance and care because they practice them daily.
Ethics is a vital aspect of the Yoruba culture. The Yoruba attach great importance to ethical significance because they believe that this aspect of their culture is highly essential to every individual’s life. They also believe that it will be easy for someone with good ethics to succeed in life and the other way round for the one who lacks it. Therefore, the Yoruba people use all means to teach their children good manners and morals and how to use them in the society. Some of the means they use are: storytelling, songs, poetry, oral lecturing and so on. Continue reading Yoruba Culture and the Left Hand→
What is power? Power is defined as the ability to affect someone’s behaviour through some sanctions.
(According to C. C Dibie’s Essential Government, “Power is the capacity to affect another’s behaviour by the threat of sanction. The sanctions may be negative or positive. Thus, a political leader may have the ability to control the actions of others by promising those who support him wealth or honours, or he may threaten to deny such rewards to those who oppose him. However, sanctions are used if there is non-compliance”.)
The Edos of Benin inhabit the south western part of modern day Nigeria and are close neighbors of the Yorubas with whom they claim the same origin. The Benin pre-colonial system of government, like the Yorubas was monarchical. The Oba (a title used for the king of Benin) was the theoretical and political leader of the empire with absolute authority no one dares to challenge. Unlike a Yoruba king, he was not bounded by the constitution or laws of the land. He solely wielded the legislative, executive and judiciary powers of the empire. Howbeit, he was assisted in the administering the empire by a many councils and officials. The highest of the councils were the Uzama who advised the King on important matters concerning the affairs of the empire. But unlike a Yoruba king, he was not subjected to their advice and decisions; he could heed to them and dispose them at will. Besides advising the King, the Uzama were also saddled with the responsibility of crowning a new king (the eldest surviving son of the previous king).
Apart from the Uzama, there were a number of officials who helped the Oba in administering the empire. These included officials like ‘Unwagwe’ and ‘Eribo’ who were in charge of the empire’s trade. They monitored the flow of goods in the empire and advice the king on how the economy of the empire can be improved. There were also the gold and brass-smiths that took care of the empire’s craft and industry. Other notable and important officials were the ‘Ezomo’, ‘Ebohon’, ‘Iyasere’ and the ‘Ologbosere’, the chief priest. All these officials had specific roles they played in the administration of the empire.
Furthermore, the Benin Empire was divided into two classes; they were the nobles and the commoners. Traditional chiefs and administrative officials were mostly chosen from the noble class. These included: the ‘Iwebo’ who were in charge of the regalia; the ‘Ibiwe’ who supervised the king’s harem and the ‘Iwagwe’ who provided the king with personal attendants. On the other hand, the commoners were not involved in the administration of the empire. Their main concern was providing food for their communities. Each of the commoners owns a piece of land he/she cultivated. They were also hired by the nobles to work on their farms for a period of time in return for money, a piece of land or sometimes cancellation of debts.
Ola Abiola; A Textbook of West African History; 3rd ed.; Ado-Ekiti; Omolayo Standard Press & Bookshops co. (Nig.) Ltd.; 1984
Idanre hill, also known as Oke-Idanre, is one of the leading natural tourist destinations in Nigeria. The Idanre hill is located in Idanre town which is about 24 kilometers southwest of Akure, the capital city of Ondo State, Nigeria. The beautiful and wonderful Idanre hill has been a home to the people of Idanre for over 150 years. History of Idanre has it that the early settlers of the Idanre people lived high up in the hill in a place now known as Old Oke-Idanre. Continue reading Idanre Hill- Heights of Natural Wonders→
After the Fulanis systematically captured and made Ilorin their territory, they sacked the old Oyo Empire in 1835/1636. They were still not satisfied with their victory; they wished to extend their rule deep into the heart of Yoruba land. Thus in 1840, they set to capture Osogbo, a Yoruba town. The Fulanis, under the command of Ali, the Hausa balogun of Ilorin, laid siege on Osogbo. When the king of Osogbo realized that the Ilorins were too strong for the Osogbo army, he summoned the Ibadans for help. Ibadan immediately sent some auxiliaries to Osogbo under the command of Obele alias Mobitan, and AladeAbimpagun. As this force could not stop the Ilorins, another contingent was sent to Osogbo under a more experienced leader. But still the Ilorins won every battle and gained more ground. Continue reading The Osogbo War of 1840→
After Are-Ona-Kakanfo Afonja was murdered and Ilorin was seized by the Fulani Jamma, Alimi (the son of Abdul Salam) became the first Fulani ruler of Ilorin not with the title of Oba or Baale but Emir which solidifies that the total control of Ilorin, a Yoruba town had gone to the Fuanis. In a bid to restore the control of Ilorin in the hands of the Yorubas, Toyeje, the Baale of Ogbomoso and the new Are-Ona-Kakanfo, led an attack on Ilorin to expel the Fulanis, but unfortunately, he failed drastically. After sometime, between the months of March and April (when locus fruit i.e Igba was ripe for harvest), another attempt was made by the Yorubas to chase the intruding Fulanis out of Ilorin but failed again. Continue reading The Mugbamugba War- Second Attempt of a Failed Expulsion→