“The Boy is good” Mbazulike, Mandela and Nigeria

Chido Nwangwu pays tribute to first Republic Minister of Aviation, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, who died earlier this week at the age of 93

Earlier on November 1, 2022, I was informed of the death of one of the architects of Nigeria, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi. He’s one of the distinguished frontline nationalists in Nigeria, an iconic figure and leader.

He turned 93, on the 16th of June, 2022.

This nationalist, popularly known as “The boy is good”, spoke truth to power! He was a brilliant activist, strategist, and development advocate.

On July 3, 2020, I had my first interview with him.

Unusual for many Nigerian politicians, he was polite, patient, punctual and globally informed about ancient matters and contemporary events.

I know that I’ve benefited a lot of knowledge from seeking his front row seat location and profound insights to the political history and the nationalists anti-colonial movements in Nigeria, and West Africa. He spent time in Ghana, as a Zikist.

He was a pioneer Zikist movement member — under the inspired leadership of the foremost, nationalist, and first ceremonial president of Nigeria, late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe of the NCNC. Zik of Africa. Amaechi was a junior minister in the post colonial Government of the time.

I interviewed him about Nelson Mandela; for my forthcoming 2023 book titled Power, Leadership & Identity: MLK, Mandela & Achebe. MLKMandelaAchebe.com

Mandela stayed with Amaechi in Yaba in Lagos in the 1960s during the ANC’s fight against apartheid in South Africa. The two men visited and spent some time together in Chief Amaechi’s village of Ukpor and parts of the Igbo heartland in the Eastern region of Nigeria. 

Chief Amaechi was truly a great man!

Without any doubt, Mbazulike Amaechi championed and made very huge sacrifices for a greater and better Nigeria.  

Which led me to ask another question: are the recent, ghastly, relentless terrorism assaults on the sovereign borders and across Nigeria by jihadists, gunmen, bandits, gross nepotism, discriminations and grinding poverty what they fought for?

I do know that for Amaechi and many of his generation, Nigeria of yesterday and today remain an uninspiring effort.

Nigeria seems to have become an intractable arena of ineptitude and colossal waste!

Literally, it has become a waste land. Nigeria has become the trending tag for incendiary weekly mayhem and daily savagery. It has become the devil’s playground with chronicles of serial catastrophic experiences, punctuated by corruption!

Many before Amaechi died, heartbroken. Waiting for Nigeria to awaken is like Waiting for Godot!

I recall some months ago, Amaechi, some priests and leaders visited and offered Buhari options to defuse and tackle the Nnamdi Kanu tangled palaver. He rejected it. 

Regardless, he was hopeful that Nigeria’s  President Muhammadu Buhari (retired army General and former dictator) with the leadership of the country would halt the sweeping drift and involve all Nigerians fairly, equitably and appropriately to restructure and rebuild a severely damaged country and heal its brutalized citizens.


-Nwangwu is Founder & Publisher of the first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper on the internet, USAfricaonline.com

Follow him on Twitter @Chido247

Related Articles