This Day (Lagos)

13 January 2009

Nigeria: Where Are Second Republic Governors?

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Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia (Bendel)

Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia became the governor of Bendel State for the second time under the umbrella of NPN in October, 1983. His first time was as a military governor from September 1967 to July 1975. During his first coming, the then Bendel State witnessed rapid social and economic growth. He is currently a member of Board of Trustees of the PDP representing Edo State .

Chief Jim Ifeanyichukwu Nwobodo (Anambra)

Chief Jim Ifeanyichukwu Nwobodo became the governor of Anambra State in October, 1979 under the platform of the Nigeria Peoples Party (NPP) founded by the late great nationalist, Dr. Nnamidi Azikiwe. Nwobodo, one of the flamboyant governors of the second republic became the first Executive governor of Anambra State at the age of 39. Before then, he became the Chairman of Rangers International Club in 1975, and held that position until 1979. Within one year as Club Chairman he propelled Rangers to capture the Africa Cup Winners' Cup. After leaving office in 1983 as governor, he was later appointed as a Minister of Youths and Sports in 1995. He was also in 1999 elected Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria where he served till 2003. He was the presidential candidate for the UNPP in the 2003 General elections. He is presently a stalwart of PDP in Enugu State .

Chief Christian C. Onoh (Anambra)

Chief Christian Onoh took over from Chief Nwobodo in October 1983. He won the election under the NPN in controversial circumstances. He is no more in active politics.

Late Chief Samuel Onunaka Mbakwe (Imo)

Late Chief Samuel Mbakwe was the first executive governor of Imo State under the umbrella of the NPP. Dr. Mbakwe began his career as a lawyer in Port Harcourt before his election as governor. When the civil war broke out, Mbakwe was appointed as the Administrator of the Okigwe Province of the then Republic of Biafra . He was a member of the 1978 Constituent Assembly and member of the 1995 National Constitutional Conference (NCC).

Mbakwe was a man easily given to emotion, which led to his being referred to as "the weeping governor." However, when the military took over the government in 1983, Mbakwe and other political leaders were herded into jail.

He returned when the then military President, Ibrahim Babangida lifted the ban on partisan politics and joined the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP) .He also featured in the late General Sani Abacha and General. Abdulsalami Abubakar's transition programmes as a chieftain of the All Peoples Party (APP) now All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Sam Mbakwe died on January 5, 2004.

Alhaji Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa ( Kaduna )

Alhaji Balarabe Musa became the first executive governor of Kaduna State in 1979 under the platform of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) a party founded by the late defender of the masses, Mallam Aminu Kano. He was in office for one year as he was removed in 1980 through impeachment.

Because of his irreconcilable differences with the NPN-controlled Federal government, the Kaduna state house of assembly dominated by the NPN legislators was incited to impeach him, thus becoming the first governor to be impeached from office.

Alhaji Balarable Musa operated without a cabinet for almost two years due to refusal of the NPN legislature to ratify any of his party's (PRP) nominees because he refused to appoint members of NPN, which had a clear two-third majority in the State House of Assembly. Since he left office Alhaji Balarabe Musa has been participating in politics, holding aloft the progressive ideology. He contested for the presidency during the 2003 and 2007 general elections and he is now the chairman of the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP).

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