Biography of successive Governors since the inception of Kogi state
BRIGADIER-GENERAL DANLADI ZAKARI
FIRST MILITARY ADMINISTRATOR OF KOGI STATE
Born in Katsina December 30, 1951, Brig-General Danladi Zakari attended Government College, Kaduna and Nigerian Defence Academy also in Kaduna before he was commissioned in 1971.
The pioneer Military Administrator then a Colonel hails from Adamawa State and had a very brilliant Military career within and outside Nigeria. He is a trained Engineer.
Col. Danladi Zakari holds both Bachelors and Masters degrees in Engineering and Systems Engineering respectively from George Washington University, USA and as at the time he was posted to Kogi State, he was working on his doctoral thesis.
An academician cum career soldier, Brig-General Danladi Zakari was once a Staff Officer, Training and Doctrine Command in Jos.
He was also a Principal Officer at General Staff Headquarters and has served in various capacities in the Third Armoured Division of the Nigerian Army, Jos and 21 Armoured Brigade, Maiduguri.
He also served as the commandant, Nigerian Army Armoured School, Bauchi and Commander, United Nations Observer Group in Iraq/Iran.
His last appointment before he became the pioneer Administrator of Kogi State was as the Executive Secretary, Armed Forces Schools Management Board. Col. Danladi Zakari has also represented the federal government at various negotiations especially the Chad Basin commission and acted as Governor of Borno State on several occasions.
PRINCE ABUBAKAR AUDU
FIRST EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF KOGI STATE
Prince Abubakar Audu (24 October 1947 – 22 November 2015) was twice the Governor of Kogi State. His first tenure was from January 1992 until November 1993 and the second from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2003. Popularly referred to as the “Prince of Alloma”, Audu was born on 27 October 1947 to the family of his Royal Highness, the late Pa Audu Oyidi, the Orego Atta of Igala Land and the paramount ruler of Ogbonicha-Alloma in Ofu Local Government Area of Kogi State.
He started his education at the N.A (Native Authority) Junior Primary School, Alloma, and later N.A. Senior School Ankpa, from which he proceeded to Dennis Memorial Grammar School, Onitsha. He later transferred to the Jos Commercial College where he obtained both the GCE O and A level.
After a stint as a bank worker, Audu later proceeded to London from 1975-1978 where he studied banking and personnel management, obtaining professional qualification as a certified secretary, and as a Fellow of the Association of International Accountants of London, as well as fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Industrial Administration of Nigeria.
Audu’s banking career lasted for a total of 25 years, which he spent with First Bank – formerly known as Standard Bank. Here, he served in various capacities at management level until 1991. He also made history as the bank’s first training officer of African descent and also as one of the first black senior management staff of Standard Chartered Bank in London and New York.
In 1991, he was appointed Executive Director of FSB International Bank Ltd, Lagos by the Federal Government and held the position until his election as Governor of Kogi State in 1991.
Politics and public service
Audu’s sojourn into public service began in 1986 when he was appointed as Commissioner for Finance and Economic Planning in the old Benue state. He served in this capacity until 1988 when the cabinet was dissolved. He then returned to First Bank of Nigeria PLC as a General Manager.
In August 1991, Kogi state was created from parts of the old Benue and Kwara states. This coincided with one of Nigeria’s many previous encounters with democracy, and Audu, being part of those who had advocated for the creation of the state and a notable son of the soil, was invited to contest for governorship. He contested on the platform of the National Republican Convention (NRC) and won the election held in November, 1991. He was subsequently sworn in as the first executive governor of Kogi state in January 1992.
In 1998, democracy was again re-introduced and Audu, now with the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), was elected again with over 700,000 votes while his opponent hardly recorded 50% of the vote cast. He was sworn in on 29 May 1999 as the 2nd Executive Governor of Kogi State and governed for just one term before he was defeated by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ibrahim Idris in the April 19 2003 general election.
One of his major achievement is the establishment of the Kogi State university in Anyingba.
In 2015, Audu emerged as the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) at the August 28th Kogi State gubernatorial primary election with Chief James Abiodun Faleke as his running mate. Audu died of a bleeding ulcer on 22 November 2015, shortly before the Independent National Electoral Commission announced the Kogi State gubernatorial election as inconclusive. He had recorded more votes than his opponent in the elections but due to the dilemma created by his sudden death, his party APC, chose the runner up of the primary elections, Yahaya Bello, as the candidate to replace him.
He was a member of several professional body which including the Chartered Institute of Secretaries, corporation of certified secretaries and host of others.
He was equally the recipient of several professional awards and honours.
COL PAUL OMERUO
2ND MILITARY ADMINISTRATOR OF KOGI STATE (NOV 1993 – AUG 1996)
Paul Uzoanya Ndimele Omeruo a Colonel in the Artillery Corps of the Nigerian Army and a former Military Administrator Kogi State, who hails from Nnono-Oboro in Ikwuano/Umanhia Local Government area of Abia State, was born on January 20 1946 at Zaria, Kaduna State.
He began his early education at the Methodist School, Zaria in 1952. Between 1957 and 1959, Col. Omeruo attended the Methodist Central School, Nnono-Oboro, his home town in Abia State from where he proceeded to the Commercial Institute, Zaria in 1960 to undertake a two year commercial course. Col. Omeruo later went to the Nigeria Military School, Zaria in 1962.
He was commissioned into the Nigerian Army in 1981 after graduating from the Nigerian Defence Academy NDA, Kaduna.
Col Omeruo also attended several military courses at home and abroad including Young Officers Course (YOC) infantry, Jaji-Kaduna, 1973, Artillery Basic Officers Course (ABOC) School of Artillery, Kaduna (1977) and the Young Officers Course, Air Defence in Pakistan in 1978.
In 1979, Col. Omeruo attended another Air Defence course in Russia Code named ZSU-23-4M (Shilka) Air Defence Course, Junior Division Staff Course (JDSC) at the Command and Staff College Jaji Kaduna, and Advance Gunnery course (Air Defence) India 1981.
Col. Omeruo also attended the famous senior military course at the Command and Staff College Jaji Kaduna, between 1982-1983 graduating from the college with distinction and was awarded a PSC.
Other courses attended by the Colonel included the Camberly Staff College (Directing Staff Attachment course in the UK in 1986. Before he was appointed as the Military administrator of the young Kogi State, Col. Omeruo had held several positions in the military formation. These included: Staff Captain “Q” 21 Infantry Brigade Enugu 1973-75, Officer Commanding A Coy/BN Training Officer, 22 Infantry Battalion, Okigwe 1976-77, Commanding Officer 13 field Artillery Regiment, Ohafia 1978, Commanding Officer 333. Air Defence Regiment Maiduguri 1979.
Other command appointments held by Colonel Omeruo are; Instructor, Gunnery, Air Defence, School of Artillery Brigade 1981, Commanding Officer 331, Air Defence Artillery Regiment, Ohafia and Commanding Officer 331 Air Defence Artillery Regiment 1984.
Col. Omeruo also held the position of Commanding Officer 331, Air Defence Artillery Regiment 1985-1986; Directing Staff, Command and Staff College Jaji between 1986-1989, after which he was awarded psc(+); General Staff Officer (Training) Army Headquarters 1990-1993, a position he held before he was appointed military administrator of Kogi State in December, 1993.
COL. BL AFAKIRYA
3RD MILITARY ADMINISTRATOR OF KOGI STATE
(AUGUST 22, 1996 – AUGUST 1998)
Colonel Bzigu Lassa Afakirya was born at Askira-Uba LGA in Borno State on 20th July, 1949. After his early primary school education in the ancient town of Lassa, the young Bzigu proceeded to the Nigerian Military School, Zaria, Kaduna State between 1962 and 1966.
He was a cadet at the Nigeria Defence Academy Kaduna graduating as a commissioned Second Lieutenant in June, 1973. As an outstanding student, Afakirya bags the prestigious Sword of Honour as the Best-All Round Cadet, the first in order of merit at the academy. After being commissioned, he first served under the Second Division of the Nigerian Army in Osogbo, Osun State, between 1973 and 1977.
In 1977, Col. Afakirya was posted to 231 Tank Battalion in Gombe, present day Gombe State as Company Commander. The same year, he proceeded to 221 Tank Battalion Nsukka, Enugu State as Company Commander and later Acting Commanding Officer.
Between Aug. 1986 and July 1987, he studied at the Command and Staff College Jaji where he was decorated with passed staff college (psc).
From 1987 to 1990 he was appointed the Brigade Major at the Armoured Brigade Maiduguri. From 1990, he served as Battalion Commander in Bama, Borno State, he was there until 1993 when he was posted to Armoured Corps, Bauchi as General Staff Officer I Training and Operations from 1993 to 1995.
Between 1995 and 1996 Col. Afakirya was the Battalion Commander Nguru, Yobe State. He has attended several military courses in Nigeria, United Kingdom, United States of America and Sweden. These include the Platoon Commanders’ course at Command and Staff College, Jaji 1977; the Young Armour Officers’ course, 1978; Company Commanders’ course 1980; the Junior Division of the Command and Staff college, Jaji, 1980; Senior Division of the Command and Staff College, Jaji 1986-1987 and Commanding Officers course at CSC, Jaji 1991.
Col. Afakirya was a member of the Yobe State Executive Council before his appointment on August 14, as the third Military Administrator and Fourth Chief Executive of Kogi state.
SECOND EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF KOGI STATE
Ibrahim Idris was born in 1949 at Idah town, Idah Local Government Area of Kogi State. He started his primary education in 1954 in Onitsha, Anambra State. In 1962, he moved to Kano, where he completed his primary education in 1963. He later moved to Buguma in Rivers State where he enrolled in King’s Commercial College in 1964. Abuja.
After leaving school he launched the Ibro Trading Company, which has greatly expanded to include interests in construction, furniture making, hotels and other activities. In 1970, he moved to Sokoto where he set up the Ibrahim Furniture Factory, the largest in Sokoto State, and later the Ibro Hotel, the first 3-star hotel in the old Sokoto State.
Ibrahim Idris, was chosen as PDP candidate for the 2003 Kogi State governorship election. He was elected governor of Kogi State on the PDP platform in April 2003, taking office on 29 May 2003.
Idris was re-elected in April 2007, but later in the year his re-election was nullified on the grounds that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had wrongly excluded the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) candidate Abubakar Audu from the April 14, 2007 governorship poll. On February 6, 2008, the Court of Appeal upheld this ruling and ordered a new election to be held within three months. President Umaru Yar’Adua ordered the Speaker of the House of Assembly to take over as acting governor.
In a repeat election held on March 29, 2008, Idris was returned as the Governor of Kogi State.
IDRIS ICHALA WADA
3RD EXECUTIVE GPOVERNOR OF KOGI STATE
Idris Ichala Wada was born on 26 August 1950. He was the son of Alhaji Ejiga Wada, a community leader and a retired jurist who served for over 30 years as a judge, and the late Hajia Rakiya Wada. Wada was a bright young lad and was said to have had the best cumulative aggregate score in WAEC exam during his days and was granted a scholarship to study at the Federal Government College Sokoto.
At the age of 23, Idris Wada had become a flight instructor and attained the rank of ‘Captain-in-Command” by the time he left the now the defunct Nigeria Airways in 1983. Later in that same year he joined the United Air Service (UAS) where he rose to the position of Chief Pilot and General Manager, within a very short period.He also became the only Nigerian in his set to be awarded an International Civil Aviation scholarship. In 1976, he has received his Air Transport Pilot License (ATP) and became a full-fledged pilot and instructor.
Also in 1983 he joined the United Air Service (UAS) where he rose to the position of Chief Pilot and General Manager, within a very short period.
Captain Wada is one of the pioneer indigenous airline operators in Nigeria, in 1985 he established Executive Aviation Services (EAS) Ltd that became NICON Airways in 2006. Two years later, Captain Wada decided to leave commercial aviation and focus on community service.
Wada has attended several high level management and proficiency trainings in Nigeria, Brazil, Germany, UK and USA over the past 25years. He also undertook at regular intervals, several simulator conversion/recurrent flight training programmes at Varig Airlines, Brazil; Lufthansa Airlines, Frankfurt; Sabena Airlines, Brussels; Pan-am Flight academy Miami, USA; and many other high quality facilities.
Captain Wada earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration (2004) and a Master of Business Administration (2006), both of them from the University of Abuja.
Captain Idris Wada emerged as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in September 14 primary of the party and went on to win the December 3, 2011 gubernatorial election, becoming the governor of Kogi state in January 2012.
4th EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF KOGI STATE
Bello was born June 18, 1975 in Okene, Kwara State, the youngest of six children.He attended LGEA Primary School, Agassa In Okene LGA beginning in 1984. He was named as a class prefect of class two and was made the school Head Boy in class six. He attended high school at Agassa Community Secondary School, Anyava, Agassa-Okene and obtained his JSSCE and SSCE certificates from Government Secondary School, Suleja-Niger State in 1994.
He studied at Kaduna State Polytechnic Zaria in 1995 and obtained an accounting degree from Ahmadu Bello University ABU Zaria in 1999. He further enrolled for a Masters program in Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria where he obtabined Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in 2002. He became a chartered fellow of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria in 2004.
He was declared winner of the 2015 Kogi State gubernatorial election after he was chosen on the platform of the All Progressives Congress as the replacement for the late Abubakar Audu who originally won the election but died before the result was declared.