“In 1909 a team of itinerant geologists who were supposed to be looking for silver in this hilly area discovered the sub-bituminous coal which, subsequent investigations estableshed was available in commercial quantities. The discovery came at a very opportune time, just before the outbreak of the first world war, 1914- 1918. The Goverenment of Nigeria decided to undertake the operation and the developement of the mines. Following the decision, a 151- mile railway route was built to connect the mining centre with the port of Port Harcourt . The first coal train steamed out of the coal mines in 1916. The settlement which grew out of the mines was called Enugu, an Igbo expression for top of the hill”.
The colonial government needed Chief Onyeama of Eke. His drive and influence provided labourers from all over the surrounding villages who were set on the task of building the new railway line . nd
A miner walking along the shaft of the Udi Mines
The coal that travels by aerial ropeway from the Hays Mines is loaded here at Ogbete Railway Marshalling Yard.
The Cricket score card from The Nigeria v Ghana Cricket match in Lagos on the 20th, 21st and 23rd March 1964.
GREETINGS FROM THE N.C.A PRESIDENT
I extend to our brothers from Ghana a right hearty welcome to Nigeria. I wish the the thrills of a tough game of cricket, which we hope to give them. I wish them plenty of fun and friendship.
Cricket is our common heritage – the strongest link that has bound our peoples together since the colonial days. That is why, whether in politics, or in business the Nigerian as well as the Ghanian can always trust to play the game according to the rules.
I hope that international cricket will continue to foster friendship between Nigeria and Ghana. Welcome friends and so to the pitch. Chief A.S.E Agbabiaka
Patron: HIS EXCELLENCY DR NNAMDI AZIKIWE President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Vice Patron: CHIEF THE HON.J.M.JOHNSON Minister of Labour and Social Welfare
THE HON. SIR LOUIS MBANEFO Chief Justice of Eastern Nigeria
PRESIDENT : CHIEF A.S.E AGBABIAKA, M.B.E
VICE – PRESIDENT: DR J. O MABAYOJE
Hon. Treasurer: MR A . K SAGOE (Lewis Street. Lagos)
Hon Secretary: MR E. O OYESIKU (Prison Street, Lagos)
Explorers like Ledyard,Lucas, Houghton, Hornman, and Mungo Parks all attempted to decipher Western Africa but found it was no easy task. Death had other plans.
Africa was a riddle to outsiders and the biggest riddle was the River Niger! Dixon Denham and Hugh Clapperton had tried to cross it but failed. In 1830 the Landers Brothers (Richard and John) had managed to chart the course of the Niger from Bussa to the Delta but this was not enough because too many lives had been lost
In 1854 a noteable journey took place, when Dr William Balfour Baikie commanded an expedition up the Benue for more than three hundred miles without losing a single life; A new drug called Quinine was used for the first time. After this pioneering feat more ships started arriving, trade within the interior was increasing and the first missionaries landed.
In 1859 he set up base in Lokoja, it being the site of the model farm established by the Niger expedition in 1841 and abandoned on the death of most of the white settlers. After Baikie concluded a treaty with the Fula Emir of Nupe, he proceeded to clear ground and pave the way for a future city, which had almost 2000 representatives of the different tribes of West Central Africa trading in the first 3 years. After his death in 1864, Lokoja remained an influential trading post. The British then secured the district through the Niger Company and later became the Capital of the Northern Nigeria Protectorate when the British Government took over.
Interesting to note that in the Igbo language the word for “white man” is “Bekee” a corruption of his name and the name “Ala Bekee” means Britain, “Baikies Country”
Report on the countries in the neighborhood of the Niger 1863