It is 154th Herbert Macaulay's birthday today! It is the 154th anniversary of the most famous Nigerian nationalist, politician, engineer, journalist, and musician. Every year Nigeria commemorates Herbert Macaulay. Every Nigerian school boy and school girl know this great man. Legit.ng also joins the celebration and wants to remind you of his merits and several facts about his life.
Who is Herbert Macaulay?
Olayinka Herbert Samuel Heelas Badmus Macaulay is the full name of the well known Herbert Macaulay. He was born on the 16th of November, 1864, in Lagos that was divided politically in the 19th century into different territories:
- the British rulers who lived in the posh Marina district;
- the Saros and other slave descendants who lived to the west;
- the Brazilians who lived behind the whites in the Portuguese Town;
- the real Lagosians, the masses of indigenous Yoruba people, disliked and generally ignored by their white neighbors.
Hebert Macaulay was not from the ordinary family. He was a grandson of Ajayi Crowther, the first African bishop. He was a pupil at the mission school of Lagos. Later, in 1881, he became a clerk at the Public Works Department in Lagos.
He was acknowledged to be a promising young civil servant and in 1890 was awarded a scholarship by the government. With the scholarship, he also got an opportunity to go to study engineering in England for three years, and when he returned to Lagos, he was appointed surveyor of crown lands for the colony of Lagos. He was intelligent enough to see the consequences of British rule for people and strong enough to acknowledge it and resign from his position in 1898.
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Herbert Macaulay contribution to Nigeria
Being one of the most prominent Nigerian heroes, Herbert Macaulay was an opponent to the British rule in Nigeria. He was aware of the racial discrimination introduced into his country by the British in the civil service. Fortunately, the occupants trusted him and made him a private surveyor in Lagos.
Being able to see the regime from the inside, he step by step built up his plan to become a spokesperson in opposition to the British government in Nigeria. Macaulay was angry because of numerous issues. He published many articles in the Lagos Daily Times. He opposed every try of the British authorities to expand their authority. He tried to protect Nigerians from the obligation to pay huge taxes. He actively opposed the payment of water rates in 1915 and, as a spokesperson of the Lagos auxiliary of the Antislavery and Aborigines Protection Society, led the standoff against government plans to reform land tenure disposition in Lagos and Yorubaland.
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"The dimensions of "the true interests of the natives at heart" are algebraically equal to the length, breadth, and depth of the white man's pocket." - Herbert Macaulay.
He was the first person to introduce the Nigerian constitution and was the founder of the Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP) - the first Nigerian political party. The party won all the seats in the elections of 1923, 1928, and 1933.
Together with Nnamdi Azikiwe they also created the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC) in 1944. It was the council that was intended to bring people of Nigeria to the full independence.
Unfortunately, Hebert Macaulay felt ill and died in Lagos in 1946. Though the main thing is that the deal of Herbert Macaulay was not left without continuation – Nigeria became independent soon after he died and Azikiwe, his partner, became the first president of Nigeria.
Today we want to say THANK YOU to a great person who promoted Nigerian culture, to a person who fought and gave his life for the development and spreading nationalism in Nigeria.. Thank you so much, our respectable freedom fighter Herbert Macaulay, your descendants will never forget and will never neglect your merits!
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