Adegbenro Dauda Soroye

Adegbenro Dauda Soroye was a politician in the Nigerian first republic and acting leader of the Action Group during the party crisis that preceded the military take-over of government in 1966. Born 1909 in Ago-Owu, he schooled at Baptist Boys High School, Abeokuta and Abeokuta Grammar School. He served at the Nigerian Railway Corporation from 1930-37 and thereafter worked with the United African Company as a Storekeeper.

Adegbenro commenced his political career as a counselor in the Egba Divisional Council, and was in 1952 elected into the Western Region House of Assembly. From there, he served as a secretary to the Minister of Labor, a position he will himself occupy under the government of Obafemi Awolowo. Under Ladoke Akintola, he became the Minister of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, and during the rigorous era of political schism in the Action Group, joined the forces of the former premier, Obafemi Awolowo. Adegbenro was elected by 66 members of the parliamentary council out of the total 117 to supplant Ladoke Akintola as premier in 1962. His resumption to the premiership office however, was blocked with Akintola’s insistence to remain, hence the fracas in the Western region parliament that led to declaration of a State of Emergency.

After the expiration of this emergency rule, and when it was time for another election, Adegbenro led the Action Group party (since Awolowo and other leaders of the party were at that moment serving different jail terms) into alliance with the NCNC and other smaller parties to form the United Progressive Grand Alliance, UPGA. He served as Minister for Trade and Industry during the Nigerian Civil War, and withdrew from politics in 1971. Adegbenro died in 1975.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer