Samuel Ladoke Akintola was born on July 10, 1910 in Ogbomosho, Oyo State, Nigeria and he died on January 14, 1966 in Ibadan the Oyo state capital. Akintola was an administrator and politician and the second premier of the Western Region of Nigeria. He died as a result of the January 1966 military coup that sacked the government of Nigeria’s first Republic.
Ladoke Akintola was a teacher in the 1930s and early 1940s and a member of the Baptist Teachers’ Union and the Nigerian Youth Movement. He later stopped his teaching profession in order to study public administration and law in England, UK. After his education in the United Kingdom, Akintola returned to Nigeria in 1950 and he became a legal adviser to the Action Group, the main political party of Nigeria’s Western Region.
In 1954, Ladoke Akintola became deputy leader of the Action Group under Obafemi Awolowo. He was simultaneously active in the federal government; he became minister of labour in 1952 and later held the portfolios of health, communications, and aviation.
In 1959, Samuel Ladoke Akintola became Premier of the Western Region, coming to be recognized as a representative of conservative, business-oriented interests, who was content to concentrate party efforts on the region—in diametrical opposition to Awolowo’s growing interest in democratic socialism and to his attempt to win minority tribe votes in the North. In mid-1962 Obafemi 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 assassinated by the Nigerian military.