The Life And Times Of Late Audu Abubakar
Prince Abubakar Audu was born 1947 to the late Pa Audu Oyidi, Orego Atta of Igala land and the paramount ruler of Ogbonicha-Alloma in Ofu Local Government Area of Kogi State. He was the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the November 21, 2015 Kogi State election.
He served twice as the governor of Kogi State. His first tenure was from January 1992 to November 1993 as the first elected governor of Kogi State on the platform of the defunct National Republican Convention. He came back for the second time from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2003.
He started his education at the then N.A. Junior Primary School, Alloma, and later N.A Senior School Ankpa. He later proceeded to Dennis Memorial Grammar School, Onitsha and later to the Jos Commercial College where he sat for General Certificate of Education Ordinary and Advanced level.
The former governor proceeded to London from 1975-1978, where he studied banking, personnel management and other professional courses. He was a Fellow of the Association of International Accountants of London and the Chartered Institute of Industrial Administration of Nigeria.
His banking career lasted for a total of 25 years, which he spent with First Bank and Standard Bank. He served in various management capacities until 1991. In 1991, he was appointed Executive Director of FSB International Bank PLC.
Audu ventured into public service in 1986, when he was appointed Commissioner for Finance and Economic Planning in the old Benue State. He served in this capacity until 1988 when the cabinet was dissolved and returned to Fist Bank of Nigeria PLC as a General Manager.
When Kogi State was created in 1991, he participated in the unfolding political development. He contested on the platform of the National Republican Convention (NRC) for the governor of the state and won the election in 1991. He was subsequently sworn in as the first governor the state in January 1992.
In 1998, he came back under the platform of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) was elected. He was sworn in on 29 May 1999 as the second executive governor of the State.
His socio-economic contribution to the state has remained a reference point to the generality of the people. Some of his major achievements during his brief first term of office include the establishment of three different housing schemes for public officers consisting of over 1,500 housing units in Lokoja. The transformation of Lokoja township with asphalt roads, street lights, aesthetic roundabouts, the construction of inter-township and rural roads are recorded as laudable achievement.
He provided over 75 electrification schemes and 50 water projects to rural communities.
His administration built an ultra modern stadium and a five-star hotel in Lokoja.
He also wooed prospective investors and harnessed the numerous solid mineral potentials in the state. He established Obajana Cement Factory.
The establishment of a state university, Kogi State University Anyigba, is another testimony to his vision and resourcefulness. The foundation stone was laid on November 30, 1999, when former President Olusegun Obasanjo visited the state.
The Kogi State Polytechnic was equally established to support his education programme. He established a television station, radio stations, newspaper and he transformed the colonial residence of Lord Lugard into an ultra modern Government House Complex.
Other landmarks by the late governor include: 250 units Housing Estate, a Sport Complex, a Specialist Eye Hospital and 25 other medical Institutions. Others are: a Special Government Girls Secondary School on student exchange programme, 350 borehole schemes, 300 kilometers of township roads, the procurement of 100 transit buses and completion of 40 rural electrification projects.
He contested the 2003 Kogi State governorship elections but lost. His loss was attributed to electoral rigging and other forms of manipulations.
In 2007, he went to the polls and was again defeated by massive electoral fraud committed by the then incumbent for Governor Ibrahim Idris.
He went to the Election Tribunal which nullified that election, and ordered fresh election. Again, Audu contested against Ibrahim Idris and was defeated.
In 2012, Audu again contested against Captain Idris Wada and was defeated.
Mr Audu will be buried today according to Muslim rights. HisHis opponent at the polls, Idris Wada who is incumbent governor of the state has declared seven days mourning for him.