It is reported that over 300 support groups worked for the victory of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in Nigeria’s February 25, 2023 presidential election. If only few of them were to be counted as those that were actually instrumental to that victory, COSGAS must be one of those at the very top.
COSGAS (Coalition of Support Groups for Asiwaju/Shettima) was floated by Engr. Johnbosco Onunkwo, an Anambra State-born APC Chieftain, 2023 House of Representatives candidate, oil and gas expert and founder of Johnbosco Onunkwo Foundation.
Engr Onunkwo who trained in Organizational Politics, Team Development amongst others, at Paradigm Services, Manchester, England, brought his knowledge and experience to bear on building COSGAs. He initiated the group in 2018 as a movement with a name called Estate Nigeria.q Using the structures of the movement, Engr. Onunkwo, in 2022, built the coalition from 200 other existing APC groups from across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT. They consisted of support groups whose members were, at the time, aggrieved and on the verge of decamping from the party based on ill treatment by those who set them up. When he brought the groups under the umbrella of COSGAS, High Chief JohnBosco Onunkwo nurtured them, paid their bills and made sure that they all worked assiduously for the APC Presidential ticket of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu & Senator Kashim Shettima.
High Chief Onunkwo who was already reputed for his humanitarian, philanthropic, youth empowerment and community development activities, deployed his experience to make COSGAS one of the most formidable political support groups in the country. In October 2022, he collated the composite data of the various support groups across the 36 states and the FCT, including members with Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) for verification and accreditation. After the exercise, Chief Onunkwo constituted several committees of the support groups and inaugurated them at the Women Development Centre in Abuja. He then mandated them to go to their various polling units and deliver for Asiwaju/Shettima. The 800,000-member group which enjoyed maximum support among youths and women went down to the grassroots across the federation and generated visible and massive support for the APC Presidential candidate.
By election day, when many members of the support groups complained of lack of money to go out and vote, High Chief Onunkwo provided logistics which enabled at least 600,000 members of the group to go out and vote for Tinubu/Shettima.
After the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Tinubu winner, Chief JohnBosco Onunkwo still brought them together and organised a victory party in Abuja where he gave out souvenirs and appreciated COSGAS and all those who made Asiwaju’s victory possible.
In his opening remarks, High Chief Onunkwo described Tinubu’s victory as hard-earned, saying it was victory for all Nigerians who must be appreciated for their contributions.
“We are here to celebrate the victory of the man we trust and know is full of capacity; and the man we know that God Himself had brought at this material time to be the leader of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he said.
The Director-General of APC Amalgamated Support Groups (AASG), another big coalition, Dr. Nasir Ladan, described COSGAS as one of the first coalitions of APC support groups to have demonstrated strong zeal in the Tinubu/Shettima project. He said he had been keenly following the coalition’s activities before and after the election. He maintained that Asiwaju is a man known for rewarding loyalty and hardwork and that the era of ‘monkey dey work, baboon dey chop’ had come and gone. He praised the efforts of High Chief Engr. Johnbosco Onunkwo in bringing together the coalition of support groups and moving to the grassroots to deliver the Tinubu/Shettima mandate.
Engr. JohnBosco Onunkwo, National President and Convener of COSGAS is a man of many parts. He is an engineer by training, entrepreneur by career, politician by vocation and a philanthropist by passion.
An indigene of Anambra state, he was born on October 31, 1975. He graduated from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, with B.Eng, Second Class Honours (Upper Div.) in Electrical/Electronics & Computer Engineering.
He was trained in Organizational Politics, Team Development, Capital Project Evaluation and Decision Making in the oil industry at Paradigm Services, Manchester, England, 2008. He worked at Nigeria Agip Oil Company as Asst. Global Maintenance Engineer, 2004 -July 2007; Production Officer, August 2007-December, 2008; Global Maintenance and Rotating Equipment Engineer, December 2010; Maintenance Engineer, Jan 2011- Dec 2019; and Senior Maintenance Engineer in Production Operations Dept, January 2020 till…
He later joined politics and was Gubernatorial Aspirant, Anambra State, in 2017; House of Representatives Aspirant for Aguata Federal Constituency, 2019; and Governorship Aspirant again in 2021. He was the APC House of Representatives candidate for Aguata Federal Constituency for the 2023 election.
Apart from being National President and National Convener of COSGAS, he has played many leadership roles in different spheres of life at different times. Some of them included being a founding Member of ACN; Grand Patron, Ohaneze Ndigbo Youth Worldwide; Grand Commander of Anambra Youths by Forum of Anambra Youth Organisations; Two-time Chairman of the Installation Planning Committee of Rotary Club of Port-Harcourt Central; and Chairman of the Rotary Club Foundation.
A man with a generous heart, High Chief Onunkwo has been involved in numerous humanitarian and philanthropic activities. He founded a humanitarian NGO, Johnbosco Onunkwo Foundation, which operates under the four critical areas of health, education, youth empowerment and community development services. He launched ‘back to school’ project during which learning materials and school fees were given to indigent pupils in rural Anambra communities. In addition to carrying out free medical outreach in Aguata, Orumba North/South and Anaocha LGAs, Engr. Onunkwo donated Covid-19 protective kits and relief funds to 5000 poorest families in Anambra during Covid-19 lockdown.
He also empowered Anambra youths from 21 local government areas during the launch of the New Conversation 1&2; built and donated a skill acquisition centre to People Living with Sickle Cell Disorder in Agulu, Anambra State; and sponsored a public dialogue on Albinism during International Albinism Day.
Other humanitarian and philanthropic activities of High Chief Onunkwo include the building of a hospital for the rural populace in Umuchu, Aguata LGA; building of a fully-equipped music edifice at the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, Onitsha; building of a bus station at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.à
To these could also be added the development of an agric farm project at Orumba North and South LGAs; building of a lawn tennis court at Amawbia, Awka South LGA; and donation of fire extinguishers to major markets in Anambra State.
In appreciation and acknowledgement of his services and accomplishments in different endeavours, High Chief Onunkwo has been bestowed with numerous awards, honours and recognitions. They include: Most Outstanding Oil & Gas Personality of the Year 2022 by Champion Newspapers; Outstanding Humanitarian of the Year 2018 by New Telegraph; and over 80 Other Awards.