EXCLUSIVE: Meet Benue’s first Executive Council Members

By Richard Anyebe

Benue state was created on February 3, 1976 by the government of General Murtala Mohammed out of the then Benue-Plateau state. Upon her creation the state like other states created by military administrations had military officers as her Chief Executives, with some of these officers managing the state fairly or below average; while the citizens crave and patiently desire a democratic setup where citizens’ participation and development of the state would be felt by all and sundry.

Fortunately, that opportunity presented itself when the government of then Head of State, Gen Olusegun Obasanjo conducted the nation’s first elections and voluntarily relinquished power to the democratically elected President, Alh. Shehu Shagari. That also marked a turning point in the socio-economic and political life of the young Benue, as her first elected Chief Executive; Mr. Aper Aku took over the mantle of leadership of the state. Adjudged as the best Governor the state has ever produced till date, because of the vision, development and political stability the Governor brought upon the state. But Mr. Aku did not achieve these all by himself alone; it was the collected effort of his cabinet members.

The interesting aspect however is that not many knew these cabinet members. And those that knew may not be able to mention the names of up to five of the cabinet members. In view of this Freedom Sunrise News decided to carry out its major function of information. Therefore, we present to you names of the first executive council members that had set a developmental record that no administration in the state has been able to break.

Governor- Aper Aku
Deputy Governor- Emmanuel Isa Ondoma
Secretary to the State Government- Ezekiel Akiga
Head of Service- O.D Tebu
Commissioner for Water and Electricity- Mvendaga Jibo
Commissioner for L/Govt, Primary Education, Youth and Sports- John.Musa Shaibu
Commissioner for Trade and Industries- Vincent Tyoikaa Uji
Commissioner for Economic Planning- Athanatius.I Angereke
Commissioner for Finance- G.I. Okpe
Commissioner for Health and Social Welfare- J.Orban. Nyiakura
Commissioner for Works and Transport- Abu John Ali
Commissioner for Agriculture- Joseph F Targema.Orkar
Commissioner for Housing and Environment- Sule Iyaji
Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice- A.A. Ogiri
Commissioner for Rural Development and Co-operative- Moses U. Abi
Commissioner for Education- Elizabeth Ivase

Adviser on State Security- Nelson Eka Onoja
Special Adviser on Political and Chieftaincy Affairs- PeterVande Acka
Adviser on Economic Affairs- Toryima.K. Orga
Special Assistant to the Governor (Assembly Matters)- F. Chubu
Director of Information- Dan Agbese
Director of Budget- J.A. Onuche

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