50 Nigerian Heroes and Their Achievements

“The labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain…” Does that sound familiar?

Well, if it doesn’t, then you must have forgotten the National anthem!

That’s an interesting line in the Nigerian and in the course of this post we have decided to remember 50 of national heroes and what they achieved for our noble country. Visit https://hero-industries.com/challenge-coins/ for the best challenge coin to faciliate our heroes.

nigerian heroes and their achievements

50 Nigerian heroes and their achievements

1. Nnamdi Azikiwe

Nnamdi Azikiwe was born in 1904. He is the first president of Nigeria and the founder of Nigerian nationalism. He is popularly called ‘Zik’ or ‘Zik of Africa’. Zik helped establish the University of Nigeria after independence in 1962.

2. Herbert Macaulay

Herbert Macaulay was pivotal in Nigeria’s fight to gain independence although he didn’t live to see this become a reality. He also created the National Council of Nigeria and Cameroon in the 1940s along with Nnamdi Azikiwe.

3. Ahmadu Bello

Born in 1919, Ahmadu Bello was another key figure in the country’s fight for independence. He was a school teacher that later became the Premier of the Northern Nigeria

4. Anthony Enahoro

Anthony Enahoro is another famous Nigerian personality. He’s well known for his social activism. He’s popularly known as the “Father of the Nigerian State”

5. Obafemi Awolowo

Obafemi Awolowo is another undisputed national hero. He was born in 1909 and was the first Premier of Western Nigeria. Also, he was a one time minister of Finance.

6. Kudirat Abiola

Kudirat Abiola is another prominent national figure. However, she died in the middle of her struggle for a better Nigeria.

7. Hajiya Gambo Sawaba

Hajiya Gambo Sawaba was a women right activist. She was known to speak up for gender based equality.

8. Magaret Ekpo

Magaret Ekpo is reputed as the first woman politician. She fought for women civil rights in the country and she was also the founder of the Aba Township Women’s Association.

9. Murtala Muhammed

Murtala Muhammed is one of the most popular national heroes. He became the President of the country in 1975. He was assasinated while in power in 1976.

10. Funmilayo Ransome Kuti

Funmilayo Ransome Kuti is a prominent figure in not just Nigeria but all over the world. She was known for activism for female rights.

  1. Professor Wole Soyinka
    Born in 1934, Wole Soyinka is Africa first and Nigeria’s only Nobel laurete. He is a playwright and professor of literature.
  2. Aminu Kano

Aminu Kano was a prominent politician and he was one of those that opposed the British rule before Independence.

  1. Taiwo Akinkunmi

Known as the designer of the Nigerian flag, Taiwo Akinkunmi was born in Ibadan and he studied electrical engineering at the Norwood Technical College in London.

  1. K.O Abiola

Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola popularly called MKO was a Nigerian politician and businessman. He won the presidential election in June 12, 1993 but the result of the election was annulled.

  1. Fela Anikulapo-Kuti

A highly controversial figure, FelaKuti was the son of Funmilayo Kuti. He was known for pioneering the Afrobeat music genre. And he was known for using music as a tool to criticise the government.

  1. Chinua Achebe
    If you’ve ever read Things fall apart, then you certainly know Chinua Achebe. Achebe has been nicknamed the father of modern African writing.”
  2. Gani Fawehinmi
    Gani Fawehinmi was a civil rights lawyer and politician. He was known for his activism and his beliefs which include the principles and ideals for the rule of law, undiluted democracy and protection of fundamental human rights.
  3. Alhaji Abdulsalami Abubakar
    Alhaji Abdulsalami Abubakar was responsible for the evolution of the Nigerian government from military rule to democracy. He transferred power to the President-elect, Olusegun Obasanjo on 29 May 1999.
  4. Ameyo Adadevoh
    During the Ebola outbreak in 2014, Ameyo Adadevoh was the doctor that curbed the spread of the Ebola virus by quarantining Patrick Sawyerr, the Ebola patient.
  5. Attahiru Jega

Professor Attahiru Jega was known for conducting the free and fair election of 2015 when he was the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

  1. Madam Tinubu

The slave trade in Badagry may never have been abolished without the efforts of Madam Tinubu. She was the first Iyalode of Egbaland.

  1. Gen OlusegunObasanjo

Gen Olusegun Obasanjo ruled Nigeria at two different times and the nation was known to witness significant development during these periods.

  1. Umaru Musa Yaradua

Umaru Musa Yaradua was the former president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He was able to successfully alleviate the unrest in the Niger Delta region during his time as president.

  1. Aliko Dangote

Apart from being the richest man in Africa, Aliko Dangote is known for his philantrophic activities which have helped alleviate poverty in the country.

  1. Oby Ezekwesili

Oby Ezekwesili is a chartered accountant and the co-founder of Transparency International, a global anti-corruption body based in Berlin, Germany.

  1. Dr Dora Akunyili

Known for her fight against fake and sub-standard during her time at NAFDAC, Professor Dora Akunyili is certainly one hero Nigerians will never forget.

  1. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala

Ngozi Okonjo Iweala is a two-time minister of Finance. She was pivotal in writing off the foreign debt of the nation during her first period as Finance Minister.

  1. Mrs Grace Eniola Soyinka

Eniola Soyinka was a co-founder of the Egba Women Union alongside Mrs. Funmilayo Ransom-Kuti. She was a notable women right activist.

  1. Stephen Keshi

He was the Nigerian coach when the Nigerian National team won the African Nations Cup in 2013. Coincidentally, he was also a member of the nation’s cup winning squad in 1994.

  1. Muhammadu Buhari

He is the current President and he has been known over the years for his staunch fight against corruption.

  1. Enoch Adeboye

Known for his calm mien, Pastor Enoch Adeboye is a religious leader and the General Overseer of the largest church in Nigeria, the Redeemed Christian Church of God.

  1. Chimamanda Adichie

Popular for her award winning books, Half of Yellow Sun and Purple Hibiscus, Chimamanda Adichie is one literary figure that has put Nigeria on the literature map once again

  1. Nuhu Ribadu

Known for his anti-corruption fight when he was the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Nuhu Ribadu is certainly a national hero that is loved by many.

  1. Ayodele Awojobi

Professor Ayodele Awojobi was a professor of Mechanical Engineering and a social activist. He studied at the Imperial College in London. He’s known for his research papers in the field of vibration which is still a reference point in many international journals.

  1. Emeka Anyaoku

He was the third commonwealth secretary-general. He was influential during the civil war as he tried to pacify the warring parties.

  1. Agbani Darego

She’s the first Nigerian and African to win the International Beauty Pageant. Agbani Darego was 18 as at the time of winning this award.

  1. Kanu Nwankwo

Kanu Nwankwo was the captain of the Nigerian under 23 football team when the team won a gold medal at the Atlanta 96 Olympic Games. He’s also known for his heart foundation that helped a lot of children with deformed heart.

  1. Mike Adenuga

Mike Adenuga is the founder of Globacom and Conoil. His company, Globacom was the first private indigenous telecommunications company in the country

  1. Michael Imoudu

Michael Imoudu was Nigeria’s first labour leader. He was known for his fight for better welfare for the railway workers during the colonial rule.

  1. Balarabe Musa

Balarabe is another national hero. He’s reputed as a political teacher and an advocate of a progressive and united Nigeria.

  1. Chioma Ajunwa

Chioma Ajunwa was a police officer that competed at the Olympic Games at Atlanta in 1996 and won Nigeria’s first ever gold medal at the Olympics.

  1. Babatunde Fashola

You can’t talk about the transformation of Lagos state in recent years without mentioning Babatunde Fashola. He was the governor of Lagos State from 2007 to 2015.

  1. Hogan Bassey

Hogan was the first Nigerian to become a world boxing champion.

  1. Blessing Okagbare

Blessing Okagbare has made Nigerians proud with her many athletic awards. She is the current Commonwealth 100 meters record holder

  1. Alvan Ikoku

Alvan Ikoku was a Nigerian educator and politician. He was very influential in the progress of the Nigerian educational system

  1. Genevieve Nnaji

She was first Nigerian actress to win the African Movie Award which she won in 2005. She’s an immense contributor to Nollywood, the Nigerian movie industry

  1. Oluchi Onweagba

Oluchi Onweagba was the winner of the M-Net Face of Africa as a seventeen year old in 1998.

  1. Olumide Oyedeji

Olumide Oyedeji is a Nigerian basketball player. He recently guided the Nigerian basketball team to win the four nation’s invitational tournament in South Africa in 2015.

He’s a philanthropist and he’s the founder of the Olumide Oyedeji Youth Foundation which is focused on helping the underprivileged.

  1. Hakeem Olajuwon

Hakeem Olajuwon is a legendary basketball player that played in the NBA for many years. He’s known for his trademark, ‘dream shake’ which many basketball players have claimed he’s difficult to defend.

  1. Segun Odegbami

He is one of the greatest Nigerian football players and has been very influential in the development of football in the country since he retired.

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