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Story Of Alvan Ikoku, The Igbo Man Whose Face Is On Ten Naira Note

Alvan Ikoku is a man that will always be talked about in Nigeria because of his great achievements in the country.

Alvan Ikoku. Credit: HistoryVille

He was born on 1st August 1990, to a rich merchant family in Amanagwu, Arochukwu, present-day Abia State. Even though his dad was Igbo, Alvan's mother was an Efik woman who hailed from Calabar, present-day Cross River.

He attended Hope Waddell Training Institution in Calabar, and he grew up to be an Educationist, Politician, Activist, and Nationalist. Alvan Ikoku spent most of his time growing up in Cross River, that was where he met his wife, Goomsu, an Efik Woman.

Illustrative Photo. Credit: Google

In 1932, Alvan Ikoku established Aggrey Memorial College in Abia State, the first indigenous private secondary school in Nigeria. The school was first used to train teachers, but it was later converted to a complete secondary school in 1935. Different subjects were taught at the school, including carpentry which gave many people knowledge about furniture.

After bagging a philosophy degree from the University of London in 1928, Alvan Ikoku became the first Nigerian to earn a university degree as an external candidate.

After acquiring much honour as a politician, educationist, and nationalist, he died of a stroke-related illness on 18th November 1971, at the Aba General Hospital in Abia State.

Due to his great achievements in Nigeria's educational sector, a federal college of education was named after him in Imo State.

Main gate of Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education in Owerri, Imo State.

Since 1979, Alvan's face has adorned the 10 Naira note, and it's because of his great devotion to the country before his death.

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Abia State Alvan Ikoku Calabar Efik Igbo


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