1. Zik pioneered Adventurous Western Education for Igbo youths. He attended Howard University and University of Pennsylvania, where he obtained two Masters degrees in Religion and Anthropology. He lectured briefly there and started a doctorate before his journey back home. He came back and expanded his synopsis as a book – Liberia in World politics. He came back in 1934. Many Ndigbo subsequently attended Howard.
2. He started many newspapers here after a stint in Ghana.
a). West African Pilot
b). Southern Nigeria Defender and others.
He used them to propagate the Igbo social and political developments.
3. Zik gave Ndigbo a pride of place in Western Nigeria. He became a political heavyweight – as the NCNC Leader. He used his numerous contacts to support KO Mbadiwe, Mbonu Ojike and many Igbo youths to acquire Western Education.
4. He joined the Nigeria youth movement early enough and caused its division when he realised that the Body was anti Igbo and anti Ijebu. Zikist movement was formed by Osita Agwuna and Co.
5. Zik joined politics and Represented and galvanized Igbo political interests in Lagos. He was the NCNC leader of opposition from where he won a majority in the 1951 elections. He was to become the Premier of Western Region. Awo’s and his action group truncated that move and Zik was forced to come to the East in order to have a political platform. He became Premier of Eastern region in 1954. He pioneered an Industrial, academic and Agric revolutions. Eastern Nigerian Marketing Board from where UNN was funded. He upgraded GTC Enugu and completed UNN – ahead of Ife and ABU. He gave Ndigbo a head start in Nigerian education. Ndigbo subsequently produced VCs in Ibadan, UNN, UNILAG.
7. Handed over power to MI Okpara and moved to become Governor General. Our Educational quality was the best in Nigeria and ensures till date.
8. He established ACB, Emene industrial hub, Nkalagu cement, expanded Oji power plant, Eastern House of Assembly, Presidential Hotels in Enugu and PH, ACB buildings etc. UNN became the best of its generation. Recorded many firsts for Ndigbo.
9. Led a political and economic ascendancy; that put Eastern Region in the league of one of the faster developing economy in the world.We had a good number of Federal Perm Secretaries, good presence in the Railways and in the Military; where Belewa gave us good postings.
10. He gave Ndigbo a pride of place and we had a prepoderance of civil servants in most National institutions.
11. He was adviser to Ojukwu 1967 to 1970 and wrote the Biafran anthem.
12. Got some world leaders to support Biafra. Gabon, Tanzania, Zambia, Ivory Coast and our Igbo brothers in Haiti recognized Biafra.
13. Advised Ojukwu to end the war in dignity; when our fortunes changed. When Ojukwu refused, Zik got W.Talbman to broker a ceasation.
14. Helped to finance Igbo businesses through ACB in the 70s with Nwakoby. Encouraged SCOUP and Company to form a formidable Investment Outfit – where our business men were incubated.
15. Donated Ziks flats to assist UNN takeoff in late 1970.
16. Gave Ndigbo a political leadership in 1979 and 1983 elections.
Mentored Mbakwe and Nwobodo as Second Republic Governors.
17. Brokered NPP/NPN accord and got us Speaker and other important positions. Did same earlier in NCNC/APC Alliance.
18. Wrote 32 books between 1961 and 1980.
19. Today we lead in technical skills due to GTC Enugu and Aba intensive technical education.
20. In his time, we had Eni Njoku(VC Unilag), Dike(Ibadan) etc. UNN is still holding on as a citadel of repute.
21. Part II will delve into the macro benefits of an Azikiwe thrust.
22. Zik chided Asika to perform better an ECS Administrator. Left Ojukwu and Biafra when the carnage became unsustainable and Ojukwu failed to take any advice.
23. Gave Ndigbo a pride of place in Nigeria.

The above was lifted from my CIC ’76 platform

George Dike

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