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Friday, June 21, 2024

Former Abia Gov dies after brief illness

The first civilian Governor of Abia State and former minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, has passed on after a brief illness at the age of 71.

As gathered, the former governor was said to have been ill and his family had planned to fly him abroad after the Eid break, to get effective medical care.

The former minister, according to relatives, was pronounced dead by medical experts at an Abuja hospital on Thursday morning.

Onu, who hailed from Ebonyi State, was the first civilian governor of Abia State and Nigeria’s Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation from November 2015 until his resignation in 2022.

After working as a teacher and later as a lecturer at the University of Port Harcourt, Onu started his political career as an aspirant for a senatorial seat in the old Imo State on the platform of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN).

He contested for the position of Governor of Abia State in 1991 under the umbrella of the National Republican Convention and won.

He was sworn in as the first executive governor of the state in January 1992 and was the first chairman of the Conference of Nigerian elected governors.

In 1999, he was the presidential candidate of the All People’s Party but relinquished the position to Olu Falae after his party merged with the Alliance for Democracy.

Falae lost to Olusegun Obasanjo of the Peoples Democratic Party in the presidential election.

Onu later became the national chairman of the All Nigerian People’s Party.

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