Ihonvbere Julius Ornozuanvo; pan-African scholar, human rights activist, and professor of Political Science, born on June 25, 1956. Ihonvbere studied at University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) OAU, Ile-Ife, Osun State, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts combined Honours Degree in History and Political Science. He obtained his Master’s in International Affairs from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, University, Ottawa, Canada, and Ph.D in Political Science from the University of Toronto, Canada. He is a winner of First Mario Zamora Memorial Award, he is a founding president of the Organisation of Nigerians in the Americas. ONA, and coordinator, Global Network of Nigerian Organisations, GNNO. He was also the project director, “Constitutionalism Project,” International League of Human Rights, New York: visiting professor of Political Science, University of Lagos: and President, African Centre for Constitutional Development, Lagos. He is also a member of the Presidential Committee on Solid Minerals Development, and Chairman, Bitumen Project Implementation Committee, which failed in realizing its objectives. He authored several publications[i].
Coming from a childhood that was at worst a tough grind and at best one of toil, Julius quite early in life embraced academic excellence[ii]. He married Gladys in 1983, and had one son[iii]. As Secretary to Edo State Government under Governor Adams Oshiomole, Ihonvbere helped rebuild a complete new team for the state owned football club, Bendel Insurance[iv]. His capacity as special Adviser to President Obasanjo on policy and programme monitoring, he became quite visible around the president, and influential, as he was a member of the Economic Management team.
Professor Ihonvbere was the president’s choice for Edo State gubernatorial elctions of 2007 being his former Special Assistant but he failed to scale through at the state primaries, which then necessitated the choice of Senator Oserhemen Osunbor as a compromise candidate[v]. In 2019, Ihonvbere was elected a member of the 9th House of Representatives.
[i] Insider, July 3, 2003
[ii] NewsExtra, November, 2005
[iii] Newswatch Who is Who
[iv] Guardian, December 15, 2013
[v] The Source, July 9, 2007