A BENIN MAN WAS THE FIRST NIGERIAN GRADUATE
Who was the first known Nigerian graduate? As this issue has generated so much controversy, it is important that I deal with it comprehensively and provide a clear evidence to substantiate my research. Readers, again kindly google the name Olu Atuwatse (Dom Domingo). Olu Atuwatse was the crown prince of the Bini Empire who was sent to Portugal in 1601 for advanced studies by his father, the then reigning Oba. He graduated from the University of Coimbra in 1611. He was the first Nigerian to obtain a European university degree. He later married the daughter of a Portuguese noble, Dona Feirs. Their son Antonio Domingo referred to in Benin history as the Golden Skinned King succeeded him to the throne in 1643.
Antonio Domingo, a Christian who wanted to spread Christianity throughout the Empire, wrote the Pope in 1652 asking for Missionary assistance. This is the oldest letter written in Nigeria. I think this lays to rest which ethnic nationality produced the first educated Nigerians. If required, I would provide other historical research to substantiate my position further. I ask my Yoruba brothers to provide the same.