Dame Virginia Etiaba, CON (born 11 November 1942) was the Governor of Anambra State, a state in south-east Nigeria, from November 2006 to February 2007. She is the first female governor in Nigeria’s history. She was instated as the previous governor, Peter Obi, was impeached by the state legislature for alleged gross misconduct.
Virginia hails from Nnewi, Anambra. She had her primary and secondary school education in Kano State before going to Techears Training Programme in Gombe State.
Etiba holds a National Certificate of Education, Bachelor of Honor in Education and certificate in Information Technology. She worked as a teacher and head mistress for 35 years in several parts of Anambra State before retiring in 1991. After her retirement she started a school Bennet Etiaba Memorial Schools in Nnewi.
In March 2006, the 64 year old lady resigned as the Proprietress to take the position of Deputy Governor of Anambra State. Later that year, she became governor following the impeachment of the previous governor, Peter Obi. It was reported that she had refused to take the position initially saying, “The Governor is my boss and he remains my boss.” BBC reports that it took some elders, leaders of her party and nearly five hours to persuade her to change her mind. However, her decision to become governor earned her criticism from community and religious leaders. She was sworn in November 3, 2006.
She transferred her powers back to Obi three months later when an appeal court nullified the impeachment. Despite having a short tenure, she had some remarkable achievements such as:
- She flagged off several road projects and signed Anambra State’s Child Rights Bill into law.
- She is said to have invested heavily in the state’s Orient Petroleum company.
- She also managed to put an end to ‘Suba kwa Igbo’. It was an attempt to stop the Igbo language and culture which earned her the nickname ‘Mama Anambra.’
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