REAR ADMIRAL GBORIBIOGHA JOHN JONAH (RTD) OON,
DSS psc (+) fwc (+) fdc (+) ndc MNSE
Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah was born on 6 March 1954 at Nembe in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
He attended St. Luke’s Primary School Nembe, 1959-1965 and Nembe National Grammar School Nembe, 1969 – 1973 before joining the Nigeria Defence Academy Course 16 in June 1974 as a Naval Cadet. He passed out of the Academy in December 1975 as the best Naval Cadet and was awarded the silver medal. He later proceeded to the Britannia Royal College, Dartmouth in England where he did the Internal Midshipman Course 1976/77 and passed out in first class (Academics). He was commissioned in July 1977. He then went to the National Engineering College India to study Naval Engineering from 1977 to 1980 and later specialized in Marine Engineering between 1981 and 1982 at the same establishment.
Other courses attended include both Junior and Senior Staff Courses at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College Jaji in 1986 and 1991/92 where he won the Book Prize and College Tie respectively for outstanding performance. In 2002, he attended the National Security and Strategic Studies Course at the National Defence College, New Delhi, India and was awarded the symbol ‘ndc’ where his performance was again outstanding.
He served as the Engineer Officer of Nigeria Naval Ships ARADU, EKUN, ENYIMIRI and OHUE. He was also part of the Nigerian Navy Engineering Team that took part in the construction of the Mines countermeasures Vessel Squadron in Italy. He was a one time Director of Project at the Naval Headquarters before commanding the Fleet Support Group West in Lagos. On completion of his Strategic Level Training and promotion to the rank of Commodore, he became the General Manager Production at the Naval Dockyard VI Lagos. He later returned to the Dockyard as the Admiral Superintended (Chief Executive Officer).
At the Dockyard he challenged the Nigerian navy to task engineer officer with the local construction of a warship. He was later to be the Chief of Naval Engineering at Naval Headquarters where he recommended the final design of the first warship to be constructed locally for approval. The Admiral later pioneered the local construction of this history making ship by the Nigerian which has since been commissioned into the service as Nigerian Naval Ship ANDONI.
Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah was thus the first Nigerian Navy Engineer Officer to have successfully conceptualized and managed the construction of a war ship locally in Nigeria.
He has also been a teacher. He was a one time gas turbine engine trainer at the Navy Technical Training Centre, Directing Staff at the Staff Colleges of both the Nigerian and Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff Colleges. At the National Defence College, the Admiral was first a directing Staff and later the Director of Research and Analytical Support. The Admiral’s last appointment before retiring from a distinguished service to the nation in June 2010 was the Commandant National Defence College Abuja. Three things the Admiral would be remembered for as Commandant are the repackaging of the course curriculum, the introduction of uniform civilian dressing code for all participants in line with global practices and the full establishment of the Centre of Excellence for Strategic Level Peace Support Operation Training for West Africa. He is now the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State.
He was awarded Distinguished Service Star (DSS) in 2001 and is a member of the Nigerian Society of Enginners. He has the Nigerian national honour of Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON). He was also the President of the International Association of Peace Training Centres 2008/09. His hobbies include sailing and reading. He is married to Seleipre (nee Bonnie) and they have 5 children (Opuene, Aboye, Tonye, Daukoru and Lelegite).