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CSU East Bay Professor Braves Bullets, Arrest to Enter Governor's Race in Nigeria

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Special to the NNPA from the Global Information Network –

An assassination attempt that killed his aide and wounded another, and his arrest for disturbing the peace failed to scare off a determined Cal State professor from the race for governor in his home state of Benue, Nigeria.

Professor Steve Ugbah, of California State College, Hayward, who returned to Nigeria in December, had been tipped to win the April elections in Benue with a lead of 20 percent more than his opponent, Gabriel Suswam, a candidate of the ruling party of President Goodluck Jonathan.

But, victory was elusive. The 56 year old East Bay professor was defeated in a disputed election and he and members of his party were later detained and charged with inciting public disturbances and unrest. He was released on bail, last week, but continues to face charges that he says were cooked up to keep him quiet.

Ugbah’s home state is one of Nigeria's richest agricultural regions but people are poor and he was frustrated by the failure of politicians to improve it, relatives said.

The son of a medical field worker, he came to the U.S. in 1974, at the age of 18, to go to college at Ohio University, where he earned his Ph.D. before moving to the Bay Area to teach more than 20 years ago.

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