List Of Governors Of Benue State (1976-Present)

Hyacinth Alia

Benue State, established in 1976, has seen a different leadership throughout its history. This guide provides a record of the governors who have served the state, enclosing both military administrators and elected officials.

Detailed within are the names, party affiliations, and periods of service for each leader. This information offers a valuable resource for anyone aiming to understand the political landscape of Benue State, from its origins to the present day.

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List Of Past And Current Governors Of Benue State

Name
Began Tenure
Ended Tenure
Party
Abdullahi Shelleng
March 1976
July 1978
Military
Adebayo Lawal
July 1978
October 1979
Military
Aper Aku
October 1979
December 1983
NPN
John Kpera
January 1984
August 1985
Military
Jonah David Jang
August 1985
August 1986
Military
Yohanna Madaki
August 1986
September 1986
Military
Ishaya Bakut
September 1986
1987
Military
Idris Garba
1987
1987
Military
Fidelis Makka
December 1987
January 1992
Military
Moses Adasu
January 1992
November 1993
SDP
Joshua O. Obademi
9 December 1993
22 August 1996
Military
Aminu Isa Kontagora
22 August 1996
August 1998
Military
Dominic Oneya
August 1998
May 1999
Military
George Akume
29 May 1999
29 May 2007
PDP
Gabriel Suswam
29 May 2007
29 May 2015
PDP
Samuel Ortom
29 May 2015
29 May 2023
PDP
Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia
29 May 2023
Incumbent
APC

Who Was The First Governor In Benue State Since 1976?

The first governor of Benue State was Abdullahi Shelleng. He served from February 3, 1976, to July 1978 during the military regime led by General Olusegun Obasanjo.

Abdullahi Shelleng joined the Nigerian Army in 1962, trained at the Nigerian Defence Academy and the Pakistan Military Academy, and rose through the ranks to become a Colonel.

During his tenure as governor, Shelleng faced the challenge of establishing effective governance in a newly formed state with diverse ethnicities and political tensions.

He focused on infrastructure development, building accommodations for civil servants and educational institutions like the Murtala College of Arts, Science, and Technology.

Also, Shelleng initiated projects such as the Benue Brewery, the Idah Sanitary Ware Industry, and the Burnt Brick Industry.

However, criticisms arose regarding the state’s road infrastructure, and some projects were established on temporary sites, leading to future issues.

After retiring from the army, Abdullahi Shelleng continued to be active in politics, becoming a leader in the Arewa Consultative Forum and participating in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) conventions.

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Who Is The Current Governor Of Benue State?

Hyacinth Alia

The current governor of Benue State is Hyacinth Alia. He took office on May 29, 2023. Alia was born on May 15, 1966, in Mbangur, Mbadede, Vandeikya, Benue State, Nigeria.

He belongs to the All Progressives Congress political party. Besides politics, Alia is also known as a Catholic priest. He had his education in religious studies and earned degrees from different institutions including Fordham University and Duquesne University.

Alia was ordained as a Catholic priest on July 7, 1990, but was suspended from his priestly duties in May 2022 due to his involvement in partisan politics. Despite this, he continued his political career and eventually became the governor of Benue State.

Who Is The Current Deputy Governor Of Benue State?

Samuel Ode

The current deputy governor of Benue State is Samuel Ode. He assumed office on May 29, 2023, under the administration of Governor Hyacinth Alia.

Before his appointment, Ode had a diverse career background. Born on November 7, 1968, in Gboko, Benue State, Ode is a lawyer, educator, and seasoned politician.

He hails from Edikwu in Benue State and is the tenth child out of fifteen children. His father, Christopher Ikwue Ode, was a retired Nigerian soldier, while his mother, the late Helen Mzamber, was a trained nurse of Tiv descent.

Ode’s political career began in 2002 when he was elected as the Benue State secretary of the National Democratic Party.

He later served as the Special Assistant to Governor George Akume and became the caretaker Chairman of Otukpo Local Government Area.

Besides, Ode held positions such as Special Adviser on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs to Governor Gabriel Suswam.

He also served as the Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs under President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.

With a strong academic background, Ode attended Benue State Polytechnic, the University of Abuja, and the University of Johannesburg.

He is affiliated with the All Progressive Congress (APC) and is married to Christie Sam-Ode, with whom he has six children.

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