The Federal Government expresses deep sorrow at the passing of Pa Taiwo Akinkunmi, the designer of the Nigerian national flag. Mr. Akinkunmi passed away at the age of 84 on Wednesday at his family residence in Ibadan following a short illness.
In a statement released by Alhaji Mohammed Idris, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, it was conveyed that the government is profoundly saddened by this loss. Pa Taiwo Akinkunmi is recognized as a national icon, and his contribution to the unity of our nation will forever be cherished and remembered.
“The death of Pa Akinkunmi came at the time Nigeria was reinventing itself for peace, development and enduring national reconciliation.
“The country would miss the contributions of the deceased especially at this time that the Federal Government under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is banking on the Renewed Hope Agenda to build on the national fervour that characterized Nigeria’s journey to independence,” he said.
Idris said he was confident that Pa Akinkunmi would continue to live in the minds of Nigerians for generations to come.
“The National Flag, one of our revered national symbols is an asset for which Pa Akinwunmi has etched his name in the annals of Nigerian history.
“I, therefore, wish to use this opportunity to express my heartfelt condolences to his immediate family, praying that God will grant them the fortitude to bear this great loss,” added.
Pa Akinwumi, a native of Abeokuta, Ogun State, was born on May 10, 1936, but lived in Ibadan until his demise.
He attended Baptist Day Secondary School, Ibadan, for his primary education and Ibadan Grammar School, Ibadan, for his secondary education.
He started his career as a civil servant at the Secretariat of Ibadan and later travelled overseas to study Agricultural Engineering at Norway Technical College.
In 1958, during his stay abroad, Akinkunmi stumbled upon an advertisement in a national daily calling for the submission of designs for the Nigerian national flag in view of Nigeria’s imminent Independence from British governance.
Akinkunmi’s design was selected because of its ingenuity and profundity (the green bands represent the forests and abundant natural wealth of the country, while the white band represents peace).
The flag was officially hoisted on Independence Day (October 1, 1960) instead of the British Union Jack.
Akinkunmi was awarded 100 pounds by the government when his design was selected.
He has also been honoured with the MON (Member of the Order of the Niger) Award by President Goodluck Jonathan.