by crossriverwatch admin
The Governor of Edo State of Nigeria Comrade Adams Aliu Oshoimole has appointed Professor Julius Ihonvbere former Special Adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo as Secretary to Edo State Government.
Professor Ihonvbere is a foremost scholar and civil society activist in Africa.He fled into political exile in 1990 after he was falsely implicated in the coup against General Badamasi Babangida.
He was flown out of the country in an aircraft piloted by his brother-in-law after getting wind of the dispatch of a contingent of well armed soldiers by General Babangida to the residence in the University of Port Harcourt where he was lecturing in the Department of Political Science for allegedly being friendly to one of the leaders of the coup that nearly toppled General Babangida.
He settled in the United States of America and taught Political Science in several top Universities before he was appointed Executive Director of the Ford Foundation. Professor Ihonvbere used his position in the Ford Foundation to empower numerous civil society groups across Africa as the struggle to end dictatorship and bad governments took the front stage in the continent in the late 1990s.
He played a tremendous role in the struggle of the civil society in the country to end decades of debilitating military dictatorship.
He was one of the people behind the establishment of Radio Kudirat that became famed for broadcasting from abroad, Nigerians’ trenchant anti military propaganda and sentiments during the era of General Abacha.
After the return of civil rule he was persuaded to return into the country by Kanu Godwin Agabi (SAN) the then Federal Attorney General in 2000 when they met in a flight from New York to Nigeria.
He was appointed Chairman of Bitumen Implementation Committee and later Adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo on Policy and Project Monitoring and Implementation.
He contested the Primary Election of the PDP for nomination in respect of the Candidate of the Party for the coveted position of Governor of Edo State in 2007 but was manipulated out by the shenanigans of PDP. The mandarins of the PDP were not comfortable with a ferocious intellectual of leftist leanings as Governor.
Again he unsuccessful tried to get the candidacy of the Party for the 2012 governor ship despite his dazzling and impressive credentials coupled with his tremendous grass root support.
Professor Ihonvbere left the PDP in annoyance and threw his weight before Adams Oshiomole. Professor Ihonvbere and I met in July 2002 when we both were appointed members of the Presidential Tribunal on Investigation of the Management of African Petroleum and became friends.
He is married to Grace Ihonvbere a golf enthusiast.
Congratulations Professor Ihonvbere.
Obono Obla Esq.
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