(Deputy Governor, Benue State)
ENGINEER Benson Ocholuje Abounu, was born on the 3rd July, 1949 in Otukpo, Benue State and attended the Methodist Primary School, Upu-Icho, Otukpo. After his primary education, he attended Government College, Makurdi from 1964 to 1966 and thereafter proceeded to Government Technical College, Ilorin where he obtained his school certificate qualifications in 1969. In 1973, he obtained a diploma in electrical/mechanical engineering and capped it up with a Higher National Diploma in Mechanical Engineering in 1975, both from Kaduna Polytechnic.
Engr Abounu immediately proceeded to the world-renowned engineering institution, the Cranfield University England, where he first qualified to become a chartered engineer, and there-after obtained an MSc degree in Industrial Engineering in 1978. He became a chartered engineer (CEng) of the London Council on the 30th of September, 1981 and was registered with the Engineers Registration Board (ERB), the UK equivalent of COREN same year. He is a fellow of the British Institution of Production Engineers, a fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, and a fellow of the Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers. In 1977 Engr Abounu had his industrial attachment with Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd, Newport Pagnell, England.
Upon return to Nigeria, the newly qualified engineer worked with John Holt Agricultural Engineers Ltd, Zaria as Production Manager from where he was appointed Technical Manager with the Nigerian Breweries Ltd, Iganmu Lagos.
In order to broaden his management and administrative skills, Engr Abounu proceeded to the University of Ibadan where he graduated with the best-all-round result in the University’s premier MBA programme in 1982. He is a Chartered Engineer and Management Consultant.
Armed with quality engineering and management qualifications, Engr Benson Ocholuje Abounu, worked variously as General Manager, Okin Bottling Company Ltd, Kaduna, Executive Director, Nigerian Coal Corporation, Enugu, Sole Administrator and Chief Executive, Nigerian Mining Corporation, Jos, Principal Partner, Abounu Benson and Company, Chartered Engineers and Management Consultants.
Engr Abounu has served on many boards, some of which include, Director, NAL Merchant Bank, Lagos; Director, Northern Textile Mills Ltd, Kano; Director, ATMN Ltd, Jos; Director, Consolidated Tin Mines Ltd, Jos; Chairman, Nigerian Television Authority (NTA). In 1989, the erudite engineer enrolled on and participated in the Director’s Programme of the Ashridge Management College, England.
In 1991, Engr Abounu veered into politics, when he contested the Benue State gubernatorial primary election on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
This saw him serving as Special Adviser to the Benue State Governor in 1992. Following the military take-over in 1993, he went back to his professional practice until 1999 when he was appointed Commissioner in the George Akume Administration of Benue State. He served variously in the Water Resources and Environment Ministry, Solid Minerals Ministry, and Science and Technology Ministry spanning the two terms of that administration.
The general election of 2015 saw Abounu emerging as the Deputy Governor of Benue State when as running mate to Dr. Samuel Ortom, the APC candidate, they defeated the PDP candidates to win the election. Abounu has been a very loyal, competent and dependable ally of Governor Samuel Ortom. Together as pilot and co-pilot, they have been able to move Benue out of turbulent and challenging times in defence of the Benue Valley. While Governor Ortom remained the dogged fighter, Abounu provided services in the diplomatic front.
Since May 29th 2015, Engr Abounu has been the Chairman of the Benue State Boundary Commission during which time he has done a lot to resolve the Agila-Ngbo Boundary Crisis. As Chairman of Lobi Stars Football Club, he was able to move the club to enviable heights, culminating in the winning of the 2018 National League and qualifying for the confederation of African Football (CAF) Tournament.
When Governor Ortom left the APC in July, 2018 for the PDP, Engr. Abounu left with him and together the people of the state renewed their mandate on 23rd March, 2019.
Engr Abounu is married to Hon. Justice Mary Azumi Abounu of the Benue State High Court and they have five children. His hobbies include playing tennis, analyzing world affairs and debating. He has travelled to all the continents of the world.
He is currently the chairman of the Action Committee on COVID-19 in Benue State.