Mofia Tonjo Akobo
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Early Life and Education
Born in Abonnema into the family of Mary John Fyneface of Abonnema and Nathaniel Tonjo Akobo of Tombia. His primary education include studying at the Bishop Crowther Memorial School Abonnema, Central school Eha-Amufu and Tombia School, Tombia. His secondary education was at the Government College Umuahia from 1949–1955 and Tertiary Education at the University College Ibadan from 1956-1960. He also attended the University college hospital from 1960–1963, and carried out a Medical Internship at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital from 1963-1964. In 1955, he was awarded alongside 3 Nigerians and 2 Ghanaians, the Elder Demster Lines of Unilever Brothers Group scholarship to the United Kingdom for a 3 weeks education tour across London, Liverpool, Brighton and North Wales.
Chief M.T Akobo is married to Mrs Data Ine Akobo, Nee Amachree, a retired deputy Librarian of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology and has children and grandchildren.
His medical practice and experiences include serving at the Royal Orthopedic Hospital Igbobi Yaba, the General Hospital Broad Street/Marina, Lagos, the Federal Airport Medical Unit Kano, the Five Battalions MRS Kano from 1964–1966, the General Hospital Yenegoa, Eastern Nigeria November from 1966–1968, the General Hospital Aba from April 1968- August 1968 and the 3rd Nigerian Army Medical Corp from September 1968- January 1970
National and Political Involvements
In August 1969 he became the Chairman, Rivers State Sports Council and Member Nigeria National Sports Commission. From April 1972 – August 1973 He was the Rivers State Executive Council, Commissioner for works. From 1973–1974 he was the Rivers State Executive Council Commissioner for finance. In 1967–1969 He was part of the Third army commanded by Benjamin Adekunle (black scorpion).
In 1975, he was appointed into the new federal executive as the first minister in charge of the new petroleum and Energy ministry. In December 1975 as OPEC minister in Vienna, Dr Akobo was part of the ministers held during the Carlos terrorist Hijack. On 13 February 1976 the eve of valentine when General Murtala Mohammed was killed in a coup-d’e-tat, though a member of the old government, he was retained in the executive council of the new head of state General Olusegun Obasanjo but reassigned to the portfolio of economic planning and development.
In 1977 his membership of the federal executive council ended. While in service, He represented the federal government on assignment to Guinea Conkry, Congo- Kinshasa, North South Economic Dialogue in Algiers and Paris. He concluded signing the contract of the Warri refinery and greatly advanced the development of the Kaduna refinery. He was involved in the establishment of the ECOWAS at the ministerial level and the establishment of the Niger Delta Basin Development Authority.
In 1978 he returned to Port Harcourt to head the group of Medical practice of TEME Clinic Association in Port-Harcourt established by him alongside co-directors, Dr George Organ and Dr Peterside. This was sold in 1996 to Dr Peterside as a result of his visual challenges and after other administrative considerations.
With a keen interest for the development of the Niger Delta region, he got involved in the establishment of the IZON National Congress where he was as a foundation member (1991/92). He was also a founding member of the movement for national reformation under the chairmanship of late Chief Anthony Enahoro CFR and the southern Minorities movement headed by General David Ejoor. He eventually became chairman of the Southern minorities movement and coordinated the formation of the union of Niger Delta which was a coalition of movement of Niger Delta region like the Southern minorities movement, the commonwealth of the Niger Delta Coalition, MOSOP and several other ethnic minority movement in the region
Amongst other involvements and contributions towards development and progress of the Niger delta region and Nigeria as a whole, Dr M. T. Akobo was
- Founder and elder council member of the Ijaw National Council
- Foundation member of the Southern Minority movement and became chairman after Gen. David Ejoor (who was the first chairman)
- Executive member of the movement for National reformation headed by Chief Anthony Enahoro (Late) and supported by Alfred Rewani
- Foundation member of the Rivers State study group
- Foundation member of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) and executive member of the centre for constitutional governance (CCG) headed by Beco Ransom Kuti (Late)
- Foundation member of NADECO (National Democratic Coalition)
- Executive delegate member of G34 which fractions of it transformed themselves to the PDP (Peoples Democratic Party)
- Former Petroleum Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Additionally, Dr M.T. Akobo has been mentioned in the following books and articles relating to discourse on Niger Delta region in Nigeria, oil resource control, Nigerian politics, and also to mention the historical detail of the Carlos planned hijack of 11 ministers travelling for OPEC conference in the 1970s:
- All Africa stories: An article from Vanguard on Nigeria: Akobo, Orubebe, others make case on resource Control by Uwakwe Abugu. October 21, 2000
- Conference of nationalities, 'the century- Okota resolutions: communique of the conference' organised by the campaign for democracy Lagos, Nigeria. Held December 17–19, 1998
- Article by Phil Tam Al-Alalibo 'where is the Kalabari Governor of Rivers State?' May 11, 2008
- Article by Presidor Ghomarai ' Ijaw unity imperative now'
- Book by Peter Chalk (2012) 'Encyclopedia of Terrorism'.page 554 covers the story of the Carlos plan hijack of 11 ministers in the 1970s
- Book by Augustine A. Ikein, Diepreye S. P. Alamieyeseigha, Steve S. Azaik (2008) 'Oil, Democracy, and the Promise of True Federalism in Nigeria' page 377
- Book by David Yallop ‘To the ends of the earth, The Hunt for the Jackal’ published in the UK 2014
- Book by Olusegun Obasanjo (1981) ‘My Command: An Account of the Nigerian Civil War, 1967-1970
"Akobo .M.T, (2010). "Profile of Chief Dr M.T.Akobo" "Abugu,U. (2000)."All Africa stories: An article from Vanguard on Nigeria: Akobo, Orubebe, others make case on resource Control" "ANSD(DECEMBER 17 - 19, 1998). "CONFERENCE OF NATIONALITIES ORGANISED BY THE CAMPAIGN FOR DEMOCRACY, LAGOS, NIGERIA, http://www.waado.org/nigerian_scholars/archive/docum/confnation.html "Presidor Ghomorai, (2002). "Ijaw unity imperative now", http://www.unitedijaw.com/ijawnews.htm "New York Times, (1975), "OPEC, Despite Pressure, Sticks Together", http://www.nytimes.com/1975/09/29/archives/opec-despite-pressure-sticks-together-iranian-hawks-and-saudi.html?_r=0 "David-West, Tam, (April 2010). "GEN BUHARI VOWED AFTER HE APPOINTED ME OIL MINISTER WITHOUT HAVING MET ME BEFORE" NBF News http://www.nigerianbestforum.com/blog/gen-buhari-vowed-after-he-appointed-me-oil-minister-without-having-met-me-before/ "Roseline Okere and Sulaimon Salau, (10 June 2015). "Mixed reactions trail speculations on Buhari’s oil ministry portfolio", The Guardian http://guardian.ng/lead-story/mixed-reactions-trail-speculations-on-buharis-oil-ministry-portfolio/