Born on April 28, 1928, in Otuabagi town within the Ogbia Local Government Area, now part of Bayelsa state, he was the offspring of the late Chief Olukutu Inatibibo – Emi Eferebo Alagoa, whose roots traced back to Nembe city in the Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa state. His father held the prestigious title of Chief Amain of Nembe at that time. His mother, the late Madam Esther Elogun Obu, hailed from Otuabagi, Otakeme, Kolo, and Emagua, all situated in the Ogbia/Abua/Odua Local Government Area of Bayelsa state.
George Alagoa spent his early life at Otuabagi, Ogbia and also travelled to see his faher and grandfather. Late Chief Joseph Alagoa in nembe. His mother, late Esther Obu was a business woman and a devoted Christian. She played a major role in George Alagoa’s upbringing and education. She gave George Alagoa the best she could afford as a mother. Madam Esther, travelled the length and breath of the Niger Delta and hinterlands of the Eastern Nigeria for Christian mission functions, business and for regular medical check-ups.
Each time his mother traveled, George Alagoa stayed with his aunt, Matilda Obu. His immediate family at Otuabagi were closely knitted and had great love for one another. As a growing child, he diligent, obedient and respectful to elders in everywhere he found himself. By this innate characteristics he loved many in his community Otuabagi and his mother who quite impressed his behavior wait no further in funding his education solely. She had a lasting impression on George Alagoa.
George Alagoa commenced his primary education at St. Marks Primary School, Ogidama (now Otakeme) in the Ogbia Local Government Area. In the educational norms of that era, children had to be at least 8 years old before entering Infant 1. George spent a total of 5 years at St. Marks Primary School, covering Infant 1-2 and Standard 1-3. At the time, Standard 3 was the highest class at Otakeme. However, his mother, determined to further his education, sent him to St. Michael’s Primary School, Oloibiri in 1942. George completed Standard 4-6 and concluded his primary education in 1944.
In December 1944, during a meeting organized by the late Rev G.I Amangala, superintendent Pastor and Chairman of Ogbia Brotherhood, proposals were made, including the education of talented Ogbia sons. Rev G.I Amangala promised a native authority scholarship for any Ogbia son securing admission into an approved government secondary school. George Alagoa, having passed the common entrance examination, gained admission to Okrika Grammar School and was awarded a native authority scholarship covering tuition. His mother took on the responsibility of financing the rest of his education. Despite the challenges of a river journey lasting seven days each time school resumed, George Alagoa persevered. He spent five years at Okrika Grammar School, completing his Cambridge School Certificate in 1951 with an outstanding result.
George Alagoa’s passion for education prompted him to pursue further studies. From 1958 to 1963, he engaged in distance learning through enrollment at Wolsey Hall University (Oxford) and Rapid College London. He successfully passed his Advanced Level examinations in History, Economics, and British Constitution. Additionally, he completed his B.A. in History with London University. Driven by an interest in the legal profession, he enrolled in and completed his Inter-LLB program with London University through correspondence.
George Alagoa began his career in education as a C.D Teacher at B.C.M School, Abonnema. Subsequently, on April 5, 1951, he transitioned to the mainstream civil service, starting in Enugu. His postings included administrative roles in Abak, Calabar, Opobo, Eket, Port Harcourt, among others. Notably, in Calabar, he achieved the 1st position in the Eastern Region in the civil service administration test known as the Position Test.
His career involved diverse roles, such as serving as an integrating officer at the Ministry of Commerce, Aba, for the departments of Trade, Cooperative, and Textile Center Aba. He later worked in ministries in Aba, Port Harcourt, Abakaliki, and Ikom, displaying versatility in his administrative capacities.
Following the Nigerian Civil War (1967–1969), George Alagoa returned to his home state, then Old Rivers State. In various roles, such as Executive Officer General Duties in the Produce House, Ministry of Establishment, he demonstrated dedication and received promotions.
Throughout his career, he attended seminars and workshops, enhancing his administrative skills. Noteworthy events include his participation in seminars by the Center for Management Development in Jos (1974), Port Harcourt, Aba, Calabar (1974), Ilorin (1975), and the Federal National Seminar/Workshop in Jos, Plateau State, in 1983.
In 1982, he assumed the duties of the Permanent Secretary, Civil Service Commission, Port Harcourt, showcasing his capabilities. George Alagoa retired from the civil service in 1985, having left an untarnished legacy.
Post-retirement, he took up an appointment with West Africa Oilfield Services as Assistant Manager Administration from 1990 to 1992. Known for his honesty, dedication, hard work, integrity, and punctuality, George Alagoa made a lasting impact both in his civil service career and in his subsequent role in the private sector. His career spanned across various states in Nigeria, reflecting his commitment to public service and administrative excellence.
George Alagoa was a devoted Anglican, actively participating in the Cyprians Anglican Church on Hospital Road, Port Harcourt, and supporting St. Stephen’s Anglican Church in Otuabagi. His faith was evident in his practical Christianity, guided by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. Known for his benevolence, he dedicated his life to helping those in need, including widows, orphans, and the less privileged in society.
A regular visitor to homes in Port Harcourt, such as the Old People’s Home on Harbor Road, the Orphanage Home in Borokiri, and the Obioma Chesire Home on Creek Road, George Alagoa made it a priority to support these institutions. Despite financial constraints, he consistently gave to these homes, demonstrating a compassionate and caring spirit.
George Alagoa extended his generosity beyond local boundaries by becoming a partner of the Oral Roberts Ministry in the United States. His non-materialistic nature was a defining aspect of his character, leading him to prioritize the well-being of others over accumulating wealth during his civil service career. Content with his earnings, he remained true to his values.
Education held a central place in George Alagoa’s life. His love for learning translated into a commitment to ensuring that those around him had access to education. Whether by directly facilitating admissions through his connections or funding individuals with his own resources, he played a key role in helping people pursue education. This commitment is reflected in the achievements of his children, who have become accomplished individuals both in Nigeria and abroad.
Even in his later years, George Alagoa continued his fellowship with missionary brethren in Yenagoa, building and strengthening his faith in Jesus Christ. His life exemplified a dedication to service, compassion, and a deep commitment to both his faith and the well-being of others.
George Alagoa, despite facing limited assistance from his father during his formative years, remained deeply connected to his paternal roots and the great Alagoa dynasty. His father, hailing from Nembe and having held the title of Chief, contributed to George Alagoa’s core identity as a Nembe man. Despite the challenges in his early life, George Alagoa maintained positive interactions with his paternal family members whenever called upon.
He actively participated in family gatherings, attending meetings held in Nembe, Port Harcourt, Old Rivers State, and other locations. This consistent presence at family events highlighted his commitment to maintaining strong ties with his Nembe heritage. It’s noteworthy that George Alagoa not only embraced his Nembe lineage but also spoke both the Nembe and Ogbia languages fluently, showcasing his cultural versatility and deep connection to both sides of his heritage.
Throughout his life, George Alagoa resided in various towns and neighborhoods across Nigeria. Some of the notable places include:
- 26 Captain Amangala Street, Port Harcourt
- 41 Harold Wilson Drive, Borokiri, Port Harcourt
- 12B Rex Lawson Street, Borokiri, Port Harcourt
- Okutukutu neighborhood, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State
These locations reflect the diverse experiences and the journey George Alagoa undertook during his earthly sojourn. Each place likely holds unique memories and connections for him and his family.
It’s wonderful to learn about George Alagoa’s marital union with Deaconess Irene Inemo Alagoa. Their commitment to each other is evident in her support for him through thick and thin. Notably, Deaconess Irene Alagoa’s culinary skills have left a lasting mark, establishing a sought-after eatery spot for civil servants and the public in both Old Rivers State and the Federal Medical Center in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. This highlights not only her role as a supportive partner but also her contributions to the community through her culinary talents. Their partnership seems to have been a source of strength and shared endeavors throughout their lives.
In March 2019, Elder George Olukutu Alagoa peacefully passed away at the Federal Medical Center in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. His legacy encompasses a lifetime of service, dedication to education, and unwavering support for others. His impact on the community, both through his career and philanthropy, continues to resonate, leaving behind a legacy of compassion, integrity, and a commitment to improving the lives of those around him.