Political and Administrative Leadership Since Inception


Cross River State was carved out of South Eastern State which was a creation of General Yakubu Gowon's military regime. South Eastern State was part of the then Eastern Region of Nigeria. When the military regime headed by General Yakubu Gowon decided to divide the regions into 12 states in May 1967, South Eastern State was carved out of Eastern Reg ion. In 1976, Its name was changed to Cross River State by the military regime of General Murtala Mohammed. The present day Akwa-Ibom State was excised from it in the state creation exercise of September 1987 by the military regime of Generallbrahirn Gbadamosi Babangida.

At lndependence 1 st October, 1960, the entity today known as Cross River State was part of the former Eastern Region, with the capital in Enugu. The two Premiers that governed this region then, were:

1. Dr. Michaellhenukara Okpara. 1960-1963

2. HRH Ezeugu (Dr.) Akanu Ibiam 1964-1966

When the regions were divided into twelve states in 1967, South Eastern state was carved out of Eastern Region. South Eastern State then comprised of today's Cross River State and Akwa Ibom State, Calabar as the capital. A Military Governor was appointed by the Military Head of State General Yakubu Gowon to head the state in the person of:

3. Brigadier General Udoakaha Jacob Esuene. May 27, 1967 - JUl1e 24, 1976

In 1976, the new Military Head of State General Murtala Mohammed changed the name South Eastern State to Cross River State, and announced a new Military Governor in the person of:

4. Colonel Paullfeoma Omu, June25, 1976-June28, 1978

5. Navy Captain Babatunde Elegbede. June 28, 1978 - September 30,1979

6. When elections were conducted in 1979 and the military handed governance to a democratically elected civilian government, the first Civilian Governor was sworn in. Dr. Clement Nyong Isong. 1 st October, 1979 - 30th September, 1983. Deputy: Dr. Mathia Offoboche


7.Chief Donald Etiebet. 1 st October, 1983 - 31 st December, 1983. NPN
Deputy: Fidelis Ikogo Nnang

A military coup was staged in December 1983, and the civilian government headed by Alhaji Shehu Shagari, was toppled. General Muhammadu Buhari, became Military Head of State. A Military Administrator was appointed for the state in the person of:

8. Navy Captain Edet Akpan Archibong, Jan., 1984- May 1984

9. Brigadier General Dan Patrick Archibong. 5th May, 1984 - 26th June 1986

When General Muhamrnadu Buhari was toppled by another military coup in 1986 led by General Ibrahim Gbadamosi Babangida, a new Military Administrator was appointed, in the person of:

10. Navy Captain Ibim Princewill. 27th June, 1986 - 26th August, 1989

During the reign of Ibim Princewill, General Babangida created new states and Akwa Ibom State was carved out of the Old
Cross River State in September of 1987. Princewill was replaced in 1989 by:

11 . Colonel Ernest Kizito Attah. 30th August, 1989 - 31 st December, 1991

At the return to civilian rule after an election was conducted in 1991, a Civilian Governor was sworn in as the first elected
Governor of New Cross River State. He was in the person of:

 12.Chief Clement David Ebri. 1st January, 1992 - 17th November, 1993 NRC. Deputy: Mrs. Cecila Ekpenyong

When the military took over government again in 1993, headed by General Mohammed Abacha, the following military
administrators took over the reigns of power in turn:

13. Group Captain Ibrahim Kefas. 20th November, 1993 - 23rd November, 1994

14. Group Captain Gregory Agboneni. 24th November, 1994 - 23rd August, 1996

15. Colonel Umar FaroukAhmed. 24th August, 1996 -,6th August, 1998

16. Navy Captain Christopher Osondu. 7th August, 1998 - 29th May, 1999.
The army paved way for a democratically elected civilian government in 1999, and since then, we have had uninterrupted democratic governance in the country. As a result of this, the following Civilian Governors have been elected and sworn in at various times:

17. Mr. Donald Etim Duke. 29th May, 1999 - 28th May, 2007 PDP.
Deputy: John Oyom Okpa / Dr. Walter Eneji

18. Senator Liyellmoke. 29th May, 2007 - 28th May 2015 POP
Deputy: Barr. Effiok Cobham

It will be of interest and important to note that during the eight year period of Governor Liyellmoke's two terms of four years each, two Acting Governors in the person's of:

19. Rt. Hon. Frank Adah and Rt. Hon. Larry Odey were sworn in as a result of two different court judgments that had removed Governor Liyel Imoke, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) directed to conduct fresh elections within ninety days respectively. Rt. Hon. Frank Adah then Speaker of the State's House of Assembly, acted between 14th July, 2008 - 25th August, 2008 . Rt. Hon. Larry Odey as Speaker of the State's House of Assembly, also was Acting Governor between 27th January, 2012 - 28th February, 2012

20. Senator (Prof) Ben Bengiaushuye Ayade. 29th May, 2015 till date. PDP
Deputy: Prof. Ivara Ejemot Esu

Babs Elegbede Clement Isong Dan Etibet E. A. Archibong HRH (Dr.)Ezeugu Akanu Ibiam
 Dr. Micheal Ihenukara Okpara  P.U. Omu  U.J. Esuene  Dan Archibong  Ibim Princewill
Chris Ozondu Donald Duke Liyel Imoke Frank Adah Larry Odey
Ben Ayade        



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Calabar, CRS.

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