11 Prominent Nigerians You Probably Didn’t Know Are From Anambra State

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Anambra is a state in southeastern Nigeria. It got its name from the anglicized version of the original ‘Oma Mbala’, the native name of the Anambra River. Known as the “Light Of The Nation”, Anambra like every other Nigerian state has its own history, culture and of course, famous people. In this regard, INFORMATION NIGERIA has put together 11 prominent Nigerians who are of Anambra descent…

Nnamdi Azikiwe Owelle of Onitsha – the first President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and historically, the only man whose name appeared in Nigeria’s Republican Constitution of 1963. Azikiwe was one of the leading figures of modern Nigerian nationalism. He was head of state of Nigeria from 1963 to 1966. He served as the second and last Governor-General from 1960 to 1963 and the first President of Nigeria from 1963 to 1966, holding the presidency throughout the Nigerian First Republic.

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Dim Emeka Ojukwu was a Nigerian military officer and politician who served as the military governor of the Eastern Region of Nigeria in 1966 and the leader of the breakaway Republic of Biafra from 1967 to 1970. He was active as a politician from 1983 to 2011, when he died aged 78.

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Louis Odumegwu Ojukwu was a Nigerian businessman from Ojukwus family of Nwakanwa quarters obiuno umudim Nnewi. Sir Ojukwu was the first and founding President of The Nigerian Stock Exchange as well as President of The African Continental Bank. He was also either Chairman or on the board of directors of some of Nigeria’s most profitable companies such as Shell Oil Nigeria Limited, Guinness Nig. Ltd, Nigerian National Shipping Lines, Nigerian Cement Factory.

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Emeka Anyaoku – the first black Secretary-General of the Commonwealth and recipient of South Africa’s Order of the Companions of Oliver Reginald Tambo for his role in initiating talks between the apartheid state and the African National Congress (ANC). He was the third Commonwealth Secretary-General, an organisation he joined in 1959.

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Dora Akunyili – ex-head of NAFDAC and former (December 17, 2008 – December 15, 2010) Minister of Information won international awards for cleansing Nigeria of the scourge of fake drugs;

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Cardinal Francis Arinze, once considered a potential Pope. He is the current Cardinal Bishop of Velletri-Segni (succeeding Joseph Ratzinger, who became Pope Benedict XVI) since 2005. Arinze was one of the principal advisors to Pope John Paul II, and was considered papabile before the 2005 papal conclave, which elected Benedict XVI.

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Professor Chinua Achebe was a Nigerian novelist, poet,professor, and critic.His first novel Things Fall Apart (1958) was considered his magnum opus, and is the most widely read book in modern African literature. When the region of Biafra broke away from Nigeria in 1967, Achebe became a supporter of Biafran independence and acted as ambassador for the people of the new nation. The war ravaged the populace, and as starvation and violence took its toll, he appealed to the people of Europe and the Americas for aid. When the Nigerian government retook the region in 1970, he involved himself in political parties but soon resigned due to frustration over the corruption and elitism he witnessed.

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Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo – a famous economist who spearheaded Nigerian economic reform from 1999–2008 and was ex-head of the Central Bank of Nigeria.He was the immediate past Governor and chairman of the board of directors of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). He was named Governor on 29 May 2004.

Professor Samuel Okoye was black Africa’s first PhD in Radio Astronomy who along with Antony Hewish of the University of Cambridge discovered the radio source of Crab Nebula neutron star.

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Chimamanda Adichie – Nigerian novelist, nonfiction writer and short story writer. She has been called “the most prominent” of a “procession of critically acclaimed young anglophone authors. Who won the Orange Prize for Fiction (2007) and a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (2008).

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P-Square -Nigeria’s famous R&B duo of identical twin brothers Peter Okoye and Paul Okoye are also from Anambra state.

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