Anambra governors

All Past Anambra State Governors And What They Have Been Up To

by Okechukwu

Anambra State was created in 1976 when General Murtala Muhammed divided the East Central State into Imo and Anambra. But this was the old Anambra that included all of present Anambra State, all of Enugu State and a huge chunk of Ebonyi State, including the capital city, Abakaliki. In checking up on past Anambra State governors, we are not going to leave any era unturned.

From the old Anambra State, 1976 to 1991 when Anambra lost a part of itself and its capital to Enugu State; and then from 1999 when civilian rule returned to date, we will cover all.

No other state in the whole of Nigeria has this amount of former governors. By March 2022, this number would only swell. We are not going to mention any of the military administrators who, if the truth must be said and why not, are not governors in the real sense; they are more like brigade commanders cherry-picked to sit in the capital city and checkmate the people for their grand commander in Abuja.

Even if we wanted to squeeze in these men on khaki, space would prove problematic. This is a blog post and anything above this would begin to flirt towards a novella. So here are all the past governors of Anambra State from 1979 to date.

Jim Nwobodo (October 1979 to October 1983)


Jim Nwobodo, the chairman of Enugu Rangers International, ran for governor of Anambra State under the Nigerian People’s Party, NPP, founded by Nnamdi Azikiwe. The party finished third in the presidential election and won three governorship seats. Sam Mbakwe of Imo State and Solomon Larr of Plateau State made up the triumvirate of states held by NPP.

Former Governor, Jim Nwobodo disowns former wife's children - Daily Post Nigeria

The legacy of Jim Nwobodo is scattered all over Anambra, Enugu, and Ebonyi States today. The famous Nike Lake Hotel, Unizik, colleges of Educations, Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Nkalagu Cement, other factories, rural electrification, water schemes, etc are some of his achievements.

What is Jim Nwobodo up to?

When Buhari took over power in New Year’s eve of 1984, Jim Nwobodo was one of the many politicians who were imprisoned. Jim Nwobodo would later play a role in the military junta of Abacha, becoming the minister of Youths and Sports under whose reign the Super Eagles won the African Cup of Nations in 1994 and had the most successful Olympic outing in Atlanta 1996 where they won two gold medals.

With the return of civilian rule in 1999, Jim Nwobodo contested for Senate and was elected under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, to represent Enugu West (Nkanu West, Nkanu East, Enugu North, Enugu East, Enugu South, and Isiuzo).

See Also: The Five Types of Unknown Gunmen in the East


In 2002, he left the PDP and founded the United Nigeria People’s Party (UNPP) and flew their flag for the presidential election of 2003. His running mate was Mohammed Goni, the former governor of Borno State.

Jim Nwobodo returned to PDP where he remained as a party elder statesman and played reconciliatory roles during the government of Yar’adua/Jonathan. Jim is infrequent in the public space and lives in his Enugu home.

Christian Onoh (October 1st 1983 to 31st December 1983)


Christain Onoh was the second elected governor of the Old Anambra State. He defeated Jim Nwobodo, becoming the only person to beat an incumbent governor in Anambra State of all mode and time to date. Truth be said, it is not fair to say he defeated Nwobodo as the election was marred with so much violence and malpractices.

Late Chief CC Onoh: What offence did the lion of Wawa land commit? - Vanguard News

Onoh ran under the platform of the National Party of Nigeria, NPN, which was the party that held the presidential seat, the party of Shehu Shagari.


There is hardly any record of his achievement as governor but you can hardly blame him for this. He was a governor for barely three months, his tenure ended by the Major Buhari/Idagbon junta.

What is Christian Onoh up to?

Christian Onoh died in May 2009. He was the father of Bianca Ojukwu.

Chukwuemeka Ezeife (January 1992 to November 1993)

After four years after he assumed power, General Babaginda decided to start the transition into civilian rule. He allowed the registration of two political parties, namely the National Republican Convention, NRC, and the Social Democratic Party, SDP. This political dispensation began the Third Republic.


In October 1991 primaries were held and Chukwuemeka Ezeife emerged as the flagbearer of the Social Democratic Party. SDP is the same party with which MKO Abiola contested his June 12 1993 presidential election which was described as the freest and fairest election which Babangida annulled.

We must tinker with our political system to tackle our challenges' | The Guardian Nigeria News - Nigeria and World News — Politics — The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News

In December 1991, elections were held for the governorship seats in all 30 states. Ezeife won the seat for Anambra State. On 2nd January 1992, Ezeife was sworn in as the first governor of Anambra State since the state was broken into Enugu and Anambra States.

Ruling a state as a governor under a military junta has its limitations. Ezeife and his 1992 class of governors didn’t achieve a lot. On his own, he was able to get the ownership of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, and the Polytechnic Oko transferred to the federal government.


What is Ezeife up to?

In November 1993, Abacha took over power and dissolved even political party and structure. In fact, it might be bad grammar to say he dissolved everything dissolvable and it is still the truth. Ezeife and other recently removed governors laid low throughout the regime of Abacha.

When Obasanjo became president in 1999, Ezeife was appointed a special adviser on political matters by President Obasanjo. He later fell out with Obasanjo and had his house in Abuja demolished which was one way Obasanjo punished political dissension.


In 2010, Ezeife joined the Center for Development & Empowerment of Commercial Motorcyclists as a board member.

Today, he is seen as a non-partisan elder stateman and gives interviews on the state of the nation. He is an outspoken supporter of the Igbo race. In an interview he gave Arise TV in April 2021, he said Buhari’s administration is frustrating Igbos out of Nigeria.

Chinwoke Mbadinuju (May 1999 to May 2003)


Chinwoke Mbadinuju was the fourth elected governor of Anambra, the second elected governor of Anambra in its current map, and the first elected governor of Anambra State in the Fourth Republic. His tenure is one of the most periods of Anambra State as a political entity.

Former Governor Of Anambra, Chinwoke Mbadinuju Not Dead - Breaking Times

Schools, courts, and civil service were on strike for months and sometimes more than a year. They were cut between godfathers and the governor who struggled and failed to take charge of the machinery of governance under his care.

The godfathers eventually got tired of him and got rid of him. Thus, Mbadinuju became the only governor in the South-south/South East axis not to get reelected in 2003.

See also: South East States Ranked By Their Numbers of Voters’ Registration

Mbadinuju’s government brought Bakassi Boys to help secure the state which is a legacy on the cusp of positivity and negativity. Time has continually diminished the significance of this legacy.

What is Chinwoke Mbadinuju up to?

Mbadinuju who was born in 1945 was a lawyer who had been the personal adviser to Jim Nwobodo and President Shehu Shagari. After leaving the government house in 2003, he totally left politics and the public space. Feelers suggested that he left for the United States to lecture law and rose to become Associate Professor of Politics & African Studies at the State University of New York.


Mbadinuju is back in Nigeria. The last we heard of him was in December 2020 when it was rumoured that he passed away. His family released a statement denying that. They admitted that their father endures “little illness” associated with septuagenarians.

Chris Ngige (May 2003 to March 2006)

Chris Ngige was sworn in as governor of Anambra State in May 2003. His administration would be remembered for the political crisis it unveiled one of which saw the office of Anambra State governor declared vacant and a sitting governor kidnapped.

CHRIS NGIGE The True Story of My 2003 AbductionTHISDAYLIVE

But this won’t be Ngige’s legacies. He would be remembered for putting a stop to the rot Mbadinuju left behind. Public schools were on strike and important aspects of public service in complete disservice with civil servants owed several months of salaries.

Ngige also showed Anambrarians what it means to have standard roads. He might not have been legitimately elected but he laid the framework for workable governance of Anambra.

What is Chris Ngige up to?

After he left Agu Awka, Chris Ngige didn’t leave Anambra political space. He contested for governor in 2010 and lost to Peter Obi. In 2011, he contested for senator to represent Anambra Central Senatorial zone and won, beating APGA’s Dora Akunyili.

In 2013, Ngige contested again and lost to Willie Obiano of APGA.

In 2015, he run for reelection for senator and lost to Ekwunife of the PDP. This marked the last time Ngige contested for an elective position. Today, he seemed to be pushing for APC Southeast leader while been minister of Labour and Productivity, a post he has been on since 2015.

Peter Obi (March 2006 to March 2014 with two hiatuses)

Peter Obi won the 2003 Anambra governorship election under the platform of the All Grand Progressive Alliance, APGA. But he wasn’t declared winner. The election was rigged for Chris Ngige of the PDP who was declared winner and sworn in.

Peter Obi went to the tribunal which declared that he was the duly elected governor. Thus, for the first time in the history of Nigeria, a sitting governor was removed from office before the end of his stipulated term. In November 2016, the PDP-led House of Assembly impeached Peter Obi for “gross misconduct”.

Nigeria Not Faithful to the Youth, Peter Obi LamentsTHISDAYLIVE

Peter Obi went to court and the Supreme Court nullified his impeachment; he returned to Agu Awka.

In May 2007, INEC got Andy Ubah sworn in as governor. But Peter Obi was in court challenging the fact that his tenure was ended. He started in March 2006 and should leave office in March 2010. The Supreme Court sided with Peter Obi and he returned to power which is the first of the staggered state elections in Nigeria.

But these judiciary wins are not Peter Obi’s legacies. He was keen on human development, especially in the education sector. He continued the road constructions begun by Ngige and by the time he left office, Anambra had the best network of roads of any South East State.

Many regard Obi as the best governor Anambra ever had.

What is Peter Obi up to?

Peter Obi left the government house and remained a chieftain of APGA. He fell out with his successor Willie Obiano so much that he left APGA for PDP in 2015.

Peter Obi has been the darling speaker at seminars and TV studios where his practical economic theories and frugality in governance easily win him accolades.

In 2019, he was selected as the running mate for PDP’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar. They lost the election to incumbent Buhari amidst serious charges of rigging and electoral frauds.

Peter Obi has remained a voice of reason in Nigeria’s socio-econo-political field. There are whispers that he might run for president in 2023.

Dame Virginia Etiaba (November 2006 to February 2007)

Born in November 1942, Virginia Ejimba was raised in Kano where she had her education. She ended up as an educationist and headed schools in the north, in the south-south, and the southeast before ultimately establishing her own school named after her deceased husband in Nnewi.

Meet Virginia Etiaba, the first female governor in Nigeria who lasted only three months in office | Pulse Nigeria

By the time Etiaba became deputy governor in March 2006, she was 64 years old, 19 years older than her boss, Peter Obi. It would be speculating to say the huge disparity in age played a role in their tasty relationship, but it would be lazy analysis not considering it as a factor.

The relationship fell into pieces when Peter Obi was impeached and she became governor. Etiaba was governor for three months which is quite short but which remains the longest time a woman has been governor in Nigeria; this is made easier by the fact that she is the only woman to govern a state in Nigeria to date.

What is Dame Etiaba up to?

At the expiration of her deputy governorship tenure in March 2010, Etiaba returned to Nnewi. Peter Obi went on to govern in his second term with Emeka Sibuedu as his deputy.

While Dame Etiaba is retired from politics, her children seem to have taken up the political mandate. Her first son, Emeka Etiaba, SAN, first sho into the limelight in 2010 when he ran for governor under the platform of the People Progressive Alliance, PPA; he lost the primary to then member representing Anaocha/Njikoka/Dunukofia constituency at the House of Representatives, Iyom Uche Ekwunife. He later rose to become the chairman of Anambra Housing and Development Corporation.

See also: Comparing the Sit-at-home Order In MASSOB and IPOB Eras

As of the time of writing this, two of Etiaba’s sons, Emeka Etiaba and Ben Etiaba are vying for the November 2021 Anambra election. So while we see little of Virginia Etiaba, we see a lot of her children and we cannot help but associate them to their amazon of a mother.

Andy Uba (May 29th 2007 to June 14th 2007)

Andy Uba is on record the shortest-serving civilian governor in Nigeria. He was in office for a total of 17 days. The April 2017 election that brought him into power should not have held as Peter Obi’s tenure was still running. It was held and Andy Uba emerged the winner.

Andy Uba at it Again!THISDAYLIVE

On the 14th of June 2007, the Supreme Court showed him the door.

What’s Andy Uba up to?

Since he left power, Andy Uba has continually fought to return to the government house in Awka.

In 2010, at the expiration of Peter Obi’s first term, he contested the February 6th, 2010 election. Peter Obi won the election. Chris Ngige of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, came second. Charles Soludo of the PDP finished third while Andy Uba who ran on the Labour Party platform finished fourth.

In 2011, now back to the PDP, Andy Uba was elected senator representing Anambra South. He beat the incumbent in both the PDP primary and the general elections.

Andy Uba won reelection in 2015. He left PDP in 2016 and joined the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC. Andy Uba contested to be governor in the APC primary and lost to Emmanuel Nwoye. Nwoye was the PDP candidate for the 2013 Anambra gubernatorial election.

In 2019, Andy Uba lost his bid to return to the senate losing to Ifeanyi Ubah of the Young Progressive Party, YPP. Andy Uba didn’t come second – his brother Chris Uba of PDP came second – while Nicholas Ukachukwu of APGA finished third. Andy polled just over 13 thousand votes.

Today, Andy Ubah is running for governor for the 2,176th time under APC.

Connect with us on Pinterest

Post Disclaimer

The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author and forum participants on this website do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of Anaedo Online or official policies of the Anaedo Online.

You may also like