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Rachel Oniga Rachel Oniga 1957 - 2021 Nollywood actress
Bisi Komolafe Bisi Komolafe 1986 - 2012 Actress, film director, film producer
Ghali Umar Na'Abba Ghali Umar Na'Abba 1958 - 2023 Speaker of the House of Representatives
Joe Tamuno-Bididamaa Tom West Joe Tamuno-Bididamaa Tom West 1965 - 2006 Nollywood actor
Alex Uruemu Ibru Alex Uruemu Ibru 1945 - 2011 Founder and publisher of The Guardian newspaper
Benjamin Adekunle Benjamin Adekunle 1936 - 2014 Civil War commander
Chinua Achebe Chinua Achebe 1930 - 2013 Novelist and professor
Dejumo Lewis Dejumo Lewis 1943 - 2023 Actor
Justus Esiri Justus Esiri 1942 - 2013 Actor
Abdulkadir Kure Abdulkadir Kure 1956 - 2017 Governor of Niger State
Abiola Ajimobi Abiola Ajimobi 1949 - 2020 Governor of Oyo State
Ayodele Awojobi Ayodele Awojobi 1937 - 1984 Mechanical engineer, social activist, author
Paul Unongo Paul Unongo 1935 - 2022 Minister of Power and Steel
Cyprian Ekwensi Cyprian Ekwensi 1921 - 2007 Novelist, short-story writer, children's author
Remi Oyo Remi Oyo 1952 - 2014 Journalist and presidential spokesperson
Funsho Williams Funsho Williams 1948 - 2006 Civil engineer and commissioner
Yinka Craig Yinka Craig 1948 - 2008 Sports commentator and analyst
Clara Oshiomhole Clara Oshiomhole 1956 - 2010 Civil servant
Ada Ameh Ada Ameh 1974 - 2022 Actress
Saliu Adetunji Saliu Adetunji 1928 - 2022 Olubadan of Ibadan
Romanus Amuta Romanus Amuta 1943 - 2022 New Masquerade actor
Goldie Harvey Goldie Harvey 1981 - 2013 Singer, rapper, songwriter, television personality
Chris Mba Chris Mba 1959 - 2023 Pop singer
Benjamin Chukwudum Nnamdi Anyene Benjamin Chukwudum Nnamdi Anyene 1951 - 2019 Commissioner for Health in Anambra State
Muna Obiekwe Muna Obiekwe 1979 - 2015 Actor
Festus Iyayi Festus Iyayi 1947 - 2013 Writer and academic
Peter Enahoro Peter Enahoro 1935 - 2023 Journalist and author
Nnamdi Benjamin Azikiwe Nnamdi Benjamin Azikiwe 1904 - 1996 First president of Nigeria
Sammie Okposo Sammie Okposo 1971 - 2022 Gospel artist
Zara Gretti Zara Gretti 1983 - 2014 Singer, rapper, songwriter, television personality
Ja'afar Mahmud Adam Ja'afar Mahmud Adam 1960 - 2007 Salafist Islamic scholar
Dan Nkoloagu Dan Nkoloagu 1937 - 2021 Nollywood actor
Tayo Aderinokun Tayo Aderinokun 1955 - 2011 CEO of Guaranty Trust Bank
Didi Adodo Didi Adodo 1966 - 2021 Labour leader and former commissioner
Muyiwa Osinuga Muyiwa Osinuga 1977 - 2016 Singer and songwriter
Sam Loco Efe Sam Loco Efe 1945 - 2011 Actor, producer, director
Gani Fawehinmi Gani Fawehinmi 1938 - 2009 Human and civil rights lawyer
Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu 1933 - 2011 President of Biafra
Yemi Tella Yemi Tella 1951 - 2007 Football coach
Joe Erico Joe Erico 1948 - 2021 Goalkeeper and assistant coach
Nwafor Orizu Nwafor Orizu 1914 - 1999 President of the Nigerian Senate
Diepreye Alamieyeseigha Diepreye Alamieyeseigha 1952 - 2015 Governor of Bayelsa State
Pius Adesanmi Pius Adesanmi 1972 - 2019 Professor of literature and African studies
Sunday Akanbi Akinola Sunday Akanbi Akinola 1942 - 2023 Actor and comedian
Patrick Fakoya Patrick Fakoya 1993 - 2022 Musician and reality TV star
Funmilayo Olayinka Funmilayo Olayinka 1960 - 2013 Deputy Governor of Ekiti State
Hubert Ogunde Hubert Ogunde 1916 - 1990 Theatre manager and musician
Joseph Wayas Joseph Wayas 1941 - 2021 Senate President of Nigeria
Alhaji Ahmed Hassan Jumare Alhaji Ahmed Hassan Jumare 1950 - 2021 Former Speaker of Kaduna State House of Assembly
Afeez Agoro Oladimeji Afeez Agoro Oladimeji 1975 - 2023 TV actor
Murphy Afolabi Murphy Afolabi 1974 - 2023 Yoruba movie actor and filmmaker
Moses Olaiya Moses Olaiya 1936 - 2018 Comedy and drama
Bukky Ajayi Bukky Ajayi 1934 - 2016 Nollywood actress and television personality
Cindy Amadi Cindy Amadi 1991 - 2023 Actress
Ossy Chinedu Prestige Ossy Chinedu Prestige 1965 - 2021 Businessman and legislator
Ras Kimono Ras Kimono 1958 - 2018 Afrobeat pioneer and political dissident
Oliver De Coque Oliver De Coque 1947 - 2008 Igbo highlife music
Folake Aremu Folake Aremu 1960 - 2021 Actress
Dan Maraya Jos Dan Maraya Jos 1946 - 2015 Hausa griot and kontigi player
Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola 1937 - 1998 Business tycoon and presidential candidate
Toju Augustus Ejueyitchie Toju Augustus Ejueyitchie 1952 - 2021 Managing Director of Premier Records and Music
Sadiq Abubakar Daba Sadiq Abubakar Daba 1951 - 2021 Actor and broadcaster
Maryam Babangida Maryam Babangida 1948 - 2009 First Lady of Nigeria
Dennis Chukude Osadebay Dennis Chukude Osadebay 1911 - 1994 Premier of Mid-Western Region of Nigeria
Ahmed Joda Ahmed Joda 1930 - 2021 Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Industries
Adamu Abdu-Kafarati Adamu Abdu-Kafarati 1954 - 2021 Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria
James Ocholi James Ocholi 1960 - 2016 Minister of State for Labour and Productivity
Chief Anthony Eromosele Enahoro Chief Anthony Eromosele Enahoro 1923 - 2010 Journalist, nationalist, pro-democracy activist
Aminu Isah Kontagora Aminu Isah Kontagora 1956 - 2021 military administrator of Benue and Kano states
Festus Okotie-Eboh Festus Okotie-Eboh 1912 - 1966 Finance minister of Nigeria
Olikoye Ransome-Kuti Olikoye Ransome-Kuti 1927 - 2003 Paediatrician, activist and health minister
Kudirat Abiola Kudirat Abiola 1951 - 1996 Pro-democracy campaigner
Chikezie Uwazie Chikezie Uwazie 1978 - 2023 Nollywood actor
Michael Iheonukara Okpara Michael Iheonukara Okpara 1920 - 1984 Premier of Eastern Nigeria
Peace Anyiam-Osigwe Peace Anyiam-Osigwe 1969 - 2023 Founder of Africa Movie Academy Awards
Adebayo Alao Akala Adebayo Alao Akala 1950 - 2022 Governor of Oyo State
Tony Momoh Tony Momoh 1939 - 2021 Minister of Information and Culture
Rebecca Adebimpe Adekola Rebecca Adebimpe Adekola 1971 - 2002 Actress
Thomas Adesanya Ige Grillo Thomas Adesanya Ige Grillo 1927 - 1998 Anatomy professor
Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Abubakar Tafawa Balewa 1912 - 1966 Prime minister of Nigeria
Ojo Arowosafe Ojo Arowosafe 1957 - 2023 Nollywood actor and filmmaker
Abdullahi Ibrahim Abdullahi Ibrahim 1939 - 2021 Federal Minister of Justice
Adebayo Faleti Adebayo Faleti 1921 - 2017 Actor, poet, broadcaster, translator
Adebayo Adedeji Adebayo Adedeji 1930 - 2018 Executive Secretary of the UNECA
Abba Kyari Abba Kyari 1952 - 2020 Chief of Staff to the President of Nigeria
Ernest Shonekan Ernest Shonekan 1936 - 2022 Interim head of state of Nigeria
John Nmadu Yisa-Doko John Nmadu Yisa-Doko 1942 - 2012 Chief of the Air Staff, Nigerian Air Force
Obinna Nwafor Obinna Nwafor 1965 - 2023 Nollywood actor and producer
Jim Lawson Maduike Jim Lawson Maduike 1958 - 2021 Actor
Osinachi Nwachukwu Osinachi Nwachukwu 1979 - 2022 Gospel musician
Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III 1938 - 2022 Monarch of the Yoruba town of Oyo
Tunde Idiagbon Tunde Idiagbon 1943 - 1999 Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters
Tafa Oloyede Tafa Oloyede 1953 - 2022 Yoruba theatre artist
Alhaji Haruna Ishola Alhaji Haruna Ishola 1919 - 1983 Apala musician
Olusola Saraki Olusola Saraki 1933 - 2012 Senator and Senate Leader
Oladapo Olaitan Olaonipekun Oladapo Olaitan Olaonipekun 1984 - 2010 Rapper, singer
Babatunde Olatunji Babatunde Olatunji 1927 - 2003 Drummer, social activist, recording artist
Samuel Aliyu Ajayi Samuel Aliyu Ajayi 1910 - 1994 Regional Minister of State
Oba Sir Musendiku Buraimoh Adeniji Adele II Oba Sir Musendiku Buraimoh Adeniji Adele II 1893 - 1964 Oba of Lagos
Ahmadu Bello Ahmadu Bello 1910 - 1966 Premier of Northern Nigeria
Salihu Ibrahim Salihu Ibrahim 1935 - 2018 Chief of Army Staff
Adedigba Mukaila Adedigba Mukaila 1950 - 2023 Nollywood actor and director
Mamman Jiya Vatsa Mamman Jiya Vatsa 1940 - 1986 Minister of the Federal Capital Abuja
Johnson Thomas Umunnakwe Aguiyi-Ironsi Johnson Thomas Umunnakwe Aguiyi-Ironsi 1924 - 1966 First military head of state of Nigeria
Aare Boluwatife Akin-Olugbade Aare Boluwatife Akin-Olugbade 1956 - 2021 lawyer and Rolls-Royce collector
T.M. Aluko T.M. Aluko 1918 - 2010 Novelist, playwright, poet, town planner
Amaka Igwe Amaka Igwe 1963 - 2014 Writer and director
Nsikak Eduok Nsikak Eduok 1947 - 2021 Chief of the Air Staff of the Nigerian Air Force
Aminu Kano Aminu Kano 1920 - 1983 Teacher and leader of socialist movement
Alhaji Salihu Tanko Alhaji Salihu Tanko 1930 - 2021 Emir of Kagara
Chinedu Nwadike Chinedu Nwadike 1983 - 2022 Gospel singer and actor
Folabi Olumide Folabi Olumide 1936 - 2021 first Vice-Chancellor of Lagos State University
Oronto Douglas Oronto Douglas 1966 - 2015 Human rights lawyer and presidential adviser
Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti 1900 - 1978 Educator and political leader
Samuel Ladoke Akintola Samuel Ladoke Akintola 1910 - 1966 Premier of Western Nigeria
Adekunle Fajuyi Adekunle Fajuyi 1926 - 1966 Military governor of Western Nigeria
Dora Akunyili Dora Akunyili 1954 - 2014 Director-general of NAFDAC
Abdullahi Dikko Inde Abdullahi Dikko Inde 1960 - 2021 Comptroller-General of Nigerian Customs Service
Chris Alli Chris Alli 1944 - 2023 Army chief and governor
Christopher Gbelokoto Okojie Christopher Gbelokoto Okojie 1920 - 2006 Health Minister of Nigeria
Pa Chris Ajilo Pa Chris Ajilo 1929 - 2021 Highlife singer and producer
Gbenga Adeboye Gbenga Adeboye 1959 - 2003 Comedian and radio presenter
Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe 1949 - 2021 professor of systems engineering
Chinedu Udoji Chinedu Udoji 1989 - 2018 Midfielder
Victor Samuel Leonard Malu Victor Samuel Leonard Malu 1947 - 2017 Chief of Army Staff
Alvan Ikoku Alvan Ikoku 1900 - 1971 Educationist and politician
Sani Abacha Sani Abacha 1943 - 1998 Head of state of Nigeria
Alhaji Yahaya Madawaki Alhaji Yahaya Madawaki 1907 - 1998 Minister of Health
Herbert Macaulay Herbert Macaulay 1864 - 1946 Politician,surveyor,architect,journalist,musician
Franca Afegbua Franca Afegbua 1943 - 2023 Senator of Bendel North
Evan Enwerem Evan Enwerem 1935 - 2007 President of the Nigerian Senate
Jaja Anucha Ndubuisi Wachuku Jaja Anucha Ndubuisi Wachuku 1918 - 1996 First Speaker of Nigerian House of Representatives
Maitama Sule Maitama Sule 1929 - 2017 Federal Commissioner of Public Complaints
Sam Obi Sam Obi 1961 - 2021 Speaker of Delta State house of assembly
Cynthia Okereke Cynthia Okereke 1960 - 2023 Nollywood actress
Dominic Ignatius Ekandem Dominic Ignatius Ekandem 1917 - 1995 Catholic cardinal and archbishop
Christopher Ifekandu Okigbo Christopher Ifekandu Okigbo 1932 - 1967 Poet, teacher, librarian
Ndubuisi Godwin Kanu Ndubuisi Godwin Kanu 1943 - 2021 Military officer and state governor
Tai Solarin Tai Solarin 1916 - 1994 Founder of Mayflower School
Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Barrister Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Barrister 1948 - 2010 Fuji music pioneer
Margaret Ekpo Margaret Ekpo 1914 - 2006 Women's rights activist and social mobilizer
Sound Sultan Sound Sultan 1976 - 2021 Rapper, singer, songwriter, actor, comedian
Ken Saro-Wiwa Ken Saro-Wiwa 1941 - 1995 Writer, television producer
Lateef Kayode Jakande Lateef Kayode Jakande 1929 - 2021 Governor of Lagos State and Minister of Works
Demola Seriki Demola Seriki 1959 - 2022 Nigerian ambassador to Spain
Olumide Bakare Olumide Bakare 1953 - 2017 Actor, television personality
Ibrahim Coomassie Ibrahim Coomassie 1942 - 2018 Inspector General of Police
Olusegun Kokumo Agagu Olusegun Kokumo Agagu 1948 - 2013 Governor of Ondo State
Philip Effiong Philip Effiong 1925 - 2003 Military officer and Biafran leader
Sonny Okosun Sonny Okosun 1947 - 2008 Leader of the Ozzidi band
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Top 10 Died Influential People

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  • 1. Ahmadu Bello

    Died: 1966 A.D
    Slogan: Work and worship

    Ahmadu Bello was a conservative Nigerian statesman who masterminded Northern Nigeria through the independence of Nigeria in 1960 and served as its first and only premier from 1954 until his assassination in 1966. He was also the leader of the Northern People's Congress, the ruling party at the time consisting of the Hausa–Fulani elite. He had previously been elected into the regional legislature and later became a government minister. A member of the Sokoto Caliphate dynasty, he made attempts at becoming Sultan of Sokoto before later joining politics. He was a descendant of Uthman dan Fodio, the founder of the Sokoto Caliphate, and a grandson of Sultan Atiku na Raba. He received Islamic education at home, where he learnt the Qur'an, Islamic jurisprudence and the traditions of Muhammad. He later attended Sokoto Provincial School and the Katsina Training College (now Barewa College). During his school days, he was known as Ahmadu Rabah. He finished school in 1931 and subsequently became the English teacher in Sokoto Middle School. In 1934, Bello was made the District Head of Rabah by Sultan Hassan dan Mu'azu, succeeding his brother. In 1938, he was promoted to the position of Divisional Head of Gusau and became a member of the Sultan's council. In 1938, at the age of just 28, he made attempts to become the Sultan of Sokoto but was not successful, losing to Sir Siddiq Abubakar III who reigned for 50 years until his death in 1988. The new Sultan immediately made Sir Ahmadu Bello the Sardauna (Crown Prince) of Sokoto, a chieftaincy title, and promoted him to the Sokoto Native Authority Council. These titles automatically made him the Chief Political Adviser to the Sultan. Later, he was put in charge of the Sokoto Province to oversee 47 districts and by 1944, he was back at the Sultan's Palace to work as the Chief Secretary of the State Native Administration. He entered politics in 1949 as a member of the Northern House of Assembly and a representative of the Sokoto Native Authority. In 1951, he was elected to the House of Representatives in Lagos as a member of the Northern People's Congress (NPC), a party that he helped to form. He became the first Premier of Northern Nigeria in 1954. He was a strong advocate of the modernization and unity of Northern Nigeria, and he opposed the secessionist agenda of some southern politicians. He worked to improve the education, health, agriculture, and infrastructure of the region. He also supported the establishment of the Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, the second largest university in Africa. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1959. He was assassinated on 15 January 1966 in a military coup led by Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu, an Igbo officer. He died alongside his wife, Hafsatu, and his aide, Ahmed Ben Musa. He was buried in Sokoto, and his tomb is a national monument. He is widely revered in Northern Nigeria as a visionary leader and a symbol of the region's identity and history.

  • 2. Nnamdi Benjamin Azikiwe

    Died: 1996 A.D
    Slogan: No one can do everything, but everyone can do something

    Nnamdi Azikiwe was a Nigerian statesman, revolutionary and political leader who served as the first president of Nigeria from 1963 to 1966. He was one of the foremost Nigerian and West African nationalists who fought for the independence of Nigeria from British colonial rule. He was also a journalist, educator, lawyer and sportsman. He founded and edited several newspapers, such as the West African Pilot, the Eastern Guardian and the Comet, which advocated for African nationalism and democracy. He also established the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, the first indigenous university in Nigeria. He was a founding member of the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC), which later became the National Convention of Nigerian Citizens. He served as the leader of the NCNC, the premier of the Eastern Region, the president of the Senate, the governor-general and the president of Nigeria. He was known as Zik, a nickname derived from his surname. He was also called the Zik of Africa, the Owelle of Onitsha and the Zeke the Great. He was awarded the highest national honour of Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) and the Presidential Medal of Freedom by the United States. He died of prostate cancer in 1996 and was buried in his hometown of Onitsha. He is widely regarded as the father of Nigerian nationalism and one of the most influential African leaders of the 20th century.

  • 3. Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti

    Died: 1978 A.D
    Slogan: Women are the salt of the earth

    Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was a Nigerian feminist and political leader who was the leading advocate of women’s rights in her country during the first half of the 20th century. Her parents were Christians of Yoruba descent. She was the first female student at the Abeokuta Grammar School (a secondary school), which she attended from 1914 to 1917. After teaching briefly at the school, she studied in England (1919–23), where she dropped her English names and shortened her Yoruba name to Funmilayo. Having resumed teaching at Abeokuta, she married Israel Oludotun Ransome-Kuti, an Anglican clergyman and teacher, in 1925. In 1932, when her husband became principal of the Abeokuta school, she helped organize the Abeokuta Ladies' Club (ALC), initially a civic and charitable group of mostly Western-educated Christian women. The organization gradually became more political and feminist in its orientation, and in 1944 it formally admitted market women (women vendors in Abeokuta’s open-air markets), who were generally impoverished, illiterate, and exploited by colonial authorities. In 1946 the ALC changed its name to the Abeokuta Women’s Union (AWU) and opened its membership to all women in Abeokuta. Ransome-Kuti became the first president of the AWU (1946) and headed its successor organizations until her death. Under her leadership the AWU became a national organization, renaming itself the Nigerian Women’s Union (NWU) in 1949 and the Federation of Nigerian Women’s Societies (FNWS) in 1953. The AWU initially campaigned against price controls, which drastically limited the incomes of market women, and for fair treatment of market women by the government. It also protested a special tax on women imposed by the local ruler, Sir Ladapo Ademola II. From 1947 the organization led large demonstrations against Ademola’s government, which led to his temporary abdication in 1949. The broader goals of the AWU included greater educational opportunities for women and girls, the enforcement of sanitary regulations, and the provision of health care and other social services for women. Ransome-Kuti also participated in the Nigerian independence movement, attending conferences and joining overseas delegations to discuss proposed national constitutions. She was a member of the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC), a political party that advocated for Nigeria’s self-government. She also supported the West African Students’ Union (WASU), a platform for promoting Pan-Africanist ideas and decolonization. Ransome-Kuti received the Lenin Peace Prize and was awarded membership in the Order of the Niger for her work. In her later years, she supported her sons' criticism of Nigeria's military governments. She died at the age of 77 after being wounded in a military raid on her son Fela's commune, known as the Kalakuta Republic. Ransome-Kuti's children included the musician Fela Kuti, doctor and activist Beko Ransome-Kuti, and health minister Olikoye Ransome-Kuti. She was also the grandmother of musicians Femi Kuti and Seun Kuti, and the grandniece of Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka.

  • 4. Chief Anthony Eromosele Enahoro

    Died: 2010 A.D
    Slogan: Nigeria, we hail thee

    Chief Anthony Enahoro was one of Nigeria's foremost anti-colonial and pro-democracy activists. He was born the eldest of ten children in Uromi, present-day Edo State of Nigeria. His Esan parents were Anastasius Okotako Enahoro (1900–1968) and Fidelia Victoria Inibokun née Ogbidi Okojie (1906–1969). Enahoro had a long and distinguished career in the press, politics, civil service and the pro-democracy movement. Educated at the Government School, Uromi, Government School, Owo and King's College, Lagos, Enahoro became the editor of Nnamdi Azikiwe's newspaper, the Southern Nigerian Defender, Ibadan, in 1944 at the age of 21, thus becoming Nigeria's youngest editor ever. He later became the editor of Zik's Comet, Kano, 1945–49, associate editor of West African Pilot, Lagos, and editor-in-chief of Morning Star from 1950 to 1953. In 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 the parliament. Enahoro has been regarded by academics and many Nigerians, as the "Father of Nigeria State". His initial motion for Nigeria's Independence suffered a setback in the parliament, with the northern members of the parliament staging a walkout as a consequence of the motion. Notwithstanding the defeat in the parliament, a popular movement was started on account of this motion and the pressure was now mounted against colonialism and there were agitations for independence of 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 the 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 the parliament but its date was not approved by the British. Fani-Kayode's motion had called for independence to be granted to Nigeria on 2 April 1960. In furtherance of Enahoro's original motion, a further motion was proposed to the parliament by Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa in 1959, and it was passed. As a consequence of the sustained pressure, the colonial governor announced the decision of the British government to grant independence in 1960. Nigeria was granted independence on 1st October 1960. Enahoro was a prominent member of the Action Group, a political party led by Obafemi Awolowo. He served as a minister of home affairs in the Western Region and later as a federal commissioner for information and labour under the military regime of Yakubu Gowon. He was also involved in the negotiations for ending the Nigerian Civil War. Enahoro was arrested and charged with treasonable felony by the government of Aguiyi Ironsi in 1966, along with Awolowo and other Action Group leaders. He escaped from prison and fled to the United Kingdom, where he sought political asylum. However, the British government decided to extradite him back to Nigeria, despite protests from the opposition Labour Party and human rights groups. Enahoro was tried and sentenced to 15 years in prison, but was later released in 1967 after Gowon took over power. Enahoro remained active in politics and civil society after his release. He founded the Movement for National Reformation, a pro-democracy group that advocated for a sovereign national conference to address the issues of Nigeria's political structure and governance. He also participated in the National Democratic Coalition, an opposition alliance that challenged the military dictatorship of Sani Abacha in the 1990s. He was arrested and detained several times by the Abacha regime for his involvement in the pro-democracy movement. He was also a delegate to the 2005 National Political Reform Conference convened by the government of Olusegun Obasanjo. Enahoro was honoured with several awards and recognitions for his contributions to Nigeria's independence and democracy. He was conferred with the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) in 1982 and the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) in 2010. He also received honorary doctorates from the University of Benin and the Benson Idahosa University. He died on 15 December 2010 at the age of 87 in Benin City, Nigeria. He was survived by his wife, Helen, and five children. He was buried in his hometown of Uromi, Edo State.

  • 5. Kudirat Abiola

    Died: 1996 A.D
    Slogan: We will not give up until we have our mandate

    Kudirat Abiola was born in 1951 in Zaria, Kaduna state. She attended Muslims Girls High School in Ijebu Ode, Ogun state. She married a business mogul, Chief MKO Abiola, at age 18 and became his second and senior wife. She was a successful business woman and a supporter of the educational programme of the Ansa-Ur-deen movement in Nigeria. She became a pro-democracy activist after the military annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election which her husband had won. She mobilised market women, students, activists and other human rights community to fight for the restoration of democracy. She was also involved in sustaining the oil workers strike action against the military government in 1994. She was assassinated on June 4, 1996, while her husband was being detained by the Nigerian Government. Her death sparked outrage and protests across the country. She remains a symbol of Nigeria's struggle for democracy. A radio station and a street corner in New York were named after her. Her husband died in 1998 under suspicious circumstances. Her daughter, Hafsat Abiola, is also a human rights and democracy activist.

  • 6. Margaret Ekpo

    Died: 2006 A.D
    Slogan: Women's solidarity is a platform to fight for the economic rights of women.

    Margaret Ekpo was a Nigerian women's rights activist and social mobilizer who was a pioneering female politician in the country's First Republic and a leading member of a class of traditional Nigerian women activists, many of whom rallied women beyond notions of ethnic solidarity. She played major roles as a grassroots and nationalist politician in the Eastern Nigerian city of Aba, in the era of a hierarchical and male-dominated movement towards independence. She was born in Creek Town, Cross River State, to the family of Okoroafor Obiasulor and Inyang Eyo Aniemikwe. Through her mother, she was a member of the royal family of King Eyo Honesty II of Creek Town. She reached standard six of the school leaving certificate in 1934. However, her goals of further education in teachers training were put on hold after the death of her father in 1934. She then started working as a pupil-teacher in elementary schools. She married a doctor, John Udo Ekpo, in 1938. He was from the Ibibio ethnic group, while she was of Igbo and Efik heritage. The couple later moved to Aba. In 1946, she had the opportunity to study abroad at what is now Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin Ireland. She earned a diploma in domestic science and on her return to Nigeria she established a Domestic Science and Sewing Institute in Aba. She was in the woman’s rights activist. Her first direct participation in political ideas and association was in 1945. Her husband was indignant with the colonial administrators' treatment of indigenous Nigerian doctors but as a civil servant, he could not attend meetings to discuss the matter. Margaret Ekpo then attended meetings in place of her husband, the meetings were organized to discuss the discriminatory practices of the colonial administration in the city and to fight cultural and racial imbalance in administrative promotions. She later attended a political rally and was the only woman at the rally, which saw fiery speeches from Mbonu Ojike, Nnamdi Azikiwe and Herbert Macaulay. By the end of the decade she had organized a Market Women Association in Aba to unionize market women in the city. She used the association to promote women's solidarity as a platform to fight for the economic rights of women, economic protections and expansionary political rights of women. She also became active in Nigeria's struggle against colonialism, joining the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons party. The party later nominated Ekpo as a special member of the influential regional House of Chiefs to represent women. After Nigeria's independence from Britain in 1960, Ekpo became an elected politician in the Eastern Regional House of Assembly. She was the first woman in Aba, and one of the few female politicians in the country, to be elected to such an office. As a politician, Ekpo continued to fight to better the economic and political situation for women, for example, by pushing for improvements to roads leading to markets. Ekpo was an elected politician until the start of the Nigerian civil war in 1967. During the war, she was detained by Biafran authorities for three years, at one point becoming quite ill for lack of adequate food. In 2001, Nigeria's then president, Olusegun Obasanjo, renamed the airport in Calabar, a city near her birthplace of Creek Town, after Ekpo as a tribute to her contribution to the advancement of the country. She died in 2006 at the age of 92.

  • 7. Obafemi Awolowo

    Died: 1987 A.D
    Slogan: Life is not a brief candle. It is a splendid torch that I want to make burn as brightly as possible

    Obafemi Awolowo was a Nigerian nationalist and statesman who played a key role in Nigeria's independence movement and post-colonial development. He was the founder of several organizations, such as the Egbe Omo Oduduwa, the Action Group, and the Unity Party of Nigeria. He was also the author of many publications, such as Path to Nigerian Freedom, Awo: The Autobiography of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and Thoughts on the Nigerian Constitution. He advocated for a federal system of government that would protect the rights and interests of the various ethnic groups and regions in Nigeria. He also implemented progressive social policies, such as free primary education, free health care, and regional infrastructure, in the Western Region, where he served as the first premier from 1954 to 1960. He was the leader of the official opposition in the federal parliament from 1959 to 1963, and later became the federal commissioner for finance and vice chairman of the Federal Executive Council during the Nigerian Civil War. He was a staunch defender of democracy and human rights, and a vocal critic of corruption and dictatorship. He ran for the presidency three times, in 1959, 1979, and 1983, but was unsuccessful. He died in 1987 at the age of 78, leaving behind a legacy of visionary leadership, intellectual excellence, and political courage.

  • 8. Herbert Macaulay

    Died: 1946 A.D
    Slogan: The greatest danger to Nigeria isn't British imperialism,it's treachery of Nigerian intelligentsia.

    Herbert Macaulay was a Nigerian nationalist, politician, surveyor, engineer, architect, journalist, and musician who is considered by many Nigerians as the founder of Nigerian nationalism. He was born in Lagos to a distinguished missionary family with roots in the abolition movement and Sierra Leone colony. He was the grandson of Samuel Ajayi Crowther, the first African bishop of the Niger Territory. He attended CMS Grammar School in Lagos and later studied civil engineering and land surveying in England. He returned to Nigeria in 1893 and worked as a surveyor of Crown lands in Lagos until 1898, when he resigned and established his own private practice. He also became involved in journalism and politics, founding the Lagos Daily News and the Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP), the first political party in Nigeria. He opposed British colonial rule and fought for the rights of indigenous Nigerians. He exposed the corruption and exploitation of the British administration and advocated for self-government and democracy. He formed alliances with other nationalist leaders such as Nnamdi Azikiwe and Obafemi Awolowo and co-founded the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC), which became the dominant political party in Nigeria after World War II. He died in 1946, a year before the NCNC won the first elections in Nigeria. He is widely regarded as the father of Nigerian nationalism and one of the most influential figures in Nigerian history.

  • 9. Murtala Ramat Muhammed

    Died: 1976 A.D
    Slogan: With all due respect, sir, I think we should put the interest of the country before any other thing.

    Murtala Muhammed was a Nigerian general who led the 1966 Nigerian counter-coup in overthrowing the Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi military regime and featured prominently during the Nigerian Civil War. He ruled over Nigeria from 29 July 1975 until his assassination on 13 February 1976. He was known for his reform policies and anti-corruption measures, as well as his role in the creation of 12 new states in Nigeria. He also initiated the process of returning the country to civilian rule. He was assassinated by a group of soldiers led by Lt. Col. Buka Suka Dimka, who attempted to overthrow his government. He was succeeded by his deputy, Olusegun Obasanjo, who completed the transition to democracy. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential and charismatic leaders in Nigerian history.

  • 10. Ernest Shonekan

    Died: 2022 A.D
    Slogan: I am committed to restoring peace and stability to the country.

    Ernest Shonekan was a Nigerian lawyer and statesman who served as the interim head of state of Nigeria from 26 August 1993 to 17 November 1993. He was appointed by General Ibrahim Babangida after the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential elections. He was the first head of state in Nigeria to be appointed rather than elected or installed by a coup. He was also the first civilian head of state since the end of the Second Republic in 1983. He faced a political crisis following the election annulment and was unable to control the military, which led to his overthrow by General Sani Abacha. He was titled Abese of Egbaland from 1981 and received several national and international honours. Prior to his political career, Shonekan was the chairman and chief executive of the United African Company of Nigeria, a large Nigerian conglomerate. He was also a prominent member of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. He died in Lagos at the age of 85.

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