The Guardian (Nigeria)

Osadebay, An Insightful Leader


SIR Dennis Chukudebe Osadebay was a poet, journalist, statesman, lawyer and author. He was the pioneer Premier of Mid Western Region (now Edo and Delta States) and also among the pioneer poets in the country that wrote in English language.

Born, June 29, 1911 at Asaba in Delta State, Osadebey attended Government School, Asaba; Sacred Heart School and Hope Waddell Training Institute, Calabar, before going to the University of London in 1946 to study law. Returning to the country in 1949, he went into private law practice before going into politics. In 1951, he contested and won a seat in the Western Region House of Assembly, where from 1954 to 1956 he was the Leader of opposition; and Deputy Speaker from 1956 to 1958. In 1960, he became the President of the Nigerian Senate and upon the creation of the Mid Western Region in 1963, became the pioneer Premier. He was Premier of the region till 1966, when the military took over government.

Osadebay was among the delegation to the Constituti­onal Conference in London in 1953,1957 and 1958.

He was a member of the National Council of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC) and its legal adviser and Vice president between 1944 and 1966. He was also foundation member and National Vice Chairman of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN).

As a politician, he tried to form unbiased opinions on national issues. He was also the leader of the movement that inspired the creation of Mid-western region during the first Republic.

Osadebay was a member of the Governor’s Privy Council in the Western Nigeria and held offices as member of the Western Region’s Scholarshi­p Board, Western Region’s Law Revision Committee, Western Region’s Finance Committee and Nigerian Customs and Excise Law Revision Committee.

He also held posts as Chairman of the parliament­ary Guild of Old Scouts and Internatio­nal Commission­er of the Nigerian Scouts in 1960. He was also Pro-chancellor and chairman of University of Lagos.

Some of his published books are: Building A Nation and

He died on December 26, 1994. Different streets and parks have been named after him.

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