Kingsley Ozumba Mbadiwe // (1915–1990) was a Nigerian nationalist, politician, statesman, and government minister in the Nigerian First Republic and a Biafran Roving ambassador during the civil war.

Kingsley Mbadiwe
Central Minister of Lands, Survey and Natural Resources
In office
Preceded byOkoi Arikpo
Central Minister of Communication and Aviation
In office
Preceded byArthur Prest
Personal details
Oneh, Orlu Division
Political partyNCNC

Early life


Mbadiwe was born to the family of Mbadiwe Odum from Arondizuogu then under then Orlu division of present-day Imo State.[1] His uncle, Igwegbe Odum, was a warrant chief in the colonial era.



He started primary education at St Mary's Catholic School, Port Harcourt, and finished it at a government school in Aba. He then attended the Hope Waddell Training Institute, Calabar, Aggrey Memorial College, Arochukwu, Igbobi College, Lagos and the Baptist Academy, Lagos. At Baptist Academy, Samuel Akintola and E.E. Esau were staff members, while some of his schoolmates at Igbobi were Taslim Elias, Horatio Thomas and Justice F.O. Coker. After his secondary education, he dabbled into trading by establishing Mbadiwe Produce Association in 1937[citation needed]. He left Nigeria to study at Columbia University and New York University for a number of years. While in America, he helped to establish an African student's association, through which he gained the attention of the U.S. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who received him and his organization in the White House.[2]



After returning from the U.S., he started another business and established a research institute on African Arts. He soon entered the Nigerian political scene and joined the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons. In 1951, he was elected into the Eastern Region House of Assembly.[3] He was re-elected in 1954, and made minister for Lands and National Resources shortly thereafter. In 1957, he was made the Minister for Commerce. However, his political success was to undergo a great challenge when in mid-1958, he and Kola Balogun attempted to remove Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe as the leader of National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC).[4] Mbadiwe set up his own newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, as an organ of protest.[5] He later re-joined the party and was appointed Minister for Trade and Communications[6] and also served as a special adviser to the Prime Minister, advising on African affairs.After the succession of The Eastern Region he was Appointed as a Roving Ambassador by the Biafran president Odumegwu Ojukwu and held this post till the end of the civil war. [7]

Personal life


[8] Mbadiwe had six children namely Betty, Greg, Paul, Chris, George, and Francis. His brother, James Green Mbadiwe was a businessman conducting on his account in the Northern Region, he owned the now defunct Green's Hotel on Ahmadu Bello Way, Kaduna built in 1939 and commissioned by Azikiwe. The property later became a shopping center, J. Green Mbadiwe died in 1980.[9]

He built and inhabited the landmark residence, The Palace of The People, at Ndianiche Uno. It was commissioned by Prime Minister Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa in 1965.


  1. ^ Aniche, Emeka (2019-12-13). "Dr. Kingsley Ozumba Mbadiwe (1915–1990) was a nationalist, politician, statesman". Notable Aros. Retrieved 2022-09-30.
  2. ^ The Cambridge history of Africa: From c. 1940 to c. 1975, Michael Crowder, p100, Cambridge University Press, 1985 ISBN 978-0-521-22409-3
  3. ^ Marika Sherwood (1966). Kwame Nkrumah: the years abroad 1935-1947. University of Michigan. p. 54. ISBN 978-9988-7716-0-7.
  4. ^ Kalu Ezera (1964). Constitutional developments in Nigeria: an analytical study of Nigeria's constitution-making developments and the historical and political factors that affected constitutional change. California University Press. p. 243.
  5. ^ Uma O. Eleazu (1977). Federalism and nation-building: the Nigerian experience, 1954-1964. Stockwell. p. 183. ISBN 978-0-7223-0987-2.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  6. ^ Imanuel Geiss (1974). The pan-African movement: a history of pan-Africanism in America, Europe and Africa. Taylor & Francis. p. 511. ISBN 978-0-8419-0161-2.
  7. ^ Ufot Bassey Inamete (2001). Foreign policy decision-making in Nigeria. Susquehanna University Press. pp. 21–22. ISBN 978-1-57591-048-2.
  8. ^ Seeing the world in black & white, p16, Linus T. Ogbuji, Africa World Press, 2007, ISBN 159221486X, 9781592214860
  9. ^ Arogundade, Lanre (March 16, 1992). "Abandoned property palaver in Kaduna". National Concord.

Further reading

  • Lynch, Hollis R. K.O. Mbadiwe: A Nigerian Political Biography, 1915-1990 (Palgrave Macmillan; 2012) 294 pages
  • Rosalynde Ainslie, Catherine Hoskyns, Ronald Segal, Political Africa: A Who's Who of Personalities and Parties (Frederick A. Praeger, 1961)