Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa

Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa

Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, KBE ( December 1912 – January 15, 1966)

He was a Nigerian politician and first prime minister of an independent Nigeria .

Abubakar Balewa was born late in 1912 in Bauchi, the son of a district head in the Bauchi divisional district of Lere, Balewa’s father Yakubu Dan Zala was of Gere ethnicity and his mother, half fulani half Gere.

He started early education at the quranic school in Bauchi and like most of his contemporaries , he studied at Barewa College for further education and soon acquired his teaching certificate.

He returned to Bauchi to teach at Bauchi Middle School. In 1944, along with a few learned teachers in the North, he was chosen to study abroad for a year at the University of London, Institute of Education, which today forms part of the University College, London.

Upon returning to Nigeria , he became an inspector of schools for the colonial administration and later joined politics.

He was elected in 1946, to the colony’s Northern House of Assembly, and to the legislative Assembly in 1947. As a legislator , he was a vocal advocate of the rights of the Northern Nigeria, and together with Alhaji Ahmaudu Bello, he founded the Northern People’s Congress