Friday, February 24, 2012

The House Where Ojukwu Was Born

Zungeru, located in Niger state is a small town but with a loaded history. It served as the colonial capital of Northern Nigeria from 1902-1916. Indeed, it was where the Northern and Southern Nigeria were amalgamated by Lord Lugard in 1914 and therefore could be regarded as the first capital of Nigeria. This was where the late Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu was born in November, 1933.
Besides the political history to its credit, Zungeru town was the first organized modern military cantonment in the country and therefore served as the first headquarters of the Nigerian based West Africa frontier force of the British imperialists.

With this development, it goes to show that there were structures solidly put in place which served as military barracks, European cemetery, Government House and Government Reserve Area (GRA), Hospital, Treasury, Schools, Churches, Rest House, Colonial Prison, Government House bridge, old rail-road bridge, among others.

All these infrastructures have now become history as they have given way. However, some of these colonial buildings though collapsed still have their foundations intact. Some are overgrown with weeds during the raining season.

Zungeru: Home of titans
The first indigenous Governor General of Nigeria, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe was also born in Zungeru, in 1904.

Unlike Zik who last visited the town and even his birth place in 1991 during the official stone laying foundation of the Zik Centre and also on political campaigns as the president candidate of the defunct Nigeria Peoples Party (NPP), Late Ojukwu had no opportunity of living in the town at all before his parents left Zungeru back to Lagos in 1918.


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