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UNN, not University of Ibadan is Nigeria’s first indigenous university

University of Nigeria, Nsụka, established in October 1960, is the FIRST INDIGENOUS UNIVERSITY in Nigeria. It never had any affiliations to any other university on earth for one day.

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UNN main gate

Young generations of Nigerians would be thinking that because the University of Ibadan is 71 years this year in 2019 and the University of Nigeria, Nsụka is 59 years this year in 2019, therefore the first indigenous Nigerian University establishment is University of Ibadan. Hell no!

University of Nigeria, Nsụka, established in October 1960, is the FIRST INDIGENOUS UNIVERSITY in Nigeria. It never had any affiliations to any other university on earth for one day and the degrees it awarded its first graduates were the indigenous degrees of the University of Nigeria, Nsụka.

On the other hand, the University of Ibadan, up until the mid-1960s, was a UNIVERSITY COLLEGE from 1948 when it was established. It remained affiliated to the UNIVERSITY OF LONDON and awarded its graduates degrees certified from the University of London and NOT University of Ibadan until it attained the independent status of a University years after UNN had been one.

Also, read Remembering the Aba women riot, 90 years after

Anywhere you argue to say this and doubters argue with you, refer them to the medical facility attached to the University of Ibadan which still bears “UCH” — University College Hospital — up till this minute. The “UCH” remains a monument of the college status of the university before it attained a university status behind the first indigenous university — the UNN.

I came across some 2018 advert bills emphasising that the University of Ibadan is 70 years and I laughed, knowing the pattern of the doctors and manipulators of Nigerian histories. The writer/s did not lay any emphasis on the University formerly being a university college affiliated to London from 1948 to mid-1960s.

Perhaps, it is a subtle way to make the historically ignorant younger Nigerians assume it as the oldest Nigerian university such that in future, it may become a full claim and forced lie. Subtract the years of being a college from the entire 70 years and you'd see that the University of Ibadan is not indeed 70 years old as claimed. Same is applicable to what is today's UNEC (University of Nigeria, Enugwu Campus) that started out as a college of Arts and Science in the 1950s but is now under the UNN since the end of the war or so. UNEC can never claim and has never claimed it's over 60 years because of its former college status.

UNN is and remains the oldest indigenous university in Nigeria, followed by the University of Ife and the University of Lagos. “University College” is not the same as “University”. Take note.

Chijioke Ngobili is a social and political commentator with a special bias for Igbo-related histories and narratives. He is on Facebook as Chi Ngo. 

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