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Ex Nigeria Minister, Ogbonnaya Onu Dies At 72

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Ogbonnaya Onu Who Passed On At Age 72, As Peter Obi Eulogizes His Contributions To Education, Nation building

 

The death of former Minister of Science and Technology during President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu came to many as a surprise.

 

Being the first civilian governor of Abia State, he passed away this morning at a hospital in Abuja at the age of 72, according to BBC Igbo.

 

Dr. Onu was a distinguished scientist and educator before entering the political arena. He served as a lecturer at the University of Port Harcourt before transitioning to national politics during the aborted civilian rule transition under President Ibrahim Babangida in the early 1990s.

 

He secured the governorship of Abia in 1992 when his home State, Ebonyi was still part of Abia State. However, his term was cut short due to the military takeover led by General Sani Abacha in 1994, which ousted the civilian administration of Ernest Shonekan.

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Despite the interruption to his governorship, Dr. Onu remained a prominent figure in Nigerian politics. He contested for president on multiple occasions and most recently resigned as Minister of Science and Technology under President Buhari to participate in the 2022 presidential primaries.

 

Reacting to his demise, the presidential candidate of Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi in the 2023 election has expressed deep sadness over the death.

 

Obi in his X handle @peterObi said, “It is with deep sadness that I received the reports of the death of my dear elder brother; the first civilian governor of Abia State and former minister of science, technology and innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu.

 

“Dr Onu was a gentleman par excellence, a patriotic and detribalised Nigerian who served the nation in different capacities. His contributions to our educational growth as a lecturer and author remain commendable.

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“Dr Onu was a leader who stood for peace and progress of the nation. He pursued justice and courageously stood up for equity and good governance. He was committed to the development of the nation.

 

“As one who understood the critical need to move our nation from consumption to production, he pursued many initiatives to boost local production for the development of the nation.

 

“His death is, undoubtedly, a huge loss to the nation. May God console his family, and all of us who mourn him, and grant us the fortitude to bear his sad irreplaceable loss. May God grant him eternal rest.” -PO

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