Ahmadu Bello

Ahmadu Bello

(June 12 1910- January 15 1966)

He was born in Sokoto state in Northern Nigeria to the family of Ibrahim Bello. He was a descendant of Uthman dan Fodio (founder of the Sokoto Caliphate). His father was an important man in the community, he was given the title Sarkin Rabah. At this time Nigeria was still under colonial rule.

Bello graduated from Katsina training college and became an English master teacher in Sokoto Middle school. In 1934 he became the district head of his hometown Rabah and in 1938, the divisional head of Gasau. He ran for the position of Sultan of Sokoto and lost, he was however given the title of the crowned prince of Sokoto and promoted to the chief political adviser of the Sultan.


In 1948, he got a government scholarship to England to study Local government administration. When he returned to Nigeria, he became the representative of the province of Sokoto in the regional house of Assembly. His work in the house of assembly earned him respect in the northern part of Nigeria. He was also a successful minister of works of the local government, and of community development in the northern region of Nigeria.

In 1954 he was elected the first premier of Northern Nigeria. He led the NPC political party to win parliamentary seats along with Nnamdi Azikiwe of the NCNC(national council of Nigeria and the Cameroons) party. This led to Nigeria’s independence from the British in 1960. He remained as the Premier in the North. He set up financial institutions and modernised the traditional Koranic education in northern Nigeria.

Bello was assassinated in Nigeria’s first coup in 1966, Nigeria’s post independence government was overthrown. He was a devout Muslim, he married 3 wives and had three daughters.

A university in Northern Nigeria is named after him and his face is seen on the 200 Naira note.


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