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6 deputies who have succeeded their governors without being elected

Here is a list of deputy governors who have succeeded their principal in office without necessarily going through the process of election.

6 deputies who have succeeded their governors without being elected

One of these phenomena is the culture of political succession, whereby a deputy governor or vice president succeeds their principal due to some circumstances.

This is an important element of democratic practice as it ensures that no power vacuum is created and governance doesn't suffer due to inertia caused by the absence of a helmsman.

The latest in the line of such developments is the installation of Lucky Aiyedatiwa as the substantive governor of Ondo State following the passing of his principal, Rotimi Akeredolu, on Wednesday, December 27, 2023.

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With his ascension to power, Aiyedatiwa joined the league of deputy governors who have stepped into their principal's shoes without going through the hassles of election.

Here is a list of deputy governors who have walked a similar route to attain political power.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan's political journey is replete with succession stories.

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Before emerging as president following the death of President Umaru Musa Yar'adua, Jonathan had had a similar fate befallen him while he was deputy governor of Bayelsa State.

He served as the deputy to Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha between 1999 and December 2005.

However, Jonathan was sworn in as the governor upon the impeachment of his principal by the state assembly after the latter was charged with money laundering in the United Kingdom.

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Patrick Yakowa made history by becoming the first person from Southern Kaduna and the first Christian to become the state governor.

Not only that, he was also the first Christian to become the governor of a state in the North-West - a region dominated by Muslims. Therefore, anyone familiar with the Nigerian brand of politics can already predict how he emerged.

After Jonathan succeeded Yar'adua as President in 2010, he nominated the then Kaduna State Governor, Namadi Sambo, to fill the vacant Vice President spot.

This development paved the way for Yakowa, Sambo's deputy at the time, to be sworn in as the Kaduna State governor on May 20, 2010. He finished his principal's tenure and successfully ran for election.

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This is probably another one for the history book. Virginia Ngozi Etiaba became the first and remains the only woman to serve as governor of a Nigerian state.

She was installed as the governor of Anambra State in November 2006 after the impeachment of her principal, Peter Obi, by the state legislature over allegations of gross misconduct.

However, her stint was short-lived as she transferred powers back to Obi three months later when the Court of Appeal nullified the impeachment.

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The late Christopher Alao-Akala was elected as the Oyo State Governor in 2007, but he had previously had an 11-month stint in that office in 2006.

Akala, as fondly called, served as the deputy governor of Oyo from May 2003 to January 2006, when he succeeded his principal, Rashidi Ladoja, following the latter's impeachment by the state legislators.

Ladoja contested his ouster in court and won at both the Appeal and Supreme Courts. He was reinstated on December 12, 2006, and Akala reverted to his office as the deputy before running against and defeating his principal in the 2007 election.

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Bala James Ngilari was another deputy who profited from his principal's misfortunes. He became the Governor of Adamawa State in October 2014 following the removal of Governor Murtala Nyako by the state House of Assembly.

Nyako was impeached after the assembly found him guilty of gross financial misconduct.

Though his impeachment was later overturned by the Supreme Court in December 2016, Ngilari had served out his term since May 2015 and the judgement declined the request to reinstate the sacked governor.

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Aiyedatiwa woke up today as the Deputy Governor of Ondo State but would be going to bed as the substantive Governor following the death of his principal.

Following a protracted battle with prostate cancer, Akeredolu handed power to his deputy before he left Nigeria for a medical vacation in Germany, where he eventually died on Wednesday.

Aiyedatiwa has been sworn into office by Chief Judge of the state, Justice Olusegun Odusola, and will complete the term, which ends in 2025.

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