Immediate past governor of Anambra State, South East Nigeria, Chief Willie Obiano (FCA), has sent condolences to the family of one of his predecessors, Dr Chinwoke Mbadinuju, who passed on in Abuja, yesterday.
Mbadinuju, who governed Anambra from May 29, 1999, to May 28, 2003, reportedly died at the National Hospital in Garki, Abuja, on at the age of 77. He was born on June 14, 1945.
In his condolence message, Obiano wrote, “I am saddened to learn of the passage of the first Anambra State governor in the Fourth Republic, Dr Chinwoke Mbadinuju, in Abuja. Mbadinuju’s reign as Anambra governor from 1999 to 2003 was a challenging period. He did his best to grapple with insecurity, perpetrated mostly by ruthless, unconscionable robbers, who were armed to the teeth. He curbed the menace, though his methods were unorthodox.
“Mbadinuju was a brilliant student at the State University of New York, where he studied Political Science on a scholarship, ending up with a doctorate from Cornell University in New York, an Ivy League institution. On his return to Nigeria, he became a journalist and rose rapidly through the ranks. Apart from being the Times International founding editor in Lagos, he served in Anambra as the general manager of the state-owned Star Printing and Publishing Company. He became the Director of Information and later a presidential aide in 1982.”
According to him, Mbadinuju will be remembered for the determination to succeed despite all odds and the love of education, which saw him establish the state university, now known as Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, with campuses in Uli, Ihiala Local Government Area, and Igbariam in Anambra East local government area.
Obiano lauded the late governor’s vision of making the state a peaceful place, regardless of the insecurity at the time.
He added, “Anambra people acknowledge Mbadinuju as the governor that ended, within a couple of months in office, the almost intractable Aguleri-Umuleri boundary dispute, which cost many lives, houses and other huge assets for years. May he rest in peace.”
Praying God to grant Mbadinuju’s soul repose, Obiano also wished those he left behind fortitude to bear the great loss.