1 January 2014

Nigeria: Blow the Horn, Nigeria Is 100!


What were the motives of old man Sir Frederick Lugard when he relinquished his juicy post as the British colonial Governor of Hong Kong in 1912, set sail for London to receive a brief and then set said for Nigeria expressly to amalgamate its Northern and Southern protectorates as well as the Colony of Lagos into one united Nigeria?

He was not motivated by African patriotism, that's for sure, or the desire to mould a multi-ethnic nation into one American style Melting Pot. Luckily for us and for history, Lord Lugard set out his exact motives in a lengthy report to the Colonial Office. We cannot reproduce all of it, but we reproduce some excerpts in our Special Centenary Section so you can get some idea.

Lugard and the Colonial Office had their own motives but as with most things human, the Nigeria enterprise that they started grew and grew and soon acquired a life of its own, not always to the expectation or the liking of the Brits. Many great men and women sprang out of Nigeria; many of them were great precisely because they worked to drive out the Brits from here. Who were the greatest of such men and women? Do your own pick from our shortlist!

100 years of Nigeria is a very long story. Even Ibn Battuta cannot capture all of it in his books of travel. For the purposes of this Centenary Section however, we present to you, our dear readers, a select serving of some places that played very important roles in the last 100 years of Nigeria's history. They include Calabar's Hope Waddell Institute, Kaduna's first motor bridge, the old Northern capital of Zungeru, and the bad lands left over from tin mining in the Jos Plateau. We will feature more stories and more interviews with men who saw it all in the next few days in Daily Trust and its sister publications, Weekly and Sunday Trust.

Come on, blow the big trumpet! Nigeria is 100 today! Hurray!

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