Chief Augustine Igwe Edeze was born on 1st January 1960 in Ndiogbu Ndieze Inyimagu in Izzi Local Government Area of today’s Ebonyi State. He had his primary education at Inyimagu Central School, Iboko, his secondary education at Abakaliki High School (then Presbyterian College, PRESCO) and Diploma in Cooperative Studies at the Federal Cooperative College, Awgu. He further proceeded to the Anambra State College of Education Awka and the University of Nigerian Nsukka (UNN) where he obtained National Certificate in Education (NCE) and Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) Degree respectively.
In his career, he served as a Cooperative Inspector, Ministry of Commerce and Industry Enugu, Agric tutor at Army Day Secondary School, Abakaliki, Executive Secretary, Izzi Local Government Education Authority, Ebonyi State.
Within this period, he initiated the policy of “One Village, One School” in Izzi Local Government Area and was instrumental to the establishment of 78 new Primary Schools in Izzi Local Government Area.
Ebonyi State Government in 1999 appointed him the Sole Administrator of Ohaoazra Local Government Council. His tenure as the Council boss recorded unprecedented infrastructural development in the area, including the construction of Okposi General Hospital. Between 1999 - 2002, he served as a member of Ebonyi State University Governing Council. In 2002, Chief Edeze was appointed the Executive Chairman, Ebonyi State Universal Basic Education Board (UBEB). Chief Austin Edeze's leadership of UBEB from 2002 - 2007 witnessed the establishment of Community Education Mobilization and “Operation Look Back Home” Programmes.
These programmes endeared him so much with the people especially the rural dwellers and promoted Ebonyi State to national limelight. As a Chairman of UBEB, he facilitated the release, regular and prompt payment of Teachers’ salaries, allowances and promotions, initiated and organised the 1st Ebonyi State Education summit held in May, 2004 at Abakaliki, facilitated sports development in schools through organised Primary School Sports Jamborees. There was also an aggressive Teacher Training Programme, through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with National Teachers Institute (NTI) Kaduna for short and long-term Training Programmes for Ebonyi State Primary School Teachers; secured and distributed motorcycles to Teachers in the State at subsidised rate. During his reign at the State UBEB, there were good labour relations through regular interactive meetings with NUT, PTA COPSHON and other stakeholders' in the Education Sector. Junior Secondary School was also established at the Abakaliki Prisons to assist in reforming the inmates. As a leader with a vision for his people, Chief Edeze's administration, started and completed an ultra-modern UBEB Secretariat Complex along Abakaliki - Enugu expressway; the best and largest UBEB secretariat building East of the Niger.
Chief Edeze was a Consultant with Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria (ESSPIN), National Secretary General, Association of Education Secretaries of Nigeria, 1994 - 1997; Dean/Chairman, National Conference of Executive Chairman of States Universal Basic Education Board in Nigeria, 2003 - 2008 and former Deputy Secretary General, Ohaneze Ndigbo.
He is the immediate past President, National Wresting Federation. As President of National Wrestling Federation, Chief Austin Igwe Edeze resuscitated the game of wrestling which was hitherto at its lowest ebb in the country. Within this period, Nigeria ruled the world and indeed Africa.
It is worthy to note that barely three months of its inauguration, Chief Edeze led Federation sponsored Nigerian Team to participate in the 2005 Commonwealth Wrestling Championship; winning 2 silver medals and other top positions.
Other achievements of the Board include:
- Securing the sponsorship and participation of Dr. Sam O. Egwu National Wrestling Championship. Five new champions were identified in both male and female category on the maiden edition of the event held in Abakaliki in December, 2005.
- Sponsorship of 11 Wrestlers and Officials to the 25th Africa Wrestling Championship in Pretoria, South Africa; winning 4 Gold, 4 Silver and 1 Bronze Medals with Nigeria Female Team emerging the overall female position.
- Securing scholarship for 2 Nigerian Female Wrestlers at FILA Development Centre, Tunis, Tunisia.
- Sponsorship of Wrestlers and Officials in the World Wrestling Championship in China, 2006.
- Securing the sponsorship of 1st Mallam Isa Yuguda, Northern States Wrestling Championship which took place in Bauchi State between 7th - 11th December, 2007.
- Participation in the 2008 Africa Wrestling Championship/Olympic Qualifiers Tunisia 2008. Nigeria won 5 Gold, 2 Silver and 4 Bronze Medals.
- Participation in the 15th National Sports Festival, Abeokuta, Gateway Game 2006 with over 600 Wrestlers.
- Participation in the 9th All African Games, Algeria, 2007; with 21 Wrestlers and 11 Officials, winning 6 Gold, 7 Silver and 8 Bronze Medals, A remarkable feat in International Sporting fora.
- Also in the 2007 Africa Wrestling Championship, Cairo, Egypt. Chief Austin Edeze single handedly sponsored 4 Wrestlers and 3 Officials that graced the event. The team returned with 1 Gold, 1 Silver and 2 Bronze Medals.
- The Federation also participated in the Commonwealth Youth Game, Pune, India, securing a Silver and Bronze Medal, amongst others.
Chief Austin Edeze is the 2nd Vice- President of the United World Wrestling (UWW) Africa. He emerged in the election which took place during the African Congress in El-Jadida, Morocco in April, 2017.
He has immensely contributed to the development of the Society especially in the world of education and sports. A Man of Honour and significant achievements, he has bagged numerous Honours and Awards both in Ebonyi State and at the National Level including his investiture of the National Honours of Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) by the former President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in 2006. He was a member, State Logistic Committee for National Census; Patron Abakaliki Urban Community Forum; Member, Committee on 1st edition of National Sports Festival “Category 2006 Games”.
Currently Chief Austin Edeze is the chairman, Governing council of the Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti in Ekiti state, and a member of Board of Trustees of All Progressives Congress, APC.
He is happily married and blessed with children. His hobbies include: Sports, Training and Reading.
Chief Edeze holds the Chieftaincy Titles of:
Nnajioha 1 of Izzi,
Ekwueme 1 of Ohaozara,
Nwa-eji-eje-mba 1 of Igbeagu-Izzi and
Nwanne-di-na-mba 1 of Opi-Amasiri.
Voice of Nigeria accessed 27 April 2017 (www.von.gov.ng)