Unsung heroines of Nigeria’s Independence – Today is International Women’s Day 2016 and we celebrate some influential women who have shaped the history of Nigeria. The struggle for political emancipation and self-determination became popular in Nigeria at the close of the 19th century.
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Prior to the era of popular nationalist movement, there were women, who fought to defend their kingdoms or nations or even states as the case may be, against external control in like manner.
It is a fact that the heroic posture of these early nationalists in different parts of what is now Nigeria inspired the concerted efforts that eventually ended colonialism and brought freedom our way.We take a look at the legacies of 5 of these enigmatic amazons who fought tirelessly, alongside the men, in the 1950’s and 1960’s for Nigeria’s independence.
3. Mrs Margaret Ekpo (1914-2006)
Mrs Margaret Ekpo was born in Creek town, Calabar. She was Nigeria’s women rights activist, social mobiliser and a pioneering female politician in the First Republic. Margaret rallied women beyond ethnicity.
She played major roles as a grassroots and nationalist politician in the eastern Nigerian city of Aba, in an era of a hierarchical and male-dominated movement towards independence. Aside from championing the cause of women’s rights, Ekpo joined the decolonisation process, which led her to the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC), as a platform to represent a marginalised group.