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Full Profile Of Buhari’s Minister, Late Ogbonnaya Onu




Former Minister of Science and Technology under the administration of ex-President Muhammadu Buhari, Ogbonnaya Onu, has died.

Naija News understands that the former minister died at an unnamed hospital in Abuja after a brief illness.

Read the full profile of Ogbonnaya Onu below:

Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu was born on 1st December 1951, to the family of His Royal Highness, Late Eze David Aba Onu, Eze Adu of Uburu in Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State in Nigeria. He obtained grade one with distinction in his West African School Certificate examination at Izzi High School, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State. Dr Onu also obtained distinctions in Physics and Chemistry at the Higher School Certificate examination at the College of Immaculate Conception, CIC, Enugu, graduating as the best overall student.


By 1976, he graduated with a first-class honours degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Lagos. He later obtained his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Chemical Engineering (without passing through a Masters degree) at the reputable University of California, Berkeley, California, USA, in 1980, where he did extensive work on coal liquefaction and production of synthetic fuels under mild conditions.

He showed that it was possible under relatively mild conditions to produce synthetic fuels comparable with crude oil. While in the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Onu was the President of the African Students Union; Member, Graduate Assembly of the University of California at Berkeley and also President of the Nigerian Association of Northern California, Inc. Back home, he served as President General of his alma-mater, Izzi High School, Abakaliki, Old Boys Association.

On coming back from overseas, he taught as a seminary and at the University of Port Harcourt as the pioneer Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering.


As a pioneer staff in the Faculty of Engineering and the first Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering, he helped nurture the department from scratch to a position of repute. As a member of the Governing Council of the University, he worked with others to provide leadership in its search for excellence.

Dr Onu is a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers, Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers and Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering.

In 1991, Dr Onu was elected the first Governor of old Abia State. He was the first Chairman, Conference of Nigerian elected Governors. During his tenure as Governor, he emphasized the use of technology as an important instrument for national development by starting the processes for the establishment of a Technology Village, as well as introducing computers into selected public schools.


As Governor, he abolished the State of Origin Syndrome in Abia State and led the way in appointing non-indigenes of the State into top positions of responsibility in his Administration.

Using the Abia Dream as a philosophy to mobilize the people of the State to achieve excellence in all spheres of human endeavour, Dr Onu founded the Abia State Polytechnic at Aba. He also established the College of Technical Education in Arochukwu and attracted the the the Michael Okpara Federal University of Agriculture at Umudike, near Umuahia.

In addition, Dr Onu established the Broadcasting Corporation of Abia State as well as the National Ambassador Newspapers, which then won several awards as the best State-owned Newspaper in Nigeria.

In 1999, he emerged the first Presidential Flagbearer of the then All Peoples Party, APP, which was later known as the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP. A true democrat and committed party loyalist, Dr Onu demonstrated rare political discipline and consistency, by remaining one of the very few founding leaders of the opposition ANPP who remained in the party since its inception in 1998 until it merged into a new political party in 2013.

In September 2010, he was elected the National Chairman of the party.

In 2010, as National Chairman of the defunct ANPP, he initiated discussions with the leadership of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) on how all the major opposition political parties could work together to effect change in the politics of the country.

Later he also initiated meetings with the National Chairmen of all major opposition political parties. All these efforts and many others finally resulted in the merger of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Congress for Progressive Change, (CPC), and groups from the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), and the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP).

Hence on July 31, 2013, the All Progressives Congress (APC), came into existence. Dr Onu and other party leaders willingly gave up their positions as INEC withdrew the registration of ACN, ANPP and CPC. On November 26, 2013, the new PDP, broke away from the ruling political party and joined the APC. This helped make the APC, the largest opposition political party in the history of the country.

He was appointed Minister of Science and Technology by former President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 and was reappointed to the same position in 2019.

Ogbonnaya Onu later resigned from his position to contest in the APC presidential primary losing out to the eventual winner of the general election, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

George Oshogwe Ogbolu is a Digital Media Strategist | Content Writer | Journalist | New Media Influencer | Proofreader and Editor at Naija News.

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