John Owan Enoh: Biography, Education, Career, Award, Controversy And More

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John Owan Enoh: Biography, Education, Career, Award, Controversy And More

John Owan Enoh is a Nigerian politician who has made significant contributions to the political landscape of Nigeria. He was born on June 4, 1966, in Agbokim Waterfalls Community, Cross River State, currently serving as the 36th Minister of Sports Development in Nigeria. His parents, Chief Louis Owan Enoh and Helen Ayu Amba Enoh, instilled in him values of hard work and dedication. Enoh has made significant contributions in various fields throughout his career.

John Owan Enoh Education

Enoh’s educational journey began at St. Gregory Primary School in Agbokim Waterfalls, Cross River State, where he received his primary education. He then proceeded to St. Augustine Junior Seminary in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, for his secondary education. Enoh’s thirst for knowledge led him to the University of Wales, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacology. He further pursued a Master of Business Administration from Cardiff Business School in the United Kingdom.

Early Career

Before venturing into politics, Enoh worked as a lecturer in the Sociology Department at the University of Calabar, Cross River State, from 1991 to 1997. During this time, he honed his leadership skills and developed a deep understanding of the challenges facing his community.

Political Career

Enoh’s political career began in 1997 when he contested and won the election to represent the Etung constituency in the Cross River State House of Assembly under the platform of the Grassroots Democratic Movement (GDM). However, his seat was nullified following the cancellation of the Sani Abacha Political Transition Programme.

Undeterred, Enoh successfully reclaimed his seat in the Cross River State House of Assembly in 1999, this time under the All Peoples Party (APP). During his tenure, he served as the Minority Leader and Chairman of the Committee on Information, demonstrating his ability to lead and make a positive impact.

In 2003, Enoh ran for a seat in the Federal House of Representatives, representing the Etung/Obubra Federal Constituency, and was elected under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He served in various capacities, including Vice Chairman of the House Committee on Finance, Deputy Chairman of Culture & Tourism, and Deputy Chairman of the Appropriation Committee. Enoh’s dedication and competence were recognized when he was re-elected in 2007 and appointed Chairman of the Finance Committee. Upon his return to the House of Representatives in 2011, he was appointed Chairman of the Appropriation Committee, further solidifying his reputation as a skilled legislator.

In 2015, Enoh decided to pursue a higher position and contested for the Senatorial seat, representing the Cross River Central Senatorial District. He emerged as the winner under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and served as a Senator from 2015 to 2019. However, in May 2017, Enoh defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC), showcasing his ability to adapt and align with the changing political landscape.

Enoh’s ambition led him to run for the governorship of Cross River State in the 2019 general elections. Although he put up a strong fight, he ultimately lost to the incumbent governor, Benedict Ayade, of the PDP. Despite this setback, Enoh remains committed to serving his community and making a difference in the lives of the people.

John Owan Enoh Personal Life

Enoh was born and raised in the Agbokim Waterfall community of Cross River State, John Owan Enoh has deep roots in his native region. He is married to Rachel Owan-Enoh, and together they have children. Enoh’s upbringing in a rural community has likely influenced his passion for agriculture and community empowerment.

Farming Ventures

Beyond the realm of politics, John Owan Enoh is deeply involved in farming. He owns numerous farms where he engages in arable and livestock production. Since starting his farming venture in 2000, Enoh has cultivated approximately 2000 hectares of land across various parts of Cross River State.

Enoh’s farming activities span different communities, including his native Agbokim Waterfalls and Etara-Ekuri in the Etung Local Government Area of Cross River State. His farms serve as a testament to his dedication to agricultural development and food security.

Furthermore, Enoh operates an out-grower scheme in the communities where his farms are located. This scheme serves as a corporate social responsibility initiative aimed at empowering local small-scale farmers. Through this program, Enoh provides resources and support to these farmers, enabling them to grow arable crops and raise livestock. Additionally, he ensures that these farmers have access to markets for their products, thus improving their economic prospects.

Philanthropy and Community Development

Enoh’s dedication to serving humanity extends beyond his political career. As a farmer and philanthropist, he established the JOE (John Owan Enoh) Foundation, which focuses on providing assistance to people living with diabetes in Nigeria. Through this foundation, Enoh has made a significant impact on the lives of many individuals, showcasing his compassion and commitment to making a positive change.

Enoh’s leadership style is characterized by his dedication to community development. He has initiated and supported numerous projects aimed at improving the lives of his constituents. Notably, he spearheaded the establishment of the Budget Office and the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) through an Act of parliament while serving as Chairman of the Appropriation Committee. His efforts have also led to the implementation of the Senator Owan Enoh Vocational Empowerment Scheme and the establishment of out-grower schemes in communities, providing opportunities for economic growth and development.

Awards and Honors

Throughout his political journey, Enoh has received several awards and honors, recognizing his contributions and dedication to public service. Some of these accolades include the Momento Award of Excellence from the Senate Students’ Union Government (SUG), University of Calabar, the Obafemi Awolowo African Hero Award as Grand Advocate of the Masses, and the Most Resourceful Legislator of the Year, among others. These awards serve as a testament to Enoh’s commitment and the positive impact he has made in his career.


Enoh’s political career has not been without controversy. One notable incident involved his litigation against his party’s governorship candidate in Cross River State. Enoh, who was one of the governorship aspirants of the APC, lost to Senator Bassey Otu at the party primary in May. However, after a series of consultations and the intervention of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the Presidential Candidate of the APC, Enoh made the decision to end the litigation. This demonstrates his ability to prioritize unity and reconciliation for the greater good of the party and the people he represents.

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