Ona: Let’s hear his digital voice again – Chris Uwaje

Ona: Let’s hear his digital voice again – Chris Uwaje



Ona: there departs a digital comet! ‘



The first chartered security professional in West Africa left with a vibrating shock behind for the digital world to decode. Is it possible to hear and cherish his cerebral digital voice again and again?



Digitally, Dr. Ona Ekhomu lives forever! His unannounced departure was thunderous. In Ona, the digital world of cybersecurity saw the star and heard the rolling thunder as he marches on; while the powers of his digital rendition throughout the universe are vigorously displayed. Let us hear his voice again!



Digital models are crucial to the accelerated development and sustainability of innovation. However, most of them remain unsung until they are gone to continue their work in the great beyond. One of the luminating example was Dr. Ona Ekhomu. Meanwhile, there are many vital lessons to learn from his professional achievements.



Ona was a global advocate and leader in technology-centric industrial security. He was also a founding member of Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria (AISSON). A renowned security expert who came visiting the Planet Earth; he was born to the Ekhomu dynasty on March 26, 1955, in Irrua, Edo State.



Oh, what a prolific speaker and writer he was. The author of the highly acclaimed book on security awareness: ‘Effective Personal & Corporate Security (2009)’; and ‘Kidnap: Face to face with death (2014)’; Ona Ekhomu was the President of the Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria (AISSON); as well as the Africa Representative of the International Foundation for Protection Officers (IFPO).


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Needless to state that he was an amiable and passionate professional in the contemporary field of national and global security matters. A scientific thinker, he loved/advocated technology intervention as a veritable strategy and dynamic tool to reinvent and reimagine Nigeria and her development trajectory.


There are many digital lessons to garner from the life and times of this technology-minded colossus. He qualifies as a digital deep-minded thinker and doer-emeritus. First, his humility, collaboration tactics and disarming smiles speak volume of a desirable framework for the attainment of sustainable national development for the common good. A detribalized Nigerian who puts and advocates a merit-first society; Ona selflessly gave his life and valuable time to the enthronement of excellence and trustworthiness at all levels of human relationships.


Further, he demonstrated beyond all reasonable doubts that collaborative knowledge, research, and resource sharing constitute the hallmark of innovation and creativity. It is therefore inevitable to acknowledge that Dr. Ona was a safety-first fanatic. His earthly work molds an inspiration for the advancement of ‘the character of technology progression-management and secured equitable governance’ as the gateway and actualization of the promised digital revolution for national development success and improvement of human peace architecture.


Here goes the Nigerian digital security Comet – nay, the global cybersecurity Neptune! How do you begin a tribute to an ICT colossus and especially a cybersecurity knowledge enigma such as Ona; the one who had seen it all and contributed immensely to it in his professional calling? This is because Ona’s achievement was not only synonymous to an embodiment of valuable legacies; but indeed, because the knowledge he left behind on our life and times has become a most valuable commodity; required for safely navigating the complex digital transformation of the 21st century.


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His worldly achievements translate into a worthy international safety currency.


Above all, his ability to situate national security as the centre of gravity for all human endeavors in global developmental processes and wealth creation. Oh, what a mind – this Ona Ekhomu was! A great mind and astute mentor beyond description. A rare personality with strategic foresight that conjures deep determination and extraordinary confidence with the agility of an eagle that settles only for excellence. Ona would be remembered and missed by members of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) for his cerebral presentations and contributions at many IT Roundtables and Workshops.


Ona: Let’s hear his digital voice again - Chris Uwaje



While others consider information Technology as another form of excitement; Ona sees and engages ICT and cybersecurity, in particular, as a revolution with potential digital resources for worldwide peace and economic cooperation. Most of his actions have been propelled in that direction. To understand the late Ona Ekhomu represents the beginning of wisdom. Indeed, to fully understand the characteristics of this super creation; it becomes instructive and absolutely important to explore the characteristics of Neptune which he emulates.


Neptune is the fourth-largest planet by diameter and the third largest by mass. Neptune was the first planet found by mathematical prediction rather than by empirical observation. Ona, to state the least, was a rare mathematical-security teacher-entrepreneur. In comparison, Neptune is 17 times the mass of Earth and Ona’s digital vision is quantum times more than most players’ in the Nigerian and perhaps global cybersecurity ecosystem!

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On average, Neptune orbits the Sun at a distance of 30.1 AU, approximately 30 times the Earth–Sun distance. Like Ona’s visit to planet-Nigeria, Neptune has been visited by only one spacecraft; that is Voyager 2 which flew by the planet on August 25, 1989. That is Dr. Ona Eknomu for you – a pure treasure and complex enigma. A man molded for spectacular first feats.

Today, the changes experienced in the world, humanities and human existence have their source in innovative-knowledge education. In my very close association with Ona, I noticed and can verify that he rightly viewed the entire security universe as a spider-web of Data and Information connectivity clustered to challenge and create the changes required by global activity networks 



Can we hear the digital voice of Dr. Ona again?

As President of the Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria (AISSON) and the Africa Representative of the International Foundation for Protection Officers (IFPO); Dr. Ona emphasized that the challenges to education, learning and its methodological principles of the new technologies are fundamental to national development, advancement, and global competitiveness.


The integration of ICT into national economics and learning is a necessary step in ensuring the acquisition of the kind of skills and competencies needed for working and living in the knowledge-centric information society (IS). Furthermore, he advised government on the fact that innovative acquisition, use and application of new knowledge infrastructure; tools and media must be explored not simply in terms of traditional self-study materials; but rather in terms of the right curriculum and technologies to build and drive a sustainable life-long learning process.


Adieu Ona, the analytical great-mind of digital security-Nigeria. Rest in perfect digital peace…       

About The Author

Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer. [email protected]

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