ZIK STILL WITH US-KALU

By Emeka Obasi

S eventeen years after the demise of Nigeria's first President Dr.Nnamdi Azikiwe,there is every indication that the country's last Governor-General continues to reveal himself in the management of national affairs.

Former Abia state governor Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu made this unique revelation in a tribute to the Great Zik of Africa who joined the Saints Triumphant on May 11,1996.

Kalu said,"Dr. Azikiwe cannot die,the man lives with us.The only Nigerian Preident who spoke the three major languages,the first Nigerian to graduate from an American university.A man of many parts,journalist,lecturer,policeman,referee,club owner who played soccer for Lagos Diamond in 1923.From Lord Frederick Lugard to Dr.Goodluck Jonathan, i see Zik everyday."

The ex-governor explained that all Nigerian leaders and great men like Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Dim Emeka Ojukwu had something in common with the Owelle of Onitsha.

"Zik's first wife shared same name as Lugard's madam Flora Shaw.Gen. Umunnakwe Aguiyi-Ironsi shared the same Igbo backround as the Owelle, who like Gen.Yakubu Gowon, was not Hausabut spoke both spoke the language fluently.Gen.Murtala Mohammed and Zik were born in November.Alhaji Shehu Shagari was banned from politics same day June 27 1986 as the last Governor-General,while Gen. Muhammadu Buhari was commisioned in 1963,the year Zik became President.That was also when Gen.Abdulsami Abubakar joined the Nigeria Air Force,"Kalu added.

In his words,"the link with Abdulsalami goes on.Zik,Gen. Ibrahim Babangida and the last military leader were all born in today's Niger state.Gen.Sani Abacha came in November 1993 just as the Owelle was rounding off his his 89th birthday celebrations.He also was the last to salute the first leader in death.Gen.Olusegun Obasanjo, Chief Ernest Shonekan and Zik could share ideas in Yoruba language.Then Alhaji Umaru Musa Y'aradua ,like Zik, died in May.And both had to face the embarassment of learning of their death even when they had not departed.Azikiwe first 'died' on November 3,1989.Y'aradua's was in 2007.Chief Obafemi Awolowo, like Zik ,also died in May.'Awo had beaten me to it',he said in 1987.Ojukwu and Zik were born in Zungeru,wait for it,in November."

Kalu did not leave Dr.Jonathan."He is Azikiwe,born in the same November.The month Zik died was the month Mr. President became Deputy Governor,Vice President,Acting President and President.They were also lecturers.Today,one governor bears the title Owelle.The month the Owelle died,May,became a good day for the Imo Owelle as governor in 2007.So you see,Zik was a true Nigerian and has come to stay."