Bello, Sir Ahmadu

Bello, Sir Ahmadu, 1910–66, Nigerian political, b. Rabbah (now in Sokoto State), NW Nigeria. A Fulani and descendent of Usuman dan Fodio, the founder of the Sokoto caliphate, he was a major figure in the unification and development of N Nigeria. Trained as a teacher, he worked in local and regional government (1934–44), becoming (1944) secretary of the Sokoto Native Authority Council and chief adviser to the Sultan of Sokoto. Following time spent in England studying administration, he joined (1948) the Northern People's Congress (NPC), which became the leading political party in northern Nigeria. He became a member of the Northern Region house of assembly (1949), then a member of the federal house of representatives (1952–59) and the first premier of Northern Nigeria (1954–66). Bello was knighted in 1959 and also was the first chancellor of Ahmadu Bello Univ. In 1964 the NPC joined with the Nigerian National Democratic party to become the Nigerian National Alliance, winning a majority in the federal elections. The coalition broke apart late in 1965, and Bello was assassinated the following January in the coup that deposed President Benjamin Azikiwe.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: African History: Biographies