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Declare November 16 public holiday for Zik – Igbo Journalists

Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe

A forum of journalists of Southeast Nigeria origin, IZUNWANNE, has called for the declaration of November 16 as public holiday in honour of the first indigenous President of Nigeria, late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, the Owelle of Onitsha.
In a letter it sent to the Southeast Governors’ Forum, signed by its Chairman, Sir Abuchi Anuenyiagu and Secretary, Elder Ngwuoke Ngwuoke, IZUNWANNE laid a historical background to its call to honour the legendary late Dr. Azikiwe.
It recalled that Nigeria attained Republican status on November 16, 1963, which coincided with the birthday of Dr. Azikiwe.
The group avered that “It is a known fact that Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, as President and Commander – in – Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, was instrumental to the inauguration of November 16 as Nigeria’s Republic Day. The concept was to make that day, a National Day.”
It regretted that 57 years after, the significant historical omission is yet to be addressed.
IZUNWANNE outlined more reasons why Zik should be so honoured.
It noted that Zik was the symbol of Nigeria’s nationhood, considering his leading role in the pre- independence struggle for self-rule by Nigeria; his initiative to end the civil war, and his great ideas and liberal ideals that never discriminated against any Nigerian ethnic group.
It is on the basis of all these that IZUNWANNE urged the South East Governors to support and spearhead the initiative for the dedication, recognition and declaration of November 16 (being the birthday anniversary of Zik) as a National Day, to be marked as a public holiday in honour of Zik.
Since charity begins at home, the group urged the governments of the five states in the South East geo-political zone of the country to emulate their South West counterparts, like in the case of June 12, and take the lead to declare November 16 a public holiday in honour of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, given the fact that he was a South Easterner who once led the defunct eastern region and recorded great achievements for the region in his time, before advancing the campaign to the national level.

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