Christian Onoh

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Christian Onoh
Governor of Anambra State
In office
October 1983 – December 1983
Preceded by Jim Nwobodo
Succeeded by Allison Madueke
Personal details
Born 27 April 1927
Died 5 May 2009

Christian Onoh, popularly known as CC Onoh, (27 April 1927 - 5 May 2009)[1] was a Nigerian businessman and lawyer who became governor of Anambra State in 1983 at the end of the Nigerian Second Republic.[2] He was also the father-in-law of Emeka Ojukwu.

Background[edit]

Onoh was born on 27 April 1927 in Enugu Ngwo, in coal country in what is now Enugu State. His father died when he was 8 years old and he was brought up by his cousin Donald Oji.[3] Starting in the late 1940s, he worked as a contractor, then produce inspector and then livestock trader. Using the money from these ventures, he funded his education in the United Kingdom, earning a law degree from the University of Wales at Aberystwyth in 1957.[2]

In 1958, Onoh was elected member, House of Representatives for Enugu Constituency. He later resigned to take up appointment as the first indigenous chairman of the Board of the Nigerian Coal Corporation. From 1961 to 1966 he was on the board of the Nigeria Railway Corporation. During the civil war, Onoh was appointed administrator of Enugu Capital Territory. In 1970 he returned to private life as a lumber merchant. He was a founding member of Club 13, which evolved into the Nigerian People's Party (NPP), but later moved to the National Party of Nigeria (NPN). He fought unsuccessfully for the Anambra State governorship on the NPN platform in 1979. He was then appointed chairman of the Nigeria Mining Corporation, and in 1982, chairman of the Associated Ore Mines.[2]

Governor of Anambra State[edit]

Onoh was elected governor of Anambra State in October 1983 on the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) platform, defeating the incumbent Jim Nwobodo of the Nigerian Peoples Party (NPP). The election was marred by widespread intimidation, violence and vote-rigging.[4] The election was disputed, but eventually decided in his favor in the supreme court. Three months after the election, on 31 December 1983, the military assumed control under General Muhammadu Buhari and Onoh was dismissed.[3]

Later career[edit]

Onoh continued to agitate for a separate state for his Wawa people, and this was eventually achieved when the military regime headed by General Ibrahim Babangida created Enugu state in 1991.[3] Former Justice of the Supreme Court Anthony Aniogulu said "Christian Onoh ... was always and is always fighting injustice. But he would not mind using unjust method to fight injustice."[3]

His daughter, Bianca Odumegwu-Ojukwu, became a beauty queen and then a businesswoman, best remembered for her controversial relationship with Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu the Ikemba of Nnewi and former Biafran president, who was over thirty years her senior. Their romance was a national talking point in the early 1990s.[5] His son Joseph Onoh also went into politics and became Chairman of Enugu State House of Assembly Committee on Finance and Appropriation. Joseph Onoh was detained for two weeks in 2009 for allegedly making defamatory statements in a newspaper interview against Enugu State Governor Sullivan Chime.[6]

Christian Onoh died on 5 May 2009 at the age of 82.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kunle Binuyo (10 May 2009). "CC Onoh, Astute Politician, Passes on". Newswatch. Retrieved 2011-02-21. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Christian Onoh (1927 - 2009)". ThisDay. 14 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-14. 
  3. ^ a b c d Chukwudi Achife (13 May 2009). "Uncommon Story About C.C.onoh". Daily Champion. Retrieved 2009-12-15. 
  4. ^ Eziuche Ubani (2001-02-25). "Why the Past Does Not Count". ThisDay. Retrieved 2009-12-14. 
  5. ^ "Ojukwu & Bianca: The Power of Love". ThisDay. 2001-04-28. Retrieved 2009-12-15. 
  6. ^ "Police arrest SUN reporter over Onoh, Chime saga". Nigerian News Service. 7 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-15. [dead link]