Nigeria: General Elections 2019

Time until Saturday, 16 February 2019, 08:00:00 (Lagos time)

REC RIVERS STATE

Obo Effanga, the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Rivers State, was born on August 15, 1969 in Calabar, to Chief & Mrs Obo Effanga. He hails from Obutong Clan in Calabar Municipal Local Government Area.

Education:

Effanga attended the AME Zion Primary School, Diamond Hill, Calabar (1974 to 1980) and the Hope Waddell Training Institution, Calabar (1980 to 1985), obtaining the FSLC and the GCE O’Level certificates respectively.
He studied at The Polytechnic Calabar (1986-1988) and obtained a National Diploma in Mass Communications and Law at the University of Calabar, graduating with an LL.B in April 1994. He proceeded to the Nigerian Law School and was called to the bar in March 1995.
In 2010, he studied in the University of Sussex, UK as a Ford Foundation International Fellow and obtained a Master of Arts degree in Human Rights.

Work experience:

Obo Effanga who joined INEC as REC in July 2017 was first posted to Edo State before he was reassigned to Rivers State in April 2018.
Before his appointment as REC, Effanga worked with ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) for more than 11 years, serving as Governance Programmes Manager in his last six years there. He was the points-person for ActionAid intervention in Nigeria’s elections.
He was previously Parliamentary Liaison Advisor and Policy Advocacy & Campaigns Coordinator in the anti-poverty international non-governmental organisation. While at ActionAid, Effanga represented his organisation in the Steering Committee of the Nigerian Civil Society Situation Room, an electoral process and governance engagement platform of civil society in Nigeria. This saw him make critical interventions and support to the electoral process in the country.
While still with ActionAid, he was an associate and external trainer for the MS Training Centre for Development Cooperation (MS-TCDC) Tanzania.
He was also responsible for recruiting, training and mentoring young Nigerians as activists and campaigners for ActionAid under the Activista programme.
Effanga had also worked as Programme Officer Human Rights at Gender and Development Action in the dying days of military rule through to the early years of the current Nigerian democratic experience. He currently sits in the National Coordinating Committee of the Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN)
A lawyer and journalist, Effanga is interested in human rights, good governance and democracy.
His journalism career has seen him work with the Nigerian Chronicle newspapers published by the Cross River State Newspaper Corporation and much later with the NewAge newspapers. A consummate writer, journalist and newspaper columnist, he won the ‘Columnist of the Year’ in the Nigeria Media Merit Awards 2004. His incisive newspaper commentaries and analyses since 1988 cover a wide range of issues including law, politics, governance, human rights and social justice.

Other interests:

Effanga is active in humanitarian services. In his youthful years, he belonged to the Leo Club, the youth activity of Lions Clubs and became national president of the group in 1996/1997. He later joined the Lions Club and is a past president of the Lagos Achievers Lions Club as well as a Melvin Jones Fellow.
He is currently the president of the International Ford Fellowships Programme Alumni Association Nigeria and vice chairman of community intervention NGO, the Efik Leadership Foundation.
His hobbies include reading, writing, travelling, philately, photography and mentorship.