Professor Jonah Isawa Elaigwu was born on 10th March 1948 and attended Methodist Central School, Otukpo between 1954 and 1960. After his primary school, he proceeded to Benue Provincial Secondary School, Katsina-Ala in 1961. Upon successful completion of his O' Levels in 1965, he attended King’s College Lagos, from 1966 to 1967, where he got his A' Levels.
Between 1968 and 1971, Professor Elaigwu was in Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria where he graduated with a B.Sc. (Honours) degree in Political Science and following his graduation from Zaria in 1971, he proceeded to Stanford University, USA. By the time Professor Elaigwu left Stanford in 1975, he had obtained an A.M. (Masters degree) and Ph.D (conferred in January 1976) in Political Sciences.
On return to Nigeria in 1975, Professor Elaigwu became a Lecturer at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria and dedicated himself to sharing his knowledge with his students. During his time in Zaria, he was also a visiting Fulbright-Hays Lecturer at University of Kentucky and Transylvania University, Lexington, Kentucky, USA from 1978 to 1979.
In 1979, Elaigwu moved to University of Jos as a Senior Lecturer and also became the Head, Department of Political Science, a position he held until 1981. In 1981, he was made an Associate Professor and became a Professor in 1983. Professor Elaigwu also had a second stint as the Head, Department of Political Science, University of Jos from 1983 to 1985 and was also a member of the University Senate from 1983 to 1998. In 1990, he was a visiting Professor at State University of New York, Binghamton, N.Y., USA. Until he left the service of University of Jos in 1998, Professor Elaigwu was renowned for his captivating and interesting style of lecture.
Professor Elaigwu was the Director-General and Chief Executive, National Council on Intergovernmental Relations, Abuja, from 1992 to 1996 and since 1996 has being the President, Institute of Governance and Social Research (IGSR), Jos.
Professor Elaigwu who is happily married with 6 Children has held many national & international bodies’ membership positions and has also written many books.