|Lucky Nosakhare Igbinedion|
|Governor of Edo State|
29 May 1999 – 29 May 2007
|Preceded by||Anthony Onyearugbulem|
|Succeeded by||Oserheimen Osunbor|
|Born||13 May 1957|
|Spouse(s)||Mrs Eki Igbinedion|
|Children||Dr Mrs Ehi Oni (nee Igbinedion),Mr Nosa Igbinedion Jr, Ms Osaretin Igbinedion,Ms Osasu Igbinedion,Mrs Zena Enaholo (nee Igbinedion), Ms Aize Ibginedion|
Lucky holds a BSc (Marketing) from University of Wyoming, Laramie (1982) and an MBA from The Jackson State University, Mississippi (1983) in the United States of America.
Chief Igbinedion was appointed Mayor of Oredo Municipality (Local Government Area in Nigeria) in 1987. He held the position until 1989. His achievements as the Chairman of Oredo Local Government Municipality includes, upgrading the facilities in Benin City, which doubles as the state capital and municipal headquarter, endeared him to the people of the state, hence his election as Governor (Premier) in 1999. He was subsequently re-elected in 2003 for another four year term.
During his tenure as Mayor, he was remunerated by his family business and was not paid any salary by the Municipal Government. He also did not take up the official residence which came with his position, neither did he use any government owned vehicle.
In 1989, he was voted the Best Mayor in Nigeria and he received an Award for his developmental efforts.
Governor of Edo State
Lucky Nosakhare Igbinedion was elected governor of Edo State in April 1999 and was reelected in 2003. He and his deputy, Mike Oghiadomhe held office from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2007.
During the period of his governorship, he was elected by his colleagues as Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum. His period as Governor in Edo State, witnessed massive Human Capacity Development, alongside infrastructure.
A shot at Edo Government House
Shortly after the creation of Edo State, the quest as to who would take the driver’s seat at Edo Government House began to gather a lot of momentum. For the Lucky Igbinedion gubernatorial team it was a time to go back to the drawing board to assess and analyze the reality on ground as well as to put necessary strategies in place aimed at actualizing the gubernatorial dream.
Long before now Lucky had started to associate and fraternize with political like minds such as the Trust Group. This process of consensus building actually started immediately after the expiration of his tenure as Oredo Council Chairman.
In other words his desire to seek for a higher political office was fundamentally borne out of the fact that the electorate had passed a verdict of distinctive performance on him. As the political landscape of the young Edo State began to witness a flurry of political activities and re-alignment the Trust Group fused with the Liberal Convention, an unregistered politic association at the time. However when the green light was given for the commencement of full blown political activities by the military government of the day, Lucky Igbinedion together with his group and associated moved enmasse to National Republican Convention (NRC,) one of the two political parties. The other party was the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
At the conclusion of party primaries, Lucky Igbinedion won the ticket to run as the flag bearer on the platform of his party, the NCR for the gubernatorial elections which was Scheduled for December 1991. He had Visa Bramoh, a prominent Edo North political tactician on the joint ticket as the running mate. Whereas the Social Democratic Party (SDP) featured a retired Federal Permanent Secretary in the person of Chief John Odigie Oyegun with Reverend Peter Obadan a Pentecostal minister of the Church of God Mission as his running mate.
The build-up to the gubernatorial elections was characterized with lots of intrigues intricacies, muddling into and personality alterations. The keenly competitive gubernatorial elections later turned out to be highly contentious and controversial. It was quite ironical the Oredo Local Government Area which Lucky once presided as its Chairman cum Mayor became his electoral albatross. At the time the results of the elections were formally announced Chief John Odigie Oyegun of SDP had coasted home to victory. Nevertheless, some events leading to the elections proper became the source of tension and acrimony as regards the election results. Some of these perceived anomalies and foul-play became more or less the major plank which formed the issues that Lucky Igbinedion and his party, the NRC took to the Election Tribunal to challenge the declaration of SDP , John Odigie Oyegun as the winner of the governorship elections .
The atmosphere that surrounded the proceedings at the Election Tribunal was fully charged and tension soaked. When eventually it upturned the victory of John Odigie Oyegun at the polls and pronounced Lucky Igbinedion as the duly elected Governor of Edo State. The case at the Election Tribunal was highly celebrated and it attracted a lot of publicity.
As would be expected, the SDP and Chief John Odigie Oyegun went on appeal to the High Court seeking and praying that the nullification of Oyegun’s election as the Governor of Edo State be quashed. His prayers were upheld and he was, therefore, pronounced as the validly elected first civilian Governor of Edo State by the High court of Appeal.
The Travails of Lucky Igbinedion
Consequent upon the ruling of the High Court of Appeal which passed judgment in favor of Chief John Odigie Oyegun , it became obvious that the aspiration of Lucky Nosakhare Igbinedion to govern Edo State had suffered a major setback. At this point, he actually started another journey of life.
However, determined never to be bogged down by his electoral misfortune, Lucky who seemed to have been consigned to political oblivion, decided to have some moments of rest from the political turfs. He soon pulled himself together and resolved to forge ahead with life, which after all, is not a bed of roses.
Lucky’s experience could best be described as his moment of travails. Guided by the popular maxim: “When one road closes, another opens” he once more decided to launch back into his business world, thus establishing his own limited liability company. The experience he got while managing the family business man he wanted to be. By virtue of academic and business background, Lucky was soon able to harness some human and financial resources to start his own business outfit. And due to his diligence, skills and penchant for hard work, what started like the proverbial mustard seed later blossomed into a vast empire. There was the Lima Bravo Mortgage Finance, a financial and Investment Company; there was also the Financial Telegraph- a specialized financial and monetary newspaper. He also operated Skanga Nig. Ltd, Gava Corporation and Kiv Fish. He also ventured into construction, general contracting business and trading.
Through these various companies, Lucky Igbinedion was able to contribute his own quota to the socio-economic development of Nigeria. No doubt, he made his mark in the business world as soon became one of the notable persons in the ever competitive business sector of the Nigerian economy.
The New Era: Reality 99′
The political transition programme under the General Abdulsalami Abubakar-led administration in 1998 provided a platform for Igbinedion to re-launch himself into political relevance. Indeed, it could be described as the beginning of a new era.
Once more, political activities were beginning to pick up as a result of lifting of the ban on partisan politics by the military authorities. There were many political groups and associations all over Nigeria.
After so many years of being in the saddle of governance in Nigeria, the military had given a commitment to organize free, fair and credible elections that would usher her in a new civilian administration at the various tiers of government.
And so for Lucky Igbinedion and his political associated it was another opportunity to seek to further their political career. After due consultation with his people Lucky finally decide to pitch tent with the People Democratic Party PDP where he sought and won’t the ticket foe the gubernatorial elections.
His running mate was Chief Mike Oghiadomhe from Fugar in Edo North Senatorial District. Besides PDP there were two other popular political parties amount others. There were All People’s Party (App) and Alliance for Democracy (AD).
This time round Lucky did not take things for granted as he went about the entire state canvassing for support and votes for the people of Edo state. When the dust finally settled Lucky Nos Igbinedion overwhelmingly won the governorship election. His campaigned organizations was code named “Reality 1999” with personalities such as Dr John Ebima Ogbeida and Hon Victor Edos Ebomoyi, serving as the Director of Campaign and Campaign Manager respectively. The dream he could not actualize in 1991 became a reality eight years later.
Two years in the saddle as the Chief of Edo State he, had virtually turned the state around and put it in a sound footing to the extent that Edo State was voted the most industrialized state in 2001 by an assessment team headed by the then Minister of information Professor Jerry Gana. This new found status of the state was a sharp departure from the popularly held view that Edo State was a civil service state.
On completing his tenure in 2003 Igbinedion went ahead to seek for a second term mandate from his party PDP. He was unanimously adopted as the party’s candidate for the governorship seat and won his re election bid overwhelmingly at the polls.
He was sworn into office for a second term on 29 May 2003 at the renovated Sam Ogbeida Stadium by then Chief Judge of the State Justice Constance Momoh.
As Lucky Nosakhare Igbinedion takes a bow out of office on 29 May 2007 posterity will record him as one who came and conquered.
After leaving office
In January 2008 he was declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on 142 counts of financial fraud. This concerns allegations that he embezzled $24 million (£12m) using front companies. He handed himself over later that month. The Benin Youth Council asked for an apology for statements implying he ran away from justice. His father used his political influence to prevent Lucky from being prosecuted and he wasn't jailed like his other counterparts (chief James Ibori of Delta state).
Official website of Chief Lucky Nosakhare Igbinedion
- "Local Government Chairman of Oredo LGA | Chief Lucky Igbinedion". www.luckyigbinedion.co.za. Retrieved 2015-11-18.
- "Nigeria: How We Made Prostitution Unattractive for Italy-Bound Girls - Igbinedion". allAfrica.com. 23 September 2012.
- "Wanted Nigerian hands himself in". BBC. 21 January 2008.
- "Nigeria: Igbinedion Reports to EFCC, Detained and convicted with an option of fine". AllAfrica.com. 21 January 2008.
- Nigerian Tribune
- "Chief Lucky Igbinedion | Travail and Triumph". www.luckyigbinedion.co.za. Retrieved 2015-11-18.