Festus Okotie-Eboh

Chief Festus Okotie-Eboh (July 18, 1912 – January 15, 1966) was a Nigerian politician and Minister of Finance during the administration of Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. Okotie-Eboh was born to an Itsekiri Chief, Prince Okotie Eboh in Warri Division, a town along the Benin River in Niger Delta.[1][2] Before his change of name, he was Chief Festus Samuel Edah. He was a National Treasurer of the Nigerian First Republic party, NCNC, he was also a leader of the Federal Parliamentary Party of NCNC, replacing K.O. Mbadiwe.[3]

Festus Okotie Eboh
Festus Sam Okotie-Eboh in 1966 at latest.jpg
Minister of Labour and Social Welfare
In office
PresidentNnamdi Azikiwe
Preceded byPosition Established
Succeeded byPosition Abolished
Minister of Finance
In office
1957 – January 15, 1966
PresidentNnamdi Azikiwe
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byObafemi Awolowo
Personal details
Born(1912-07-18)18 July 1912
Warri, Delta State, Nigeria
DiedJanuary 15, 1966(1966-01-15) (aged 53)
RelativesAmy Jadesimi (granddaughter)

Early life and business careerEdit

Okotie Eboh was born Festus Samuel Edah[4] in Benin River, old Warri division. From 1932 to 1936, he attended Sapele Baptist School.[5] Upon graduation, he clerked briefly in the Local District Office before returning to his alma mater as a teacher.[6] In 1937, he gained employment at Bata Shoe Company as an accounting clerk.[6] While working as a clerk, he was also studying bookkeeping and accounting. In 1944, Bata transferred him to Lagos as a Chief Clerk and West Coast Accountant. He was in Lagos for a year before returning to Sapele to become Deputy Manager of the Sapele branch. In 1947, he was sent to Prague, Czechoslovakia for further training where he obtained a diploma in business administration and chiropody. He left Bata Shoe to establish a timber and rubber business.[6] He was involved in a rubber exporting business trading under the company name of Afro-Nigerian Export and Import Company. The firm exported ribbed smoked sheet rubber to Europe and North America.[6] In 1958, he opened a rubber-creping factory and later in 1963, he started Omimi Rubber and Canvas Shoe factory. He also started a few ventures with two foreign partners: Dizengoff and Coutinho Caro, the partners promoted Mid-West Cement Co, a cement clinker plant in Koko and Unameji Cabinet Works.

Okotie Eboh got married in 1942 and together with his wife, started a string of schools in Sapele. The first school was Sapele Boys Academy, followed with Zik's College of Commerce. In 1953, he started Sapele Academy Secondary School. In the 1940s and 1950s, Okotie Eboh was a board member of Warri Ports Advisory Committee, Sapele Township Advisory Board and Sapele Town Planning Authority.[6]

Political careerEdit

In 1951, after some influence from Azikiwe, he contested for a seat and was elected to the Western Region House of Assembly.[7] In 1954, he was elected treasurer of the N.C.N.C. and was successful as the party's candidate to represent Warri division in the House of Representatives.[8] He was nominated as the Federal Minister of Labour and Welfare in January, 1955, and two years later, he was made Finance Minister.[9]

Personal lifeEdit

Okotie Eboh married an Itsekiri woman named Victoria in 1942. Their daughter, Alero, married Oladipo Jadesimi.[10]


Okotie-Eboh was assassinated along with Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa in the military coup of January 15, 1966, which terminated the Nigerian First Republic, and thus civilian rule.[11]

Further readingEdit

  • Rosalynde Ainslie, Catherine Hoskyns, Ronald Segal; Frederick A. Praeger, Political Africa: A Who's Who of Personalities and Parties. Frederick A. Praeger, 1961
  • Ryszard Kapuściński, Anatomy of a Coup d'Etat chapter in The Shadow of the Sun (1998)


  1. ^ Larson, Sylvia B. (February 2000). "Evans, George (1797-1867), lawyer, politician, and businessman". American National Biography Online. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/anb/9780198606697.article.0400350. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ "Okotie- Eboh: In time and history". The Guardian Nigeria News - Nigeria and World News. 2016-04-10. Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  3. ^ Sklar, Richard (2004). Nigerian Political Parties: Power in an Emergent African Nation. Africa World Press Press. p. 227. ISBN 9781592212095.
  4. ^ Ekeh, Peter (2005). History of the Urhobo People of Niger Delta. Urhobo Historical Society. p. 292.
  5. ^ Falola, Toyin (2009). Historical Dictionary of Nigeria. Scarecrow Press. p. 284. okotie eboh sapele baptist school.
  6. ^ a b c d e Eguoritse, O (1959). Feathers for a great Nigerian statesman: being a short biographical portrait of Chief, the Hon. F.S. Okotie-Eboh. Apapa: Twentieth Century Press). OCLC 16667560.
  7. ^ "Accord Concondiale: The continuous search for Nigeria's elusive unity (10)". The Sun Nigeria. 2017-08-16. Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  8. ^ "Immortalizing Okotie-Eboh". The Pointer News Online. 2013-01-25. Retrieved 2020-06-05.
  9. ^ "Okotie- Eboh: In time and history". The Guardian Nigeria News - Nigeria and World News. 2016-04-10. Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  10. ^ "Oil tycoon Oladipo Jadesimi's daughter, Emma, takes to dancing in London". The Sun Nigeria. 2019-09-21. Retrieved 2020-06-04.
  11. ^ http://countrystudies.us/nigeria/70.htm