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Godwin Osagie Abbe
Godwin Abbe 2.jpg
Governor of Akwa Ibom State

In office
31 July 1988 – 5 September 1990
Preceded by Tunde Ogbeha
Succeeded by Idongesit Nkanga
Nigeria  Military Governor of Rivers State

In office
Aug 1990 – January 1992
Preceded by Ernest Olawunmi Adelaye
Succeeded by Rufus Ada-George
Nigerian Minister of Interior

In office
July 26, 2007 – July 14, 2009
Preceded by Oluyemi Adeniji
Succeeded by Shettima Mustapha
Defence Minister of Nigeria

In office
July 14, 2009 – 17 March 2010
Preceded by Shettima Mustapha
Succeeded by Adetokunbo Kayode
Personal details
Born January 10, 1949
Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria
Military service
Service/branch Nigerian Army
Years of service 1967–1999
Rank Major General

Godwin Osagie Abbe (born January 10, 1949) in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria is a retired Nigerian Army Major General and former Defence Minister of Nigeria from 2009 to 2010. He served as the Nigerian Minister of Interior from 2007 to 2009.[1]

Military careerEdit

Godwin Abbe joined the military in 1967 as a private, was commissioned second lieutenant in July 1968, and was promoted Colonel in 1986. He served during the Nigerian Civil War. He earned a Postgraduate Diploma in International Relations from Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife. He is also a graduate of the United States Army Infantry School Fort Benning, Georgia, Ghana Armed Forces Staff College and the National Institute for Policy and Strategic studies, Kuru.[2]

He was military governor of Akwa Ibom State 1988-1990) and Rivers State (1990–1991). He then became General Officer Commanding (GOC) 2 Division Nigerian Army; Commander, Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) and Commander, National War College. He retired in 1999 with the rank of Major General.[3]


After leaving the army, Godwin Abbe joined People's Democratic Party in 1999, and became chairman of the party in Edo State.[3]

Minister of InteriorEdit

President Umaru Yar'Adua appointed Godwin Abbe as the Nigerian Minister of Interior on July 26, 2007. At a meeting of Commonwealth Heads of Government in Kampala, Uganda in November 2007, Abbe met British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and asked for assistance in restructuring the police force, which was suffering from low morale due to poor welfare, inadequate training and lack of vital work tools.[4]

As minister of the interior, Godwin Abbe was chairman of a committee that recommended an amnesty programme for gunmen in the Niger Delta, an important step towards improving output of oil and gas.[5] Soon after, he was appointed Minister of Defense, a key role in implementing the amnesty.[1]

Minister of DefenseEdit

In September 2009, Abbe said that the Amnesty would not prevent security operatives from going after illegal oil bunkerers, whom he said would be treated as enemies of the state.[6] In October 2009, speak of Niger Delta militants who had accepted the government amnesty, Abbe gave assurances they would be rehabilitated, re-integrated and helped in every way possible to make them self-sustaining in life.[7]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Daniel Idonor (Jul 14, 2009). "Cabinet Shake-up : Yar’Adua moves Godwin Abbe to Defence Ministry". Vanguard. Retrieved 2009-12-07. 
  2. Mohammed Momoh (2007-09-14). "Brief on Ministers". African Choice News USA. Archived from the original on September 3, 2011. Retrieved 2009-12-07. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "We Are Focusing On Modernisation Of The Armed Forces – Abbe". Leadership Nigeria. 5 November 2009. Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2009-12-07. 
  4. "Britain to help restructure police force". Panafrican News Agency (PANA). 2007-11-27. Archived from the original on 2009-12-18. Retrieved 2009-12-07. 
  5. "Nigeria to unveil amnesty programme for militants". Reuters. June 4, 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-07. 
  6. Kingsley Omonobi (Sep 21, 2009). "FG begins manhunt for sponsors of illegal oil bunkering". Vanguard. Retrieved 2009-12-07. 
  7. Emma Amaize & Jimitota Onoyume (Oct 5, 2009). "Post-amnesty: How Govt’ll engage ex-militants – Abbe". Vanguard. Retrieved 2009-12-07. 

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