As part of effort to honour Nigeria’s pioneer president, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, the Anambra State Government has declared Tuesday, November 16, 2021, as public holiday in the state to commemorate life and times of the late leader.
It explained that the gesture was in line with the government’s commitment to celebrate post-humous birthday of the man who led Nigeria to independence on October 1, 1960, and ensure younger generations understand his sacrifices and work in uniting Nigeria.
The state’s Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C-Don Adinuba, who announced the work-free day through a statement on Monday, said that the Nigeria’s first president who was born on November 16, 1904, was named The Great Zik of Africa for his extraordinary Pan-African vision and commitment.
“It was the Great Zik of Africa who inspired such outstanding Pan-African leaders as Dr Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana who led his country to freedom from colonial rule on March 6, 1957.
“Zik, who was born in Zungeru in Niger State and grew up in Calabar and Lagos, studied various disciplines in the United States and remains the most urban, cosmopolitan and intellectually engaging of all Nigerian leaders.
“He remains an unrivalled trailblazer, having established Nigeria’s first indigenous bank, African Continental Bank and Nigeria’s first indigenous university, the University of Nigeria at Nsukka, among other monumental and farsighted achievements,” the statement said.
The commissioner also reiterated the call by the state governor, Willie Obiano, on the Federal Government to declare November 16 a national holiday in memory of Zik.
“Ghanaians observe the birthday of Dr Nkrumah as a national holiday, just the way Tanzanians observe President Julius Nyerere’s birthday as a national holiday. It is a huge national embarrassment that Nigeria has yet to declare November 16 a national holiday.”