Prince Daniel Kanu was born on 20th of January 1971 in Aba, Imo State (now Abia State) to philanthropist, entrepreneur and traditional ruler His Royal Highness Maxwell O. Kanu, and Lolo Beatrice N. Kanu, both natives of Aro-Ndizuogu, Ideato North, Imo State.
Daniel Kanu attended Constitutional Crescent Primary School, Aba, and then graduated from Federal Government College Okigwe, Imo State, Nigeria.
In 1985 he moved to the United States where he attended Liberty Junior High School in Richardson, Texas, and graduated as an `A` student with a perfect class attendance record. While there, he began his sport career playing American Football.
In 1990, he was awarded with a diploma from North Garland High School in Garland, Texas. Due to his academic record and impressionable talent for football, Daniel Kanu received an academic and athletic scholarship to play football at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. During the course of his studies he later transferred to the University of Oklahoma to continue his education and exceptional football career.
While a student at the University of Oklahoma, Mr. Kanu was recognized for his brilliance and leadership skills by his esteemed professors. Consequently, they invited him on numerous occasions to lecture the classes on foreign affairs and culture since he was a foreign student. Daniel Kanu also completed a degree in Global Studies on International Business and Trade with distinguished recommendations from Richland College, Dallas Texas.
After eight years of living, schooling and working in the United States he returned to Nigeria in 1993, concerned for the plight of his fellow citizens. His dreams and ambitions compelled him to relocate to Nigeria and contribute in any positive manner possible to the uplifting of the nation. While working in Abuja as a businessman, his leadership skills were promptly recognized by his fellow youths and he arrived at the forefront of political and social awareness. His accomplishments were later recognized through numerous awards and successful endeavors.
Among his accomplishments, Daniel Kanu was the winner of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Primary election for Federal House of Representatives (AMAC and Bwari) in 2002, and was the former Chairman of Youths Earnestly Ask for Abacha (YEAA ’98). He was also a key organizer of the 2 Million Man March in 1998, which was the largest political rally in the history of Nigeria. Daniel Kanu aspired to uplift the youth of Nigeria from a very early age, and has devoted his life’s endeavors to this goal. His vision and determination has motivated youths and other Nigerians to become leaders in their local communities and at the national level of the Nigerian Government.
In March 1997 he was elected as the Chairman of Youths Earnestly Ask For Abacha (YEAA) an organization whose main aim was to campaign for transformation and empowerment of the youth under the civil leadership of General Sani Abacha. The group based its work on the platform that General Sani Abacha was doing an admirable job at managing Nigeria. Among his accomplishments were: the reducing of Nigeria’s external debt, increasing external reserves, stabilizing the Nigerian Currency (naira), The Petroleum Trust Fund’s rehabilitation of roads, hospitals and schools, low fuel prices, low food prices, Family Support Program loan scheme, and youth empowerment, among other accomplishments.
The campaign culminated with a Grand Rally on the 3rd and 4th of March, 1998, a day nowadays popularly known as the anniversary of the 2 Million-Man March. It is to date perceived as the largest gathering in the history of Nigeria. In attendance were youths, politicians, governors, traditional rulers, philanthropists, union leaders, entrepreneurs, industry leaders, foreign missions members, as well as local and foreign musicians from all over Nigeria and abroad.
The YEAA activities had an astonishing impact, and resulted in Daniel Kanu’s appearance on Cable News Network (CNN), British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and other international media to promote and represent YEAA.
With the death of General Sani Abacha on 8th June, 1998, the National Executive Committee of YEAA met and changed the name of the organization to Youth Earnestly Ask for Advancement, with the aim to foster the continuation of the laudable programs of the Abacha Administration under future administrations. Later with the emergence of the present democratic process under the supervision of General Abdulsalami Abubakar as Head of State in 1999, Daniel Kanu petitioned to transform YEAA into a political party to be known as the Masses Democratic Party (MDP). However, a deliberate disintegrating clause in the party registration guideline stipulated that no youth organization can be transformed into a political party, bringing to an end the that would have introduced the only Youth party in Nigeria. Daniel Kanu compelled the members and followers to support the democratic process by joining the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which was later produced by Olusegun Obasanjo, as the President Federal Republic of Nigeria. Due to his resilient nature, Daniel Kanu did not abandon his devotion to youths, returning to his private life and continuing to counsel the Youth and other Nigerians on matters affecting their lives.
In March 2002 Daniel Kanu re-emerged in Nigerian national politics. This time his aim was to continue his quest in providing benevolent leadership to Nigerians by entering the National Assembly (Congress) as member and Federal House of Representatives for Amac/Bwari Federal Constituency, Abuja, Nigeria. In his unique but efficient manner of mobilizing, he founded THE NEW DEAL ORGANIZATION, which sought to lower the crime rate amongst youths and create jobs and wealth for his compatriots. He emerged victorious, defeating 7 other candidates to become the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) flag bearer. However, the victory was short lived, as the Federal Government of Nigeria annulled his victory and gave his seat to the runner up. The Federal Government’s reason for canceling his victory was that Daniel Kanu was a youth leader who supported the Government of Late General Sani Abacha, Former Head of State of Nigeria. As a party loyalist, Daniel Kanu launched a peaceful protest to the PDP leadership and continued to support and work for the party’s victory in the April, 2003 general election.
In July 2011, he was appointed Senior Special Assistant of Agriculture and Water Resources to the Governor of Imo State, and was elevated to the position of Special Adviser to the Governor on August 2012.
As a student in 1988, Daniel Kanu started his first company by exporting commodities from United States to Nigeria and consulting in selling Nigerian Crude oil to United States companies. Upon his relocation to Nigeria in 1993 he continued his pursuit for wealth in the Oil and Gas sector and environmental services.
As a car enthusiast he capitalized upon the booming car industry by acquiring an exclusive distributorship from AM General Corporation, Inc. Indiana USA to sell HUMMER vehicles, becoming the first Nigerian to deliver the HUMMER H-1 as well as the first dealership in 1995.
In 1998 DIK International Ltd. won a bid for an Oil Prospecting License (OPL) for exploration of crude oil in the deep offshore blocks of Nigeria. This acquisition was later seized by subsequent government.
To diversify his investment, he acquired shares in Agura Hotel, real estate, and banking. In 2008 Daniel Kanu trademarked his name and sold it to DIK International Ltd. for promotion of the company’s business and operation purposes.
These and other successful business ventures have established him within many sectors of the Nigerian market.
HUMANITARIAN AND SOCIAL WORK:
In 2000, Daniel Kanu emerged as the Chairman of the Body Builders Association of Nigeria, a non-profit organization that encourages physical well-being amongst Nigerian Youths by promoting physical education and competitions.
Also in May 2000, he created the Daniel Kanu Football Club, a non-profit organization propagating his effort to keep the youth pre-occupied with meaningful activities and creation of possibilities for the discovery of talented individuals.
The team was registered with the Nigerian Football Association (NFA) under the Abuja Amateur League Football. Daniel Kanu and his foundation provided free comfortable accommodation and transportation, free medical insurance and salary for all his players and team officials. The Daniel Kanu Football Club team has produced a number of talented athletes, many of whom have continued on to play in professional leagues. In an attempt to broaden his impact on youths, the team was later dissolved and the Daniel Kanu Youth Foundation became the exclusive sponsor of the FCT League to date.
The Daniel Kanu Youth Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to molding future leaders with the values of conscience and integrity through education and sports. The vision at the Daniel Kanu Youth Foundation is to support youth development by promoting sports and education amongst youths. To help youths achieve broader goals in education, the foundation is ensuring that youths both in and out of school have access to quality education and increased opportunity to learn. To facilitate this, the DKYF provides educational materials, encourages school attendance, and instills the desire to succeed academically by making education fun.