Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
A socio-cultural group, Castle of Legends Initiative (COLI) Wednesday called for the immortalisation of foremost nationalist, Chief Anthony Enahoro, by naming a national monument after him.
The group said Enahoro is the only one being left un-honoured among his generation of those who fought for the independence of Nigeria.
Addressing a press conference in Benin City yesterday, Chairman of the group, Chief David Edebiri, the Esogban of Benin, lauded President Muhammadu Buhari on his recognition of the late Chief M.K.O Abiola and the declaration of June 12 as Nigeria’s Democracy Day, but said that such recognition and honours would not be complete without Enahoro being honoured.
“We cherish these landmark developments, as they are capable of galvanising our people towards increased patriotism and strengthening commitment to national service.
“It is in furtherance of this laudable initiative that the COLI calls on President Buhari to give kind consideration to the immortalisation of late Enahoro, which is long overdue”, he said.
Edebiri who described Enahoro as a journalist, politician and ebullient nationalist fighter, added that in all of these endeavours, he was in the forefront of the struggle for Nigeria’s independence and defense of the rights of our people in the face of the high-handed and draconian policies of the colonial administration.
According to him, “It is also on record that Chief Anthony Enahoro moved the historic motion in 1953, calling on the British government to grant self-government in 1956.
“Subsequently, Enahoro played a prominent role in sustaining the unity of the country. During the Nigerian Civil War, he served as Commissioner for Information and spokesman on International Affairs. Chief Enahoro played a pivotal role in the restoration of democracy in our dear country, being the leader of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO)”.
He further said: “It remains our candid opinion that the late Chief Enahoro is a hero whose place in Nigeria history has not been accorded national prominence. It is on record that Chief Anthony Enahoro has been classified among the founding fathers of the Nigerian nation along the likes of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Herbert Macaulay, Sir Ahamdu Bello and Chief Obafemi Awolowo
The Esogban of Benin, however, stated that among the above category, it is only Chief Anthony Enahoro that has not been immortalised by naming after him a prominent broad street, a Federal University or a Federal Monument of significance.
While noting that the governments of Edo and Lagos States have on their own, honoured the late nationalist, Edebiri added: “We will like to emphasise that his heroism is of a national character which qualifies him to be recognised as such”.