Who Is The First President In Nigeria?

Nigeria is an African country with a rich history that dates back to pre-colonial times. The country has had a number of leaders who have played significant roles in shaping the nation's political landscape. One of the most important leaders in Nigerian history is the first president. This article will explore the life and legacy of Nigeria's first president, and how his leadership has influenced the country's development.

Table of Contents

Pre-Independence Nigeria

Before Nigeria gained independence in 1960, the country was under British colonial rule. The country was divided into three regions, each with its own government. The northern region was predominantly Muslim, while the southern regions were mainly Christian. The country was not unified and there was a lot of tension between the regions.

Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa

Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa was Nigeria's first prime minister and first president. He was born in 1912 in Bauchi State, Nigeria. He was a teacher and journalist before he entered politics. Balewa was a member of the Northern People's Congress (NPC), one of the major political parties at the time.

Path to Leadership

Balewa's political career began in the 1940s when he was elected to the Bauchi Native Authority. In 1948, he became a member of the Northern House of Assembly. In 1952, he became the Minister of Works and in 1957, he became the Minister of Transport. In 1959, he was appointed as the first prime minister of Nigeria, leading the country to independence on October 1, 1960.

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Achievements as President

As president, Balewa implemented a number of policies that helped to improve the country's economy and infrastructure. Some of his achievements include:


Balewa was a firm believer in agriculture as a means of growing the economy. During his tenure, he introduced policies that encouraged farmers to increase their production, such as providing them with loans and better access to markets.


Balewa recognized the importance of education in the country's development. He invested heavily in education, building new schools and improving the quality of education in the country.


Under Balewa's leadership, Nigeria experienced significant growth in infrastructure development. He built new roads, bridges, and railways, which helped to connect the country's regions.

International Relations

Balewa was a strong advocate for Nigeria's foreign policy. He established diplomatic relations with many countries around the world, including the United States, the Soviet Union, and China.


Unfortunately, Balewa's presidency was cut short when he was overthrown in a military coup on January 15, 1966. He was assassinated along with other political leaders, and his body was never recovered.


Balewa's legacy lives on in Nigeria's history. He is remembered as a visionary leader who worked to unite the country and improve the lives of its citizens. His contributions to education, agriculture, and infrastructure development have had a lasting impact on the country's development.

Final Thoughts

Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa was Nigeria's first president and a significant figure in the country's history. His legacy has had a lasting impact on the country's development, and his contributions to education, agriculture, and infrastructure development have helped to shape the nation's economy. Balewa's vision for a united Nigeria continues to inspire leaders and citizens alike, and his legacy serves as a reminder of the importance of strong leadership in times of change and uncertainty.

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