Death is inevitable! There is no doubt that the outgoing year, 2023, has proved to be a lethal year as it has claimed the lives of many Nigerians, including some prominent politicians and influential personalities.
The news of the demise of Ondo state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu has evoked the memory of governors who died as incumbents in Nigeria.
This piece takes a quick glance into the lives of these historic leaders who died while in office as governors.
Ondo state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), ex-president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), and ex-Attorney General of Ondo State, was a second-term governor before his death.
Aketi, as he was fondly called by friends and admirers, wore many hats and was acknowledged by many of his contemporaries as a dogged leader with unbending personal convictions.
Until his death, he was the Chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum, a body with governors of the 17 states in Southern Nigeria as members.
Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa served as governor of Kaduna State from 2010 to 2012 when he died in a helicopter crash.
He was killed alongside five others in the crash in Ogbia Creek, Bayelsa state in 2012.
He was appointed deputy governor in July 2005 and returned as Kaduna’s number two citizen in the April 2007 election.
He was sworn in as governor on 20 May 2010, succeeding former Governor Namadi Sambo who had been sworn in as vice president the day before.
Mamman Bello Ali represented Yobe South Senatorial District between 1999 and 2007 and was the chairman senate committee on public account.
He contested and won the governorship election in Yobe in 2007 under the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and was in office until he died in 2009.
He died of leukaemia while receiving treatment at a hospital in Florida, United States.
Shehu Kangiwa died in office in a polo accident in January 1982. Kangiwa was the governor of Sokoto State at the time of his death.
Kamgiwa’s deputy, Garba Nadama, was sworn in as the Sokoto governor until November 1983 when Muhammadu Buhari took over power through a military coup.
Kangiwa was fondly called the ‘Smiling governor’. He was elected governor of Sokoto under the platform of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) but his administration was short-lived.
He died in November 1981, falling from a horse while playing polo in the 1981 edition of the Georgian League in Kaduna. He left behind nine children at the time.
In 1982 Unisteel Ltd. presented The Shehu Kangiwa Cup in his memory, and the cup is now sponsored by the Sokoto State Government