One Nigeria Historical Diary (episode 12) | Biography/Life-Time of Sir Amadu Bello

 
Sir Amadu Bello
Ahmadu Bello was born on June 12, 1910, in Rabah, North West State, a descendant of Uthman don Fodio, the renowned 19th-century Moslem leader of Northern Nigeria.
He also held the title of Sardauna of Sokoto. Bello and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa were major figures in Northern Nigeria pre-independence politics and both men played major roles in negotiations about the region's place in an independent Nigeria. As leader of the Northern People's Congress, he was a dominant personality in Nigerian politics throughout the early Nigerian Federation and the First Nigerian Republic.

Bello received his education first at the Sokoto Provincial School, then at Katsina Teacher Training College. Then, he was known as Ahmadu Rabah. He finished school in 1931 and subsequently became the English master teacher in Sokoto Middle School

Bello married three wives. His first wife was Hafsatu. He has three survived children (female) with one wife who was Amina (Goggon Kano). The first one is Inno, then Aisha and Lubabatu.
 
Sir Amadu Bello
 In 1934, Amadu Bello was made the District Head of Rabah by Sultan Hassan dan Muazu, succeeding his brother; in 1938, he got a promotion as the Divisional Head of Gusau (now in present-day Zamfara State) and became a member of the Sultan's council.

In 1938, at age 28, he made attempts to become the Sultan of Sokoto but was not successful, losing to Sir Siddiq Abubakar III who reigned for 50 years until his death in 1988. The new Sultan immediately made Sir Ahmadu Bello the Sardauna (Warlord) of Sokoto, an honorary title and promoted him to the Sokoto Native Authority Council, these titles automatically made him the Chief Political Adviser to the Sultan. Later, he was put in charge of the Sokoto Province to oversee 47 districts and by 1944, he was back at the Sultan's Palace to work as the Chief Secretary of the State Native Administration.
In his early 1940s, he joined Jamiyya Mutanen Arewa which would later become the (Northerner people’s congress),NPC in 1951. In 1948, he got a government scholarship and was off to England to study Local Government Administration which broadened his understanding and knowledge of governance. As 'successor-in-waiting' to the throne of the Sultan, he wore the turban. In 1943, a drama played out when he was thrown before the Sultan's court for misappropriating jangali (cattle) tax for the Gusau region where he was the Councillor

After returning from Britain, he was nominated to represent the province of Sokoto in the regional House of Assembly. As a member of the assembly, he was a notable voice for northern interest and embraced a style of consultation and consensus with the major representatives of the northern emirates: Kano, Bornu and Sokoto. He was selected among with others as a memebr of a committee that redrafted the Richards Constitution and he also attended a general conference in Ibadan. His work at the assembly and in the constitution drafting committee brought him appreciation in the north and he was asked to take on leadership positions within Jamiyya Mutanen Arewa. In the first elections held in Northern Nigeria in 1952, Sir Ahmadu Bello won a seat in the Northern House of Assembly, and became a member of the regional executive council as minister of works. Bello was successively minister of Works, of Local Government, and of Community Development in the Northern Region of Nigeria.
As World War II drew to an end, Bello became involved in broader political concerns. In 1945 he assisted in the formation of the Youth Social Circle in Sokoto, a discussion group of Northern educators and civil servants. In 1948 this organization affiliated with the newly founded Northern People's Congress (NPC), originally conceived as a cultural organization but destined to become the leading political party in Northern Nigeria. Bello became increasingly active in the NPC and ultimately its president. In 1949 he was elected by the Sokoto Native Authority to the Northern House of Assembly.
During the 1949-1950 discussions of constitutional reform he became a leading spokesperson for the Northern view of federal government. In 1952 in the first elections held in Northern Nigeria, he was elected to the Northern House of Assembly, where he became a member of the regional executive council and minister of works. In the following year he accepted the regional portfolio of community development and local government. In 1954 he became the first premier of Northern Nigeria, a position he held until his death.
 
Legacy
In 1954, Bello became the first Premier of Northern Nigeria. In the 1959 independence elections, Bello led the (Northerner People’s Congress), NPC to win a plurality of the parliamentary seats. Bello's NPC forged an alliance with Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe's NCNC (National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons) to form Nigeria's first indigenous federal government which led to independence from Britain.
Bello as president of the NPC, chose to remain Premier of Northern Nigeria and devolved the position of Prime Minister of the Federation to the deputy president of the NPC, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.

Death

In 1964 Bello led the (Northerner People’s Congress) NPC into an alliance with the Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP) of the Western Region. The coalition party, called the Nigerian National Alliance, won a clear majority in the federal elections of 1964. In the fall of 1965 the NNDP claimed victory in a hotly disputed regional election, and the Western Region lapsed into chaos.
Amadu Bello's attempt to support his political allies on this occasion was the immediate, though not sole, cause for an attempted coup d'etat in January 1966, during which Bello was assassinated.
Bello was assassinated on 15 January 1966 in a coup which toppled Nigeria's post-independence government. He was still serving as premier of Northern Nigeria at the time.



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