1 Sep 2015

Biography of Abubakar Audu, Former Governor of Kogi State

Abubakar Audu
Abubakar Audu
Prince Abubakar Audu, former Governor of Kogi State was born on 27 October 1947, to the family of his Royal Highness, the late Pa Audu Oyidi, Orego Atta of Igala Land and the paramount rule of Ogbonicha-Alloma in Ofu Local Government Area of Kogi

He began his early education at the then N.A. Junior Primary School, Alloma, and later N.A Senior School Ankpa, from where he proceeded to Dennis Memorial Grammar School, Onitsha. He however completed his Secondary School Education at Jos Commercial College.

From 1975 to 1978, Abubakar Audu proceeded to London  where he studied banking and personnel management, obtaining professional qualification as a certified secretary; and a Fellowship of the Association of International Accountants of London, as well as the fellowship of the chartered institute of industrial administration of Nigeria.

Abubakar Audu began his working career by spending a total of 25 years with the First Bank, formerly Standard Bank, where he served in different capacities at management levels until 1991. He made history as the first black training officer for the bank and one of the first black senior management staff of Standard Chartered Bank in London and New York.

He was thereafter appointed Commissioner for Finance and Economic planning in the former Benue State in 1986 serving in this capacity for two years. When that council was dissolved he went back to First Bank of Nigeria Plc as General Manager.
In 1991, Abubakar Audu was appointed Executive Director of FSB International Bank PLC. It was at this point of his career that he got into politics. He thereafter contested in the gubernatorial elections and he won under the platform of the National Republican Convention(NRC). He thereby became the first executive Governor of Kogi State in January 1992.

It is worthy to note that during his tenure, he transformed the infrastructural landscape of Kogi State. He touched virtually all the sectors of the economy, housing, electricity, roads, Education, and Health care services.

Some of his achievements during his 1st  term of office includes the establishment housing schemes for public officers, the construction of both rural and Urban roads, electrification schemes and water projects.
Also included in his achievements is the founding of Kogi State Polytechnic, the establishment of a television station, radio station, both AM and FM, a state newspaper and the transformation of the colonial residence of Lord Lugard into an Ultra Modern Government House Complex, the construction of office blocks for ministries as the new state had no office accommodation, the construction of shopping arcade complex to enhance commercial activities among others.

Due to his performance during his first tenure, Abubakar Audu again contested for the Governor position and he won under the platform of the All Nigerian People’s Party(ANPP). He was sworn in on 29 May 1999 as the 2nd Executive Governor of Kogi State.

Abubakar also saw to the establishment of Obajana Cement Factory.. During the visit of former President Bill Clinton to Nigeria, the State Government signed the agreement with the US Trade Development Agency (TDA) for a grant to finalize the feasibility work on the project. The cement project is now operational.

Abubakar Audu's incurred the wrath of the cictizens of Kogi State by the renaming of the Kogi State University after himself, and the rechristening of same as Prince Abubakar Audu University. As a sitting Governor, he was defeated in 2003 when he sought re-election by a virtually unknown businessman; Ibrahim Idris. The populace did not give Abubakar Audu  their votes because they were tired of his pride and highhandedness. The first thing that Ibrahim Idris did after winning the election of 2003, was to restore the name of the said university to Kogi State University.

In 2007 when election bells rang again, Audu went to the polls, and was again defeated by the then incumbent - Ibrahim Idris. Abubakar Audu thereupon went to the Election Tribunal who nullified that election, and ordered fresh elections. Again, Audu contested against Ibrahim Idris, and again, was defeated.

In 2012, Audu again contested against a new comer to the field, Captain Idris Ichalla Wada, and again Audu was defeated.

There are many allegations of misappropriation of public funds against Audu. Immediately after handover in 2003, and the constitutional effluxion of his immunity, Abubakar Audu was arrested by the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and he appealed.

That notwithstanding, he again indicated his intention to contest for the Kogi Gubernatorial elections coming up in November 2015, haven won the primaries under the platform of the All Progressive Congress(APC).

Prince Abubakar Audu emerged as the candidate of the APC in the August 28 Kogi State gubernatorial primary elections. Subsequently, he chose James Abiodun Faleke, a lawmaker, as his running mate.

According to reports, he died of a heart attack shortly after the announcement of the results of election in November 22, 2015, proclaiming him the winner under the platform of the ruling party in Nigeria, the All Progressives Congress (APC).

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