Major-General Charles Ehigie Airhiavbere (Rtd) is an Edo man, from an enlightened and disciplined Bini lineage. He is an ardent strategist and a master planner. A team-oriented leader, with an even-keel temperament, charismatic speaking skills and a knack for consensus building. He's also a talented, introspective writer.
His values are strongly shaped by the fear of God and his military training, having successfully held positions of huge responsibility at home and abroad. He is a distinguished politician with a very pleasant and amiable disposition. A man of the people and a proven achiever. While private by nature, Charles mingles easily with others, but is most comfortable in the act of service to humanity. Charles is humble, amiable, though known for being unafraid to speak and hear hard truths when necessary. His pedigree is indeed that of discipline and leadership.
Early Life & Education
His father, Late Chief Airhiavbere, who was from Agbodo village, started his noble career as a pharmacy dispenser at the then Ekiadolor Health Centre. His appetite for further qualitative education drove him to a self-sponsored mission to study at Birmingham Polytechnic in England. On the timely completion of his studies as an accountant (ACCA), he joined the then Midwestern State Government under Governor Samuel Ogbemudia. His experience later earned him the leadership of the Health Management Board.
Charles’ mother, Mary Orhue of the Uzamere family was a student nurse when she had Charles. This was at a time that post primary school education was not common, especially for the girl child. She later also rose to the peak of her career as a nurse in Derby Hospital, London. It is worthy to note that the then very popular midwife Mrs. Esther Ogbe, who later became the proprietress of Esther Maternity and orphanage, took Charles’ delivery into the world at the Ekiadolor Maternity Home.
From a tender age, Charles was given a lot of positive exposure, having done his primary education in Benin, Ibadan, Ijebu-Igbo, Lagos and Zaria. In 1968, he started his secondary education at Eghosa Grammar School, Benin City, under the strict tutelage of Mr.S.I.A Ayela Uwangue, who was the School Principal then. Being aware, even at that young age of his burning desire to join the army (early signs of his willingness to serve humanity), he sat for the competitive entry examination and was admitted into the Nigerian Military School (NMS) from 1969 – 1973.
In the Nigerian Military School, Charles displayed his outstanding leadership skills by rising to the rank of Boy Sergeant and commanded Ibadan House. He later proceeded to the Auchi Polytechnic, from where he displayed academic excellence with an Upper Credit in Accountancy, in 1980. While in the polytechnic, Charles’ leadership traits were again displayed when he was appointed the Head of Man ‘O’ War and President of Professional Accounting Students Association (PASA).
In 1987, he bagged a Master’s Degree in Business Administration with specialization in Finance, from the University of Ibadan.
Being a star student, Charles won the Best All-round Cadet Award at the Nigerian Defense Academy at the Direct Short Service Course 7. He was commissioned Lieutenant in seniority of 01 June 1980 and was posted to the Nigerian Army Finance Corps.
GCA(right) in a visit to His Royal Majesty Omo n'Oba n'Edo Uku Akpolokpolo Erediauwa I
In his over three decade years of service in the Nigerian Army, he attended a good number of professional courses and seminars in Nigeria and abroad, including the Leadership Seminar for top executives in Manchester Business School, Manchester University, United Kingdom and the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Jos. Based on his outstanding performance when he was a course participant at NIPSS in 2007, he was made Director of a Study Group.
Professional Portfolio & Experience
Major-General Charles Ehigie Airhiavbere was the People’s Democratic Party Governorship (PDP) Candidate in the July 14, 2012 gubernatorial election in Edo State. After being in active politics under the umbrella of the PDP, Charles left the PDP for the All Progressives Congress (APC), being fully convinced that the APC’s manifesto actually articulated his personal vision for our great country, Nigeria. His movement at this time is in the light of his conviction and dogmatic belief that President Muhammadu Buhari, a proven incorruptible leader has all it takes to deliver APC’s manifesto beyond expectations, thus able to champion the desired change to make Nigeria as great as it is supposed to be and the true giant of Africa.
Publications & Authorship
- “Accounting for Profitability” – DICON (Special Case Study)being his thesis which is part of the requirements for the fulfillment of the award of Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA), University of Ibadan in 1987;
- “Regimentation and Discipline in the NA: An overview of the Nigerian Army Finance Corps” being a paper presented during the Director of Army Finance and Accounts Conference in June 2005;
- “Budgeting and Welfare Scheme in the Nigerian Army” being a paper presented during the CAT Week of Infantry Corps Centre and School, Jaji in June 2006;
- “Reform Programme for the Optimization of NA Assets – The Way Forward” being a paper presented during the Chief of Army Staff Conference held in Kaduna in November 2006;
- “Nigeria in Year 2020: Towards a Development Agenda in a Democratic Culture” being an individual paper presented at NIPSS in Jul 2007;
- “Strategies for Internal Revenue Generation and Capacity Building in the Nigerian Army” which is his final project at NIPSS in Nov 2007;
- “Nigerian National Budget and Funding of Security Agencies: Issues and Challengesin 2008”;
- “The Challenges of Funding Security Agencies in A Democracy” in March 2009; and
- “The Challenges of Funding Security Agencies: Planning and Management in A Democracy” in July 2010.
Personal Life & Interest
GCA and his beautiful family
He is widely traveled and enjoys playing golf and squash for leisure. He is a member of Ikoyi and IBB Golf clubs.