Saawuan Tarnongu was born on 4th November, 1962 at Gungul, Mbaikyase, Shangev-Tiev, Konshisha Local Government area.
Mr. Tarnongu started early education at NKST Primary School, Wadata, Makurdi from 1971-1975, and completed at LGEA Primary School, Gungul Main, Konshisha from 1975 to 1977 where he obtained the First School Leaving Certificate. He moved to Government Teachers College, Makurdi in 1979 where he got the Grade II Teachers Certificate in 1984. Mr. Tarnongu proceeded to College of Education Katsina-Ala where he studied from 1985-1988 and obtained the National Certificate of Education.
He gained admission into University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1991 and graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor of Education degree. He obtained Master of Education (Administration and Planning) from the same university between 1998 and 2000. Thereafter, he was admitted into the Nassarawa State University, Keffi in the 2012/2013 academic session where he is currently studying for Doctor of Philoshoph PhD in Educational Administration and Planning.
Mr. Tarnongu’s working career started as a Class Teacher at Vandeikya Local Government Education Department in 1985, from where he was deployed to LGEA Konshisha as a Senior Education Assistant in September 1989. He was in charge of Examinations, between 1991 and 1994. Later, he also worked as a Monitoring Officer, Diiv, 1994-1997; Supervisor of Schools, 1997-2000; Head, Personnel Management, September 2000; Acting Education Secretary, April, 2001; as well as Head, Personnel Management, September 2001. He was reappointed Acting Education Secretary, 2002-2004, and thereafter, Chief Personnel Officer, Vandeikya LGEA 2004-2005.
Mr. Tarnongu retired as Assistant Director of Education/Zonal Head, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Gboko Zonal Office in 2007. He was later elected Executive Chairman, Konshisha LGC, where he served between 2008 and 2010, after which he was also Caretaker Chairman of the same council from 2011 to 2012.
Mr. Tarnongu has held several positions of responsibility including National Publicity Secretary, Shangev-Tiev Students Association (SHASA) from 1986-1988; President, Student Counselors Association of Nigeria (SCASSON), UNN Chapter, 1992-1993; member, State Advisory Committee On Implementation of UBE in Benue State, 2002-2004, member, Policy and Strategy Committee, Ortom Campaign Organization, 2014-2015; member, Strategy Committee, Gemade 2015 as well as Director, Finance and Administration, Ortom/Abounu Campaign Organization from 2014 to 2015.
He has won several awards including the most outstanding chairman award by the National Assembly committee on states and local governments as well as six best performed chairmen in Benue State by the same committee.
A member of the Nigerian Institute of Management, Mr. Tarnongu loves reading, especially Christian Literature, traveling, writing and farming as hobbies.