America Welcomes Prime Minister Abubakar Balewa of Nigeria, July 1961: 25-28


Motion picture covering the official state visit of Prime Minister Abubakar Balewa of Nigeria to the United States, including welcoming remarks by Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson and the Prime Minister’s response, events with President John F. Kennedy, an address by the Prime Minister at the Capitol, stops at other sites in Washington, D.C., and stops in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Chicago, Illinois, Knoxville, Tennessee, and New York City.



4 responses

  1. Ekuson Debango | Reply

    This is worth all the time and effort to watch. It is quite impressive.Listen to Sir Abubakar’s command of the English language and his delivery during the address to congress. The man certainly spoke very audible and understandable English.His entourage certainly included a retinue of some of the personalities that shaped the nation.Peolpe like Shagari,Taslim Benson,J. Wachukwu and if I am not mistaking,Udorji.Folks this is stuff that history is made of . Now what one could do is to at least follow up on names like Jaja Wachukwu to find out what role he played back then .Then look up TOS Benson.Shagari I am sure you all know but didn’t know he was a minister in the first republic.This is of great educational value for those of us interested in the history of Nigeria.Thank you for your effort and I hope this will continue to be work in progress.My appreciation as always.

    1. Not only was Shagari a minister during the first republic, he was one of the cabinet ministers that handed over power to Ironsi!

      1. Ekuson Debango | Reply

        You are right though he (Shagari)denied doing so willfully.In his autobiography he claimed that the handover note was written on a piece of paper(suggesting they never planned to hand over to Ironsi).What I believe happened was that a group of military officers met and asked Ironsi to prevail on the civilians to hand over power to the military.This group of officers included Gowon and many others who later claimed that Ironsi just decided to take over power.I also strongly believe that the civilians seeing the chaos at the time worked with the military to effect the handover. What kind of military would that be where just one person executes such a coup without as much as anyone opposing him?These claims are simply childish and laughable to say the least.Then again this is Nigeria where just about anything can pass for truth.

        1. Ekuson, your assessment is on point. I think it is too much to say Ironsi “forced” the cabinet to hand over power. However when the cabinet ministers met with him, they were not expecting the GOC Ironsi to tell them that the army was pressing him (Ironsi) to take over.

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