After the death of Nigeria’s first president and nationalist Nnamdi Azikiwe in 1996, the then administration announced the construction of a mausoleum in his honour.
Though construction began, it was never completed. 22 years down the line, however, the current Federal Government has overseen the completion of the Zik Mausoleum and Conference Centre.
Popularly known as “Zik” or “Zik of Africa”, Nnamdi Azikiwe, born in 1904 in Niger State made his name in the 1930s as a devoted figure in the nationalist movement after his return to Nigeria from the United States,where he had gone to study.
He was in his early days motivated to fight towards the independence of his country and Africa as a whole after listening to a lecture given by Dr J.E. Kweggir Aggrey in 1924.
In 1944, he became the president of the National Council for Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC), a nationalist political party in Nigeria.
Between 1947 and 1960 Azikiwe, as leader of the NCNC, held a number of elected public offices including the premier of the Eastern Region, where he expanded educational facilities including laying the foundation for the University of Nigeria at Nsukka, formally opened in September 1960.
On October 1, 1960, Nigeria got its independence and Azikiwe was appointed governor-general with Sir Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa becoming the prime minister.
In 1963, Nigeria became a republic, and Azikiwe was named its first president. He held this position until he was deposed by a military coup on January 15, 1966, which led to the Nigerian-Biafran civil war.
On May 11, 1996, Azikiwe passed away in eastern Nigeria after a long illness and 22 years after his death, the political scientist, journalist, writer and a believer in democracy still has his name etched in history books as one of the pioneers of the leading figures of modern African nationalism.
Below are photos of the Mausoleum: