By Richard Anyebe

Benue state was created on February 3, 1976 by the
government of General Murtala Mohammed out of the then Benue-Plateau state.
Upon her creation the state like other states created by military administrations
had military officers as her Chief Executives, with some of these officers
managing the state fairly or below average; while the citizens crave and
patiently desire a democratic setup where citizens’ participation and
development of the state would be felt by all and sundry.

Fortunately, that opportunity presented itself when
the government of then Head of State, Gen Olusegun Obasanjo conducted the
nation’s first elections and voluntarily relinquished power to the
democratically elected President, Alh. Shehu Shagari. That also marked a
turning point in the socio-economic and political life of the young Benue, as
her first elected Chief Executive; Mr. Aper Aku took over the mantle of
leadership of the state. Adjudged as the best Governor the state has ever
produced till date, because of the vision, development and political stability
the Governor brought upon the state. But Mr. Aku did not achieve these all by
himself alone; it was the collected effort of his cabinet members.

The interesting aspect however is that not many knew
these cabinet members. And those that knew may not be able to mention the names
of up to five of the cabinet members. In view of this Freedom Sunrise News
decided to carry out its major function of information. Therefore, we present
to you names of the first executive council members that had set a
developmental record that no administration in the state has been able to break.

Governor- Aper Aku
Deputy Governor- Emmanuel Isa Ondoma
Secretary to the State Government- Ezekiel Akiga
Head of Service- O.D Tebu
Commissioner for Water and Electricity- Mvendaga
Commissioner for L/Govt, Primary Education, Youth
and Sports- John.Musa Shaibu
Commissioner for Trade and Industries- Vincent Tyoikaa
Commissioner for Economic Planning- Athanatius.I Angereke
Commissioner for Finance- G.I. Okpe
Commissioner for Health and Social Welfare- J.Orban.
Commissioner for Works and Transport- Abu John Ali
Commissioner for Agriculture- Joseph F Targema.Orkar
Commissioner for Housing and Environment- Sule Iyaji
Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice- A.A.
Commissioner for Rural Development and Co-operative-
Moses U. Abi
Commissioner for Education- Elizabeth Ivase

Adviser on State Security- Nelson Eka Onoja
Special Adviser on Political and Chieftaincy
Affairs- PeterVande Acka
Adviser on Economic Affairs- Toryima.K. Orga
Special Assistant to the Governor (Assembly Matters)-
F. Chubu
Director of Information- Dan Agbese
Director of Budget- J.A. Onuche

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