By Daniel Tyokua
Igbo Journalists have sought for special recognition of the first indigenous president of Nigeria, late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe.
The Journalists of Southeast Nigeria origin, IZUNWANNE, called for the declaration of November 16 as public holiday in honour of the first indigenous President of Nigeria, late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, the Owelle of Onitsha.
In a letter they sent to the Southeast Governors’ Forum, signed by Sir Abuchi Anuenyiagu chairman of the forum and elder Ngwuoke Ngwuoke, said Azikiwe had laid a historical background for Nigeria and the world.
The forum recall that Nigeria attained Republican status on November 16, 1963, which coincided with the birthday of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe.
They avered that “It’s is a known fact that Dr Azikiwe, as President and Commander – in – Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, was instrumental to the inauguration of November 16 as Nigeria’s Republic Day. The concept was to make that day, a National Day.”
The union regretted that 57 years after, the significant historical omission is yet to be addressed.
IZUNWANNE listed reasons why Zik should be honoured.
It noted that Zik was the symbol of Nigeria’s nationhood, considering his leading role in the pre- independence struggle for self-rule by Nigeria; his initiative to end the civil war, and his great ideas and liberal ideals that never discriminated against any Nigerian tribe.
According to them, it is on the basis of all these that IZUNWANNE urged the Southeast Governors to support and spearhead the initiative for the dedication, recognition and declaration of November 16 (being the birthday anniversary of Zik) as a National Day, to be marked as a public holiday in honour of Zik.