Festus Okotie-Eboh (1919-1966) was a Nigerian politician and former Minister of Finance during the administration of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. Born to Urhobo parents from Uwherun, he adopted the Itsekiri as his tribe after marriage into an Itsekiri family. Before his change of ethnicity he was Chief Festus Samuel Edah. He was a National Treasurer of the Nigerian First Republic party, NCNC, he was also a leader of the Federal Parliamentary Party of NCNC, replacing K.O. Mbadiwe.
1 Early life and business career
2 Political career
3 Personal life
Early life and business career
Okotie Eboh was born Festus Samuel Edah in Benin River, old Warri division. From 1932 to 1936, he attended Sapele Baptist School. After his secondary education, he worked for a year as a junior assessment clerk in the Local District Office, thereafter, he joined his alma mater as a teacher. In 1937, he joined Bata Shoe Company as an accounting clerk while working as a clerk, he studied book keeping and accounting. In 1944, he was transferred to Lagos as Chief Clerk and West Coast Accountant. A year later, he returned to Sapele and he was appointed Deputy Manager of Sapele branch of Bata. In 1947, he was sent to Prague, Czechoslovakia for further training where he obtained a diploma in business administration and chiropody. He left Bata Shoe to establish a timber and rubber business. He was involved in a rubber exporting business trading under the company name of Afro-Nigerian Export and Import Company. The firm exported ribbed smoked sheet rubber to Europe and North America. In 1958, he opened a rubber-creping factory and later in 1963, he started Omimi Rubber and Canvas Shoe factory. He also started a few ventures with two foreign partners: Dizengoff and Cutinho Caro, the partners promoted Mid-West Cement Co, a cement clinker plant in Koko and Unameji Cabinet Works.
Okotie Eboh got married in 1942 and together with his wife, started a string of schools in Sapele. The first school was Sapele Boys Academy, followed with Zik's College of Commerce. In 1953, he started Sapele Academy Secondary School.In the 1940s and 1950s, Okotie Eboh was a board member of Warri Ports Advisory Committee, Sapele Township Advisory Board and Sapele Town Planning Authority.
In 1951, after some influence from Azikiwe, he contested for a seat and was elected into the western region House of Assembly. In 1954, he was elected treasurer of the N.C.N.C. and was successful as the party's candidate to represent Warri division in the House of Representatives. He was nominated as the Federal Minister of Labour and Welfare in January, 1955 and two years later, he was made Finance Minister.
Okotie Eboh got married to his wife, Victoria, an Itsekiri lady in 1942.
Okotie-Eboh was assassinated along with Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa in the January 15, 1966 military coup which terminated the Nigerian First Republic, and thus civilian rule.