This article is about 10 people of integrity in the history of Nigeria. We are aware there are many more people of integrity in this country. However, for the sake of space, this article writes about just a few. We have a list of very influential persons who are considered trusted and honest in different areas ranging from business to politics and other positions.
Top 10 People of Integrity in Nigeria’s History
Read on below:
Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande
Lateef Jakande is a journalist who later became a successful politician and public figure. He was governor of Lagos State between 1979 and 1983. He was also Minister of Works between 1993 and 1998. He is one of the oldest politicians in Nigeria (aged 89). He is still referred to as one of the men of integrity in the country.
He began his career as a journalist in 1949 at the Daily Service. He was also editor-in-chief of Nigerian Tribune. His articles were always referred to as factual and forthright. His journey as a politician began when he won the governorship election and became the governor of Lagos State in 1979. Lateef Jakande’s administration is often regarded as effective. He worked to solve educational and housing programs. He established the Lagos State University and other social-oriented projects. He later joined All Nigeria Peoples Party as a senior member. Till this time, he is a very respected and trusted person in Nigeria.
He is a politician often referred to as the anti-corruption official. This is because he pioneered Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), this is the main organization that fights corruption and fraud in Nigeria. He was also an Assistant Inspector General of Police. Notably, he is the one who told the BBC about one 380 billion dollars that were stolen by Nigerian politicians. During his tenure, EFCC fought the corruption at all levels of the Nigerian government and organizations. Nuhu Ribadu is known for his struggle against corruption and integrity.
Abubakar Dangiwa Umar
He was a governor of Kaduna state between 1985 and 1988. He is a social critic and founder of the political party “Movement for Unity and Progress”. Abubakar Dangiwa held various military positions during the military career. He was governor during the time of the religious crisis in Kaduna State. He was also a known critic of the Abacha regime and was generally outspoken on many issues. The politician is now 69 years old and considered one of the people of integrity in Nigeria.
Chief Emeka Anyaoku
Emeka Anyaoku is an Igbo Nigerian diplomat. Emeka Anyaoku attended the University College of Ibadan, after which he attended a college of the University of London. It was here he obtained an honours degree in Classics as a College Scholar.
In April 1962, Emeka Anyaoku was offered an appointment in the Foreign Service. Within a month of his entry, he was appointed Personal Assistant to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry for External Affairs. Emeka Anyaoku was closely involved in the process that led to the establishment of the Organisation for African Unity (OAU) in May 1963. In 1963, he was posted to the United Nations in New York. In 1977, he was elected him as the Deputy Secretary-General of the Commonwealth. In 1989, he was elected as the third Commonwealth Secretary-General.
Oluwole Akinwande Soyinka
Popularly known as Wole Soyinka, he was born in Ijebu Isara, Nigeria. He grew up in Abeokuta where his father was a school teacher. Wole Soyinka grew up in Abeokuta. He studied at Abeokuta Grammar school and Government College at Ibadan. He later studied at University College, Ibadan, and then at Leeds University where he graduated with an honours degree in English. At various times, he has been on the academic staff of the University of Lagos and that of Ibadan as Professor of Comparative Literature and Dramatic Arts. In 1986, he was awarded the Nobel prize for Literature.
During the Nigerian Civil war, he was detained by the Nigerian Military as a result of his political activities. This was between August 1967 and October 1969.
Ngozi Okonjo Iweala
She is the former Finance Minister and Foreign Minister of Nigeria. She is known in Nigeria’s history as the first woman to hold these high positions. She served as Finance Minister from July 2003 until her appointment as Foreign Minister in June 2006. She resigned as Nigeria’s Foreign Minister in August 2006. On the 4th of October 2007, she was appointed as the Managing Director of the World bank.
Dora Akunyili was born in Markurdi, Benue State. After the death of her sister, Vivian who died in 1988, after taking fake insulin injection in 1988. Dora came to the forefront of the fight against drug counterfeiters. From 2001 to 2008, she was the Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). She was also the Nigerian Minister of Information and Communications from 2008 to 2010. She gained international recognition as a governmental administrator and in her work as the Director of NAFDAC. In April 2011, Akunyili ran for election as Senator for Anambra Central for the APGA but did not win. In June 2004, she died in an Indian hospital after a battle with uterine cancer.
Obiageli Ezekwesili is a chartered accountant. She was a co-founder of Transparency International, a global anti-corruption body based in Berlin, Germany. She also served as Federal Minister of Solid Minerals and Federal Minister of Education in Nigeria, during the second-term presidency of Olusegun Obasanjo. After this, she has served as Vice-President of the World Bank’s Africa division from May 2007 to May 2012. In 2018, Ezekwesili was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work in transparency in the extractive sector. Ezekwesili was also instrumental to the start of the viral #BringBackOurGirls campaign on social media, which was as a result of the abduction of nearly 300 girls from Chibok by Boko Haram.
Chibudom Nwuche was born in Enugu. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Politics and Philosophy from the University of Keele. He returned to Nigeria and has since then worked in various organisations and held various positions. He was elected as representative of Ahaoda East/Abua Odual Constituency of Rivers state in 1999. On the 4th of June, 1999, he was elected as Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives. He was instrumental to the passage of the Niger Delta Development Commission Act and the Onshore Offshore Dichotomy Bill. He is regarded as a man of integrity.