All is now set for the burial of illustrious Ebonyi son, His Excellency, Chief Sir Francis Ama Oji OFR KSJI who passed away on October 22, 2023.
Chief Francis Oji was a former Minister of Police Affairs, Federal Republic of Nigeria, a former Deputy Governor of Imo State, and a former Permanent Secretary, Imo state.
He was also a former Pro-Chancellor of Ebonyi State University and a member of the governing council University of Calabar, and was also Special assistant(deputy administrator) to the first Military Administrator of Abia State upon creation of the state.
According to a burial arrangement released by his son, Rt. Hon. Chief Blaise E. Oji(Former Deputy Speaker, Ebonyi State House of Assembly), on behalf of the family, there will be a Christian Wake Keep on Thursday, Feb 1, 2024, at the family compound Udeazi Owutu Edda, Ebonyi State.
There will also be a funeral mass on Friday, Feb 2, 2024, at his compound Ichita Ukpai villa, Owutu Edda, before the burial rites immediately after funeral Mass.
On Sunday, Feb 4, 2024, there will be a Thanksgiving Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Owutu Edda.
A brief biography of His Excellency, Chief (Dr.) Sir Francis Ama Oji OFR, KSJI.
Chief Sir Francis Ama Oji was born in December 1934. He received his elementary education at the Church of Scotland Mission School, itu in the present day Akwa
Ibom State, Nigeria.
He had his secondary school education at St. Thomas College,
Ogoja. In January 1954, he earned his teachers grade two certificate. In 1954, Young Francis was nominated a Coucillor to represent Owutu-Edda people in the Edda
In 1957, he got admission into Fourah Bay College (University of Durham) Freetown, Sierra Leone, and returned to Nigeria from Sierra Leone with a Bsc Hons Degree in
Economics in 1961 and was employed in Eastern Nigeria civil service in the same
After the Nigerian civil war that ended January 1970 Chief Francis Oji rejoined the Civil service of the Federal Republic Of Nigeria, East Central State
where he held various positions of responsibility, core technocracy and State Policy policy formulation and implementation.
In 1975, he was promoted to deputy Permanent secretary, and at the creation of Imo State in 1976, he was promoted to the rank of
Permanent Secretary and retired in 1984. After his retirement from the civil service,
he served the nation in various capacities.
In December 1984, he was appointed to conduct a management audit into existing local government councils in the old Aba zone with a view to strengthening the staff and recovering outstanding
debts from the local government areas.In 1985, he was appointed as the chairman of the Governing Council, Micheal Okpara College of Agriculture Umuagwo, Imo State.
In 1987,he was elected as a director and vice-chairman of cooperative and commerce
Bank of Nigeria.In 1988, he was appointed as Sole Administrator of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Imo State chapter.
He was the Deputy Governor of Imo and Abia States from 1990-1992; Hon. Secretary (Minister) of Police Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1992-1993.
In 1994, he was appointed as a member of the Governing Council of the University of Calabar, Cross River State, ProChancellor, Ebonyi State University (2004-2008), Chancellor, Abia State University
He was conferred with the meritorious national honour of Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR) among numerous other honours.
In conjunction with other patriots and dependable allies of his, he fought vigorously and successfully for the creation of Ebonyi State in the midst of threatening challenges and remained the chairman of Ebonyi State Founding Fathers until his demise.
He is a holder of various chieftaincy titles including “Ugwumba Abia State”, “Ugo Chinyere Edda” conferred on him by Edda Clan and symbolized in their collective erection of a statue in his honour to depict the virtue of peace and unity of Edda that he stood for.
Chief Oji, as he was fondly called by his peers, was a devout Catholic who was a member of the Ancient and Noble Order of Knights of St. John International and rose to the rank of a Noble Knight of the Order.
He was an apostle of exemplary
charity, unity, compassion, benevolence, equity and fairness, and a dependable pillar/support of evangelization for the common good of all and sundry.
He was happily married to Lady, Ezinne Rosemary Alioka Oji for 59 years, blessed with 7 children and 27 grandchildren.
Adieu Ugochinyere Edda,
Adieu Ugwumba Abia State
Adieu, man of the people.
Rt. Hon. Blaise E. Oji