Adegoke Adelabu

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Adegoke Adelabu was a populist Nigerian politician from Ibadan. He was the leader of opposition in Western Nigeria during the 1950s.[1] He was also a former Federal Minister for Social Services, a position that matched his communal and welfarist political rhetoric. [2]

Early life and education

Adelabu was born in 1915 to Sanusi Adelabu. He attended C.M.S. School, Ibadan for primary education and Government College, Ibadan for secondary tutelage. He later went to the Higher College, Yaba. He started work as a Manager at a major Nigerian firm (U.A.C.). He was in the firm for more than 12 years before joining the Ibadan city political arena in the late 1940s.

In his early sojourn in political activities, Adelabu joined a group of illiterate but powerful chiefs in Ibadan. The group was interested in improving the tax revenue of the city by taxing wealthy natives and settlers.

Political career

Adelabu rose to prominence in the 1950s when the leader of the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons left the Western region to become a premier in the Eastern region of Nigeria. Adelabu became a potential new leader in the West due to a vocal personal and public persona. In 1954, he led an alliance to electoral victory in Ibadan. In the next four years, he dominated the political sphere of the city and few politicians were comparable in organizational power wielded in any city in the country. He later contested a federal election in 1954, and won seat to the House of Representative where he was further nominated as a Minister. However, he was asked to resign as minister after some irregularities were discovered in his conduct as head of the Ibadan Divisional Council.


  • (1)Henry S. Bienen. Political Conflict and Economic Change in Nigeria, Routledge, 1995.p 147. ISBN 071463266X
  • (2) Richard L. Sklar. Nigerian Political Parties: Power in an Emergent African Nation, Africa World Press, 2004. p 148. ISBN 1592212093