first president of Nigeria (1904-1996)
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- My stiffest earthly assignment is ended and my major life's work is done. My country is now free and I have been honoured to be its first indigenous head of state. What more could one desire in life?
- On Nigerian Independence (1 October 1960), quoted in "Between then and now" at The Nation Online (10 March 2009)
- The realization of New Africa can only be possible by the African cultivating spiritual balance, which leads to the practicalization of social regeneration, to realizing economic determination, becoming mentally emancipated, and ushering in a political resurgence.
- Quoted in A Life of Azikiwe by K. A. B. Jones-Quartey (Penguin, 1965), p. 116
- No matter how old an individual may be, no matter if he is young or old, if he thinks in accordance with the times he is immortal.
- Quoted in A Life of Azikiwe by K. A. B. Jones-Quartey (Penguin, 1965), p. 121
- There is plenty of room at the top because very few people care to travel beyond the average route. And so most of us seem satisfied to remain within the confines of mediocrity.
- My Odyssey (1971), No. 5
Quotes about AzikiweEdit
- Zik believed in a nation in which people are free to practice their faith without losing faith in our common patrimony, a nation of proud men and women able to hold their heads high among humanity because as Africans they possess a certain dignity.
At the tactical level, his belief in compromise meant that he survived major political battles in order to fight the next battle.
With regard to the evolution of democracy in our country, our present experience can benefit immensely from politics as it was played by Zik and his contemporaries. In this regard, one thing that marks out men like Zik … is that they believe in something. Their political activities were informed by certain core values which subsequently grew into a body of beliefs which largely inspired their politics. Those who followed them understood that they had to abide by those beliefs. In other words, the politics of ideals and ideas were the guiding principles of our founding fathers. In the case of the great Zik, it became fashionable among his adherents and supporters to be a Zikist. But interestingly, Zikism was not synonymous with an ethnic ideology nor did it a divisive cause. Instead, Zikism was more an ideology for African reniascence emphasizing the restoration of the dignity of the black man after centuries of colonial imposition and exploitation.
It sought to empower the black man in general and the Nigerian in particular to attain great heights especially in the pursuit of knowledge which, for Zik, was critical to the emancipation of the black man. Yet Zikism did not degenerate to the level of a theology for a personality cult. This in fact is one of the refreshing and intriguing facets of Zik's political legacy.
- Ibrahim Babangida, former President of Nigeria, as quoted in "We Must Nurture Politics of Ideas" in ThisDay Online (7 December 2003)
- Despite the mythic heights to which he was raised, Azikiwe was nothing if not pragmatic, a realist always conscious of his limits and ever eager to extract all that was possible from that limited horizon.
- Olatunji Ololade, in "Between then and now" at The Nation Online (10 March 2009)