Anambra State Government has declared Tuesday, November 16 (today) 2021 as a public holiday.
The declaration, according to a release by the State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr. Don Adinuba, is in honour of Nigeria’s first President, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, who was born on November 16, 1904.
Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano had in previous years called on the federal government to recognise the date as a nation-wide public holiday, in honour of Azikiwe’s contribution to Nigeria.
This year would be the third year Anambra State government, under Obiano would be observing the birthday anniversary.
Azikiwe was reputed to have led Nigeria to independence on October 1, 1960, and is popularly known as The Great Zik of Africa because of his extraordinary Pan-African vision and commitment.
Adinuba in his release said: “It was the Great Zik of Africa who inspired such outstanding pan-African leaders as Dr. Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana who led his country to freedom from colonial rule on March 6, 1957.”
“Zik, who was born in Zungeru in Niger State and grew up in Calabar and Lagos, studied various disciplines in the United States and remains the most urbane, cosmopolitan and intellectually engaging of all Nigerian leaders.
“He remains an unrivalled trailblazer, having established Nigeria’s first indigenous bank, African Continental Bank and Nigeria’s first indigenous university, University of Nigeria at Nsukka, among other monumental and farsighted achievements.”
Governor Obiano in the press statement reiterated his call on the federal government to declare November 16 a national holiday in memory of The Great Zik of Africa.
Obiano argued that: “After all, the Ghanaians observe the birthday of Dr Nkrumah as a national holiday, just the way Tanzanians observe President Julius Nyerere’s birthday as a national holiday.
“It is a huge national embarrassment that Nigeria has yet to declare November 16 a national holiday.”