This Day (Lagos)

13 January 2009

Nigeria: Where Are Second Republic Governors?

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Late Alhaji Abubakar Tatari Ali (Bauchi)

Bauchi State was created in 1976 and on October 1, 1979, the first democratically elected executive governor, Alhaji Abubakar Tatari Ali took over the leadership of the toddling state under the umbrella of the defunct National Party of Nigeria(NPN). Many of the late Tatari's policies began to manifest before the military coup of December 1983, which put paid to whatever dreams Alhaji Ali had for the old state which comprised today of Bauchi and Gombe states. When the military took over in 1983, Alhaji Ali and some of his colleagues were clamped into detention. He later died of health complication shortly after his release from jail.? ?Late Aper Aku (Benue)

Late Mr. Aper Aku was the first executive governor of Benue State between October 1979 and December 1983. He was elected under the NPN. Aku was regarded as the father of modern Benue who laid the foundation and structures that successive governors after his demise have improved upon to get the state to its present level of development. However, Aku died in 1989.

Alhaji Muhammed Goni (Borno)

Alhaji Muhammed Goni the governor of Borno State during the era, in office from October 1979 until December 31st 1983 when the military struck. Goni was said to have left a legacy of hard work, honesty, humility and accountability in the state. Throughout his tenure as governor, he never lost sight of his philosophy of government which was justice to the people. After his tenure as governor, Goni was appointed as a member of the Constitutional Drafting Committee of the 1995 Constitution. He was also appointed as member of the National Political Reform Conference in July 2005 as a delegate from Borno State . He also served as the Vice presidential candidate to Chief Jim Nwobodo in 2003 under the United Nigeria Peoples Party (UNPP). He is present inactive politically.

Late Dr. Clement Isong (Cross River)

Late Dr. Clement Nyong Isong a great economist became the first executive governor of old Cross River State in 1979 under the umbrella of the NPN. Before his election, late Isong was the second Nigerian Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria from August 15, 1967 to September 22, 1975 during which he introduced a new organizational structure for the bank which took account not only of the existing complexity and volume of the CBN's activities, but also of prospective expansion. Isong died in year 2000.

Chief Donald Dick Etiebet (Cross River )

Chief Donald Dick Etiebet was governor of Cross River State for three months between October 1983 and December 31, 1983. He succeeded late Dr. Clement Isong. Before his election under the umbrella of NPN, Etiebet, an Annang man, was among the 95 senators who served in the first Senate of Second Republic between 1979 and October 1983. Politically, he is presently in the background.

Late Professor Ambrose Folorunso Alli (Bendel)

Professor Ambrose Alli was elected the governor of the then Bendel State now Edo and Delta states in 1979 under the platform of the Unity Party of Nigeria founded by the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

Late Alli was one of the most vibrant governors in the Second Republic. It would be recalled that during his tenure in office, he was in constant conflict with former President Shehu Shagari over the issue of the rule of law and constitutionalism. On several occasions, the late governor took Shagari to court. On one such occasion, a judgment by Supreme Court in a suit filed by Ambrose Alli held up the implementation of the national budget. His health deteriorated after his release from military incarceration and he died in 1988. Ambrose Alli University formerly Bendel State University , which he established during his tenure, was named after him.

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