|Birth||29 November 1906, Nigeria|
|Death||1 December 1995
(aged 89 years)
Sir Francis Akanu Ibiam KCMG KBE (29 November 1906 – 1 July 1995) was a distinguished medical missionary who was appointed Governor of Eastern Region, Nigeria from December 1960 until January 1966 in the midst of the Nigerian First Republic. From 1919 to 1951, he was known as Francis Ibiam, and from 1951 to 1967, Sir Francis Ibiam.
Ibiam was born in Unwana, Afikpo, Ebonyi State on 29 November 1906, of Igbo background. He was the second son of Chief Ibiam Aka, a traditional ruler of Unwana. He himself later grew to change into typical ruler, Eze Ogo Isiala I of Unwana and Osuji of Uburu. He attended Hope Waddell Training Institute, Calabar, and King’s College, Lagos, after which was admitted to the University of St. Andrews, graduating with a medical diploma in 1934. He was accepted as a medical missionary of the Church of Scotland, by which place he established Abiriba hospital (1936–1945) and later superintended mission hospitals at Itu and Uburu.
Ibiam was certainly not ordained as a minister, nonetheless he was elected and ordained as an elder of the Presbyterian Church. He was appointed an honorary Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) throughout the 1949 New Year Honours for his work as a medical missionary of the Church of Scotland, and was appointed an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) throughout the 1951 New Year Honours, which was later made substantive. Ibiam was president of the Christian Council of Nigeria (1955–1958). In 1957 he was appointed principal of Hope Waddell Institution. In 1959 Ibiam was president of the University College of Ibadan. On a go to to Northern Rhodesia, he was refused service at a café reserved for whites, an affair that grew to change into notorious. In 1962, he was chairman of the committee that established the Protestant Chapel on the University of Nigeria, Nsukka Campus.
In the lead-up to Nigerian independence Ibiam served in native authorities, throughout the Eastern Regional House of Assembly, and throughout the Legislative and Executive Councils.
After Nigeria gained independence in 1960, Ibiam was appointed governor of Eastern Region. On 24 August 1962, he was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (KCMG). Ibiam held office until the navy coup of 15 January 1966 that launched Major General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi to power.
His authoritarian successor, colonel Emeka Ojukwu, immediately ejected Ibiam from the State House in Enugu. Later, Emeka grew to change into president of the breakaway state of Biafra.
Nigerian Civil War
During the Nigerian Civil War of 1967 – 1970, Ibiam actively assisted the Biafrans, serving to pay money for discount offers by means of his church contacts. As one in every of many six presidents of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Ibiam spoke on the WCC Meeting in Upsalla, Sweden in July 1968 the place the problem of discount for refugees was talked about. Chief Bola Ige, Adviser to the Church of the Province of West Africa was moreover present, and ensured that the title “Biafra” was averted throughout the WCC choice, since that may point out recognition of the state. However, Ibiam was instrumental in guaranteeing that the nightly air carry of discount into Biafra was started. In 1969, he travelled all through Canada to spice up humanitarian help and help for the people of Biafra.
Ibiam returned his knighthood and renounced his English title, Francis, in protest in opposition to the British authorities’s help of the Nigerian federal authorities.
Following the wrestle, Ibiam continued work on reconstruction and hospital service. Ibiam was accountable for the Bible Society of Nigeria and the Christian Medical Fellowship. He grew to change into a president of the All Africa Conference of Churches.
Ibiam died in 1 July 1995. More than 20,000 people attended his funeral in Unwana.
The Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, the Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Unwana, Ebonyi State, and the Francis Akanu Ibiam stadium University of Nigeria, Nsukka are named after him.
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