By Paul Nwosu
Dr Chinwoke Mbadinuju served as the Governor of Anambra State from May 29, 1999 to May 29, 2003. He sadly passed away on April 11, 2023 and will be given a State Burial.
Born on June 14, 1945, he was elected on the platform of Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and was sworn in as Anambra State Governor at the return of civil rule on May 29, 1999. As the first elected Governor of Anambra State upon the return of civil rule in 1999, Mbadinuju had to confront many teething challenges such as setting up the bureaucracy, developing necessary infrastructure, guaranteeing security and so on.
He was fondly called Odera, and was quite charismatic and jovial in his lifetime. A native of Uli in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State, he started his education at Mgbidi Central School, Oru, in Imo State in 1955. He did not have a formal secondary education. He was self-taught to pass the General Certificate of Education (GCE) in flying colours at both the Ordinary and Advanced levels. He attended Bishop Lasbery Teachers’ College, Irete, Imo State from 1959 to 1962.
Mbadinuju earned a scholarship to study for a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science at the State University of New York. A determined pursuer of knowledge, he obtained a degree in Law from the University of Southampton in England and was called to Nigerian Bar in 1979 when returned to Nigeria. He equally took a doctorate degree in Government from Cornell University in New York. He was then appointed an Associate Professor of Politics and African Studies at the State University of New York.
After his return to Nigeria, he was from 1977 to 1978 a lecturer at Times Training School, Lagos, owned by the largest media company in Nigeria, the Daily Times Group. He was appointed the Editor of Times International magazine. Transferring his services to the old Anambra State, he was appointed the General Manager and Chief Executive Officer of Star Printing and Publishing Company Limited, Enugu, publishers of Daily Star in 1979. A devout Christian, Dr Mbadinuju has reputedly written 10 books on Christian spirituality.
Mbadinuju served as a Personal Assistant to the then Governor Jim Nwobodo of old Anambra State from 1979 to 1980. He later returned to Lagos and served the Federal Government from 1980 to 1983 as a Personal Assistant to former President Shehu Shagari.
Dr Chinwoke Mbadinuju was the Governor of Anambra State from 1999 to 2003 on the platform of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP). He established the Anambra State University at Uli. He also tackled the issue of insecurity by signing into law the bill that created Anambra Vigilante Services. The challenge of security which he addressed with the unorthodox Bakassi Boys eventually became controversial, even as he initially won a handful of national awards for his stemming of insecurity in Anambra State.
In his youthful days, Mbadinuju was a keen sportsman. He was a remarkable athlete in track and field events at Bishop Lasbery Teachers’ College, Irete in Imo State. He was also a redoubtable footballer who excelled in his undergraduate days in the United States where represented his college in various competitions. He was a talented organist.
Mbadinuju was married to Mrs. Nnebuogo Mbadinuju, and the marriage is blessed with five children.
The arrangement for the State burial of ex-Governor Chinwoke Mbadinuju are as follows:
November 22: The Anambra State Government (ANSG) will receive the body at the Government House Courtyard by 3pm for Lying-in-State.
November 23: ANSG will hold a Commendation and Thanksgiving Service at the International Convention Centre, Awka by 11am. Tributes will commence immediately after the Service.
Praise/Worship and Tribute Sessions in his honour will follow later in the day (by 5pm) at his Country home, Uli, Ihiala LGA.
November 24: At 10am there will be Interdenominational Burial Service at his country home, Uli, and Interment will follow immediately.
November 26: There will be an Outing Service as planned by the Family.
Governor Chinwoke Mbadinuju served Anambra State to the best of his ability. While bidding him a befitting farewell, it is only fitting to re-echo his famous slogan: “It Shall Be Well With Anambra State!”
*SIR PAUL NWOSU*
Commissioner for Information