Chief S. A. Ajayi // (listen) OFR (2 December 1910 – 11 May 1994) was a Nigerian statesman who played an active role in the negotiations of Nigeria's independence. He was a pioneer politician of Okun land in the old Kabba province (in the present day Kogi State), who represented the people of Kabba Division in the Northern region house of Assembly. He played a key role in the establishment of Kabba College of Agriculture, Division of Agricultural Colleges, The University of Northern Nigeria (now Ahmadu Bello University), the establishment of Kabba Teachers College now Federal Government Girls College Kabba in Kabba Province and the creation of Ijumu Division as an administrative headquarters (now, Ijumu, Local Government Area, Kogi State).[1][2][3]

S. A. Ajayi
Regional Minister of State, for Forestry Affairs
In office
Regional Minister for Education
In office
Preceded byIsa Kaita
Personal details
Samuel Aliyu Ajayi

(1910-12-02)2 December 1910
Kabba Province, Northern Nigeria Protectorate
(now Kogi State, Nigeria)
Died11 May 1994(1994-05-11) (aged 89)
Kabba, Kogi State
Resting placeSt John's Anglican Church, Ogidi, Ijumu, Kogi State
Political partyNorthern People's Congress

Early life and educationEdit

Ajayi was born on 2 December 1910 in Kabba Province, in the Northern Nigeria Protectorate, present-day Ogidi, Ijumu, Kogi State, Nigeria. In 1925, Ajayi enrolled into Ovim Central School, Okigwe Division of the old Eastern Region, for his primary school education. From 1930 to 1936, he attended Etinan Institute,[4] Akwa Ibom and Ibadan Grammar School, for his secondary school education. He preceded to CMS Teachers School, Coal Camp, Enugu to gain more knowledge in education and study to become a teacher. After his education, he moved to Enugu, where he taught at Christ Church School, Enugu and later at St. David's Kudeti, High School, Ibadan, before returning home in 1939 to join the Public Works Department as a career civil servant. He started as a Road Inspector for P.W.D in the Kabba Native Authority and rose to become an Inspector of works in 1953, after he was transferred outside his province. He retired from civil service in 1954.[1][5]

Political careerEdit

In 1954, Ajayi returned to Kabba Province and joined the Northern People's Congress, where he later rose to become the vice president of the party in Kabba Province. In 1955, he was elected councillor in the Kabba Native Administration and a year later, he won a seat in the Northern House of Assembly, and became a member of the regional executive council as minister of state for forestry affairs. He was appointed acting minister for education in 1963, in the absence of Isa Kaita. During his time in the Northern House of Assembly, he was appointed parliamentary secretary to the Premier of Northern Nigeria, Ahmadu Bello from 1957 to 1960. He was among the delegate that negotiated Nigerian Independence at the Lancaster House Conferences in London and led the Northern Nigeria Delegation to London for the Negotiation and Launching of VC-10 Nigeria Airways. He was a member of Nigeria Economic Mission to West Germany and was a minister till their government was overthrown by the military coup on January 15, 1966. During Shehu Shagari's administration, he was appointed to the first board of directors of National Insurance Corporation of Nigeria[6] [7](NICON).[1][8][9][10][11]


In 1965, the president of Nigeria, Nnamdi Azikiwe, conferred him with the Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic, (OFR). He was installed as the Oluwole of Ijumuland, as well as the Balogun and the Bajito of Ogidi-Ijumu. He was honoured with the National President Ogidi Development Union, President Ijumu Development Movement and National Vice Patron, Ijumu Student Union, a recognition for Ogidi-Ijumu men with significant accomplishments.[1][12]

Personal lifeEdit

Ajayi married many wives and gave birth to many children. He was a born-again Christian and was honoured with Baba Egbe Akorin and Baba Ijo in St John's Anglican Church Ogidi, Ijumu.[1][13]

Death and legacyEdit

He died on 11 May 1994 in Kabba, Kogi State and was buried in St John's Anglican Church, Ogidi, Ijumu, Kogi State, a church he built.[1]

The S. A Ajayi foundation was established in continuation of his legacy and ideology of awarding scholarships to deserving students. From 1970, he has been awarding scholarships to students, from primary to university level and hundreds of students were awarded.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Biography of AJAYI, Mr. Samuel Aliyu (OFR)". Biographical Legacy and Research Foundation. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  2. ^ Balogun, M. J. (2009). The Route to Power in Nigeria: A Dynamic Engagement Option for Current and Aspiring Leaders. Palgrave Macmillan US. ISBN 9780230100848. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  3. ^ "Nigeria: New Universities - Senator Seeks Site for Kabba". 28 December 2010. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  4. ^ "ETINAN INSTITUTE, ETINAN". Akwa Ibom Schools. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  5. ^ "NIGERIAN FOUNDING FATHERS AND INDEPENDENCE ACTIVISTS" (PDF). The Nigerian Information and Cultural Center. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  6. ^ "National Insurance Corporation of Nigeria Act". Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  7. ^ "Home - National Insurance Commission (NAICOM)". Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  8. ^ "The Settlement of 1960: Who was Who, Chapter 1 – Part II" (PDF). Sharia Debates in Africa. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  9. ^ "THE STRUGGLE FOR AUTONOMY AND IDENTITY IN LATE COLONIAL NIGERIA – YOUNG ELITE OF KABBA DIVISION, 1946 -1966" (PDF). University of New Hampshire – Official Website. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  10. ^ Sklar, Robert (2005). Nigerian Political Parties: Power in an Emergent African Nation. Princeton University Press. ISBN 9781400878239. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  11. ^ "Nigeriaworld Feature Article - Why President Jonathan lost the 2015 presidential election". Nigeriaworld. 30 May 2015. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  12. ^ "NIGERIAN HONOURS AND AWARDS FOR NATIONAL DAY" (PDF). Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette. Federal Ministry of Information, Nigeria. 52. 1 October 1965.
  13. ^ "Nigeria: Sardauna Would Have Wept If He Were Alive - Senator Adeyemi". 9 February 2009. Retrieved 11 October 2019.