CORNUCOPIA Anambra 2017: Where is Bob Tana, Army officer, Taxi Driver, then Governor by ODOGWU EMEKA ODOGWU

Twenty Six years ago, new Anambra state was created but before then there was Old Anambra. There were Governors military and civilian alike but often former Governors of the state were mentioned, but I hardly hear anyone mentioning, Colonel Robert (Bob) Nnaemeka Akonobi rtd , aka Bob Tana, former Military Administrator of Anambra state.
I was curious trying to know why but ran into a moving library and encyclopaedia, Chief Joe Ifediobi, aka Okosis Akpo, Biafran war veteran and founding member of PDP, and my day was made. He aligned with my points that Akonobi has been forgotten, which ought not be, even with the upcoming Anambra 2017 Governorship election and Presidential election in 2019, he has a deciding chalice, if you are in the spirit.
A man who enrolled into the Nigerian Army before the war and when the war ended he was not recalled immediately. He never despaired as he immediately kicked off an Airport taxi business until he was recalled, sent to Sokoto, where the Caliphate recognized his diligence and honesty, before recommending him to govern Anambra state.
Marrying from Nimo, the daughter of Chief Peter Igboka, May Akonobi, who later became Coordinator of NYSC in the Old Anambra. She is an Educationist, organizer and a woman leader par excellence.
Akonobi’s love for developing the Igbo nation is unparalleled. He as a Military Governor championed the creation of Anaocha and Orumba. Without Akonobi, Ayamelum would have been in Uzo Uwani local government area but he championed its return to Oyi local government area before the council area eventually stood on its own now. He stood his ground despite the opposition from CC Onoh’s. Even Jim Nwobodo’s NPP was averse to moving Ayamelum to Oyi  but Akonobi broke the jinx.
His ground work facilitated creation of Ebonyi and Akwa Ibom states not necessarily Arthur Mbanefo led state creation committee. 
Samson Emeka Omeruah , Governor of Anambra state 1985 to 1987 by accident as he was not from Anambra but Abia state, later gave way to Akonobi who championed so many developments including electricity to so many towns in South East.
Chief Ifediobi during his Afternoon Musical Jump days at Catering Rest House, Onitsha recalled with nostalgia Bob Tana’s exploits as a happening military officer who visits Onitsha from his Enugu base regularly.

Akonobi, was appointed military governor from December 1987 to August 1990 during General Ibrahim Babangida.

He had his mind set, to empower his people hence he empowered the Nigeria Mineral Water Industries by June 1988 as well as establishing in 1989, the Anambra State Oil Palm Development Agency to compete with private firms.
And shortly after, he commissioned the Anambra State University of Technology Teaching Hospital, now known as the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital. He stopped the Wawa and Ijekebee groups mess, already at bloodbath stage.

He once revealed that President, General Muhammadu Buhari saved him from drowning while training at the Nigerian Defence Academy, NDA, in 1962, as according to him: “Buhari was my course mate in the military and we were together in the present NDA, Kaduna’’.
It was same Akonobi who pleaded with Igbo parents to reduce the bride price of their daughters so that ‘’our young boys can marry them.”
His palatial home in Enugu gutted by fire in 2008 and one has not heard that any of the South-East Governors assisted him rebuild his home unless it was done secretly. Is it wrong to ask now that 2017 Anambra Governorship election is on and 2019 Presidential election is in the offing, ‘where is Bob Tana, Army officer, Taxi Driver, and former Governor of Anambra state? He should be in the news for the right reasons, please.
Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, is a journalist , Editor and publisher and could be reached on 08060750240 and email [email protected]
CORNUCOPIA Anambra 2017: Where is Bob Tana, Army officer, Taxi Driver, then Governor by ODOGWU EMEKA ODOGWU CORNUCOPIA Anambra 2017: Where is Bob Tana, Army officer, Taxi Driver, then Governor by ODOGWU EMEKA ODOGWU Reviewed by Unknown on Monday, September 11, 2017 Rating: 5


  1. Odogwu Emeka Odogwu thank you for this article. I worked and lived with the Akonobi's and l can confirm that they were very good to me. I lost contact with them when l moved out of Enugu. I have asked a friend to visit them and get their numbers for me to call Mummy. My friend has not given me feedback yet. I have missed them so much. I pray for many more years for them, hopefully l will meet them again. I have missed Mummy's many birthday parties (May 1st) especially her dance moves with Daddy.

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