Akanu Ibiam was the second son of Chief Ibiam Aka, a traditional ruler of Unwana. He himself later became traditional ruler with the title of Ezeogo Isiala 1 of Unwana. On the way to his crowning achievement as Governor of the Easter Region, Akanu Ibiam racked up an impressive list of professional, public service and personal accomplishments, including:
- Attended Hope Waddell Training Institute, Calabar, and King’s College, Lagos.
- Attended University of St. Andrews (oldest university in Scotland, United Kingdom).
- Graduated with a medical degree in 1934.
Public Interest Service:
- Accepted as a medical missionary of the Church of Scotland.
- Superintended the establishment of Abiriba Hospital (1936 – 1945).
- Served as a superintendent of mission hospitals at Itu and Uburu – both in Nigeria.
- Was elected and ordained as an elder of the Presbyterian Church.
- Was knighted in 1951 for his work as a medical missionary of the Church of Scotland.
- Served as president of the Christian Council of Nigeria (1955–1958).
- Appointed principal of Hope Waddell Institution, Calabar in 1957.
- Elected president of the University College of Ibadan in 1959.
- Before Nigeria’s independence: Served in the local government, Eastern Regional House of Assembly and in the Legislative and Executive Councils.
- After Nigeria’s independence: Was appointed Governor of Eastern Region.
- He held this position until he was removed in a military coup in January 15, 1966.
- In recognition of his towering achievements in public service, the Federal Government of Nigeria named a Federal Polytechnic (Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Unwana) and a major Nigerian airport (Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu) after Akanu Ibiam.
- On account of his exemplary public service record at the local, national and international levels and his pioneering role as the first Governor of the Eastern Region, Sir Francis Akanu Ibiam merits the distinction of a Pace Setter.
[Curled from Internet Wikipedia]