Aseyai Etifa (1944-2014)

Chief (Barr) Aseyai Etifa was indeed an achiever and accomplished gentle man of many respects. He was an administrator par excellence, an educationist of rare breed, a Philanthropist, Elder Statesman, a high profile Politician with uncommon traits/pedigree, a seasoned bureaucrat.

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Educationist, Administrator, Politician, Lawyer

Aseyai Etifa was a quintessential administrator and attorney. Best known as Chairman Bayelsa State Post Primary Board and the Chairman Local Government Services Commission.

Who was Chief Aseyai Etifa?

Aseyai Etifawas born into a relatively poor family in mid-west Nigeria on 2 February, 1944. By dint of hard-work and dedication he became successful in life; he graduated from the prestigious University of Ibadan in 1975 and ten years later he went ahead to study Law at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology and graduated in 1990. He had an excellent and an exciting career life. Chief Aseyai Etifa was once a teacher, principal, permanent secretary, and went on to become Boards Chairman in Bayelsa state. Though a polygamist, he was a devoted Christian with the Living Faith Church (aka) Winners Chapel. Etifa died in 2014 at the age of 70.

His Parents and Education

Late Chief (Barr) Aseyai Etifa was born on 2 February, 1944 into the families of Chief Etifa Biribena of Abukobolou quarter and Late Mrs. Angozi Ekpegha Etifa of Ayama-Egede both of Toru-Ndoro Town in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

It was revealed, he was the only male and fifth child among the six siblings of his mother, late Mrs. Angozi Etifa. His father passed on when he was two years old leaving the responsibility of parental care to his mother Late Mrs. Angozi Etifa who was successful in the fishing craft and trading business. Nonetheless, she was strict and a caring mother; she solely catered for Aseyai Etifa during his formative age at Ndoro.

Primary Education

Firstly in 1951, at age 7, he started his primary education at the Local Authority Primary School Ndoro Town in the then Western Region and got his first school certificate in 1956.

Aseyai Etifa’s prospect of furthering his educational career beyond primary level became a little bit threatened owing to financial challenges as his mother was the only source of sponsorship. But with the timely intervention from Ndoro Community Scholarship Initiative, young Etifa got admission into Bomadi Secondary Modern School in 1959 which was the only available Post Primary Institution in the then Western Region now Delta State and Graduated in the year 1961.

Post Primary Education

After his graduation from the modern School, because of his burning desire for education and to build a teaching career, in 1962, late Chief (Barr) Aseyai Etifa attended the then famous Western ijaw Teacher’s Training College, Bomadi, and graduated in the year 1965 and obtained teacher’s certificate grade III and T.C. Il in 1966 respectively.

Thereafter, Aseyai Etifa with his uninterrupted quest for higher education registered for the General Certificate of Education (GCE) advanced level in 1970 and recorded credit passes in the relevant subjects that qualified him for admission into the prestigious University of Ibadan (UI), Ibadan, Oyo State.

He graduated in 1975 with an honors Bachelor of Arts. The urge for more academic laurels continued unabated.

In 1985, he enrolled for a Law degree programme at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology where he qualified as an attorney in 1990. In 1991 thereabout, was called to the Nigeria Bar.

Career Life

Late Chief Etifa had an interest and exciting career as an educationist that actually commenced in 1966. He was a classroom teacher moving up to become a Principal from 1977 to 1987. However, he had been Headmaster, tutored before assuming the responsibilities of Principal in various schools which includes:

  1. Local Authority Primary School Amazor in present Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
  2. Local Authority Primary School, Ofoni.
  3. Local Authority Primary School, Bomadi.
  4. Local Authority Primary School Ofonibeinyan in Burutu Local Government Areas of present Delta State.

Places He Taught and As Principal

Late Chief (Barr) Aseyai Etifa became principal of several post-primary institutions.

  1. River Nun Grammar School Agbere/Odoni in present Bayelsa state
  2. Government Secondary School Toru-Ebeni
  3. Federal Government Teachers Training College (TTC) Sagbama
  4. Defunct Federal Government Teachers Training College (TTC) Okodia-Zarama in present Bayelsa state
  5. Government Secondary School Eneka in Rivers State.

Administrative Services

He was actively involved in the administrative services of the old Rivers State Government.

From 1980 to 1981, he was appointed Chairman Caretaker Committee, Sagbama Local Government Council in the old Rivers State by erstwhile Civilian Governor, Late Chief Melford Obiene Okilo. During the period, he supervised and implemented policies and programmes most of which are populist in nature.

As Permanent Secretary

Thereafter, Etifa’s Administrative acumen and outstanding profile of governance attracted the attention of the then civilian governor of Rivers State, late Chief Melford Okilo who immediately elevated him to a higher calling as Political Permanent Secretary, Governor’s Office in charge of Sagbama Local Government Area.

Between 1981-1983, Late Chief (Barr) Aseyai Etifa also served as Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Electricity and Water Supply.

As an astute and vibrant politician with enormous/incredible followership, late Chief (Barr) Aseyai Etifa was on the verge of a higher calling when former Head of State, Major General Muhammadu Buhari’s (rtd) Military coup cut short his dream in 1983.

After a brief detour in academics, he re-entered the administrative services and became Director-General, Local Government and Chieftaincy Bureau, Deputy Governor’s office Old River State between between 1992 and 1994.

Chairman of Boards

Between July 2000 and 2004 thereabout, he was Chairman, Local Government Service Commission and Pension Board, Bayelsa State. His administrative prowess found expression.

It was during this period as chairman, He saw the need for staffs capacity building and development so he established the staff training and administrative department. This department still functions optimally training and empowering the local government staff of Bayelsa state.

Subsequently, from the 19 November, 2012 to 2014 he was the Executive Chairman Senior Secondary Schools Board, Yenagoa-Bayelsa State.

Sadly, He never achieved much as during the period, he took ill severally and was attending to matters of his health. Chief (Barr) Aseyai Etifa died on the saddle as Chairman of the Board.

Awards And Titles

Late Chief (Barr) Aseyai Etifa was a genuine advocate of peace value system in the society. He was honoured with the prestigious Chieftaincy title of the Olotu of Oporomor Clan by HRM King Austin Ebikeme, the Pere-Ekere (IV) of Oporomor Kingdom in Bayelsa State.

In further recognition of his contributions in these spheres, Late Chief (Barr) Aseyai Etifa was again honored as the Ebidouwei I of Akugbene-Mein Clan in Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State.

He also bagged the following awards;

  1. in 1999 National Union of lzon Students (NUIS) Certificate of Honour.
  2. 2000 thereabout, Rivers State University of Science and Technology Port-Harcourt Educator’s Hall of Fame
  3. 2001.National union of Izon Students — Certificate of Honour
  4. In 2003 United Christian University — Doctorate Award —.
  5. 9th May, 2013, The membership Council of Institute of Corporate Administration — In Appreciation of Outstanding prowess in Administrative Matters and as a professional Fellow —.
  6. 1 November, 2013 Tokemm Education Excellence Award (TEE Awards 2013) for his contribution to the Growth and Development of the Educational sector in Bayelsa State
  7. He was inducted as a product of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) in Kuru near Jos Plateau State.
  8. Pioneer President, Teacher’s Training College, Bomadi Old Boys Association.
  9. CEO/MD Treasure Garden Hotels Yeni zue-gene Yenagoa, Bayelsa state (2000-2014)

Faith and Family

He was a devoted Christian with the Living Faith Church (AKA) Winners Chapel, Swali, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Late Chief (Barr) Aseyai Etifa’s dodged determination and firm believes in the philosophy of “anything worth doing is worth doing well” came to play even in his quest for spiritual growth as he enrolled in the word of faith Bible Institute (WOFBI) where he obtained the following certificates:

  1. Basic Certificate Course (BCC)
  2. Leadership Certificate Course (LCC).

Late Chief (Barr) Aseyai Etifa was an ordained elder of the Living Faith Church aka Winners Chapel, Swali.

He was a polygamist, and good family architect. In summation Late Chief (Barr) Aseyai Etifa had Seventeen (17) children.

As Politicians

Chief (Barr) Aseyai Etifa delved into politics. In 2007, Chief (Barr) Aseyai Etifa contested for the Bayelsa state governorship party ticket under the People Democratic Party (PDP) and he loss.

His Law Chambers

Chief (Barr) Aseyai Etifa had a legal chambers in Yenagoa city. It was called Aseyai Etifa & Co Angozi Chambers, it was registered with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) on the 11 April 2008 with the registration No RC 2058655 and its address was #1 PDP Secretariat Road, Yenezue gene Yenagoa Bayelsa state

Places lived

Besides his original hometown Ndoro where he hails from and was born. He lived in several places with his family before he exited from the earth, these are some of the places:

  1. 6 Akassa street old GRA Port Harcourt Rivers Statesman
  2. 2 nchia close – Rumu-Ibekwe Housing Estate Rivers State
  3. Road 7 Flat 2a Agip Estate Rumueme Rivers State
  4. Sagabam Town
  5. 11 Tamic Road Okutukutu-Yenagoa Bayelsa state (his personal property)

His Death

Chief (Barr) Aseyai Etifa the Ndoro born educationist and attorney had a Stroke and he traveled abroad for further medical attention at India and South Africa. It was reported precisely 8.00am on the 18 September, 2014, he died at a private medical facility called Crest Clinic in Kpansia-Yenagoa, Bayelsa state.

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"Timeless Persons" is a personal blog project created by me with the aim of sharing the biographies of remarkable individuals from the Niger Delta region and beyond. The blog serves as a platform to captivate and stimulate your thoughts, encouraging reflection on the past, fostering a positive mindset in the present, and inspiring hope for a better future.