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.