Authority Icon

The Authority Icon: VIRGINIA NGOZI ETIABA

The Authority Icon:  VIRGINIA NGOZI ETIABA
For stepping forward with faith, tenacity and fo­cus - and becoming a moral model for women through her remarkable achievements; for rec­ognizing the value of education and entrepre­neurship in changing society and for breaking the artificial political glass ceiling for Nigerian women, Dame Virginia Ngozi Etiaba, CON, is The AUTHORITY Icon.
In a culture where her gender was ex­pected only to wear a lipstick, speak softly and carry a handbag, she brushed away these self-limiting encum­brances to achieve her lofty dreams. She has scored many firsts in her life. She is the first female deputy governor in the South-East and the first female executive governor in Nigeria’s history.
She is Dame Virginia Ngozi Etiaba, CON. Etiaba was the governor of Anam­bra State from November 2006 to Febru­ary 2007. Her providential elevation came when former Governor Peter Obi was im­peached by the state legislature for alleged misconduct. However, in consonance with constitutional provisions, Etiaba graciously transferred her executive pow­ers back to Peter Obi three months later, when an appeal court nullified the im­peachment as groundless.
Etiaba is a native of Ezekwuabor Oto­lo-Nnewi in Nnewi North Local Council of Anambra State. She was raised by her Uncle Chief Pius Ejimbe from secondary school in Kano Nigeria until she got mar­ried to Late Bennet Etiaba of Umudim Nnewi.
For 35 years she worked as a teacher and headed several schools in Kafanchan, Aba, Port Harcourt, and Nnewi. She re­tired from the services of the Anambra State Government in 1991 and founded the Bennet Etiaba Memorial Schools, Nnewi, of which she was the proprietress.
In March 2006 she resigned to assume the position of the deputy governor of Anambra State. Due to her energy, per­sonal focus and abiding sense of duty, she was a member of many associations that impacted society. Some of these bod­ies include - the Association of Women Entrepreneurs, International Literacy Programme for the Nnewi North Local Council, the Environmental International Vanguard and the World Organization for Early Childhood Education (OMEP).
She was also a Synod member of the Church of Nigerian (Anglican Commu­nion), a member of the Christian Associa­tion of Nigerian Schools, a member of the Board of Governors of the Okongwu Me­morial Grammar School Nnewi, member of the Board of Governors of Holy Child Convent School, Amichi and a Juvenile Court Assessor for the Nnewi Magisterial District.
She is the mother of six adult children. One of her sons, Emeka Etiaba (SAN), once contested for governorship of Anambra State.
For stepping forward with faith, tenac­ity and focus - and becoming a moral model for women through her remark­able achievements, for recognizing the value of education and entrepreneurship in changing society and for breaking the artificial political glass ceiling for Nigeri­an women, Dame Virginia Ngozi Etiaba, CON, is The AUTHORITY Icon.