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Service-Driven Life of a Nigerian First Republic Politician

First Republic politician

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Author Shadrach Adelegan’s nonfiction book: The Part to Play’ brings a lifetime of experiences to topic.

Reading through this publication, the patriotic and enduring spirit of Shadrach Adelegan is very visible. From grass to grace, and from the lowly heights to an astronomical level, Adelegan’s stars have shined, reflecting him as a brilliant and honest educationist, politician and community leader. — Ven. Emmanuel Oladipo Alayande

’It is a most interesting story of your life and Ipetu-Ijesha. Your narration of occurrences during the Akintola era gives a best view of the Action Group crises that is not partisan – as between Awolowo and Akntola’’ –  Emeritus Prof. J.F. Ade-Ajayi.

An excerpt from “THE PART TO PLAY:

Oba C.D. Akran, who was Western-Region Minister of Finance called me ‘’Darling Speaker’’ and would want me to become substantive Speaker after the 1965 elections..  He kept pouring encomium on me in such words like ‘who else could be Speaker other than Adelegan?  I told him I have decided not to go for second term, because I did not believe in politics of bitterness and violence, the type, which was already in motion at home.  But Oba Akran kept asking, who would be the Speaker?’  He believed I would do it better than anybody else.  The way I was leading the house at that time really pleased him and other members of the House, including the Opposition members.  Oba Akran was very serious about this; he told me of the plan to delineate my constituency to carve out a new one for me.  This was with the intention of returning me as Mr. Speaker in December 1965.  But at this time I had made up my mind to quit politics because of the manner in which politics was being practiced.  I was not favourably disposed to all the hooliganism and violence.


Hon. S.L. Akintola  – Premier — In spite of the short notice, you came to our rescue as an experienced Deputy Speaker who has been able to assimilate and acquire a great deal of practical knowledge. We are very much indebted to you for the successful completion of this Budget Meeting and I think that your performance on this occasion augurs well for the future because you have discharged your duties remarkably well, so efficiently and so charmingly, that the Members of the Opposition will always like to see you on the Chair. – Chief SL Akintola – Premier.

Hon. D.S Adegbenro – Leader of Opposition: Sir, I like to associate myself with the views and sentiments expressed by the hon. Premier.  When the appointment of Mr. Speaker was proposed, I was consulted, and I argued that you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, ought to have been promoted to the post of the substantive Speaker.  I was informed that there were some difficulties in the rank and file of the NNDP and I had to agree that you still hold your post as Deputy Speaker; and in spite of the fact that you happen to be the Deputy Speaker, you have discharged your duties impartially and you deserve our commendation as well.


My friends in Ibadan stood against the idea of my going home to start a secondary school.  Their argument was that a single prosperous man among 20 indigent people, himself is indigent.  Chief E.A. Adeyemo, who later became the Olubadan was then the Treasurer of the Council.  He approached me personally.  He talked as an elderly person, much older than me, even to have me as a son; he shared some experience with me in respect of the idea of going home.  That it was as if I was going to endanger my life.  A friend, Alimi Adesokan who vehemently opposed the idea, warning me that some people at home would be thankful of my coming, others would be jealous of any achievement I had thinking that it was their own money I used to build myself up.   The only person who was positive about the whole idea was Pa E. O. Alayande.  He advised me to go and pick it up as my baby and that God being with me, I would not regret.

At the 1965 Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference Held in London – HOW WE PROTESTED IAN SMITH’S UNILATERAL DECLARATION OF INPEPENDENCE IN RHODESIA (South-Africa)

It was Hon. Samuel Lana who first raised the issue of Ian Smith’s as a matter of urgent public importance, if Britain could not see it as such.  When we came back from recess, this matter generated some heat on the floor of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Meeting that day. Lana’s argument was that, as a subject of the Queen, Ian Smith needed to be sanctioned for the Unilateral l Declaration of Independence in Rhodesia (now South-Africa)  He had caused a problem for the Queen, a big one for that matter. Speaking in line with Lana, but in a roaring voice, I condemned Ian Smith adding that it was not really his fault.  It was because he thought his people would support him to trample the Blacks under his feet.  But they should realize that in due course, the Blacks would secure might to be able to face the cannon of Ian Smith and remove his yoke off their heads.  Our contribution sounded too harsh, to them. To them, mine was suggesting insurrection against the Queen. The hon. Members of the House of Commons present looked with disdain. Anyway, I had made my point known and I was not apologetic.

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