Nationalism is defined as the consciousness of belonging to a nation/state by people of a common geographical setting, culture and language, which leads to the struggle against foreign rule and domination.

It also means the sentiments and activities directed towards the emancipation, attainment, and maintenance of political and economic independence from the colonial masters.

African nationalist movement led to the development of political parties and associations to oppose the colonial government and to achieve political and economic independence. Foremost African nationalists were usually men who had some western education or professional training.

Some of these African nationalists were Jomo Kenyatta, Kenneth Kaunda, Patrice Lumumba of Zaire, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Herbert Macauley (the father of Nigerian nationalism), Dr. Olorun Nimbe, Jackson John, Chief Oluwa of Lagos, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Sir Tafawa Balewa, H.O Davies, K.O Mbadiwe, Nwafor Qrizu, etc.

Some traditional nationalists who reacted to the delimitation of their traditional authority are King Jaja of Opobo, Oba Ovonramwen Nogbaisi of Benin, King Masaba of Nupe land, and Nana of Itsekiri.

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