OCH’IDOMA DR. Edwin Ogbu

FIRST NIGERIAN PERMANENT SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF FINANCE; PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE TO THE UN. He was born in Utonkon, Idoma Division of the oldBenue Province on the 28* of December 1926. His, is the story of one born to begreat. He went to Primary Schoolin Utonkon andIgumale between 1933 and 1937and Methodist Colkge U^oakoli, in the oldEastern Regionfrom 1938-1945. He was in the Bethume Cockman College, Florida, USAfrom 1948-1951forhisB.ScProgrammeandStandfordUniversity Californiafrom 1952to 1955for hisMastersProgramme. Edwin Ogbu no doubtmade name as the doyen ofFederalService, butcuthis civilservice teeth in theNorthern RegionalService. He rose to becomeAssistantSecretary, NorthernMinistry of Finance, Kaduna in 1957;Secretary, Students Affairs Nigeria High Commission, London in 1960; Secretary, Federal Public Service Commissionfrom 1960-1962 and Permanent Secretary, FederalMinistry of Worksfrom 1962-1963. He was thefirst Nigerkr PermanentSecretary in the Ministry of Financefrom 1963 to 1966 andExternalAffairs in 1966 (in the thick of the Nigerian Civil War). In appreciation of the excellent work in theMinistry, andthe crucialtask aheadduringthe burningdays of the war, he was appointedthe Country'sPermanentRepresentative to the UnitedNationsfrom 1968 to 1975, to represent the trueNigerian situation to the whole world. He concurrently servedas High Commissionerto Trinidad<&Tobago,Jamaica, Barbadosand'Guyanafrom 1970-1'974. Dr. Ogbu was one of the Diplomats who builtthe bridgedbetween WestAfrica andthe Caribbean countries. He wasalso the Chairman, UNCouncilforNamibia, andUNCouncilagainstApartheidin 1975. He retiredfiom service after a successful Diplomatic assignment in 1975. Thatyear, he was appointed Chairman, Murtala Muhammed College of Arts, Science and Technology, Makurdi andin 1978, Pro Chancellor of the University of Maiduguri. When ban onpartypoliticswasliftedDr. Edwin Ogbufoundhimself amongstthepoliticalclass andlater became theNational Vice Chairman oftheNPPin 1979. Severalhonourswere conferredon himformeritorious andselflessservice to his country, hisprofessionalcalling and humanity. He was conferred with honorary DDL by his Alma mata -Bethume Cockman University Florida, USA 24/5/71; University ofLagos, Doctorof LawDegreehonoriscausaforhiscontributionsto the developmentof the Nigerian Foreign Service and asacivilservant 17/1/ 76; Benue State University, Degree of Doaorof Letters, August 1991. Perhaps the greatest honour done to the distinguishedpersonality was his enthronement as the paramount ruler of hispeople. He was eleaed Ochi'Idoma III andPresident Idoma TraditionalCouncilon the 8" of January 1996. ThegreatNigerian diedinApril 1996.
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