JAJA WACHUKU: a lawyer, political activist, a humanitarian, and a visionary leader. He was not only just the first Nigeria minister of Foreign Affairs and Commonwealth Relations, he was the first indigenous Speaker of the House of Representatives of Nigeria, taking over from Sir Fredric Metcalfe, 1959-1960. He was also the first Ambassador and Permanent Secretary to the United Nations before being appointed minister of Foreign Affairs and Commonwealth Relations from 1961-1965 by the then Prime Minister, Tafawa Belewa.
During his time as ambassador to the UN, some worthy recognition and privileges were accorded to some Nigerians: the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Police Force both debuted at this time in International Peacekeeping, and of course Gen. Aguiyi Ironsi was appointed commander of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Congo. His efforts launched Nigeria in as the 99th member of the United Nations on the 7th of October 1960 and as 58th member state of the UNESCO.
The Aviation Training Center, Zaria was established during his time as Aviation Minister, 1965-1966.
His famous library was regarded as the biggest one man library in West Africa, and of course that buttresses the fact that he was very sound, academically.
He persisted with other activists to reverse the death sentence ruled against Nelson Mandela and co. at the Rivonia Trial 1963-64 and his contributions and persistence were fruitful to the revoking of the death sentence to life imprisonment for some and release of Nelson Mandela eventually.
Also, due to the destructive Nigeria Civil War 1967-1970, so many children were displaced and many orphaned but Jaja Wachuku, in his humanitarian person, adopted and housed many of them of which cause, he had many grandchildren.
He was born on the 1st of January 1918 and passed on in 1996 November 7. Was married to Rhoda Jaja Wachuku and they together had five (5) children.
He received so many honors, including the Commander of Order of Niger Republic, Hero of the struggle for Nigeria’s independence by the Great Britain, a Pioneer Political Leader Honor by the former President Goodluck Jonathan on 28 February 2014 during Nigeria’s Centenary celebrations.
Jaja Wachuku contributed greatly to the progress of Nigeria, was indeed a Hero and an indispensable asset to his generation!
Now it doesn’t matter what the status quo says, a visionary leader who leaves no room for complacency will always take a hold of opportunities and help in effecting progress.