THE EVOLUTION OF EDO STATE’S ADMINISTRATION SINCE ITS CREATION Edo State voters will go to the polls on Saturday, September 19, 2020, to either re-elect Governor Godwin Obaseki for a second term in office or elect a new governor. Edo has had 10 governors, both military and civilian, since it became an independent state 29 years ago. Before the election, we would like to give you a brief history of Edo’s governors to date: 1. Colonel John Ewerekumoh Yeri: Aug. 1991 - Jan. 1992 When Bendel State was split into Edo and Delta States in August 1991, Yeri was military governor and technically became the first governor of Edo. He handed over to a civilian government after five months. 2. John Odigie Oyegun: Jan. 1992 - Nov. 1993 Oyegun is Edo’s first civilian governor, elected when General Ibrahim Babangida, as the Head of State, attempted a transition back to a democratic system. He was elected on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and remained in office till November 1993 when he was removed by the military government of General Sani Abacha. Oyegun, 81, later went on to serve as the first national chairman of the APC between 2013 and 2018. 3. Colonel Mohammed Abul-Salam Onuka: Dec. 1993 - Sep. 1994 Onuka overthrew Oyegun and served as Edo’s military administrator for less than a year. 4. Colonel Bassey Asuquo: Sep. 1994 - Dec. 1996 Asuquo served as the military administrator of Edo State during Abacha’s regime. He had previously served in the same role for Delta State. 5. Group Captain Baba Adamu Iyam: Aug. 1996 - Aug. 1998 Iyam was Edo’s last military administrator under Abacha who died in June 1998. He reportedly sacked thousands of civil servants during his regime, a trademark of military administrators of the time. 6. Navy Captain Anthony Onyearugbulem: Aug. 1998 - May 1999 Onyearugbulem was infamous for attempting to make the chairmanship of the Edo Council of Obas rotational, a move considered disrespectful to the highly-esteemed stool of the Oba of Benin. He became Edo’s last military administrator when he handed over to a civilian government in 1999. 7. Chief Lucky Igbinedion: May 1999 - May 2007 Igbinedion, who served two terms, was elected the state’s civilian governor when Nigeria returned to the democratic system. 8. Professor Oserheimen Osunbor: May 2007 - Nov. 2008 Osunbor’s reign as Edo State governor was short-lived after his electoral victory was declared invalid by the election tribunal and Court of Appeal based on voting irregularities. 9. Comrade Adams Oshiomhole: Nov. 2008 - Nov. 2016 Oshiomhole took over as Edo governor after Osunbor’s victory over him was annulled in 2008. The former president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) went on to serve two terms. Oshiomole was elected national chairman of the APC, replacing Oyegun, in 2018. He was unceremoniously sacked in 2020 after an unstable reign. 10. Godwin Obaseki: Nov. 2016 - Present Obaseki succeeded Oshiomhole with his full support in 2016, but recently they have been at each other’s throats. The incumbent governor dumped the APC in June to join the PDP in a bid to secure a second term. If he doesn’t win on Saturday, Edo will be set to inaugurate an 11th governor. CTA: Will you be following the Edo State election?
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