Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola was a politician, lawyer, aristocrat and orator. He was born in Ogbomosho, of the then Western Region.
He was one of the founding fathers of modern Nigeria. Later, he was elevated to the position of Oloye Aare Ona Kakanfo XIII of the Yoruba.
Akintola is also the first Nigerian to import a bullet-proof car into the country.
The car, a Mercedes Benz, was bought for 8,000 pounds and imported into Nigeria in 1964.
Two years after he acquired the armoured car, he was assassinated. Akintola was one of those killed in Nigeria’s first military coup of 15 January 1966—which terminated the First Republic.
Samuel Ladoke Akintola was an administrator and politician. He was also the premiere of the Western Region of Nigeria.
Like many other African nationalists, Akintola was a teacher in the 1930s and early 1940s.
Akintola left teaching to study public administration and law in England and returned to Nigeria in 1950. He became a legal adviser to the Action Group, the dominant Western Region party, and by 1954 was deputy leader under Obafemi Awolowo. He was simultaneously active in the federal government; also, he became minister of labour in 1952 and later held the portfolios of health, communications, and aviation. In 1959 Akintola became premier of the Western Region.
In mid-1962 Awolowo’s supporters repudiated Akintola as a party leader and had him replaced as premier.
The Northern-dominated federal government, however, hostile to Awolowo, declared a state of emergency in the region and restored Akintola to his post (1963).
He formed the Nigerian National Democratic Party but was never able to win the votes of the majority of the region. His blatantly rigged election in 1965 was undoubtedly an immediate cause of the January 1966 coup in which he was slain.
Akintola was assassinated in Ibadan, the capital of Western Region, on the day of Nigeria’s first military coup of 15 January 1966—which terminated the First Republic. Also known as the “Young Majors Coup” or the “coup of the January boys”, the coup resulted in the assassination of many leading politicians, mostly members of the Northern People’s Congress.
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