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Demas Akpore (August 4 1928 – December 28 1993) was the first elected Deputy Governor of Bendel State (1979–1983), the Principal of Government College, Ughelli, and the founder and principal of Orogun Grammar School.
Chief Demas Onoliobakpovba Akpore was born on 4 August 1928 at Warri, Nigeria into a Christian Family of Mr. Itedjere Akpore of Unukpo, Orogun in Ughelli North Local Government Area, Delta State of Nigeria, and Mrs. Etawhota Akpore (née Agbomiyeri) of Kokori in Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State. He was an only child of his mother and the first in a family of eight children.
Early life and educationEdit
At a young age, Demas lost his mother and he was brought up under the care of Mrs. Inaba Uyokpeyi.
He started his formal education at St. Andrew's Church Missionary Society School, Warri, Delta State, Nigeria from 1937 to 1944. He then proceeded to Government College, Ughelli where he was a pioneering student.
After completing his Secondary School Education in 1951, he proceeded to University College, Ibadan, Nigeria from 1951 to 1956. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Classics. Still in search of knowledge, he went to the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, from 1956 to 1958 where he got Master of Arts degree in Classics.
On his return from Canada, he took up teaching appointment with United College of Commerce, Warri. From 1959 to 1962 he was the vice principal becoming the principal in 1962, a post he held until 1966.
The same year, he left to found Orogun Grammar School, Orogun, his home town. He doubled as proprietor and principal of the school until 1973.
On the take over of all privately owned schools in the then Bendel State, Chief Demas Akpore moved to Government College, Ughelli as the principal of his alma mater. He served in that capacity from 1973 to 1978.
He refused to take compensation from the government for his school affirming that he established it for his people and would therefore not make profit out of it.
In 1988 when government had lifted the ban on private ownership of schools, he again established Idise Institute, Warri.
Chief Demas Akpore was a council member of the College of Education, Abraka from 1973 to 1978.
He showed interest in politics in his university days at Ibadan. He was an active unionist and student leader. He later joined the NCNC where he rose to become the leader of the youth wing of the party.
He was an active member of the Zikist National Party Vanguard. And was also one of the Midwest Democratic Front in 1963.
He worked tirelessly with Elder Statesman, Chief Dennis Osadebay toward the creation of the then Midwest Region. Their yearnings were realised in 1963. He later devoted his energies to fighting for the creation of Delta State. He was in his hospital bed in the United States of America when Delta State was created.
When the ban on political activities was lifted in 1978, he joined the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) becoming an executive member of the state branch of the party. He was the running mate of his party's gubernatorial candidate Ambrose Folorunsho Alli in 1979. They won the election and were elected the first Governor and Deputy Governor, respectively of the then Bendel State and were sworn in October 1 1979. He, however resigned as Deputy Governor on 3 November 1982 over differences which he could not compromise. About a month later, he was attacked by assailants who left him for dead.
Chief Akpore was a member, leader and patron of many clubs both locally and internationally.
In recognition of his contribution to his society, he was conferred the Onotu of Orogun; Orharharode of Ophorigbala; Orhokobaro of Ughelli, among others.
He was a selfless leader who gave scholarships to many students. He also spearheaded the building of many schools, roads, and water and electricity projects.
He was a lover of sports and music. He could play many musical instruments including the saxophone and the piano. He also enjoyed swimming, reading, and travelling. He was a member of the Music Association of Nigeria. He was loyal to his friends and also lover of children. He was a devout Christian. He always stood for the truth irrespective of the consequences.
He married former Miss Grace Temisan Abobo in Ibadan in 1959. The marriage was blessed with six children; four boys and two girls and seven grand children.
His death occurred on 28 December 1993 in the United States of America.
He is survived by his wife, Grace Akpore; his children: Mrs. Stella Omu, Jomo Akpore, Kevwe Akpore, Enaite Akpore-Oba, and Newman Akpore, His grand children are Voke Omu, Jomo Akpore Jr., Ghenero Omu, Kiara Akpore, Sade Akpore, Oghale Omu, Fejiro Omu and great grandson Malaki Onome Akpore.
- Ahon, Festus Nigeria: "Immortalize Akpore, Activist Urges Delta Government" (Vanguard (Nigeria) 30 December 2008)
- Akpore, Demas O. "The Question of the Falling Standard of Education: A Policy in Transition, The Nigerian Experience from An Educator's Viewpoint". (A lecture delivered on the occasion of the 1981 University of Ibadan Alumni Association Annual Lectures held at the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, 20 March 1981.
- Akpoyibo, Marvel- Lagos State Police Commissioner "I never had a girlfriend in school because I was married to my books" (The Punch-Nigeria-By FRIDAY OLOKOR, Published: 20 December 2009)
- Awhefeada, Sunny. "Remembering Demas Akpore" (National Daily, Nigeria- 27 December 2008)
- Darra, G.G. "Urhobo and the Mowoe Legacy"(The Guardian, Nigeria-10 August 2005) Professor of English, Delta State University, Abraka/Special Adviser on Public Communications to the Governor of Delta State
- Eromosele, Victor "Government College Ughelli at 60"(The Guardian, Nigeria 9 November 2005)
- Olodu, Monn "Much Ado About Delta State Capital"
- Omu, Stella "Demas Akpore" Administrator, Nigeria federal Ministry of Education.