|Born||10 July 1896
|Died||1 January 1979
|Known for||Political activity|
Sir Kofoworola Adekunle Abayomi (10 July 1896 - 1 January 1979) was a Nigerian ophthalmologist who was one of the founders of the nationalist Lagos Youth Movement in 1934 and who went on to have a distinguished public service career.
Abayomi was born on the 10 July 1896 in Lagos. He was of Egbe origin. He was educated at Methodist Boys' High School Lagos and thereafter studied pharmacy at the Yaba Higher College, then attended the Medical School, University of Edinburgh, graduating in 1925. He was retained as a demonstrator for a period before he returned to Nigeria to work under Dr. Oguntola Sapara. He returned to the United Kingdom in 1930 to study tropical medicine and hygiene, and returned again in 1939 for a postgraduate course in ophthalmic surgery and medicine. As an African doctor with British training, Abayomi had to join the British Colonial Medical Service to make a living, and had to cope with British doctors who felt that Africans were inferior.
Nigerian Youth Movement
Abayomi was a founding member of the Nigerian Youth Movement (NYM) in 1933. The NYM was formed by members of the Lagos intelligentsia who were protesting the plan for Yaba College, which they considered would provide inferior education to Africans. The organization was originally called the Lagos Youth Movement but was renamed in 1936 to reflect its broader scope. Abayomi became President of the NYM on the death of Dr. James Churchill Vaughan in 1937. Abayomi was elected a member of the Legislative Council in 1938. When he resigned from both positions so he could go abroad for further studies, he precipitated a crisis. Rival candidates were Ernest Ikoli, an Ijo, and Samuel Akisanya, an Ijebu who was supported by Nnamdi Azikiwe. When the executive chose Ikoli as their candidate, both Akisanya and Azikiwe left the party, taking most of their followers with them.
Abayomi returned to Nigeria in 1941 to continue his successful family practice. He later became the first private practitioner to be elected president of the Nigerian Medical Association. The Egbe Omo Oduduwa, a Yoruba social welfare organization formed in London in 1945, was inaugurated in Ile Ife in June 1948. Sir Adeyemo Alakija was elected president. Abayomi was elected treasurer. He was a member of the Governor's Executive council from 1949-1951. In 1950 the Alaafin of Oyo, Adeyemi II, gave the Oloye Abayomi the chieftaincy title of One-Isokun of Oyo. Two years later, in April 1952, Oba Adele II of Lagos gave him the title of Baba Isale.
Sir Kofo Abayomi was one of the founding members of the Action Group when that party's Lagos branch was inaugurated on the 5th of May, 1951. In the first half of 1954, there were several tax riots in the northern Oyo towns. In August of that year, a number of Yoruba chieftains sent Sir Kofo Abayomi to see the Alaafin of Oyo and try to make him drop support for the nationalist National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons.
Sir Kofo represented the Nigerian Legislature on the Governing Council of the University College, Ibadan from its foundation in 1948 to 1961. He was appointed Deputy Chairman of the Board of Management of the University College Hospital, Ibadan when it was inaugurated in 1951. In 1958, he was appointed Chairman of the Lagos Executive Development Board, which had authority to demolish unsanitary buildings and undertake town planning schemes. Abayomi became the first Nigerian Chairman of the Board of the University College Hospital, Ibadan in 1958, a position he held until 1965. In 1959, he was chairman of the Board of Management of the University College Teaching Hospital in Lagos. He served on the board or as chairman of several companies for the rest of his life. Sir Kofo died peacefully at home on 1 January 1979 at the age of 82, leaving behind a widow, Lady Oyinkan Abayomi, who was herself a prominent figure in the history of Nigeria.
- Archives of Idadan Medicine. "Sir Kofo Abayomi KBE, MD, LLD, FRSA (1896-1979)". Retrieved 2011-05-19.
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- Falola, Toyin (2003). The foundations of Nigeria: essays in honor of Toyin Falola. Africa World Press. ISBN 1-59221-120-8.
- Post, Ken; Jenkins, George D. (1973). The price of liberty: personality and politics in Colonial Nigeria. CUP Archive. ISBN 0-521-08503-9.
- Marris, Peter (2005). Family and social change in an African city: a study of rehousing in Lagos. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-32995-7.
- Nwauwa, Apollos Okwuchi (1997). Imperialism, academe, and nationalism: Britain and university education for Africans, 1860-1960. Routledge. ISBN 0-7146-4668-7.
- Patton, Adell (1996). Physicians, colonial racism, and diaspora in West Africa. University Press of Florida. ISBN 0-8130-1432-8.
- Sklar, Richard L. (2004). Nigerian Political Parties: Power in an Emergent African Nation. Africa World Press. ISBN 1-59221-209-3.
- "Travelogue". Jet (Johnson Publishing Company) 15 (10). 8 Jan 1959. ISSN 0021-5996.
- Vaughan, Olufemi (2006). Nigerian Chiefs: Traditional Power in Modern Politics, 1890s-1990s. University Rochester Press. ISBN 1-58046-249-9.