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Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa

Balewa, Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa (älhäˈjē äbōˈbäkärˌ täfäˈwä bälāˈwä) [key], 1912–66, Nigerian political leader. He was born Mallam Abubakar. After studying to become a teacher, he held a series of posts in education and then became a member of the Northern Region house of assembly in 1947. Later (1951), he was elected to the federal house of representatives. He was appointed the first prime minister of the Federation of Nigeria in 1957. When the federation became independent (1960), he retained his office. He was a founder and deputy president general of the country's largest political party, the Northern People's Congress. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. In 1966, he was killed in a military coup.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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