Alabo Samuel Fieteboghabofa Kombo-Igbeta (1909-2005)

Chief Samuel Fieteboghabofa Kombo-Igbeta was once a great tutor, commissioner for education and also an influential chief from the Niger delta

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Teacher, Principal, Administrator

Alabo Samuel Fieteboghabofa Kombo-Igbeta was a qualified and single digit registered school teacher from the Niger Delta that kept giant footprints in the colonial era. His deeds as Honorable Commissioner are veritable in the old Rivers State in the 60s and 70s.

Synopsis

Alabo Samuel Fieteboghabofa Kombo-Igbeta was born in 1909 in Nembe community, southern-Nigeria. He was an elegant, and flamboyant school teacher in the 1920s and 1960s who might have tutored over a thousand great minds. His influence as a Commissioner under the executive council of Alfred Diete-Spiff Military government from 1967 to 1975, and also as a community Chief from the Niger Delta knows no bounds. Alabo Samuel Fieteboghabofa Kombo-Igbeta was a faithful Anglican, and he died in 2005 at the age of 95.

Early Life and Education

Samuel Fieteboghahofa Kombo was born on 23rd September 1909 at Nembe into the Oruwari family of Nembe. His father was Late Pa Jonah Ngokombonimibo Oruwari of Yekorogha’s House. Late Pa Oruwari’s father was Late Chief Ala-Igabo of Kulo Chieftaincy House. His mother was Late Hannah Akonigha Ndori of Sabatoru who died in 1975.

Samuel Fieteboghahofa Kombo’s schooling was by accident as in those days fathers did not like to send their industrious sons to school but would always use them as helps. But because a clerk working in a European Trading Company at Kiabodo-Delta State insulted his father Pa Kombo during his trading expedition in the present Delta State then, he decided to send his son to school.

He attended St. Luke’s school, Nembe from 1918 to 1925. It is worthy to note that in 1925 when he was in standard five because of his brilliance in the class, he and two others were recruited as pupil teachers in 1926. However, he gained admission to the then famous Teacher Training College, Awka and attended the College from 1928-1929 and passed out with a teacher’s grade III certificate in December 1929. It is also noteworthy that Samuel Fieteboghahofa Kombo was an ambitious man; and this virtue led him to engage in intense private studies, leading to his attainment of the following qualifications: Senior Teacher’s Certificate (History, Geography) between 1933 and 1935; A. C. P. (London) 1942; L. C. P. (London) 1944; Inter B. A. (London), 1948-1949 and B. A. Hons. (London) June 1953.

Career Life

Samuel Fieteboghahofa Kombo had a knack for teaching and was a prolific teacher with charisma. After his teacher’s Training College, he had a brilliant teaching career as follows:

  1. St. Luke’s School, Nembe (Pupil Teacher) Eastern-Nigeria 1926-1927.
  2. St. Luke’s School, Nembe (2nd Master), Eastern-Nigeria 1930-1931.
  3. Boyle Memorial School, Bonny (Headmaster), Eastern-Nigeria 1931-1935.
  4. St. Luke’s School, Nembe (Headmaster) Eastern-Nigeria 1936-June 1938.
  5. Qua-Ibo Secondary School, Etinan, Eastern-Nigeria (June 1938 July, 1938)
  6. Methodist College, Uzuakoli, (Senior Master, History) July 1938-1944.
  7. Oduduwa College, Ile-Ife, Western-Nigeria (Senior Master, Geography) Aug. 1944 to January, 1950.
  8. Ahmadiya College, Lagos, (Master) Jan, 1950 to March, 1950.
  9. Government College, Umuahia Eastern-Nigeria (April 1950 to Sept. 1950)
  10. Government T.T.C., Uyo (1955-1957).
  11. Provincial Education Officer, Eastern-Nigeria (1957-1965).
  12. Principal, Government College, Owerri, Eastern-Nigeria (1965-1967)

Chief S. F. Kombo-Igbeta was selected in 1951 to teach the Nembe (Ijoh) language in the school of African and Oriental Studies University of London from 1951-1953

His Retirement

Samuel Fieteboghahofa Kombo retired meritoriously from the Civil Service of the then Eastern Region in 1967.

As a Commissioner

Chief S. F. Kombo-Igbeta served as a pioneer Commissioner under Alfred Papapreye Diete-Spiff Military Government of Old Rivers State, Nigeria from 1969 to 1974. He saddled in several Ministries, including Health, Establishment and Trade and Industry, and influenced many laudable projects that have stood the test of time in Rivers state and Bayelsa state.

His Christian Life

Chief S. F. Kombo-Igbeta, trained teacher in the Anglican Church particularly in Teacher Training College Awka was a devoted Christian. As a Teacher and Headmaster, his commitments included conducting Church Services, preaching in Church Services, as well as being an organist. He continued to play an active role in the affairs of his home Church, St. Lukes’ Cathedral, Nembe till his death.

Also, in 1978 the Rivers State Government awarded him Justice of Peace (J.P).

Traditional and Social Life:

Samuel Fieteboghahofa Kombo was one of the founding fathers of Nembe National Union, Lagos, the Nembe (Ogbolomabiri) Descendants Union Lagos (now Opu-Nembe Descendants Union) along with Mr Teteiyai Decorse, Late Richmond Bonnie and others. He joined the Nembe Opu-Sekiapu Society at the age of sixteen (16).

As a Chief

Subsequently, in July 1959 His Royal Majesty Francis O. Alagoa (late), Mingi X, Amanyanabo of Nembe appointed Samuel Fieteboghahofa Kombo, Head Chief of Igbeta House in December 1958 and was chalked in July 1959.

During the Nigerian-Civil war of 1967 to 70, Chief Kombo-Igbeta was the administrator of Nembe after the liberation of Nembe in 1968 by the Federal troops.

He was also the Chairman of Nembe Chiefs Council as well as the Chairman of Nembe Divisional Council of Chiefs for several years. It was during his Chairmanship period that the Chiefs built the Mingi Hall as well as the Duweisun wari.

His Legacy

Chief Kombo-Igbeta pioneered the establishment of the Nembe National Grammar School in 1965.

Family

Chief Kombo-Igbeta got married to Mrs. Eugenia Theresa Meremu Kombo-Igbeta in May 1937; She is the daughter of Late Mr. Frederick Adaeri Macdonald Spiff, of Gbobokiri, Twon Brass and Late Madam Temenengiagha Comfort Spiff, a grand niece of Late Chief Lokobite Igbeta Ombu. She died in 2006 thereabout.

Chief Kombo-Igbeta had 14 children whom he loved dearly; he gave them every opportunity particularly in education to progress in life. He was always approachable, humane, and philanthropic and gave wise counsel to relations, friends and even foes alike. He lived a peaceful life and was the most flamboyant Chief in Nembe kingdom and old Rivers State.

Date of death

Alabo Samuel Fieteboghabofa Kombo-Igbeta died on Wednesday, 26 January 2005 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. He was 95 years old.

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