Mandel Miene Charles Igbodo was a formidable accountant and financial icon from the Niger delta. He was best known for being among the winning team as an executive Commissioner for finance to the then former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan during his stint as Governor of Bayelsa state from 2003 to 2007.
Who was Mandel Miene Charles Igbodo?
MMC as widely called hails from Twon Brass in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa state. He received his B.Sc in Accounting from the University of Lagos in 1968 and he was the first graduate of Accountant to be employed into the Civil Service of old Rivers State in 1968. Mandel Miene Charles Igbodo was one of the judicious, professional Accountants the Niger Delta has ever produced due to his thoughtfulness, principle characteristics though sometime misunderstood and referred him to be controversial.
However, due to his dexterity and professionalism in accounting the government of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as Governor of Bayelsa state who later became the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria appointed him a honourable Commissioner of Finance from 2003 to 2007 and he performed optimally. He was a father of Four resourceful children and though a polygamist; he was Methodist by faith. On the 27th of November 2007 he passed on at the age of 79.
Mandel Miene Charles Igbodo was born on the 22nd of April, 1939 into the Christian family of late Mr Charles Faghawari Igbodo and Madam Emily Ekitonmokuma spiff both of Ada-Ama, Twon Brass in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa state.
Mandel Miene Charles Igbodo’s Education
M.M.C. as widely known attended several Anglican schools in the Niger delta and ended in St. Barnabas’ school, Twon brass and where he completed his primary education. His frequent change in schools was as a result of his father’s postings to various United African Company (UAC) locations as his father Mr Charles Faghawari Igbodo was then working as a UAC agent. On completion of his primary education, he proceeded to the Priscilla Memorial Grammar School (PMGS) Oguta, Eastern Nigeria (now in Imo state) for his secondary education. He later gained admission to study Accountancy at the prestigious University of Lagos, where he graduated within three years with a Bachelor’s degree in 1968.
M.M.C. worked briefly with the Customs and Excise department Lagos and later left for the Nigerian Railways’ Corporation. He attended the Nigerian Railway Traffic School and then worked at Akere Railway Station (now in Niger state) as a Staff Clerk and later transferred to Lagos as a Traffic Staff, during which he combined permanent fulltime night duty with fulltime University education. This was a feat for which he commended among others by his bosses at the Nigerian Railway Corporation. Upon the creation of 12 state in Nigeria in 1967 under Major General Yakubu Gowon, MMC was the first graduate Accountant to be employed by the old Rivers State Civil Services Commission in 1968 and rose to the post of Deputy Accountant General before retiring. His working career with the Rivers State Government started with the Treasury Department where he served in virtually all the professional Ministries, Departments, Local Governments and Boards including Health, Works, Information, House of Assembly, Schools, Health Management Boards and the Agricultural Production and Marketing Corporation among others. In between his working career, he attended various professional courses at home and abroad including a British Council sponsored Advanced Certificate Course in Finance and Accounting at the prestigious University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland. He attracted and earned very high commendation from his bosses. Dogged and principled in character, he was sometimes misunderstood and referred to as controversial.
Marital / family life
He was married to his first wife madam Isabella Thompson of Okrika of Rivers State and that union was purposeful blessed with four children. During his life time, he was a devoted to his family’s welfare. He loved and cared for all who came to him for assistance. Education was of utmost importance to him and he encouraged everyone to achieved a good education as that is one thing once given, can be taken back from you. He held family members in high esteem and always had the progress of the family at heart. The task of bringing up his relations was quite enormous but with God’s guidance and grace, he was able to support in their education and making them to hold responsible or otherwise promising position of life.
He was a devoted Christian and kept his faith in the almighty God. In his youth, he was a member of the St. Barnabas Church Choir. He inculcated the fear of God in his children and other relations around him and helped to propagate the Christian faith by making it compulsory for every member of the family to attend the daily early morning devotion. He believed in giving thanks to God Almighty in every situation. He was a very active member of Methodist Church and was awarded the Diocesan Merit Award of the Methodist Church of Nigeria. He was the Financial Secretary of the Men Fellowship, Class Leader of Rueben Class of Wesley Methodist Church, Harbour road, Port Harcourt and IPSO FACTO, a Member of the Church Council, the Highest Decision-Making Body of the Church. He was also a Member of the Wesley Methodist Committee of Friends. He also attended St. Barnabas Anglican Church, Twon Brass any time he was at home and gave support to its growth.
Life after retirement
On the retirement from the Civil Service, both the Federal Government of Nigeria and Bayelsa State Government saw the qualities in him and he was appointed to serve in several in him and he was appointed to serve in several capacities such as:
- Chairman, Bayelsa State Family Support Trust Fund
- Member, representing Bayelsa state in the Technical Committee for the Sharing of Assets/Liabilities of the Old Rivers State in 1996
- Federal Government Consultant/Member for Revenue Generation and collection of debts owed to the defunct National Electricity and Power Authority
- Pioneer Executive Chairman, Bayelsa state Board of Internal Revenue
- Commissioner of Finance, Bayelsa state under his Excellence, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, former President of Nigeria, then Governor of Bayelsa state from 2003 to 2007
- Member, Federal Government of Nigeria delegation to the State of Israel to restructure the operations of Christian Pilgrimage.
Mandel Miene Charles Igbodo’s Social life
He was a very social person, a lover of peace and friendly to all that came in contact with him. He was a lover of sports and a good social mixer. He was member of the popular Twon Youth Club. He was a member of Port Harcourt Polo club. He was honourable commissioner of the Rivers State Bays Scout Movement and Honourable Treasurer of the Port Harcourt Lions Club. A founding Member of the Bayelsa Welfare Association (Methodist Church)
During his life he had some awards bestowed on him, such notable awards include:
- Distinguished leadership award-institute of good governance and accountability in public service Abuja July 2000
- Africa meritorious service award Africa international media organization December 2006
- Nigerian best performing commissioners award – tell magazine November 2006
- Niger delta university award in recognition of the contribution to the development of the university Bayelsa state 2006
- Gold award in leadership and good governance 2006 African achiever award
- Diocesan merit award in recognition of his immense service and contribution to the church- Methodist church Nigeria, diocese of Port Harcourt august 2006
- Appreciation plaque in recognition of your meritous and devoted services to humanity and the work of God – Methodist church Nigeria, archdiocese of Ikot Ekpene Oct 2007
- Roll of honour in recognition and appreciation of your contribution to the development of Twon-brass December 2005. National union of Twon-brass Students (NUTBS)
Professional Membership Association
- Association Member, Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (ACIT)
- Fellow of the Nigeria Institute of Strategic Management
- Member Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN)
- Hon. Fellow of the Nigeria Institute of Sales Management
At the prompting and encouragement of some chiefs and elders of Ada house community, a chieftaincy stool was created on the 23rd of July 2005 to immortalize his grandfather Elder Igbodo of blessed memory and the chief (Hon) MMC Igbodo was installed as chief Igbodo II of Ada Ama. He was presented to the entire Twon brass community by Chief Serena Dokubo Spiff, the ADA IX and conformed by king A.P Diete-Spiff, the Amanyanabo of Twon brass on the 4th of February 2006.
The late chief (Hon) MMC Igbodo was installed as chief Egbo of Otuogidi in Ogbia local government area of Bayelsa state in a quiet ceremony attended by some few invited guest and family members.
His Final Days
His health started to deteriorate rapidly during which time the very particular care of his children and other relations were needed, he was rushed to South Africa with the hope of benefiting from modern medical expertise, but at last, he finally answered the call to glory to be with his maker on the 29th of November, 2007 at 10am at Christian Barnard hospital, cape-town, South African.
His final wish as he was passing on, was that he is seeking for forgiveness from all those he had hurt directly or indirectly in his lifetime as he had equally forgiven them. The story of Chief Mandel MC IGBODO though immense is still written in the hearts of everyone he imparted.