Benue Commissioner Dies, Day After Budget Defense

By Chris Nomjov

Benue state commissioner for Rural Development and Cooperatives, Mr Aondowase Chia is dead.

The late commissioner had on Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015, presented his ministry’s 2015 budget before the Benue State House of Assembly without any sign of illness. Upon returning to his office, he could not  stand from his chair. He was rushed to the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi where he died in the early hours of Wednesday. He is believed to have died of stroke.

Late Hon. Chia was first appointed commissioner for Youths and Sports in 2011 and was later moved to the ministry of Rural Development and Cooperatives in 2013 where he stayed until his demise.

He was born on 27 October, 1968 at Tse-Chia, Mbaatirkyaa Ward in Buruku Local Government Area of Benue State.He attended St. John’s Primary School, Katsina-Ala from 1972 – 1977 where he obtained his First School Leaving Certificate. He had his secondary education at Government Secondary School, Dekina from 1977 – 1982 where he obtained his General Certificate of Education (GCE) O’ Level and School of Nursing, Mkar from 1983 – 1986 where he graduated with General Nursing Certificate.

In 2003 Hon. Chia enrolled into the University of Mkar, Mkar and graudated with Advanced Diploma in Public Administration (ADPA). He proceeded to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 2004 and in 2008 he obtained a Post Graduate Diploma in Public Administration (PGDPA) and B.Sc (Ed) in Health Education respectively.

Hon. Chia proceeded to work as a Nursing Officer II with Juladaco Specialist Hospital Katsina-Ala from 1986 – 1987; worked as Nursing Officer I with the NKST Health Services from 1987 – 1990. Later in 1993 he became the Director of Administration, Buruku Clinic, Buruku. He was a member of Peace and Security Committee Buruku Local Government Area from 1996 – 2006 and, from 1988 – 1991, he was a tutor at the School of Nursing, Mkar.

A tireless worker, Hon. Chia served as a Member of Save Our Souls (SOS) Yellow Fever Epidemic Monitoring Committee Oju and Member State Immunization for Killer Diseases in the State from 1986 – 1987.He also served as Chairman, Task Force on Environmental Sanitation, Buruku Local Government Area from 1988 – 1989 and was a Supervisor for the National Programme on Immunization (NPI) in 1998 – 2001.

Until his appointment as Commissioner, Mr. Chia was a member of the Project Advisory Committee, Buruku Women Against HIV. Hon. Aondowase Chia joined Politics in 1986 and was elected member, Benue State House of Assembly in 1992 under the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), served on various committees and headed two of these including Chairman, House Committee on Health and Human Services, Chairman, Adhoc Committee on Commerce and Industries and member, Adhoc Committee on Local Government Crisis in the State.

He was also coordinator National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) from 2001 – 2003, Director, Benue Burnt Bricks Ltd Otukpo, 2004 – 2006 and was appointed Special Assistant to the Governor on Legislative Matters in April 2010.

The astute politician was at one time, a member of the  Social Democratic Party (SDP) Caucus from 1990 – 1993; State Publicity Secretary, National Centre Party of Nigeria (NCPN) from 1996 – 1997; State Deputy Chairman, Benue North West (Zone B) People’s Democratic Party (PDP) 1988 – 1999; member, Peoples Democratic party State Caucus from 2000 – 2006 and Director, Directorate of Research and Planning Suswam/Lawani Campaign Organization (SULACO) 2010 – 2011.

His professional affiliations include Member, National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM); Member, Private Nurses Association (PNA); Chairman, Central Parent Teacher Association 1996 – 2000, and Member, Dekina Old Boys’ Association (DOBA). Other associations which he belongs to are Tombo Development Association, patron, Vigilante Group of Nigeria Zone B, Benue State from 1995 – date; Member former Benue State House of Assembly Forum, 1994 to date.
His hobbies include Health Talks, Volleyball and reading of magazines and newspapers.

A quite family man, Late Hon. Chia is survived by his wife  eight children.

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