Sir, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa was the first and only Prime Minister of Nigeria.
He was born on December 1912 in Bauchi, the then Northern Nigeria in what is now known as Bauchi State, to Bageri Muslim, the then district head of the Bauchi divisional district of Lere.
Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa’s earliest education was at a Koranic School located in Bauchi, Bauchi State. Later, Balewa moved to the Katsina College, where he had his secondary education and obtained his teaching certificate. After Balewa got his teaching Certificate, he got a teaching job at the Bauchi Middle School.
Abubakar Tafawa Balewa furthered his education overseas at the Institute of Education, University of London after which he returned to Nigeria to assume the position of Inspector of Schools under the colonial government.
Balewa joined politics in 1946. He contested and was elected as a member of the Northern Nigerian House of Assembly. In 1947, he became a legislator at Nigeria’s Legislative Assembly.
Balewa became chief minister in 1957, which enabled him to form a coalition government between the Northern People’s Congress, NPC and the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons, NCNC led by Nnamdi Azikiwe.
In 1960, Balewa was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II as a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire and was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Sheffield.
He retained his post as Prime Minister of independent Nigeria (formerly called Chief Minister before Independence) and he was reelected in 1964.
He died on January 15, 1966 during the bloody military coup carried out by Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogu and his colleagues that overthrew his government.
He is immortalized on the Five Naira Nigerian Currency note.