On this day in 1864, a Nigerian nationalist, politician, engineer, architect, journalist, and musician who is considered by many Nigerians as the founder of Nigerian nationalist struggles, Olayinka Herbert Samuel Heelas Badmus Macaulay, popularly known as Herbert Macaulay, was born in Lagos State, South-West Nigeria.
From 1891 to 1894 he studied civil engineering in Plymouth, England and was also a pupil of G.D. Bellamy, a borough surveyor and water engineer in Plymouth.
In 1893, he became a graduate of the Royal Institute of British Architects, London.
Macaulay was one of the first Nigerian nationalists and for most of his life a strong opponent of many colonial policies.
Macaulay became very popular and on 24 June 1923 he founded the Nigerian National Democratic Party, NNDP, the first Nigerian political party.
The party won all the seats in the elections of 1923, 1928 and 1933.
Though, the party wanted to be national in outlook, Macaulay’s strength of support was limited and that affected the growth of the party.
In October 1938 the more radical Nigerian Youth Movement fought and won elections for the Lagos Town Council, ending the dominance of Macaulay and his National Democratic Party.
In 1944 Macaulay co-founded the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons, NCNC, together with Nnamdi Azikiwe and became its President.
The NCNC was a patriotic organization designed to bring together Nigerians of all stripes to demand independence.
In 1946 Macaulay fell ill in Kano and later died on the 7th of May that year aged 82 in Lagos
The leadership of the NCNC went to Azikiwe, who later became the first President of Nigeria.
Macaulay was buried at Ikoyi Cemetery in Lagos on 11 May 1946.
Nnamdi Azikiwe delivered a funeral oration at Macaulay’s burial ceremony