4th February, 2011
Former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commision, Dr. Abel Guobadia is dead. P.M.NEWS gathered that he died today in the hospital after suffering from prostate cancer.
Prior to enroling for his Ph. D, Guobadia began his career as a Physics teacher at Osogbo GrammarÂ School (1957); Ilesha Grammar School (1958); Government College Ughelli (1958 – 1959); Edo College,Â Benin City (1960); Government College, Ibadan (1960 – 1961) and the University of Nigeria, NsukkaÂ (1961 – 1962). From 1966 – 1971, Dr. Guobadia was a Senior Lecturer and Head of Department of PhysicsÂ at the University of Lagos, Nigeria.
Guobadia worked at Nigeriaâ€™s National Universities Commission throughout most of the 1970s and earlyÂ 1980s and rose to the position of Director of Academic Planning and subsequently, Executive SecretaryÂ of the Commission. In 1983, Dr. Guobadia helped the University of Benin, Benin City establish aÂ Consultancy Services Unit and became the pioneer Director of the Unit.
In January 1984, Guobadia was appointed Commissioner of Education for the defunct Bendel State ofÂ Nigeria under the military administration of then Brigadier Jeremiah Useni. Later in 1986, the ColonelÂ John Mark Inienger military administration appointed him the Bendel State Commissioner of Finance andÂ Economic Planning. In 1987, President Ibrahim Babangida appointed Abel Guobadia Nigeriaâ€™s firstÂ resident Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Korea. Upon retirement, AbelÂ Guobadia floated a private educational consulting firm, Advanced Educational Services Limited, thatÂ was responsible for developing academic programmess for several universities in Nigeria. Abel GuobadiaÂ and Professor T. M. Yesufu played an influential role in the establishment of the IgbinedionÂ University, Okada in Edo State, Nigeria.
In 1999, Guobadia became Nigeriaâ€™s Chief Electoral Officer. Dr. Guobadia was confirmed as the ChairmanÂ of Nigeriaâ€™s Independent National Electoral Commission by the Nigerian Senate in May 2000. GuobadiaÂ retired from this position in May 2005 becoming the first, and so far, only Chairman of the ElectoralÂ Commission since Nigeriaâ€™s independence in 1960, to complete his tenure.
Guobadia has served as Chairman and member of many boards, including that of the New Nigeria Bank,Â West African Examinations Council and the Nigerian Standards Organization. He has served in severalÂ capacities on Governing Councils of several Universities in Nigeria. Guobadia was formerÂ Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council of the Edo State University, Ekpoma. He was the President ofÂ the Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN) from 1971 to 1976. He was a Special Member of theÂ Senate of the University of Benin, Benin City.
He was once arraigned at a magistrate court in Benin City for alleged defamation against the AnglicanÂ Bishop of Benin Diocese, Rev. Peter Imasuen.
He said his arraignment was not an embarrassment to him.