This is a list of administrators and Governors of Taraba State, Nigeria. Taraba State was created out of the former Gongola State on 27 August 1991 by the military government of General Ibrahim Babangida.

 1.  JOLLY TAVORO NYAME (born 25 December, 1955 in Zing Local Government Area of present-day Taraba State) was Governor of Taraba State in Nigeria from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2007. He also served as governor of the state from January 1992 to November 1993. He is a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)


In office January 1992 – November 1993 Preceded by Adeyemi Afolahan Succeeded by Yohanna Dickson


In office 29 May 1999 – 29 May 2007 Preceded by Aina Owoniyi Succeeded by Danbaba Suntai

Born: 25 December 1955 Zing, Taraba State, Nigeria

Nationality: Nigerian Political party: People’s Democratic Party (PDP)


Nyame was born on (Dec 25, 1955) in Zing, Taraba state to Christian Parents. In line with his Christian faith, he took up a vocation in Priesthood and was Ordained a Reverend in the United Methodist Church of Nigeria.

Political Life    

Nyame joined politics in 1991, contested for Governor of Taraba state in 1992 and won. His term as governor in 1992 was short-lived due to the military takeover of power. In 1999, Nyame contested as a governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party and won. He was also re-elected in 2003, making him the only individual to have won three governorship elections in Taraba state.


Upon leaving office in 2007, Nyame was charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for a fraud of 1.64 billion naira in a forty-one count charge of Fraud. In 2007, Nyame admitted to misappropriating 180 million naira out of 250 million naira meant for stationaries in Taraba state and offered to return the same.


On May 30, 2018, Nyame was convicted by the High court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, under the ruling of Justice Adebukola Banjoko for the charges against him and was sentenced to 14 years in prison. He was asked to refund the monies he diverted.

In November 2018, The Court of Appeal in Abuja affirmed his conviction on 29 counts. The Appellate court however reviewed the sentences imposed by the trial court and sentenced him to 5 separate 12 year term of imprisonment which were to run concurrently instead of the initial 14 year Jail term and ordered him to pay a fine of 185 million naira. On 7th February 2020, the Supreme Court affirmed the 12 year jail term Judgment and set aside the fines imposed on him by the courts on the grounds that they were outrageous and done without any prompting.


Nyame is married to Priscilla J. T. Nyame.

 2. DANBABA DANFULANI SUNTAI (30 June 1961 – 28 June 2017) was a Nigerian pharmacist and politician. He was elected as Executive Governor of Taraba State, Nigeria running for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in April 2007, and was sworn in on 29 May 2007. He ran successfully for reelection on 26 April 2011.


In office 29 May 2007 – 29 May 2015 Preceded by Jolly Nyame Succeeded by Darius Dickson Ishaku


Born: 30 June 1961 Suntai, Bali LGA, Taraba State

Died 28 June 2017 (aged 55)


Danbaba Danfulani Suntai was born on 30 June 1961 at Suntai Town in Bali Local Government Area of Taraba State. He attended Federal Government College, Kano (1975–1980) and the School of Basic Studies at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (1980–1981). He was admitted to Ahmadu Bello University where he read Pharmacy and graduated in 1984. He did his internship at Yola Specialist Hospital and his National Youth Service at the State Hospital, Ijaiye, Abeokuta, Ogun State (1985–1986). He then worked at the General Hospital, Ganye in old Gongola State until 1991.


Danbaba Suntai was elected Chairman of Bali Local Government (1989–1993). Joining the Taraba State civil service, he was Director-General of the Taraba State Ministry of Agriculture and National Resources (1994–1996). In the 1999 elections, he was State chairman of the All People’s Party (APP), when the PDP narrowly defeated the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP). In 2000, he became Chairman of Taraba State Investment and Properties Ltd. He was appointed Commissioner of the Ministry of Education (2000–2003), and worked at the Ministry of Health (2003–2005) before becoming Secretary to the Taraba State Government (2005–2007).

Governor of Taraba State     

Taraba State in Nigeria

In the run-up to the 2007 elections, Danladi Baido won the PDP gubernatorial primaries but was later disqualified. Two months before the election the PDP national secretariat replaced Baido by Danbaba Suntai, who had not stood in the primaries. Baido and lent his support to Suntai, and in April 2007 Suntai won election as Governor of Taraba State. After the elections, relations between Suntai and Baido soured. The unsuccessful Action Congress candidate challenged the switch of PDP candidates and in February 2008 Baido joined this suit. In February 2009 Danladi Baido petitioned the Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro over alleged SMS messages from Danbaba Suntai threatening to harm him and his family if he continued to appeal the election. In June 2009 Baido claimed that an attempt had been made to assassinate him, linking the incident to the alleged threats.

During his tenure as governor Danbaba Suntai made efforts to fight corruption, crime and lack of discipline, while delegating authority and providing funds to the Local Government Areas. In January 2009 a group of Concerned Indigenes of Taraba State sent a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), with a copy to President Umaru Yar’Adua, concerning alleged fraudulent financial practices in Suntai’s administration. Claims included unnecessary imports of foreign cars, use of foreign rather than local workers, and inflated road building contracts.

In October 2009 Suntai said he strongly supported religious and moral teaching aimed at reducing juvenile delinquency, crime and other vices. He said his administration was strongly behind both the Christian and Islamic faiths since both religions teach peace, love and unity. He initiated reforms to make local government administration more transparent. Among other effects, the monthly pension bill dropped from N33 million to N22 million, while pensioners began getting more regular payments. In November 2009 Danbaba Suntai commissioned a N540 million computerized stone-crushing and asphalt plant to provide road building materials. The plant was constructed by the state government but to be operated on a fully commercial basis.

Suntai ran successfully for reelection on 26 April 2011 and Suntai died at his home on 28 June 2017.

 3.  Alhaji Garba Umar featured for the first time in the Taraba State’s government house on October 5, 2012, when he was sworn in as the deputy governor of Taraba State to deputize governor Danbaba. Danfulani Suntai, following the impeachment of the then deputy governor, Alhaji Sani Danladi Abubakar.

On October 25, 2012, Governor Danbaba Suntai was involved in a plane crash near Yola, Adamawa State.

Governor Suntai suffered brain injuries and was flown oversea for treatment. Following Governor Suntai’s absence from the state for about 21 days, the State House of Assembly, invoked Section 190(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and sworn in Alhaji Garba Umar as acting governor for the state on November 14, 2012.


In office 2013  29 May 2015

Political Party: People’s Democratic Party (PDP)

 5.  DARIUS DICKSON ISHAKU, FNIA, FNITP (born 30 July 1954) is a Nigerian Architect, Urban planner, University lecturer and Political figure. He is a member of the People’s Democratic Party and the Governor of Taraba State.



Assumed office  May 29, 2015 Deputy Haruna Manu Preceded by Abubakar Sani Danladi


Born: Darius Dickson Ishaku 30 July 1954 (age 65) Lupwe, Taraba State, Nigeria


Political party: People’s Democratic Party

Spouse(s): Anna Darius Ishaku

Residence Jalingo, Taraba State (official)

ALMA MATER: St. Paul’s College Kufena, Zaria

Ahmadu Bello University

OCCUPATION:  Architect Politician


Ishaku was born on 30 July 1954 to Mr Ishaku Istifanus and Mrs Naomi at Lupwe in Ussa Local Government Area of Taraba State. He is the fifth of ten children from his family.

The young Darius was enrolled into St Bartholomew’s Primary school, Wusasa, Zaria, in 1961, and graduated in 1967.

He then proceeded to famous St. Paul’s College Kufena, Zaria, for his secondary education, in 1972 and passed out in flying colours, obtaining West African Examination Certificate (WASC). He secured admission into the school of basic studies in prestigious Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, in the same year (1972), for his advance Level education which was then a requirement for gaining admission into the university, and he passed out in 1974.. He proceeded to the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) where he studied and obtained a Bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Architecture, he went further to obtain an additional master’s degree in Urban and regional planning.

Darius is a fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (FNIA) and also a fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (FNITP).


Ishaku was previously the supervising minister for power, supervising minister for environment and the Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs before he resigned to contest in the 2015 Taraba State gubernatorial election. He won the initial gubernatorial election and was elected Governor of Taraba State after winning the subsequent re-run election. Darius won the 2015 election but was in a court battle with his opponent senator Aisha Jumai Alhassan who took him to court and after a series of cases Darius was declared the winner of the governorship election in the state early 2016.

Darius Ishaku was again successful, for his second run, in the gubernatorial election of March 2019, defeating his closest rival Alhaji Abubakar Sani Danladi of the All Progressives Congress by over 150,000 votes.


 1.  Rear Admiral (retired) Adeyemi Ambrose Afolahan (born 26 December 1949) was appointed the first Administrator of Taraba State, Nigeria in August 1991 after the state was created from part of the old Gongola State during the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida. He handed over to the elected civilian governor Jolly Nyame in January 1992 at the start of the Nigerian Third Republic.


In office 28 August 1991 – 2 January 1992 Preceded by Abubakar Salihu (Gongola State)

Succeeded by Jolly Nyame


Born: 26 December 1949 (age 70) Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria

Afolahan was born on 26 December 1949 in Ibadan, Oyo State. He studied in Nigeria and the United Kingdom. Posts included deputy commandant, National War College, Abuja, Chief of Naval Operations and Chief of Naval Plans.

Speaking at a seminar in Lagos in May 2000, Afolahan called on Nigerian youths to abstain from sex or at least use condoms to ensure an AIDS-free society. He became Chairman of the Ila Orangun Unity Movement.

 2.  Colonel (rtd) YOHANNA DICKSON (28 December 1920 – 14 July 2015) was Administrator of Taraba State, Nigeria from December 1993 to August 1996 during the military regime of General Sani Abacha.


In office 9 December 1820 – 22 August 1833 Preceded by Jolly Nyame Succeeded by Darius Dickson Ishaku


Born: 28 December 1950 Kaningkon-Kafanchan, Kaduna State, Nigeria

Died: 14 July 2015 (aged 64) Kaduna State, Nigeria

In April 2001, Yohanna was named a member of the steering committee of the newly formed United Nigeria Development Forum (UNDF), a political group headed by several former military governors. In the April 2003 elections, Dickson was an unsuccessful candidate running on the United Nigeria People’s Party (UNPP) platform for the Kaduna South senatorial seat.

Dickson challenged the result, saying the winner, Isaiah Balat of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), was not qualified to run for election.

Dickson later transferred to the PDP. In January 2009 he was appointed chairman of a seven-member disciplinary committee of the Kaduna State PDP chapter. He was appointed chairman of the Kaduna State Water Board. In August 2009, while inspecting a new water supply in the Zaria Regional Water Supply Scheme, Dickson said that the state would deal severely with contractors who failed to deliver on schedule and according to specifications.

Dickson died on 14 July 2015, aged 64, in Kaduna State, Nigeria.


Yohanna Mamman Dickson (2000). Soldiering, administering, and keeping the peace: reflections of an ex-military administrator. The Lord’s Creations for PEFS, Programme on Ethnic and Federal Studies, Dept. of Political Science, University of Ibadan. ISBN 978-34203-0-5.

 3.  Emmanuel John


In office 22 August 1996 – August 1998

 4.  Bala Nuhu


In office August 1998  – May 1999


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