Governor Emeka Ihedioha on Tuesday sent 17 commissioner nominees to the Imo State House of Assembly for screening and possible confirmation as commissioners in the state.
A former Minister of Education, Prof. Viola Onwuliri is one of the nominees.
She was in Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a minister before she was moved to Ministry of Education after Governor Nyeson Wike resigned as a minister to contest for governor of Rivers State in 2015.
Onwuliri is the first daughter of the Royal Family of His Highness Eze Cletus and Ugoeze Dorathy Oparaoji of Amuzi, Ahiazu Mbaise LGA, Imo State.
She hails from Ahiazu Mbaise in Imo State and was born in Lagos in 1956.
She attended Owerri Girls’ Secondary School before the University of Nigeria, Nsukka where she achieved a 2nd Class Upper 2:1 in Biochemistry. She also attended the University of Jos where she achieved a PGCE, an MSc in Applied Organic Chemistry and a PhD in Molecular Biochemistry.
She then went for certificate courses at Howard University and Harvard School of Public Health in the USA.
In 2004, Onwuliri became the first Nigerian and first African female to be elected member of the Geneva-based International AIDS Society (IAS) and became its African regional representative from 2004 till 2008 and re-elected in 2008 for another four years.
In 2011, she was a deputy governorship candidate in Imo State and ran with Ikedi Ohakim. After they lost the election, she was offered a cabinet position as commissioner by Governor Rochas Okorocha, but she politely turned it down to the surprise of many.
However, most social media users are jointly united that nominating Prof. Onwuliri as a commissioner is a demotion to her pedigree by the Imo State government.