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Abel Guobadia, ex-INEC chairman dies at 78

Former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Dr. Abel Guobadia died yesterday in Benin, aged 78.

Dr. Guobadia died on a day a fellow citizen of Edo State, Chief Anthony Enahoro was being buried. He passed on at a private hospital in the city of an unknown ailment. His first son Ibude ws being expected from Abuja at press time to issue a statement on his demise.

However, one of  Dr. Guobadia’s chidlren, Chris told newsmen that the decease was here on Sunday and was okay until Wednesday when he complained of not feeling too well and went to the hospital. And he died this morning (yesterday). He was supposed to celebrate his 79 birthday in June this year. We are waiting for the son to come back and that is only when we will be able to give you further statement”.

Dr Guobadia was appointed chairman of the INEC by the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. He served between 2000 and 2005.

Reacting to his death, former Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Rowland Owie, said “it is ad we are losing another personality at this time of the year.

Dr Guobadia was a respected Bini leader and did his best as INEC chairman. He did his best while he was incharge of the electoral body inspite of all the pressure. We pray God to receive his soul in perfect peace”

State chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Dan Orbih, described the loss as unfortunate as his experience would be needed for April elections. “I think it is a big loss to the state and the nation especially at this time when his wise counsel is needed as we prepare for general election. He successfully conducted general election with very little acrimony, he was a very honest and patriotic Nigerian and his level of patriotism was reflected in his areas of service to this nation, we pray God to grant him eternal rest”.

The Benin National Congress (BNC) in a statement signed by its Director of Publicity and Intelligence, David Ekomwenrenren described the death as “another great loss to the Binis and Nigerians at large”. The statement described him as a meticulous Benin intelligentsia who believed in merit than tribal influence”.

Reacting to the news of his death, President Goodluck Jonathan expressed shock and sadness and recalled that Dr. Guobadia “dedicated his life to the service of Nigeria, in various capacities, but most notably as Chairman of INEC from 2000 to 2005.”

The President “praised the stewardship of the Late Guobadia, noting that the country has lost an excellent public servant and diplomat”.

He stated that Dr. Guobadia passed on at a time his experience in election matters was most needed, as Nigeria prepares for the national elections in April, 2011.

Reacting to the news of his death, President Goodluck Jonathan expressed shock and sadness and recalled that Dr. Guobadia “dedicated his life to the service of Nigeria, in various capacities, but most notably as Chairman of INEC from 2000 to 2005.”

The President “praised the stewardship of the Late Guobadia, noting that the country has lost an excellent public servant and diplomat”.

He stated that Dr. Guobadia passed on at a time his experience in election matters was most needed, as Nigeria prepares for the national elections in April, 2011.


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