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Governor Martin Elechi

Chief Martin Elechi Governor of Ebonyi State

Chief Martin Elechi
Governor of Ebonyi State

Governor Martin Nwancho Elechi was sworn-in as the second democratically elected governor of Ebonyi State on May 29, 2007. He was re-elected for his second term in 2011.

Governor Elechi is a seasoned economist, a veteran of many political struggles, a father and grandfather to many children. He led the defunct Ebonyi State Movement, a group that waged a successful decades-long campaign for the creation of Ebonyi State.

Governor Martin Elechi

Governor Martin Elechi

Named after a patron saint – Martin – who was both a soldier and a clergyman, Chief Elechi was born on 7th February 1941 at Ohankwu Village Alike in Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. He had his primary education at the Native Authority School Nwakpu Alike and later moved to the Native Authority School Nkwagu Izzi, graduating in 1954 with the First School Leaving Certificate. Between 1955 and 1959, he attended the Mary Knoll Secondary School Okuku Ogoja in Cross River State from where he obtained the West African Leaving Certificate in 1959. He proceeded to the Holy Family College, Abak in Akwa Ibom State in 1960 where he obtained the Higher School Certificate in 1961.

Governor Elechi at the Children's Day Celebration in Abakaliki

Governor Elechi at the Children’s Day Celebration in Abakaliki

Chief Martin Elechi’s thirst for University education took him outside the shores of Nigeria. Consequently, in 1963, he gained admission into the Lovanium University of Congo in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He graduated with Distinction (cum laude or first class) from that institution with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics in 1966.

Chief Martin Elechi’s leadership credentials are as colourful as they are intimidating. A School Prefect at Mary Knoll Secondary School Ogoja in 1959, School Prefect of Holy Family College Abak in 1961, he was also the Treasurer of the Nigerian Students Union, Leopoldville in 1965. A former teacher at St. Enda’s Secondary School Iboko and Izzi County Secondary School Abakaliki, Chief Elechi was also a part-time lecturer at the University of Nigeria. He was appointed an Administrative Officer in Charge of Abakaliki in 1968 and Divisional Officer in charge of Afikpo in 1969.

Governor Elechi with a UNIDO/Embassy of Japan delegation on a visit to Ebonyi State

Governor Elechi with a UNIDO/Embassy of Japan delegation on a visit to Ebonyi State

In the defunct East-Central State, Chief Elechi was variously: Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Urban Development; Commissioner for Trade and Industry; and Commissioner for Works and Housing – spanning the period between 1970 and 1975. He had been chairman or member of numerous Boards, Commissions and Parastatals. He was a member of the defunct Constituent Assembly of Nigeria, representing Abakaliki/Ikwo Constituency between 1977 and 1978, and was the Executive Secretary of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) between 1980 and 1982. In January 2003, he was a member of the Committee on the Presidential Primaries of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Governor Martin Elechi with his wife, Mrs. Josephine Elechi attending an event at Ebonyi State House of Assembly

Governor Martin Elechi with his wife, Mrs. Josephine Elechi (right) attending an event at Ebonyi State House of Assembly

Between 1968 and 1996, Chief Elechi led in different capacities in the crusade for the creation of Ebonyi State. Eleven years after the creation of Ebonyi State, he won the April 14 elections to emerge as the second civilian Governor of Ebonyi State.

He has been conferred with numerous titles, awards and recognitions at all levels, including those of Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR), Ocho Udo, Ide-ji-Ulo, Aha Eji Agamba and Ochi Mba, etc. Chief Elechi is widely traveled, having visited several countries, including Britain, Denmark, France, Italy, Belgium and West Germany, among others. He speaks and writes fluently in Igbo, English and French.

Chief Elechi has been described as a quintessential man of many parts. He is a teacher, farmer, politician, church builder and community leader.

He is married to Chief (Mrs.) Josephine Elechi with whom he is blessed with many children and grandchildren.

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