Father of Nigeria State? Between Enahoro, Akintola, Fanikayode and Tafawa Balewa


EnahoroIn 1953, Enahoro became the first to move the motion for Nigeria’s independence which was eventually granted in 1960 after several political setbacks and defeats in parliament. Enahoro has been regarded by academics and many Nigerians as the “Father of Nigeria State”. However, his motion for Nigeria’s Independence suffered setbacks in parliament on several occasions with the northern members of parliament staging a walkout as a consequence of the motion. Notwithstanding the defeat in parliament, a popular movement was started on account of this motion and the pressure was now built up against colonialism and there was agitations for independence for Nigeria, or at least self governance. S.L. Akintola attempted to revisit the motion for Nigeria’s independence in 1957 and though his motion was passed by parliament it was not acquiesced to by the British colonial authorities and it therefore failed. In August 1958, Remi Fani-Kayode revisited Enahoro’s motion and the motion was again passed by parliament but its date was not approved by the British. Fani-Kayode’s motion had called for independence to be granted to Nigeria on April 2, 1960. Nigeria was granted independence on October 1, 1960. In furtherance of the ever recurring Enahoro’s Motion, a further motion was proposed to Parliament by Sir Tafawa Balewa in 1959 and it was passed. As a consequence of the sustained pressure, the colonial governor announced the decision of the Queen of England to grant her independence in 1960.

Apart from Tafawa Balewa all the other three reported to Chief Awolowo and can we confirm Awolowo as the true father of ┬áNigeria nation? Or the British never granted the request of Awolowo’s group until the North was ready which must be the reason why the motion from Balewa was granted and those from the Western Region led by Enahoro, Akintola and Fanikayode were all rejected?

Can we still call Enahoro the father of Nigeria State or Tafawa Balewa?


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