India and Zik of Africa

Posted by News Express | 13 February 2019 | 1,482 times

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There are strange developments between Nigeria and India. India and Nigeria are the largest democracies in Asia and Africa respectively.

India has a population of 1.36 billion and the Nigerian leader being the head of the world's most populous Black nation is regarded as a torchbearer of 1.2 billion Blacks worldwide and 1.2 billion Africans. Nigeria has the second fastest growing population after India

Pandit Nehru was born November 14 1889 and the next day, November 15, 1889 saw the birth of  Ooni of Ife, Sir Adesoji Aderemi. Nehru was first prime minister of India, with political capital in Delhi and Sir Aderemi was the first African governor in Nigeria: He was governor of defunct Western Region with political capital in Ibadan.

Nehru”s daughter, Indira Gandhi, was first woman prime minister of India and Sir Aderemi’s daughter, Tejumade Alakija, was Nigeria’s first woman Head of Service. Nehru and Aderemi both fought for the independence of their respective countries from the British and they both met on different occasions with Queen Elizabeth II of England and then British prime minister, Winston Spencer Churchill.

Its gets even more intriguing with the two nationalists, Mahatma Gandhi and Bola Ige. Gandhi and Ige were both lawyers; both studied law at the University College, London and both were assassinated. Gandhi was assassinated in Delhi and Ige in Ibadan.

Bola Ige revealed in his autobiography, Kaduna Boy, that India is the first country he visited. He also revealed that he had read virtually everything written by Gandhi and Nehru. When Nehru became prime minister, he confessed he was so happy as if he was an Indian and when Gandhi was assassinated, he recalled that he had “days of excruciating mental agony.” It was Bola Ige, Second Republic governor of old Oyo State, who appointed Sir Aderemi’s daughter as Nigeria’s first woman Head of Service and he it was also who presided over the ceremony marking the transition of Sir Adesoji Aderemi. Bola Ige was also a columnist for the Nigerian Tribune of which, Sir Adesoji Aderemi was first chairman of the board, starting on the founding day, November 16, 1949. The founder, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, was to become premier of Western Region. November 16, 1949 also saw the 45th birthday anniversary of Dr Nnamdi Azikwe, first governor-general of Nigeria and first President of Nigeria. He was popularly known as Zik of Africa.

Furthermore, it should be noted that India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani and Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, were both born in the same month of the same year. Mukesh Ambani on April 10, 1957 and Aliko Dangote on April 19, 1957. Ambani  is Chairman, Reliance Industries, which owns, in Gujarat, what is currently the world’s largest oil refinery; whereas Dangote, chairman of Dangote Group, is building in Lagos what would become the “world’s largest oil refinery.”

In addition to the aforementioned, by volume, India leads the film industry with Bollywood and Nigeria comes next with Nollywood. Nigeria has just replaced India as the Poverty Capital of the world, and India is also the largest importer of Nigerian crude oil.

A friend of Bola Ige and a friend of the Awolowo family, Chief of Ile-Ife, the philosopher, statesman, physician, kid brother to Ibukun  Akinkugbe, Nigeria’s oldest pharmacist and business and industry guru; father of African hypertension, serial chairman of important committees  and  global figure, Prof Ladipo Akinkugbe, revealed in his autobiography, Footnotes and Footprints, that he was surprised and impressed when he visited India in 1979 to find that virtually everything in his hotel were made in India. Even more surprising for him was the fact that the aircraft he flew in was not only assembled in India, it was manufactured in India. If I may ask: “Can Nigeria replicate the miracle and successes of India in restaurant operations and entrepreneurship; information technology, nuclear science, space technology, pharmaceuticals and medical tourism?”

Well, only time would tell.

COINCIDENCES is a periodic column published on selected Wednesdays. The columnist, Augustine Togonu-Bickersteth, is based in England, Britain, but can be reached via e-mail through or


Source: News Express

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