One of the reasons Nigeria is regarded as the ‘Giant of Africa’ is its richness in culture and heritage.
Right from time, Nigerian politicians are epitome of luxury. They love to ride in exotic cars and love to live in opulence, this has been proven to have long existed even long before independence in Nigeria. But unfortunately, as luxurious as the lives of these politicians may have been, we do not have a culture to maintain many of their personal belongings like cars, books, houses among others.
TheInfong has decided to bring you a run down of the lives of the pioneers of Nigerian politics and their once exotic rides.
1. Chief Obafemi Awolowo
Chief Obafemi Awolowo is a Nigerian lawyer well vast in politics and education. He is the founder of Action Group, a political party he founded in 1950 in Western Nigeria to participate in Western Regional elections of 1951.
During his tenure as leader and premier, he held the regional ministerial portfolios of local government, finance, and economic planning. He was also chairman of the Regional Economic Planning Commission.
During the election period, Chief Obafemi Awolowo used an 8 seater Mercedes Benz 230.6. The car was used to travel across the country during his electioneering campaign in 1979 and 1983. Chief Obafemi Awolowo 230.6 grey Mercedes Benz was bought by him in 1970 and this was his official car until 1983. It featured prominently in his Presidential campaign of 1979 and 1983.
2. Chief Samuel Ládòkè Akíntọ́lá
Born in Ogbomosho of the then Western Region, Samuel Ladoke Akintola is an aristocrat, lawyer and an orator. Rumour has it that Chief Ladoke Akintola is the first Nigerian to ever use a proof car, this we can’t verify yet.
During his reign as premier of Western Nigerian, a Fleetwood limousine was the official car of the late Premier of Western Nigeria, Samuel Ladoke Akintola. This can be seen in a private museum where it was parked.
3. Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe
The late Nigerian stateman, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe popularly known as “Zik”, was the Governor-General of Nigeria from 1960 to 1963 and the first President of Nigeria from 1963 to 1966. Considered a driving force behind the nation’s independence, he came to be known as the “father of Nigerian Nationalism”.
This is Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe’s car. He was driven around during a political campaign in 1959. The car was spotted during a political campaign in 1959 where he was driven around by his chauffer.
4. Murtala Muhammed
General Murtala Muhammed was a Nigerian politician and the 4th military Head of State from (8 November 1938 – 13 February 1976). He was a military dictator until his assassination in 1975.
On Friday 13 February 1976, Muhammed set off for work along his usual route on George Street. Shortly after 8 a.m., his Mercedes Benz car travelled slowly in the infamous Lagos traffic near the Federal Secretariat at Ikoyi in Lagos and a group of soldiers (members of an abortive coup led by Dimka) emerged from an adjacent petrol station, ambushed the vehicle and assassinated Muhammed.
Murtala Muhammed was murdered at 37, together withLieutenant Akintunde Akinsehinwa, his then aide-de-camp, in his black Mercedes Benz saloon car on 13 February 1976. The car was ambushed en route to his office at Dodan Barracks, Lagos. The only visible sign of protection was a pistol carried by his orderly, making his assassination an easy task.
The Mercedes Benz is now with the Nigerian Museum as a source of tourist attraction. The car is rumoured to attract 2,000 tourists on a monthly basis.