Senate Urges FG to Immortalise Ogbonnaya Onu

May 8, 2024

The Senate on Wednesday, May 8, paid tribute to the late former minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu.

Members of the Red Chamber observed a minute silence in his honour and passed a resolution, calling on the federal government to immortalize him.

The Senate also decided to send a 7-member delegation to condole Onu’s family.

The committee has Senator Ashiru Oyelola, as chairman, while senators Abba Moro, Enyinnaya Abaribe, Seriake Dickson, Anthony Ani, Ireti Kingibe, and Idiat Oluranti are members.

These resolutions of the Senate followed its consideration of a motion of urgent national importance, urging the Senate to pay tribute to the late Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, the immediate past minister of Science, Technology and Innovations.

The motion was moved by Senator Anthony Ani (APC- Ebonyi South), informing his colleagues of the recent demise of Onu at 72

Ani in his lead debate said the Senate: “notes with a deep sense of loss, the death of Chief Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, which occurred on the 11th of April, 2024, at an Abuja hospital, after a brief illness

“Further notes that late Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu was born on 1st December 1951, and was elected the first Executive Governor of old Abia State (now Abia and part of Ebonyi States).

“Informed that late Dr Ogbonnaya Onu was a symbol of excellence and an academic icon in Nigeria, having obtained Distinctions in the West African School Certificate Examination and finishing as the overall best student at the College of Immaculate Conception, Enugu, First Class Honours degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Lagos, and PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, USA.

“Further informed that late Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu was the pioneer Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering, and a pioneer staff of the Faculty of Engineering, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

“Aware that late Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu was the first Chairman of the Conference of elected Governors in Nigeria (now Governors’ Forum).

“Also, aware that the late Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu was the first Presidential flagbearer of the All People’s Party (APP) in the 1999 Presidential election in Nigeria.

“Further aware that late Dr Ogbonnaya Onu was the National Chairman of the All Nigerian People’s Party (ANPP), at the time the party was merged with other political parties to form the current ruling party in Nigeria, the All Progressives Congress (APC).”

Deputy Senate president, Barau Jibrin and Senators Orji Uzor Kalu, Osita Izunaso, Abba Moro, Aliyu Wamakko, Enyinnaya Abaribe, Ali Ndume, Seriake Dickson, Mohammed Tahir Monguno and Danjuma Goje, among others contributed to the debate.

Seconding the motion, Kalu said late Onu was a good man who contributed to the unity and stability of Nigeria.

Deputy President of Senate, Barau said Onu was a man of integrity, who was unassuming, even as chairman of a national party.

Barau said he was a man, who preached internal democracy and played a key role in the formation of the APC, describing him as a man, who demonstrated great humility.

“I stand to pay tribute to a man of honour, a man of integrity and a humble man.

“He was a governor and later after passing through various offices, became the chairman of a very big opposition party. Yet, he was very humble.

“He lived a life of service to our nation, he was an epitome of humility, an epitome of credibility, and an epitome of integrity.”

Abba Moro said the late Onu contributed to the development of Nigeria.

He said Onu sacrificed his interest in the interest of peace and stability in Nigeria.

President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, said Onu was a pillar in the formation of the APC as a mega party.

He said late Onu was simple and a friend of all, who sacrificed for the good of the nation.

“He lived a life of integrity and sacrifice”, Akpiabio said, praying that God give Nigeria, more statesmen like Onu.