TODAY IN HISTORY: September 19

September 19, 1961

  1. On this day, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Opposition leader in the Nigerian Parliament and Federal President of the Action Group, said in Lagos that issue of law and order in Western Region was now “closed”. He was speaking to reporters at Ikeja airport shortly after his arrival from the United Kingdom where he went on holiday. Commenting on the proposed resolution by the Nigerian delegation to the United Nations, Chief Awolowo asked why the Government thought it progressive and conducive to the spirit of self-determination for African countries to ask for 1970 as the target date for total liberation of the African continent. “It is inconceivable that a backward country like Portugal which cannot manufacture a bicycle can have possession in Africa and enjoyed a scathing imperialist status”, he said.

About unity, Chief  Awolowo said it was late for anybody to ask of disintegrating Nigeria because “Nigeria is one and so it will remain.”

Chief  Awolowo paid tribute to Mr. Dag Hammarskjoeld, Secretary-General of the United Nations who died in an air crash four days earlier. “Dag’s death was unfortunate and tragic”, he said.


September 19, 1961

  1. Also on this day, the Federal minister of health, Dr. M. A. Majekodunmi, announced in Lagos that a medical school would soon be set up in Lagos. Speaking to reporters after his first official tour of the General Hospital, Lagos, Dr. Majekodunmi said that the new Mainland Hospital at Surulere would be used for teaching purposes for students in the proposed medical school. The first intake of medical students, the minister disclosed, would be recruited in 1964. Also the output of doctors at the teaching hospital of the University College in Ibadan would be increased. The minister further said that the Federal Government had set aside a sum of 300,000 pounds to rebuild the out-patient department of the General Hospital, Lagos.


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