Posted on Tue 14 Oct 2014, 10:59 AM

Did you know that Dr. Akanu Ibiam was the first governor of Eastern Region of Nigeria between 1960 and 66.  He was born on November 29, 1906 in Unwana Afikpo.

Son of a traditional ruler, Chief Ibiam Aka who later became traditional ruler with the title, Ezeogo Isiala 1 of Unwana.

Dr. Ibiam attended the Hope Waddel Training Institute, Calabar and later Kings College, Lagos. He proceeded to the University of St. Andrew Scotland, United Kingdom. In 1934, he graduated with a degree in Medicine.

As a medical missionary of the Church of Scotland, he supervised the establishment of Abriba Hospital (1936 -1945). He was elected and ordained as an elder of the Presbyterian Church. 

In 1951, Dr. Ibiam was knighted by Britain for his efforts as a medical missionary. 

History about Dr. Akanu Ibiam's public life  will be incomplete without mentioning that he renounced his knighthoods (1951 and 1960) in protest against British support for the Nigerian militiary in killing citizens of the Eastern region from 1966.

During the civil war, Dr. Ibiam became an adivser to the Biafran government and negotiated a few foreign aids for the people. 

Dr. Francis Akanu Ibiam, Ezeogo 1 of Unwana, Afikpo died in 1995. He is now remembered as the man who could let go his international recognition and influence in defence of his people.

 

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