Mr. Leonard Muoneme
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Mr. Leonard Muoneme

Sir Leonard N. Muoneme, B.Sc. (Hons), P.G.D.E, M.Ed.

Leonard Nwankwo Muoneme was born in 1935 at Etti-Nanka, Anambra State. He started his primary education in the year 1946 at Roman Catholic Mission School, Nkwoagu, Nanka, where he studied in infant-class one. In 1947, he moved to St. Anthony’s Catholic School, Ifite Nanka. There he read infant-class two and then in subsequent years read standards 1 to 6. He completed his primary education at St. Anthony’s Catholic School, Ifite-Nanka in 1953. Throughout his primary education at Ifite, Leonard always emerged first in class. He completed his secondary education, on government scholarship won by merit, at Government College Afikpo in 1958. His Cambridge School Certificate was division one. After his secondary education, he taught science at Igwebuike Grammar School Awka for nine months. Subsequently, he did advanced level studies at the Nigeria College of Arts, Science, and Technology, Enugu from 1959 to 1961.
Upon the completion of his studies at Enugu, he obtained the University of London Advanced Level certificate in Botany, Chemistry, and Zoology. In 1960, Leonard got admission to University of Ibadan and University of Nsukka, but due to lack of funds he could not proceed with university education. He then taught science at National Grammar School, Nike, Enugu for one year (1961-1962). Subsequently, he worked as Assistant Experimental Officer at Ministry of Commerce and Industry Laboratory, Enugu from 1962 to 1964. With a Federal government bursary (boarding and tuition fees) obtained in 1963, Leonard started his university education at the University of Ibadan in 1964 after gaining a new admission. He was admitted for B.Sc. degree in Chemistry.

In 1966, there was a military coup in Nigeria and subsequently a political crisis that led to a civil war, the Nigeria-Biafra war. Leonard fled from Ibadan to Nanka. During the war he was invited to Uzuakoli near Umuahia to work in a lab for making explosives. He is a pacifist by nature and had made up his mind in the past (a promise to God) not to use the knowledge of science to destroy life, so he did not like the idea.
He rather opted to work for the International Red Cross Society. As a member of the Red Cross, he distributed relief materials to the destitute andhe also assisted wounded soldiers. The war raged until January 1970 when it stopped. He later went back to the University of Ibadan where his bursary award was allowed to continue. He graduated from University of Ibadan in June 1972 with B.Sc. (Hons) Botany.
As a graduate, Leonard’s first employment was as a science teacher at Mayflower School Ikene—Tai Slarin’s school. While at Ikene, in the same 1972, he was offered employment as a Lecturer II (Botany) in the Federal Ministry of Education, Lagos. He reported with his wife (Cecilia—1940-2013) and first two children to assume duty at the Schools Division, Federal Ministry of Education Headquarters Lagos. In January 1973, Leonard and his wife were both posted to Federal Government College Jos to join the Principal Mr. A. R. Allen, who, with them and other pioneer staff worked to open Federal Government College Jos in February 12, 1973. He worked in this school as a biology teacher for eight years. While serving at Jos, he studied at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, where he received his P.G.D.E. in education in 1975.

After spending a great part of his working years in F.G.C. Jos (1973-1983), Leonard worked at the Federal Ministry of Education, Lagos (1983), and from there he was posted to Federal Government College, Ilorin, where he served from 1983 to 1999. While at Ilorin he obtained his Master’s degree in Educational Management at the University of Ilorin. After retiring from Federal Service in 1999, he was employed as the first head of the Science Faculty at Loyola Jesuit College, Abuja (1999-2001). From his years of active service, he is first and foremost regarded as a Federal Civil Servant. Some people know him as “teacher”—“onyenkuzi.”

Leonard is blessed with a hardworking and loving wife—Lady Cecilia Akuchukwu Muoneme—who entered into eternal life in September 14, 2013. He is also blessed with five children and twelve grandchildren. His five children are Rev. Fr. (Dr.) Maduabuchi Leo Muoneme, S.J., Mr. Chukwuma Benjamin Muoneme, Mrs.Ngozi Cecilia Nlewedim, Mr. Ugochukwu Michael Muoneme, and Engr. Chijioke Joseph Muoneme. Sir Leonard Muoneme served as the pioneer President of the Nanka Students Union from 1959 to 1972. He also served as the Chairman of the Nanka Patriotic Union (NPU), Ilorin Branch (c.1983 to 1996). After serving as Chairman, he was made Patron of NPU, Ilorin till his retirement from Federal Service in Ilorin. Another leadership role that Leonard playedin Nanka was his service as Secretary General of Etti Patriotic Union from 1962 to 1972. In 2007, during his retirement, he served his motherland as Supervising Officer of INEC in Jos, Plateau State.

Leonard’s hobbies include chess games, draught game, studying nature, horticulture, and listening to good music.