Thursday, 5 April 2018

Please stand up for Chief Hezekiah Oladipo Davies on His birthday





Chief Hezekiah Oladipo Davies (5 April 1905 – 22 November 1989) was a leading Nigerian nationalist, lawyer, journalist, trade unionist, thought leader and politician during the nation's movement towards independence in 1960 and immediately afterwards.

Family History and Early Life
Chief Davies was born in the southern city of Lagos, Nigeria. His maternal Great Grandfather was the Oba of Effon-Alaiye. His maternal Great Grand Mother was the Owa (Queen regnant) of Ilesha. His grandmother was Princess Haastrup, the daughter of the Ijesha monarch, and his paternal Grand-Father, Prince Ogunmade-Davies of the Ogunmade Ruling House of Lagos, was the son of King Docemo. His father, known as "Spiritual Moses", was one of the founders of the Cherubim and Seraphim Church of Nigeria.

Between 1911 and 1917, Davies attended the Wesley School, Olowogbowo, Lagos. He then went on to Methodist Boys High School, Lagos, which he attended from 1917 to 1920. In 1921, he began attending the King's College, Lagos, and did so until 1923. In the following year, he became Assistant Master at King's College, Lagos

Notable amongst his childhood friends were Nigeria's first president, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, who attended Methodist Boys High School with him, and Nigeria's first indigenous Chief Justice of the Federation, Sir Adetokunbo Ademola, and first indigenous surgeon, Dr Oni Akerele, both from King's College.

Higher Education
H.O. Davies was one of the earliest Nigerians to use the University of London's distance learning program, he making friends by way of it with the likes of Lord Denning. He passed the London Matriculation Examination in 1925 in the company of Eyo Ita. He also attended the London School of Economics in 1935, where he was a pupil of Harold Laski, graduating with a BComm (Hons). 

In the same year, he was elected President of the Cosmopolitan Club of the School. While in the United Kingdom, he was President of the West African Student Union and was also a representative of the University of London on the Executive Committee on British Universities.

He later returned to London in 1944, where he studied Law and was called to the English Bar at the Middle Temple Inns of Court, London in 1946. In 1959, Davies spent a year as a Fellow of the Center for International Studies at Harvard University

Political Career
Davies was a founding member of the Lagos Youth Movement in 1934 along with James Churchill VaughanKofo AbayomiErnest Sissei Ikoli, and Samuel Akisanya. He was made Secretary-General. The Youth Movement was one of the earliest political associations to encourage active participation by Nigerians in the political and socio-economic development of the country.

After returning from studies abroad along with Nnamdi Azikiwe, Davies spearheaded the efforts that led to renaming the Lagos Youth Movement the Nigerian Youth Movement when both individuals became prominent members, contributors and national leaders with large followings. Davies was the founding Secretary-General of the NYM.

Davies left the movement in 1951 and founded his own party, the Nigerian People's Congress. He later joined the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons after negotiations for a formidable alliance with Nnamdi Azikiwe were unsuccessful. Davies was a Federal Minister of State in the Ministry of Industries from 1963–1966 during the Nigerian First Republic.


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