Ogbonnaya Onu

Ogbonnaya Onu

Ogbonaya Onu (born 1 December 1951) was the first Executive Governor of Abia State, Nigeria.


Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu is the first son of the first family in Uburu, the family of His Royal Highness, the late Eze David Aba Onu, the Eze Adu of Uburu and Her Royal Highness, late Ugoeze Enyidiya Uzor Onu.

He has travelled very widely. He has either lived in or visited all major parts of the world. Some of the countries include Kenya and Tanzania in Africa; Israel and Palestine in the Middle East; South Korea in Asia; United Kingdom, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands and Switzerland in Europe, Canada and United States of America in the Americas.

Dr Onu is married to Dr. (Lady) Chinyere Onu, the first daughter of late Hon. Dominic Okpara and late Madam Veronica Okpara both of whom are from Okwudor in Njaba Local Government Area of Imo State. The marriage is blessed with 4 children: Obiora, Chijioke, Uzodima and Nwakaku.

Educational background

Primary and post-primary

Dr. Onu began his early education in 1957 at St. Jacob's Primary Sxhool, Uburu and later transferred to St. Pauls Primary School, also in Uburu in Ebonyi State. At that time, St. Jacob’s Primary school offered only the first four years of primary education.

Upon completing his primary education, he attended Mary Knoll College, Ogoja, Cross Rivers State, from 1964-67, and Izzi County Secondary School, Abakiliki Ebonyi State, from 1970to 1971. He obtained a Grade One Distinction, and was the best graduating student in his school in the West African School certificate Examination.

Post-secondary and university

At the college of Immaculate Conception, Enugu, Enugu State where he enrolled for the Higher School Certificate (H.S.C) from 1971–72. Dr Onu made the best result, scoring A, A, B in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics respectively. At the lower six examination, he obtained Certificate of Merit in Mathematics and General performance.

Dr. Onu who was offered admission by all the universities at that time in the country, graduated from the University of Lagos, with a First Class Honours degree in Chemical Engineering in 1976. After completing his National Youth Service Corps Programme in 1977, he travelled abroad, where at the prestigious University of California, Berkeley, USA, Dr. Onu earned his Doctor of Philosophy Degree (PhD) in Chemical Engineering in 1980, without passing through a Master's degree programme. His hobbies include reading and table tennis.

Leadership positions

Dr. Onu, whose watchword has remained peace, unity and service to humanity and has been a distinguished leader,. He has always found himself both at home and abroad elected to serve humanity by his colleagues and others in various fields of human endeavor.

Some leaderships positions abroad

While in the United States of America, where he went for further studies, Dr. Onu's leadership qualities which is widely acknowledged made it possible for him to become;

  • President African Students union, University of California, Berkeley (1978–1979)
  • President, Nigerian Association of Northern California Inc (1979–1980)
  • Delegate, Graduate Assembly, University of California, Berkeley (1979–1980)

Some leadership positions at home

At home, the excellent leadership quality of Dr. Onu was made manifest as;

  • Pioneer President-General, Izzi County Secondary School Old Boys Association, Abakiliki, Ebonyi State (1985–1991).
  • President, Rotary Club of Port Harcourt, Rivers State (1990–1991)
  • Pioneer Chairman, Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers former Rivers, Akwa-Ibom and Cross Rivers State Chapter, as well as member of the National Executive of the Society (1985–1989)
  • Pioneer National President, Raw Materials Society of Nigeria (1985-1991)
  • Pioneer Member, Governing Council of the Federal Government Raw Materials Research and Development Council of Nigeria (1990–1991)
  • Member, National Committee of the National Universities Commission on the Review of non-salary conditions of service of University Staff (1990)
  • Member, Board of Directors, Nigerian Cement Plc, Nkalagu (1984–1989)
  • Chairman, Accreditation Visitation to the Department of Chemical Engineering Institute of Management and Technology (IMT)
  • Member, Board of Directors, Uniport Konsult(the consultancy arm of the University of Port Harcourt
  • Visitor, Abia State University Uturu (1992–1993)
  • First Governor of Abia State (1992–1993)
  • First Chairman, Conference of Nigerian Governors (1992–1993)

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