10 Famous Nigerians From Anambra State

Nnamdi Azikiwe:

Popularly known as Zik, Azikiwe was the first President of Nigeria.

The prominent nationalist and statesman played a vital role in Nigeria’s struggle for Independence and led the country throughout the First Republic. He was born on November 16, 1904, and he died on May 11, 1996.

Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu:

Born on November 9, 1933, the iconic Odumegwu-Ojukwu would go on to become a military officer, Governor of the Eastern Region and lead the breakaway Republic of Biafra from 1967 to 1970.

As a politician, he was the founding father and leader of the All Progressives Grand Alliance until his death on November 26, 2011.

Alex Ekwueme:

Ekwueme, who is currently receiving treatment in London after reportedly slumping in his home, was the first Vice President of Nigeria. He served as a deputy to former President Shehu Shagari from October 1, 1979, to December 31, 1983, in the Second Republic.

The 85-year-old elder statesman hails from Orumba North Local Government of Anambra State.

He was also Acting President of Nigeria from late 1965 until the military coup of January 1966. He died in 1999.

Emeka Anyaoku:

Anyaoku was the third Secretary-General of the Commonwealth (from July 1, 1990, to March 31, 2000).

The 84-year-old, who was born on January 18, 1933, has been a major voice in the push for the restructuring of the country.

Louis Ojukwu:

The father of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu was a prominent businessman and reportedly Nigeria’s first recorded millionaire.

Sir Ojukwu was once considered the wealthiest person in Nigeria and was the founding President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. He was born in 1909 and died in 1966.

Cardinal Francis Arinze:

Another famous son of Anambra is the current Cardinal Bishop of Velletri-Segni, a position that was held by Joseph Ratzinger who became Pope Benedict XVI since 2005.

He was one of the principal advisers to Pope John Paul II and was among those considered as the beloved pope’s likely successors.

Cardinal Arinze was born on November 1, 1932.


Professor Chinua Achebe:

Born on November 16, 1930, Achebe would become a novelist, poet, and critic, and arguably the most globally recognised Anambra indigene.

His novel “Things Fall Apart”, has been translated into more than 50 languages with more than 20 million copies and is studied widely.

Professor Achebe, who won many prestigious awards, including the Man Booker International Prize, was born on November 16, 1930, and died on March 21, 2013.

Dora Akunyili:

Akunyili gained national recognition for her fight against fake and substandard drugs as the Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

She would later become a former Minister of Information and Communications from 2008 to 2010.

Born on July 14, 1954, Professor Akunyili died on June 7, 2014, after battling cancer.

Dr Chuba Okadigbo

Okadigbo was President of the Senate between 1999 and 2000, succeeding Evan Enwerem, who was impeached. Okadigbo, however, suffered the same fate as his predecessor.

After reportedly falling out with the President at the time, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Okadigbo joined the All Nigeria Peoples Party in 2002 and was running mate to President Muhammadu Buhari in 2003.

Okadigbo, who hailed from Oyi Local Government, was born on December 17, 1941, and died in Abuja on September 25, 2003.

Nwafor Orizu:

Nwafor Orizu was a member of the Nnewi Royal family and the second Senate President of Nigeria. He served during the First Republic from November 16, 1960, to January 15, 1966.

He was also Acting President of Nigeria from late 1965 until the military coup of January 1966. He died in 1999. A college of education in Anambra State is named after him.