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Declare November 16 national holiday – Anambra Legislature urges FG

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ANAMBRA State House of Assembly has called on President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) to declare November 16, the birthday of late, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, a national holiday in honour of the late president.

The motion was  moved by member, representing Anambra East Constituency, Obinna Chris Emeneka,  and seconded by the majority leader, member representing Awka South, Nnamdi Okafor.

In leading the debate, the chief sponsor, Emeneka  submitted that the motion was borne with the fifth stanza of the National Anthem in mind, “the labours of our hero’s past shall never be in vain.”

He noted that until Zik’s death, he was the famous Nigerian, West Africa’s nationalist. He was the third general of our dear country between1960 and 1963.

When Nigeria became a Republic, the great Zik of Africa became the first president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The noble rule and other contributions of Zik cannot be over emphasised. A role that earned him a national father figure. A man with a great history and antecedence.”

They  described him as one who introduced the first indigenous bank in Nigeria, African Continental Bank (ACB); politician of repute who joined politics through the Nigeria Youth Movement (NYM). A legislator who was the first senate president of Nigeria from January to October 1960 and mentored a lot of people including the legislator himself. Adding; “just as June 12 was declared a national holiday, we are asking for November 16 to be declared also.  He deserves to be more recognised in this country.”

Continuing, “Zik was a great journalist and an editor who propagated national unity through journalism even when ndi-Igbo were agitating for Biafra. He was also a sports lover who represented Nigeria at the United State of America in the Olympics. He was named into the council of United Kingdom. I am extending this motion to the legislators at the national assembly (Senate and House of Representatives) for them to extend it to  President Muhammadu Buhari.”

There will be no Nigeria without great Zik. I also want to call on Governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano to start from Anambra State and declare that day a holiday in the state after which it will be extended to national level.

Reacting to the motion, Speaker, Anambra State House of Assembly, Uche Victor Okafor noted that Zik had actually given it to Nigeria.

It is quit pathetic that Owelle Zik, a man whose ideas and philosophy had kept this country in unity till date, and we are still asking that a date be set aside for his public holiday. This is something that should have been done earlier before now. It is belated. I am happy that the chief mover of the motion and other distinguished legislators have taken up the struggle.

Member representing Onitsha North 1 constituency, Douglas Nwachukwu Egbum while supporting the motion said “the great Zik of Africa is an architect of modern civilisation, democratic values in Nigeria and deserves every honour from Nigerians.”

It will be recalled that on January 24th, 2019 when  President Buhari visited Onitsha, Anambra State and inaugurated  Nnamdi Azikiwe’s Mausolem, completed by Mr. President, he also described the late Nnamdi Azikiwe’s Mausolem as a symbol of national unity; while Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano alongside other Nigerians requested for November 16, the birthday of Azikiwe to be declared a national holiday.

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