Hon. Onawo’s Sojourn in the teaching profession was short lived as he taught in Lafia West primary school and later Baptist primary school, Mangu, Plateau state for barely two years, 1975 to 1977.
It was however in the private sector that he found fulfillment as he, between 1980 and 2003 took up challenging appointments with various companies in the country. These includes the defunct Hiltop bottling company, Jos; Lever Brothers Nigeria Limited; Standard Breweries, Ibadan; Jos International Breweries Plc and Pioneer Milling Company Jos.
Such was the level if his commitment and dedication to duties wherever he found himself that he, all through his stay in the private sector, earned the respect of his subordinates and the confidence of his superiors. His rise or progress within these firms was therefore meteoric. Indeed within the period under refrence, Hon Onawo had graduated from a supervisor, which was his entry point in the private sector to commercial Manager, where he exited.
It must be stressed that while in the private sector, hon. Onawo had some flitrations with partisan politic, as he in 1992 and 1993 tried without success to win party’s ticket to the House of Representatives and the Chairmanship seat for Doma Local Government respectively under the social Democratic party.
Disappointment but undaunted, Hon. Onawo’s Licolnial perseverance and doggedness paid off when in 2003, he under the platform of the people Democratic Party (PDP) won election into the Nasarawa state House of Assembly, and on June 6, 2003, when the House was inaugurated, Hon. Onawo was elected by a unanimous vote, as the speaker of the second Assembly of the House.
It is worthy of note, that all these were as a result of political experimentation he ventured into while in his O’ and A Level days, when he contested for and won (by one vote) the position of a welfare officer in govt. Teacher’s College, Jos in 1974 and the Director of socials of A.T.C. Akwanga in 1979/ 80 where he was elected with a unanimous vote.
This resume will not be complete if cognizance is not taken of the brilliant and refreshing leadership which Hon. Onawo brought to the House at the Speaker. A new lease of life was foisted in the House, allowing for credible legislative business while co-operation between legislative and the executive, a sine qua non for speedy socio-economy development of a nation, had never been better.
Hon. Onawo is currently the only PDP member from Nasarawa state in the House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, where he serves as the Chairman House committee on Industries. He is also a member of so many other committees.
It is interesting to note one of the special qualities that is rare to many leaders is the humility and patience of Hon. Onawo. He respects the high and the low in his dealing with them.
He is a man who believes in teamwork and that is why he operated a participatory government whereby hardly any one complains of marginalization.