10 Igbo Legends That Have Put The Tribe Well High On The Map

1940

Chioma Ajunwa-Opara

Chioma Ajunwa is a former athlete who specialised in long jump. After various setbacks in her career she achieved fame when she became the first female athlete in the country and in West Africa to win an Olympic gold medal in a track and field event at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

Till date, she remains Nigeria’s only individual Olympic gold medalist.

Ajunwa is also an officer with the Nigerian Police Force. In 2012, she was made the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Meran police station in Lagos.

The former athlete turned police DPO was delivered of triplets (2 boys and a girl) recently at the age of 41.

She put to birth on September, 3, 2012.

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Chioma Ajunwa

Samuel “Sam” Onunaka Mbakwe

Some say he is unarguably the best governor to have govern Imo state. Samuel Mbakwe was an Igbo politician and governor of Imo State, southern Nigeria from October 1, 1979 until December 31, 1983.

Described as “controversial”, Late Mbakwe once said the following about politicians September 1995: “If you have not been in prison before, that will be your baptism and qualification. You will learn from the prison yard that not all those in detention are criminals.”

However, the love Mbakwe had for his people cannot be overlooked as he was given the nickname “the weeping governor” for crying while trying to convince the federal government to pay more attention to his state; the first occasion of his famed tears was the Ndiegoro flood in Aba, which was then a part of Imo State.

He had invited President Shehu Shagari to witness the destruction done by the floods, and it was said that he was moved to tears while conducting the president around the disaster area.

The Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, which is located in Owerri, the state capital, was renamed after him. In 1981, Sam Mbakwe set up Imo State University. The campus was located in a territory that was ceded to Abia State in 1991 and was re-christened Abia State University. However, Imo State University acquired a new campus in Owerri and still exist.

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Sam Mbakwe

Mbakwe died in January 6, 2004 in Abutu, Obowo Local Government Area after a sickness which had set on in February 2002 and occurred shortly after a state-sponsored trip to Germany for treatment.

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