From the IOE to world politics

Just a quick one before I forget. This afternoon I found a file on a man named Abubakar Tafewa Balewa. Abubakar was a student at the IOE Colonial Department, 1945-1946. I started cataloguing the file from the back (oldest item) and was interested enough to find an essay he wrote titled ‘The evolution of modern ideas of community life and discipline with special reference to relations between staff and pupils’, some lists of his teaching practice placements, and a short report on his work by LJ Lewis.

Continuing cataloguing, I found letters from a researcher at the BBC requesting information on Abubakar, which was when I started really get curious. A handful of press cuttings revealed that the former IOE student had gone on to become the Prime Minister of Nigeria Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, but was murdered in a military coup in 1966.

I won’t go into explaining who he was, or what his achievements as PM of Nigeria were. But I felt he should probably be acknowledged, or rather remembered once more, as significant IOE alumni.

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