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Chief Audu Innocent Ogbeh

Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development
Audu Innocent Ogbeh was born in Otukpo on the 28th of July 1947 to the family of
late Pa Ogbeh Ejembi and Madam Egbi Ogbeh (nee Odinya), both of Efugo-Otukpa
in the present day Ogbadibo Local Government Area of Benue State.
His late father was a renowned farmer, community leader and disciplinarian while
his mother was a commodities trader who travelled through all major markets of
the central and south-eastern states of Nigeria in the course of her business.
He is married to Mrs. Justina Obehi Ogbeh and fathers five children.

The second in a polygamous family of thirteen children, Audu Ogbeh enrolled at
the St. Francis Primary School, Otukpo in 1956 to commence his quest for the
Golden Fleece. In 1962, he enrolled in Mount St. Michael Secondary School Aliade.
He sat for the West African School Certificate Examination, excelling in all his
subjects and obtaining a division one certificate in the process.
In the following year, he gained admission at the elite Kings College in Lagos,
continuing his studies for the Higher School Certificate (HSC). He obtained the
HSC at the end of 1968 and proceeded the following year to Ahmadu Bello
University, Zaria. Between 1969 and 1972, Mr Ogbeh studied for his undergraduate
certificate, which he obtained at the end of his time there. Armed with a Bachelor
of Arts degree in French, he proceeded in 1973 to the University of Toulouse in
France. He graduated in 1974 with a Masters of Letters degree in French literature.

Mr. Ogbeh’s career began immediately after his first degree. He was employed as a
teaching assistant by the Institute of Education, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria,
where he oversaw the teaching of French language in the northern states. In 1977,
after his Master’s degree, he was appointed as the Head of Department of
Languages, Arts and Social Sciences at the Murtala College of Arts, Science and
Technology; up until 1979.

Deputy Speaker
In 1979, he contested for and won the elections to the Benue State House of
Assembly. As a member of the House, he was elected Deputy Speaker, a position he
held until February 1982.

Minister of Communications
In 1982, he was appointed as Federal Minister of Communications by President
Shehu Shagari of the 2nd Republic.
Minister of Steel Development
At the end of the general elections of 1983, he was reappointed as a Minister, with
a new portfolio of Steel Development. He served here until the coup d’etat on
December 31st 1983.

Full Time Agric Practice
He returned to full time farming in December 1984 up until September 1998.
During the period, he set up a number of number of personal projects including
● Medium Scale Rice Mill
● 14,000 Tree Cashew Plantation
● Poultry Farm

He also consulted for several state governments and established a number of
notable projects, including a Large scale pineapple project for Cross River State
and 2 rice mills - for the Family Economic Advancement Program in Abuja and for
General J.T. Useni in Langtang, Plateau State.

Return to Politics
While in full time agriculture, he answered the call to serve and was appointed to
the 19 member National Constitutional Conference Commission in 1993. Upon
completing the assignment, he was again named member of the National
Reconciliation Committee which had the difficult task of promoting national
understanding in the very tense atmosphere, following the June 12th saga of 1993.
In 1998, he directed the presidential campaign of Dr. Alex Ekwueme, under the
PDP and became a full time member of the party; which won the elections in 1999.
On November 11th 2001, he was elected National Chairman of the PDP and served
in the office before resigning in 2006.

Shortly after, he served as chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), which
then merged into the APC, where he continued his service. On November 11th 2015,
he was appointed Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Honours & Fellowships
1987 - Fellowship of the Eisenhower Institute
1999 - Officer of the Federal Republic
2002 - Doctorate degree (Honoris Causa)