Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, First Executive Governor of Abia State, Dies at 72

Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, former Abia governor and science minister, passes away at 72. Remembered for his integrity, contributions to education, science, and technology in Nigeria.

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Nasiru Eneji Abdulrasheed
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Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, First Executive Governor of Abia State, Dies at 72

Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, First Executive Governor of Abia State, Dies at 72

Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, the first Executive Governor of Abia State and former Minister of Science and Technology, passed away on April 11, 2024, in Abuja, Nigeria, at the age of 72 after a brief illness. Onu left behind a legacy of integrity, principled politics, and significant contributions to education, science, and technology in the country.

As the first Executive Governor of Abia State, Dr. Onu played a vital role in the development of the state. He laid the foundation for Abia's progress and abolished the state of origin syndrome during his tenure. Onu later served as the Minister of Science and Technology under the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari from 2015 to 2022, making notable efforts to promote scientific and technological advancements in Nigeria.

President Bola Tinubu expressed his deepest condolences to the Onu family, describing Dr. Onu as an intellectual giant and one of Nigeria's most outstanding scientific minds. Former President Muhammadu Buhari and other political leaders also praised Onu's contributions as a scholar, engineer, and public servant who was committed to Nigeria's unity, peace, and development.

Dr. Onu had a distinguished academic career, obtaining a First Class degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Lagos and a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. He taught at the University of Port Harcourt before venturing into politics. Onu was among the aspirants who sought the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of the 2023 general elections and resigned as Minister of Science and Technology to contest the presidential primary in November 2022.

Why this matters: Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu's passing is a significant loss for Nigeria, as he was a respected figure known for his integrity, principled politics, and contributions to the nation's development. His legacy in education, science, and technology will continue to inspire future generations of Nigerian leaders and innovators.

The news of Dr. Onu's death has saddened the nation, with various political figures and organizations mourning his passing. Senate President Godswill Akpabio and the National Assembly expressed their condolences, describing Onu as "a perfect gentleman who will be missed for his wisdom, mature composure, zeal for excellence, and proven integrity." Former Deputy Governor of Abia State and Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, praised Onu's uprightness, straightforwardness, and civility in politics, stating that his passing is a huge loss to Nigeria, Ebonyi, and Abia States.

Key Takeaways

  • Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, former Abia governor and minister, passed away at 72.
  • Onu left a legacy of integrity, principled politics, and contributions to education, science, and technology.
  • Onu served as Abia's first governor and Nigeria's Minister of Science and Technology.
  • Onu was praised as an intellectual giant and an outstanding scientific mind by leaders.
  • Onu's passing is a significant loss, with leaders mourning his wisdom, integrity, and civility.