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Sir Abel Guobadia OFR (June 28, 1932 – February 4, 2011) was an educator, administrator, diplomat and retired public servant.[1]

Abel Guobadia
2nd Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission
In office
2000 – May 2005
Preceded byEphraim Akpata
Succeeded byMaurice Iwu
Personal details
BornJune 28, 1932
Benin City, Nigeria
DiedFebruary 5, 2011(2011-02-05) (aged 78)
Political partyNone



Abel Guobadia was born on June 28, 1932, in Benin City, Nigeria. He attended C.M.S. Primary Schools in Benin City (1939–1945); Government College, Ibadan (1946–1951); University College Ibadan (1952–1957). In 1962, he won a scholarship for graduate studies in the United States of America and was awarded the Ph.D. in solid-state physics from the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US, in 1966.[1]


Prior to enrolling for his Ph.D., Abel Guobadia began his career as a physics teacher at Osogbo Grammar School (1957); Ilesha Grammar School (1958); Government College Ughelli (1958–1959); Edo College, Benin City (1960); Government College Ibadan (1960–1961) and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (1961–1962). From 1966 - 1971, Dr. Guobadia was a Senior Lecturer and Head of Department of Physics at the University of Lagos, Nigeria.[1]

Guobadia worked at Nigeria's National Universities Commission throughout most of the 1970s and early 1980s and rose to the position of Director of Academic Planning and subsequently, Executive Secretary of the Commission. In 1983, Dr. Guobadia helped the University of Benin, Benin City establish a Consultancy Services Unit and became the pioneer Director of the Unit.[1]

In January 1984, Guobadia was appointed Commissioner of Education for the defunct Bendel State of Nigeria under the military administration of then Brigadier Jeremiah Useni. Later in 1986, the Colonel John Mark Inienger military administration appointed him the Bendel State Commissioner of Finance and Economic Planning.[citation needed] In 1987, President Ibrahim Babangida appointed Abel Guobadia Nigeria's first resident Ambassador to the Republic of Korea.[2] Upon retirement, Abel Guobadia floated a private educational consulting firm, Advanced Educational Services Limited, that was responsible for developing academic programs for several universities in Nigeria. Abel Guobadia and Professor T. M. Yesufu played an influential role in the establishment of the Igbinedion University, Okada in Edo State, Nigeria.[citation needed]

In 2000, the government of President Olusegun Obasanjo appointed Guobadia Nigeria's Chief Electoral Officer. Dr. Guobadia was confirmed as the Chairman of Nigeria's Independent National Electoral Commission by the Nigerian Senate in May 2000.[3] Guobada retired from this position in May 2005 becoming the first, and so far, only Chairman of the Electoral Commission since Nigeria's independence in 1960, to complete his tenure.

Abel Guobadia has served as chairman and/or member of many boards, including that of the New Nigeria Bank, West African Examinations Council and the Nigerian Standards Organization. He has served in several capacities on Governing Councils of several Universities in Nigeria. Guobadia was former Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council of the Edo State University, Ekpoma. Abel Guobadia was the President of the Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN) from 1971 to 1976 and remains an honorary life fellow of STAN. He is a Special Member of the Senate of the University of Benin, Benin City.[citation needed]

In seeking to advance the development of his cosmopolitan Edo community in mid-western Nigeria, Guobadia worked as the secretary of the Benin Forum and chairman of the Edo Forum respectively from 1992 to 2000. Abel Guobadia served as chairman of the board of trustees of a prominent non-governmental organisation, Women's Health and Action Research Centre (WHARC) located in Benin City, Nigeria.[4]

Guobadia died on February 4, 2011, at the age of 78.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d "Dr. Abel Ibude Guobadia". Ilesa Grammar School Alumni. Archived from the original on 2011-03-18. Retrieved 2010-02-13.
  2. ^ "Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, South Korea". Archived from the original on 2009-10-15. Retrieved 2010-02-13.
  3. ^ "Abel Guobadia Takes Helm in Nigeria" (PDF). Elections Today. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-11-28. Retrieved 2010-02-13.
  4. ^ "Dr. Abel Guobadia, PhD". Women's Health and Action Research Centre. Retrieved 2010-02-13.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Abel Guobadia dies at 78

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