Biography of Orya KorinioThe First Visually Impaired Special Adviser to an Executive Govenor in Africa
© Copyright 2022 by Ikyegeve Denen
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
Mr Orya Korinjo, a MAN among men. A teacher/farmer/educationist,business man, politician, philanthropist and bridge builder was born in 1940 to the family of Korinjo Kpeke Kor Adua Zanga Datso Adange of DIv in turan district of kwande local government area of Benue state in Nigeria.
EDUCATION AND TEACHING
Young Orya commenced his primary education at the DRCM primary school, Iyon in 1948. The then Headmaster of the school gave him shelter at this time. Young Orya moved to DRCM primary school Adikpo to obtain his standard 4.The standard 4 pupils were later moved to SUM primary school, Zaki biam for one year. In 1954-1955, Orya was again transferred to DRCM primary school Mkar were he completed his primary education placing 6 out of 90 pupils in flying colours. From this stage teaching and schooling became interwoven in Orya Korinjo’s life.From 1957-1959 he went to keffi Government Teachers College and obtained the Teacher Grade 3 certificate. In 1960-1961 he served as a teacher at Tiv NA primary school, Gboko and Tiv NA primary school Ushongo from 1961 to 1962. In 1962-1963, Orya proceeded to Ilorin Teachers college for his Teacher Grade 2 certificate. From 1964-1966, Orya was back to Ushongo as a Teacher and later moved to Mbaduku, Vandeikya local government area of Benue state in 1966-1967 as Headmaster of the Tiv NA primary school there. His pupils in Mbaduku included His Excellency, the former Governor of Benue State,Senator George Akume.
Orya Korinjo went back to school in 1967 at the institute of Education, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria and obtained his NCE in 1970. From1971- 1979 he served as principal, Adikpo community college, ACC and supervisory Area Headmaster, NKST primary school office, Adikpo. Mr Orya Korinjo at this time developed eye problems and due to its Deterioration, it became so serious for him to continue his teaching career. For this reason, in 1979, he voluntarily retired from civil service. Consequently, Mr. Orya Korinjo moved with his young family from Adikpo back to his hometown, Jato-Aka in 1981.
Mr Orya Korinjo lived with visual impairment for 35 years of his life.This condition beganin 1963 while at the Teachers college in Ilorin, Kwara State. He sought for medical attention at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, SIM hospital, Kano and premier eye hospital, Kaduna where he was confirmed to have glaucoma at an advanced stage, Mr Orya had several eye surgeries within the time. He was referred to London, UK for medical treatment. In 1976 at London Hospital, it became obvious that the battle to keep his sight would be unsuccessful and so his Dr. (Dr. Smith) moved to counsel and prepare Baba’s mind for eventually living with visual disability.
Mr. Orya Korinjo as a primary school teacher at Mbaduku, Vandeikya Local Government met and got married to a young teenage girl Elizabeth the only daughter of Anule Aba, Mbara, Vandeikya Local Government in 1966. From the Primary school level, under her husband, she became a trained nurse, midwife and community health officer who also holds post graduate certificates. Their marriage was blessed with 12 children, 4 boys and 8 girls. He was a passionate family man which extended to his siblings and members of his extended family.
Though his parents were not active Christians, his attendance of the DRCM schools which were operated by missionaries influenced his Christian life, DRCM later evolved into NKST mission. Mr Korinjo attended the mandatory katekism class and was baptized by Rev. Watt in 1956 at NKST church Adikpo. He raised all his children in the Christian faith where they all baptized in the NKST church. He supported several church projects and encourage those around him to do same. He belongs to and has supported Christian organizations such as:
Ishuen, Girls Brigade
Member, Bible society of Nigeria
Adviser, NKST League
Essentially a trained teacher, the starting point of his investment was also in education.
In 1979, he established ok comprehensive high school, DIV – NZAAV.The first and only secondary school in that community till date. This school was later renamed as Korinjo Memorial secondary school in honour of his father, Pa Korinjo Ikyov who was murdered in the Kwande political crisis of March, 2003. In the same year (1979) Mr. Orya Korinjo established a Modern recreational centre called MHAF Hotel, Jato – Aka. In 1981, the Orya Korinjo farm project was established formally as a mechanized farm which cultivates various trees for timbre, yams, rice, maize, cassava as well as economic trees. The land also cultivates livestock. This farm sits on a 100hectares of land.
In 1984, the Government Day secondary school was formally transferred to Mr. Orya Korinjo from the ownership of the state government and renamed “Day Secondary school, Jato Aka.” after having met all requirements. In 2011, Baba Orya Korinjo in partnership with his daughter, Mrumun established Eliza Nursery and primary school, Makurdi.
In the healthcare sector, Mr. Orya established the Kashi Township health clinic, he also established the Joki(Nig) LTD.THE POLITICIAN AND COMMUNITY SERVICE
Hon. Orya Korinjo was involved in active politics for over 40 years. From the 1970s when he first joined UMBC under the leadership of Sen. J.S. Tarka but re aligned with Wantaregh Paul Iorpuu Unongo during the agitation of Tiv Kingdom into more Local Governments. Baba Orya joined social democratic party in the era of SDP & NRC in Nigeria. He was later in the ANPP which he left for People’s Democratic Party in 1999. During this period he contested and won the position of a councilor on zero party basis representing Yaav ward in Kwande Local Government. From there he was picked to serve as a deputy chairman of council under Agbuu Kachi.
1999, the then Governor of Benue State appointed Mr. Orya Korinjo as
a special adviser on political Affairs in his administration, a
landmark appointment being the first visually impaired person to
attain that position in Benue State from 1999 – 2003 which also
made him the first blind Person to hold such a position in the entire