The 1st of October is a very significant day for all Nigerians. It is the day the West African country gained its independence from the British rule.
To celebrate Nigeria’s 60th independence day, here is a list of 5 interesting facts about Nigeria’s independence day that you need to know.
The Name ‘Nigeria’
The name ‘Nigeria’ was coined by Flora Shaw. She was the wife of Lord Lugard – a British soldier who paved the way for Nigeria’s amalgamation and became the first Governor-General of Nigeria. Flora drew inspiration from the great river Niger and combined the words ‘Niger’ and ‘Area’ to form ‘Nigeria’.
Nigerian Founding Fathers
It took a lot of passion, determination, and selflessness from many great Nigerians to make their independence day a reality in 1960. Here are just a few Nigerians who were instrumental to this cause:
- Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe – known as ‘Zik’, he was the first elected President of Nigeria after independence.
- Obafemi Awolowo – he introduced free education in the Western region of Nigeria and also founded Action Group.
- Sir Ahmadu Bello – founded the Northern People’s Party (NPP) in 1951 which later joined forces with Nnamdi Azikiwe’s NCNC party to fight for independence from the British.
Partnership With Airlines From Independence
One of the largest airlines in Africa has been associated with Nigeria since its first independence day. Ethiopian Airlines began a partnership with Nigeria in 1960 and Nigeria remains one of the largest markets for Ethiopian Airlines today!
Celebration Around The World
Ever heard the statement, ‘Nigerians need no excuse to party?’ Whenever Nigerians are gathered, there’s always a reason to party hard! Since 1991, New York has held the largest Nigerian Independence Day celebration. The parade hosts over 150,000 spectators who celebrate the independence of Nigeria through music, food, sounds, and sights.
Celebration in Nigeria
Nigerians look forward to the independence day celebration. From the live speeches of the president on television and radio to the spectacular cultural dances and songs performed by the students from different states. Most importantly the public holiday that comes with celebrating Nigeria, gives Nigerians the opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments of their country.
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