A former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Abel Guobadia, died on Friday in a hospital in Benin city from prostate cancer. He was 79.
Mr. Guobadia was born on June 28, 1932 and attended schools in Nigeria and abroad. He received a doctor of philosophy in physics at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, USA.
Guobadia began his career as a Physics teacher at Osogbo Grammar School (1957); Ilesa 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.
He 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 2000, former President Olusegun Obasanjo appointed him INEC chairman. He retired from the position in 2005. Mr. Guobadia served as chairman and member of board of many organisations including the New Nigeria Bank, West African Examinations Council, New Nigeria Bank and the Nigerian Standards Organisation.