How Mbazuluike Amaechi housed Nelson Mandela in Nigeria to avoid arrest
By Engr Chris Emeka Azubogu: As Living Legend, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi move us to Owerri for his 90years on earth
As Living Legend, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi move us to Owerri for his 90years on earth
By Chris Emeka Azubogu
A short story of the Famous Nationalist that hid Nelson Mandela in his house in Nigeria to avoid arrest from apartheid regime …
(1) Hon. Chief Mbazulike Amechi was born in Ukpor in the present day Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra state on June 16, 1929.
‘The boy is good’ as popularly called, developed passion and desire of liberating his people as a young boy. He had a burning zeal of extricating his dear country Nigeria from the clutches of the colonial masters.
(2) Due to his desire to see his country liberated from colonial rule, the Young Mbazulike joined the Zikist movement while he was still a secondary school student.
(3) From 1949 to 1955, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi was a leading trade Unionist, where he demonstrated extreme boldness and spirit of sacrifice for public good and liberation of mankind.
(4) The young Mbazulike Amaechi believed that no human should be treated as an object in the hand of another man .
(5) This believe was exemplified in the 1949, after the gruesome murder of eighteen (18) colliery workers in November 18, 1949 while they were participating in a sit-down strike to press home their demands for good pay and better welfare of black underground Enugu coal workers by a team of about hundred policemen led by a white superintendent Philip.
(6) The young Mbazulike Amaechi who was then the General secretary of Armels Transport Union, Secretary of Benin Council of Labour and Assistant Secretary of Benin and Warri District of the Zikist movement, organized a protest rally of all workers in Benin and environs, where they demanded adequate punishment for the perpetrators of the repulsive and disgusting crime in Enugu .
The man Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, named ‘the boy is good’, stood tall to press for justice for murdered coal workers of Enugu at a time blacks were seen as inferior beings .
(7) Chief Mbazulike Amaechi was a member of Zikist movement with people like : Kola Balogun, MCK Ajuluchukwu, Mokwugo Okoye, Nduka Eze,Ogedemgbe, Macaulay (Son of sir Hebert Macaulay), Raji Abadallah,Ikenna Nzimiro( later Prof Nzimiro), Magaret Ekpo,Zana Bukar Dicharima, Fred Anyiam,Osita Agwuna( later Igwe Enugwu Ukwu), RBK Okafor etc .
(8) As a member of the Zikist movement with passion to get Independent for Nigeria, they agreed never to marry until Nigeria regained her Independence .
It was issue of passion for one’s country.
(9) This committed Nationalist with his fellow Zikists, took another position that “no Zikist arraigned before any court should make any plea of leniency or show of any sign of regret for fighting for the freedom of the Nation (Nigeria Independent from British Colonial government)”.
Their actions and inactions were towards achieving Independent Nigeria from Britain.
(10) Mbazulike Amaechi was later elected on the platform of NCNC as a member of House of Representatives in 1959. Making him the first House of Representatives member to represent my Federal Constituency in Independent Nigeria .
(11) This orator was appointed the Minister of Aviation and Transport in 1962 and remain a Minister until the first military coup .
(12) In their struggle for Nigeria’s independence, Mbazulike Amaechi was victimized; jailed maimed, beaten etc but his spirit was never dampened or his patriotic spirit dulled .
(13) The history of Nigeria’s independence will not be complete without mentioning the role played by active nonviolent resistant of Nigerian Youths of Mbazulike Amaechi era especially the members of the Zikist movement.
(14) In 1963, this Pan Africanist had Nelson Mandela housed in his house when he ran to Nigeria to avoid arrest .
Mandela who stayed for six months with newly married Mbazulike Amaechi for Six months, later return for South Africa and was imprisoned.
(15) Nelson Mandela in 18th of February, 1964 wrote this committed Pan Africanist, Mbazulike Amaechi from prison, which he signed as Nelson Mandela, prisoner No 116570/63, asking Chief Mbazulike Amaechi to help find employment for ANC member from South Africa, Dr Barange in Nigeria . The apartheid regime in South Africa were seriously looking for him and so, Mandela wanted him to get out of Soutj Africa.
Mbazulike Amaechi was able to get a job for Dr Barange at the University of Ife as a senior Lecturer in Geology.
(16) This great ambassador of my Federal Constituency, has never stop giving me valid suggestions regards my representation of our people.
(17) Today, we are all in Owerri, Imo State to celebrate this great man; an orator, a Parliamentarian, a man that stood up for Nigeria to gain Independent, a Pan Africanist that also stood for other african brothers.
(18) I can only say, thank you God for the gift of this living legend of our time, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi.
(19) This great son of Ukpor,Chief Mbazulike Amaechi in 1959, opened the Representative door of our Constituency.
Engr Chris Emeka Azubogu is member Representing Nnewi North/Nnewi South/Ekwusigo Federal Constituency.