Biographies of Some of the Great Ogbona Men and Women

THE BIOGRAPHY OF HRH ALHAJI PATRICK AJAYI OBOAREKPE (JP)

THE GIEAVIANWU OF AVIANWU.

His Royal Highness, Alhaji P.A Oboarekpe (JP) was born in the year of our Lord on November 18th, 1922. He was born into the Ogbona ruling house in Avianwu Clan by peasant parents and as such had a humble beginning.

GENEALOGY AND PLACE OF BIRTH

HRH Alhaji P.A Oboarekpe hails from Ivhitse quarter in Ogbona Sub-clan-head zone of Avianwu Clan. His father Oboarekpe was the eldest son of Akpheokhai of Ivhiste, while his mother Aghiegho Oboarekpe was the eldest daughter of Agbayekhai who hailed from Okotor quarter of Iraokhor in Iraokhor Sub-clan head zone of Avianwu Clan, all in Etsako Central Local Government area of Edo State. HRH Alhaji P.A Oboarekpe was the 4th child of his father.

EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND AND ACHIEVEMENTS

It was customary in those difficult periods in the introduction of western education in Nigeria that only those children who were not good in farm work, but gifted with intelligence would aspire to obtain western education and they were sent to missionary schools.

Patrick Ajayi Oboarekpe as he was known at the time got favoured in this regard.  He started his early primary education in 1937 at the then St. John’s Catholic School, Ogbona, and now Oboarekpe primary school (named after him).

He completed and obtained the Standard Six School Leaving Certificate in 1945 at the Sacred Heart Catholic School at Agenebode in Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State. In 1946 he was employed as a teacher and was posted to St. Peter’s Catholic School at Afashio, Uzairue, in Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State under the Catholic Mission.

He later proceeded to St. John Bosco College at Ubiaja, where he successfully obtained the Teacher’s Grade III certificate in 1948. He worked assiduously as a classroom teacher and later as Headmaster in various locations in Etsako. While in service, he initiated very many innovative activities that attracted many unwilling children to develop the love for education.

Through his untiring quest for the expansion of schools in Etsako, he assisted the missionaries in no small measure in the opening up of schools in deep rural communities where he personally accepted payless jobs in teaching rural pupils.

He was a sport enthusiast who won many laurels during the Empire Day Sports Meets that were organized under the auspices of the then colonial masters. He was a sprinter, a distant runner, a footballer and a wrestler.

TRADITIONAL LEADERSHIP PERIOD

While he was still in service, judging from his indomitable organizing ability and his love for corporate values and unity of purpose, he was called by his people to occupy the stool of the leadership of Ogbona, following the exit of the incumbent Ukpi Drummer, late Chief Okozi who was the then village head.

In 1955, in response to the yearning and aspiration of the people of Ogbona, he accepted the challenge and took over the reins of office in the community alongside his teaching career.

He later found this to be cumbersome, combining these duties and in 1958, he resigned from teaching voluntarily to avail himself full opportunity to govern the community more effectively.

During this early period of his reign, he was appointed into the Customary Court Judicial Service Commission and he served as a member of the Customary Court in Fugar, headquarters of Etsako Central Local Government Area from 1967 to 1974.

In 1984, following the exit of HRH Alhaji J.A Alao (JP), the then Clan Head of Avianwu, the royal highness scepter fell upon him and he took up the reigns of office  as the Clan Head of Avianwu Clan, as the Ogieavianwu of Avianwu. He was gazette into the throne and office as the Ogieavianwu of Avianwu on the 19th of June 1986 by the Edo Sate Government.

He occupied the position of the Ogieavianwu of Avianwu, until he was graciously called to join his ancestors on the 27th of February 2010.

NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENTS                                            

TRADITIONAL INSTITUTION REFORMS

  1. In the existence of Avianwu clan, he is the first Royal Highness to parade four full-fledged subordinate clan heads in attendance at deliberations on issues affecting the clan.
  2. He created 117 villages that are headed by Ikhaemhos in the dispensation of grassroots justice; and three autonomous villages that were formed into a Ruling House known as Ebadi Ruling House.
  3. He fought for the expansion of Avianwu into more viable villages and clans to be headed by subordinate clan heads.
  4. During his reign, he endorsed and influenced the creation of Etsako Central Local Government Council with the headquarters at Fugar in Avianwu kingdom in Edo State.

EDUCATION REFORMS

  1. His reign witnessed giant strides in the educational sector, as many new secondary schools were founded.
  2. The former St. John’s Grammar School Fugar was upgraded to the status of a Model Unity School.
  3. A Skills Acquisition centre was established and completed at Fugar.
  4. The extension of the Federal Government UBE schools scheme to Avhianwu.
  5. The establishment of Ogbona Grammar school, Ogbona.

HEALTH REFORMS

  1. The university of Benin Teaching hospital comprehensive health centre was established at Ogbona.
  2. The general hospital located at Fugar and many other primary health care centres were established to take care of the health of his subjects.
  3. He assisted with the full immunization of his people by imposing penalties on anyone seeking to prevent the success of the exercise within his domain.

SECURITY REFORMS

  1. He was the first Ogieavianwu to organize a general congress on ways to avert security threat in his area with all the security agencies in attendance.
  2. During his reign, he imposed harsh penalties on those embarking on riots, family feuds, possession and use of dangerous weapons, provocation and assaults of any kind.
  3. He stopped the dusk to dawn night parties and night ceremonies that had become avenues for criminal activities and constituted a threat to security in the community.

SOCIAL REFORMS                                               

  1. He supported the organization of various progressive unions, home and abroad; geared towards the development of the community.
  2. He was the first Ogieavianwu to take a comprehensive tour of the one hundred and seventy villages in Avianwu clan, preaching the gospel of love, harmony and peaceful co-existence.
  3. He was an apostle of social justice.
  4. He awarded honorary chieftaincy titles to deserving citizens who have contributed immensely to the development of Avianwu in particular and Etsako in general.

FONDEST MEMORIES

  1. He will be remembered for his struggle to expand Avianwu far beyond the level of four villages.
  2. He was a vanguard of truth, honesty, integrity and transparency.
  3. He was family man with many children and grandchildren he loved dearly.
  4. He was a deeply religious and God fearing man, dispensing justice with love and mercy.
  5. He was a father to all.

Biography of Chief Thomas Ajayie Osigbemhe JP

Chief T.A Osigbemhe (nicknamed FLAMES), Principal Edo College from March 1973 to September 1977. At Edo Co1lege he revived discipline staff and students and maintenance of high academic standard in the face of dwindling resources of the period.

Chief Inspector of education of all schools in the Unified Teaching Service Board.

Sole Administrator/Chief Executive officer of Bendel State Health Services Management Board 1978 -1980

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education on 21st November, 1980, even though he was one of the most junior officers among the Chief Inspectors of Education in the Ministry

Retired voluntarily on 17th January 1984, after 38 years in the Education Industry of Bendel State.

Chief Osigbemhe was called upon by the Ogbona community to take up position of the Head of the Village – OKPHE·UKPI OF OGBONA in August 1994

 

Chief Thomas Ajayie Osigbemhe J. P. the Okphe Ukpi of Ogbona was born in 1930 the exact date not being recorded because his parents were not literate. However from events that occurred during the period his birth was between January and March of the year. His father Osigbemhe was the son of Omokpo who hailed from lvhiavhe quarters in lvhiarua Village, one of the villages that make up what is today referred to as Fugar town. His Mother Omugha also hailed from lvhiarua. He was the second son of Omugha but the third Child. His father like all able men of his time was polygamous.

Chief Thomas Ajayie started working as a Pupil Teacher in January 1945 as a Probationary teacher on a salary of 15s (fifteen shilling.) equivalent of N1. 50k a month of today. He taught as a pupil teacher in Roman Catholic Schools at lviukuwe, lbie Nafe and Uzairue, before proceeding for Training as a Grade II teacher in St Thomas College lbusa. He was the School Senior Prefect in-his final year.

In 1951 he obtained Grade II Teachers Certificate and returned to teaching under the Roman Catholic Mission at St. John Bosco’s College (Teacher Training) Ubiaja from January 1952 to September 1957. At St. John Bosco’s College he taught Arithmetic, History, and School Methods at various times, depending on the vacancies available and the scarcity of versatile teachers. In addition to our Teaching load he was required to be ready to teach Religious and Moral Instruction conduct and supervise teaching practice, and performing the duties of Housemaster when called upon to do so. In spite of this heavy schedule he found time to undertake private studies through postal Tuition through which he was able to pass the G.C.E. (Ordinary and Advanced Levels), which enabled him to gain admission in 1957 to the premier and only University at the time in Nigeria, University of 1badan.

In June 1960 Chief T.A. Osigbemhe graduated with Bachelor of Arts, London degree from the University College, Ibadan under special relations with the University of London, three months before Nigeria gained political independence from Britain. Realising at this time that his calling and vocation as education he returned once more to teaching and took up appointment as a Graduate Teacher at Western Boys’ High School Benin City, a private Grammar School founded by the pioneer education Proprietor, and Chief Airewele.

His Civil Service career started ln January 1961 when he was appointed an Education Officer under the Western Region Government and posted to Edo College and later in April 1961 was posted to Government College Ughelli.

At Government College Ughelli he taught English and History in both the School Certificate and Higher School Certificate Classes from then on till October 1967. He also introduced the teaching of Economics into the H.S.C. curriculum. During this first tour to Ughelli Government College, (according to the Civil Service usage) he also performed the duties of a Housemaster from 1962 – 1967 and in this capacity he contributed his quota to the Spartan

Discipline for which the college was noted. In 1966 he also became the Acting vice Principal of the School and got his first official initiation into the details and intricacies of Secondary School Administration and Management.

He joined panels of inspectors in inspecting Secondary Schools and writing reports of such inspection a regular exercise which, to a great measure enabled Government College spread its method and high academic standards among such neighbouring schools as Anglican Girls’ Grammar School, Ughelli; Urhobo College Effurun; James Welch Grammar School Emovon; Hussey College Warri, and Notre Dame College Ozoro etc. These schools became centres of excellence in their own rights both in academic work, sports and discipline. Any old student of these schools will proudly point to the years 1962 -1966 as their finest years of achievement in all fields.

In 1968 he was promoted to the rank of Senior Inspector of Education, and his transfer to Benin City to take charge of the field inspectorate as Principal Inspector of Education Benin Province (in charge of the present Edo State and Delta North senatorial District minus Ndokwa Local Government Areas of today Delta State). This area was later zoned into three Education Inspectorate Areas of Auchi (covering the present Edo North and Central senatorial Districts}; Benin and Agbor. He was then posted to take charge of the Auchi inspectorate area in August 1968. In January 1970 he was again posted to the Ministry’s Headquarters to take charge of Examinations as Registrar, by September 1970 he was sponsored by the Government to do a post graduate Diploma in Education Course at the University of Ibadan. On successful completion of the co1.lrse in June, 1971 he was posted back to Government College Ughelli as Duty Principal to the last expatriate head of the

Institution, Mr. J .E. Jones.

His duties were more of administration and little of teaching. Mr. Jones left the discipline of the School entirely in his hands. It was the success of his methods of maintaining discipline at Government College Ughelli that led the Ministry to nominate him as the officer to head Edo College following the wave of indiscipline that engulfed the college after the departure of its last Expatriate Principal Mr. C.V. Alonso, and the movement of the College to its new site on third East Circular Road Benin City. He was transferred to Edo College in March 1973 as the Principal.

His greatest achievement in Edo Co1lege was the revival of discipline staff and students and maintenance of high academic standard in the face of dwindling resources of the period.

On his request he was posted in September 1977 to the Ministry of Education Headquarters where he assumed duty as Chief Inspector of education following the Government transfer of all schools to the Unified Teaching Service Board.

While performing the duties of Chief Inspector he was suddenly jolted on the 15th of March 1978 by a deployment to the Health Services Management Board as Sole Administrator/Chief Executive officer. The dissolution of the Board was due to mismanagement. He was jolted because that was the first time at the age of 49 that he ever left the work of education for another job this was on March 15, 1979. He straightened up the affairs of the Health management Board (HMB) from then on until he handed over in April 1980. The only accepted Nursing Seniority list without any complaints from any group of Nurses in the Board was produced when Chief T.A. Osigbemhe was Sole administrator.

He returned to the Ministry in April 1980 and was posted to take over the Secondary Education Division. This was a time when the Ministry was battling the implementation of the civilian administration’s policy and programme of “Free Education at all Levels”. The greatest problem was how to place the inflated enrolment into secondary schools within the existing accommodation. This problem was most acute in Oredo Local Government Area. The places given to pupils were contested by their parents most of who wanted the old prestigious schools like Edo College, l.C.C., ldia College and Maria Goretti even when they had one of the new Schools close by their dwelling place. Several proposals were tried but each turned out to unworkable unless more classrooms were built. The government tried to meet the needs but with limited resources it could not cope with the Situation. Anyone suggesting that the programme be phased out was regarded as a political saboteur. He toiled night and day with his then D.C.I.E (Mr. P.E. Ozako now a reverend of the Anglican Communion) and finally muddled through in placing all the eligible pupils in class One Secondary in Oredo Local Government Area). The Ministry and the Government appeared to have appreciated his contribution in this exercise. That is the only explanation that can be thought of for his appointment as Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education on 21st November, 1980, even though he was one of the most junior officers among the Chief Inspectors of Education, then in the Ministry.

Some two weeks before his appointment one of his officers, Mrs. Elizabeth Akpomudiare, had informed him that there was a rumour that the appointment of Permanent Secretaries was being contemplated and it was understood that professional officers should be considered. She wondered why he was not canvassing for the post as some of his professional colleagues are doing instead of staying in the office late everyday arranging placement of pupils in Secondary Schools. His reply was “Who wants to be

Permanent Secretary? We wish them good luck”. Thank God that the appropriate authority was not there to hear him say so.

After 38 years in the Education Industry of Bendel State he felt it was time to throw in the towel and he retired voluntarily on 17th January 1984. Thomas Ajayie Osigbemhe community services dates back to his early days as a teacher in various locations in Etsako. Due to his unending lists of achievements in developing communities, he was conferred with the title of EVBOITA OF AVIANWU CLAN by the Ogieavianwu, Chief Alao of blessed

Memory on the 6th September, 1980. He was appointed Justice of Peace (JP) in Etsako Local Government Area in 1986.

After retirement, he served in the Board of Governors of Ayue Teacher College in Etsako Local Government Area. In 1986 he was appointed Electoral Officer for Etsako Local Government in the then Bendel state.

While serving as Electoral Officer, he was appointed first Commissioner in the Civil Service Commission in the Bendel State in 1989. He serve the board full term as a Commissioner in the Civil Service from 1989 – 1999 before becoming a member of the first Civil Service Commission inaugurated after the creation of Edo State. While still serving as a member of the commission, Chief Osigbemhe was called upon by the Ogbona community to take up position of the Head of the Village – OKPHE·UKPI OF OGBONA in August 1994. Although his appointment at the Commission gave him not a lot of time to perform his traditional duties, he had to performed this at weekends and other days when the Commission was not seating on petitions, promotions and appointments into the Civil Service.

His last meeting as the OKPHE-UKPI OF OGBONA was on the 14th of October 2008 before he was called by his maker on the night of 15th of October 2008.

He was appointed GRAND COMMANDER OF THE CATHOLIC EVANGELISATION MINISTRY, ARCHDIOCESE OF BENIN by the Spiritual Director, Rev. Fr. (Dr.) Theophilus Uwaifo 1994, a position he also held till his call to glory.

He was nicknamed FLAMES by Government College Ughelli Boys. Finally Flame has quenched.

ADIEU CHIEF THOMAS AJAYIE OSIGBEMHE Grand Commander of

Catholic Evangelization Ministry, Archdiocese of Benin, the Okphe Ukpi of Ogbona, Our Brother, Husband, Father, Father-in-law, Uncle, Grandfather, Teacher and Principal.

BIOGRAPHY OF CHIEF (HON) MICHAEL CLEMENT KADIRI ORBIH (KSM)

(02 NOVEMBER 1927 — 15 DECEMBER 2004)

ROOTS:          

Michael Clement Kadiri Orbih was born on 2 November 1927 at Ogbona Etsako Central LGA, Edo State to the family of Chief Orbih Ekhamhekpe and Madam Maria Oiboh Orbih (nee Imoagene). He was the first child of his mother, while his father was polygamous. His mother later converted to Christianity and was baptized after the death of her husband in 1951.

EARLY EDUCATION:

Chief M. C. K. Orbih began his educational career in 1937 at the Catholic School, Ogbona. Given the chequered nature of the colonial educational system during the period, young M.C.K. as he was fondly called by his friends and admirers could not complete his primary education at Ogbona because the school did not go beyond standard three. Fired by his determination to avail himself of the full primary education provided by the missionaries in his days, young M.C.K. Orbih continued his primary education at the Catholic School, Uzairue from 1941 to 1942 when he again moved to the Catholic School, Agenebode, where he received his First School Leaving Certificate in 1943. Even at this early age, he had a definite idea of his future career and a clear vision of his mission on earth as destined by the creator. He was a very studious and energetic child who was quite principled and resolute in his endeavours.

Armed with his First School Leaving Certificate, the way was opened for the young educationally ambitious M.C.K. Orbih to break into new grounds. Consequently, he enrolled as a student at St. John Bosco’s Teachers Training College, Ubiaja in 1946. This move was rewarded in 1948 when he received his Elementary Teachers’ Certificate which was better known as the Teachers Grade III Certificate. After a brief spell of one year as a Grade III teacher, the young M.C.K. Orbih’s quest for further education inspired him to sit for Grade II teacher in 1951 from home. He passed the exam in flying colours. He was among the last set of teachers who were allowed to write this exam without going back to a teachers training college.

TEACHING CAREER:

Having thus prepared for his teaching career, the young M.C.K. Orbih plunged into the profession with pride, satisfaction, zeal and dedication. As a result of these sterling attributes, he had a mercurial rise to the positions of Headmaster of the Catholic School, Jattu in 1949; Catholic School Ogbona from 1949-1954; Principal, Blessed Martin Secondary Modern School, Jattu from 1955-1968 where he made the pioneer students imbibe a sense of pride and zeal in pursuit of academics. In 1968, he was posted from Etsako Division to Esan Division where he found himself at St. Thomas Catholic School, Ubierumu, Uromi as headmaster. He returned to Etsako Division in 1969 as headmaster of Ansaru-Deen School, Auchi where he voluntarily retired from the teaching service in 1972 at a relatively young age of 45 to go into full time business.

Among those who went through M.C.K. Orbih’s crucible as a teacher are pupils like Prof.

Philip Igbafe of the University of Benin; Prof. (Mrs.) Sarah A. Shokpeka (presently of Department of History and International Studies, Benson Idahosa University); Comrade Adams Oshiomole NLC President and the current Governor of Edo State; Mr. Martins Itotoi; Rev. Fr. Paschal Odemokpa; Mr. Stanley Dako (former Special Adviser to the President on the Informal Sector), Mr. Linus Oshiokpekhai (businessman); Chief Pius Momodu (chattered Accountant); Chief Kas Enegwea; Senator Albert Legogie and many other prominent persons in various fields who have contributed their quota in the development of our fatherland.

POLITICAL CAREER:

Given Chief M.C.K. Orbih’s firm belief in adequate preparation for any career of interest, as soon as he branched into the political field, he secured admission to the Institute of Administration, Ahmadu Bello University in 1957 where he bagged the Certificate in Local Government Administration. This equipped him with the knowledge and the act of running local government having been elected in 1954 as one of the pioneer councilors of the Etsako District Council in the first democratically elected Local Government as a fore runner of Nigeria Political independence granted in 1960. As a counselor, he was appointed Chairman of the Education Committee of the District Council during the period and he served as a Councilor until 1963. He also simultaneously served as the Leader of the Etsako District Council for an unbroken period of 10 years during the relevant period.

Almost immediately after Chief M. C. K. Orbih made his foray into politics, his political horizon began to blossom beyond the confines of Etsako District Area on the platform of the Action Group Party (AG). He was appointed a member of the Western Region Advisory Board on Education during the period of self-government that culminated in the end of the colonial administration from 1956 — 1959.

Chief M.C.K. Orbih blazed another trail when he became one of the pioneer legislators in the newly independent Nigeria when he was elected as the member representing Afenmai East in the Federal House of Representatives from 12 December 1959 to 12 December 1964. Chief M.C.K. Orbih made some remarkable contributions to debates in the house as a legislator. Those who were in the main chamber of the House on 7 August, 1963, in the course of the debate on the Republican Constitution will not forget the young man who stoutly defended the primacy of liberty in a democracy as captured below:

“The people who contest chieftaincy stools should be allowed room to have redress. The law courts should be there to look into the tradition and make the government take proper decisions when such occasions arise. I think if we allow the judiciary to remain independent, Nigeria shall be respected the world over, but if care is not taken and we allow this proposal to remain as the government wants — placing the judges under the control of the politicians — then we shall have a very bad result in the very near future.”

Earlier in the March/April 1962 debates on the creation of the Midwest Region, he had demonstrated political sagacity by not opposing the creation of the Midwest and yet he belonged to the opposition (AG) that tacitly opposed it.

This was a high point of his political career hence during the second republic, Chief

M.C.K. Orbih concentrated on the building and consolidation of his new political party.

During this period, he was chairman of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) Etsako Local

Government Area; Bendel North Senatorial Leader of the NPN; and Chairman University of Benin Teaching Hospital under the Presidency of Alhaji Shehu Shagari on NPN platform.

Chief M.C.K. Orbih was a very agile and devout politician and so age could not deter him from participating actively in the politics of the Third Republic. This he did first under the banner of the APP and later Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) whose membership he held until his demise.

SOCIAL ACTIVITIES:

Chief M.C.K. Orbih’s activities and successes were not limited to the educational and political fields. The sage also made vital contributions to the socio-economic sectors. For instance, his love for music and dancing made him open a new vista in hospitality and entertainment industry in 1968 when he established the Defacto Bar at Auchi. Following this, a young ambitious man who was talented in music but hamstrung by financial insolvency was launched into limelight. This was young Bolivia Osigbemhe of blessed memory who registered his gratitude all his life via numerous musical albums he waxed in honour of Chief M.C.K Orbih. The Defacto Bar later metamorphosed into the famous Hill Top Hotel, Auchi which was established and commissioned at Auchi in 1972 as a place which was more of hospitality and entertainment than of commercial gains.

Chief M.C.K. Orbih found time outside his very busy schedule to socialize through various social clubs and organizations to which he belonged. He was one of the founding members of Auchi Club in 1968 and was also President, Rotary Club International — Auchi Chapter.

The young M.C.K. Orbih was a keen sportsman and was renowned for his goal keeping prowess. He was also deeply involved in Badminton, Lawn Tennis and he founded as well as promoted the defunct De Facto Football Club of Auchi, 1968 — 1972.

HIS RELIGION:

Chief M.C.K. Orbih was a devout and practicing Catholic having married his wife of blessed memory — Mrs. Christiana A. Orbih (nee Otsemobor/Igbanoi). He belonged to many church organizations including knighthood of the honoured Order of St. Mulumba. Chief M.C.K. Orbih was elevated to the highest echelon of the Order as a 4 degree knight in 2003.

He was the Chairman of Avianwu Ordination Committee for the first three priests of Avianwu Clan.

Chief M.C.K. Orbih was a regular visitor to St. Benedict’s Monastery, Ewu where he meditated and prayed silently under the serene atmosphere to his God.

 COMMUNITY SERVICE:

The leadership position of Chief M.C.K. Orbih in Edo North was undisputed and unparalleled until his death. He was a peace maker, a bridge builder, a father and a provider for the poor, the homeless and jobless and true son of his fatherland to whom people went for advice and guidance.

During his tenure as chairman of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, he ensured that Community Health Centres were built at Ogbona (his home town) and Udo in Ovia South West LGA. These served as outreach centers of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital.

These contributions of Chief M.C.K. Orbih did not go unnoticed by the people and he was recognized through the various chieftaincy titles he bagged. Specifically as a mark of honour and appreciation of his contributions, the Ogieneni of Uzairue honoured him with the title EKHAEVBE of Uzairue while the Ogieavianwu of Avianwu conferred on him the title— AGBOKHAEBO of Avianwu. These titles are testimonies to his transparent leadership and the immense contributions he made to the growth and development of not only his Ogbona/Avianwu Communities but to Etsako and indeed Nigeria.

FAMILY LIFE:

Chief M.C.K. Orbih had very strong family values. He was a father worthy of emulation. He taught his children ways to successful living both as Christians and members of their various communities. This he did through words and examples.

He loved all his children and gave each and every one of them the best gift a parent can give to his children- education. He was an exemplary father whose names to his grandchildren were both a blessing and historical. He was a caring father and had the habit of getting in touch with his children and brothers on a daily basis to enquire about their wellbeing.

HIS FRIENDS

Chief M. C. K. Orbih placed a lot of premium on his relationships with people generally. Little wonder that he was such a successful politician. This was demonstrated in his friendship with his bosom and childhood friends namely: Chief L. K Ogedegbe, Chief Abuda Obeakemhe, Chief Raphael Odior who was fondly and popularly called Papa V.T and Chief T. A. Osigbemhe. All his childhood friends were great men who with great vision and uncommon courage joined hands to chart a positive course for the growth and development of the Ogbona Community. Their lives inspired many a generation of Ogbona sons and daughters to great educational attainment as well as professional and vocational successes and fulfillment. 

FINAL ENCORE:

It was a glorious Wednesday, 15 December 2004 that signaled the home call of this noble man, honourable, a worthy knight, an amiable father, a politician par excellence, a teacher, a man of the people and above all, a devout catholic whose name and personality evoked respect, awe and honour among the young and old, as well as the poor and the rich.

Biography of Raphael Nasamu Odior (Actor or VT as fondly called by his friends)

  • A very successful farmer (mostly yams, maize and rice) ever known in Ogbona and its environs
  • Most of the citrus fruits in Avianwu and its environs came from his Nurseries and gardens.
  • The first to own an orchard (orange) plantation in Avhianwu.
  • He was a social activist and local music composer, one of his compositions was Bolivia’s song “Ogbona mha nekhai”.

Raphael Nasamu Odior was born on September 15th, 1926 at Ogbona, to Odior Okhoghiemhe and Asana Odior (nee Achemho) who hailed from Iraokhor. He was the fifth child of his mother in a polygamous setting.

He started his early education in 1937 at the Catholic School Ogbona. He ended his education abruptly in Standard three due to an eye accident, which took some years to heal because medical facilities were not readily available. When he fully recovered, he could no longer continue with his education. And so he took to food and commodity trading, across the River Niger to Onitsha. Later in life, he switched trade and became a foodstuff producer, he was a very successful farmer ever known in Ogbona and its environs. Aside from that, he also took to Horticulture. It is well known fact that most of the citrus fruits in Avianwu and its environs came from his Nurseries and gardens.

Very early in life, he had a definite idea of his future, his inability to continue with his education notwithstanding. He was a devout Christian of the practicing Catholic fold. He had very strong family values. He equally had a magnetic personality that attracted people to him. He was a father, a brother an uncle worthy of emulation.

He was a social activist and local music composer. He had a great understanding of the Avianwu dialect so much so that he laced his discussions with proverbs and innuendos. One of his compositions was Bolivia’s song “Ogbona mha nekhai”.

FAMILY LIFE

Raphael Nasamu Odior (Actor or VT as fondly called by his friends) was a great father and husband. He was a rallying point for his 17 children to the extent that it was very difficult to identify any child with his or her mother. He taught his children ways of successful living. Even with his limited education he emphasized the importance of education and hard work to his children. He once sold his bicycle and some of his other belongings to pay school fees for his children. He gave his children strict Christian upbringing blended with moral and traditional values and taught them to be industrious. He loved his children with a passion and ensures that they were well educated.

With him, there was never a dull moment. He always found a way to work round the generation gap between him and younger generations especially his children’s friends and his friend’s children. He had a lot to be grateful to his maker for in his lifetime. Not only was he an achiever, the achievements and accomplishments of his children, grandchildren and relations were always his sources of joy. On display always was his ability to enjoy life, his lightheartedness and caring nature, and finally his willpower to overcome challenges that life throws at him. Actor touched many people’s lives in different ways and help develop their potentials. He set high standard of conduct for himself and his entire household and was able to succeed where others failed.

He defended with a passion his immediate family, extended family of Ivhiochie, Ogbona and Avianwu. He was the custodian of that divine family democracy which gives equal rights to all the sons and daughters in the family. He was a spokesman for the Odior family.  Baba was the pride of Odior family and the motivating factor behind every progressive activity in the family, he was the umbrella that covered the family and he loved all without discrimination.

FARMING

Nasamu loved the fields, the hills; he was acquainted with the trees, with birds, with all the beautiful objects of the earth. He not only saw these objects, but understood their meaning, and he used them that he might exhibit his heart to his fellow-men. Baba used to rise to go to the farm by 4.00am and his farm produce was reputed to be better than any in the area. His rice farm was usually the largest in the area. He visited the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, (IITA) Ibadan on several occasions to seek for new seedlings, varieties of yam, cassava, rice and other cash crops to improve his farm yields. Many of the farm products varieties in the communities came through his efforts. He was always ready to share his seeds and ideas to help others improve their farm yields.

POLITICS

His political roles were limited by his education but service for his community, and leadership of his people were always trusted on him. He played a major role in determining who his people aligned with or voted for at elections. His loyalty to friends and family was very evident even in his political leaning. He supported his distant cousin, late Chief M.C.K. Orbih throughout his political life. Together they traveled the whole country meeting with political allies and making new friends.

FRIENDSHIP

Nasamu had friends across ages, groups and communities. He was a loyal and trusted friend throughout his life. Among his close friends were Chief M.C.K Orbih, Anthony Isa Orbih, L.K. Ogedegbe, Chief T.A. Osigbemhe, Chief P.A. Oboarekpe, Chief Obhozeghie Anyiador, Pa Iyevhobu, Patrick Abuda Obeakemhe, Jacob Orbih, T.D. Dunia, and Mr. Momoh from Fugar among others.

Raphael Nasamu Odior passed away in the early hours of Tuesday August 30, 2005 when he passed on at Alafia Hospital, Igarra from a brief illness.

Biography of Chief Patrick Abuda Obeakemhe

Some of Pa Patrick Abuda Obeakemhe popular sayings

“A man of integrity is the best man ever”

“The backwardness of our community in time past was mainly due to lack of education”

“As a friend to an Igbo man, you will like to walk with him, but an Igbo man will like you to work for him”

“Never eat dinner in your friends’ house because it is the height of irresponsibility”

“I don’t like people saying rubbish to my hearing”

“A man is the architect of what happens to him”

 

Patrick Abuda Obeakemhe was born on the 6th of June 1923 into the famous Obeakemhe Onaikpe family of Ogbona in today’s Etsako Central LGA. of Edo State. He was the third child of Mr. and Mrs. Obeakemhe after the birth of late JMK Obeakemhe and Late Obaseki Obeakemhe. His father, Obeakemhe was the first Son of Onaikpe of Ogbona Community.

Pa Patrick started his early education at Catholic Primary School, Ogbona. He ended his education abruptly when his father wanted somebody to stay with him at home and he later became a farmer. In 1942, at the age of 19, he tied the nuptial knot in the Catholic Church to Princess Fatimetu Ugbodaga, a princess from the royal family of South Uneme Clan now Anegbete in Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo state. He joined the State Civil Service Commission on the 16th April, 1961 and was deplored to the Ministry of Health as a Labor Assistant.

Although lawfully wedded to late Princess Fatimetu Ugbodaga, Pa Patrick had two other male children by Miss Alice Ulekha Obada from Ulumhoghie Unone Quarters, Fugar in Etsako Central LGA, Edo state. In all, Pa Patrick had eight children (Three males and five females). With the help of his younger brother, Chief Joseph Abass Sado Obeakemhe, he devoted his time, money and strength in the training of his children. Late Patrick was a man of integrity and a disciplinarian. Regardless of his limited education, he knew the importance of education and therefore ensured that all his children went to school and received good training.

In 1961, Pa Patrick joined politics with his childhood friends and brothers, notably among who were; Late Chief MCK Orbih, Late J.I. Odior, Late Nasamu Odior and Late Senator Lamai. These eminent community leaders made politics in their time a preferred brand. The political ideology and consciousness fostered by these eminent personalities made the electorates in their communities follow them like a sinking star. Sure, Pa Patrick and his friends in politics were like John the Baptist in the Bible, always showing the community the way forward, whether as a winning party or in opposition. As a result of his belief that a political ideology should be nurtured into a mass consciousness, he became extremely knowledgeable in matters of politics, consequent upon which he was able to maneuver through all forms of political intrigues of his time. For these rare qualities, the Community elders nick named him “RADIO” through which political information gets to the very grass root. On 7th January, 1984, Pa Patrick retired from the Civil Service Commission to become a full time politician.

As a Community leader, Pa Patrick, aside from politics, also founded many Associations and became members of others. For instance, he founded Asama Federated Union (home and abroad); He also became the Chairman of Edo State Farmers Congress, Ogbona Branch, among many others.

In business, Pa Patrick was a major distributor for Bendel Cement Company Limited, Okpella for many years. He was also a distributor for Bendel Breweries Limited.

Pa Patrick will be remembered for his love for his people. He was a complete detribalized personality; Very disciplined and full of integrity. He always identified with the poor, needy, old and the destitute members of the Community and even beyond. At his death on November 18, 2011, Pa Patrick still had a long list of many aged, poor and destitute persons he cared for. Such was his undying love and care for the needy that he was referred to as “BABA NOSO” i.e. Good Baba. Pa Patrick was very accommodating. He had a unique quality of being able to put up with every shade of character with equal understanding and love. As a peace maker, he brought peace where there was disharmony and accord where there was misunderstanding.

In character, he was incredibly humble; a disposition which made his life appeared simple. Integrity was his watch word and he distanced himself from dishonest men. Pa Patrick was a caring father to all. His piety was easy to discern as he was prayerful and steadfast in faith in God. He believed firmly in the Christian virtue of humility in service to others. Pa Patrick had a controversial philosophy of life. He neither believed in witchcraft nor black magic. He believed that man reaps what he sows and that God is in charge at all times. He also believed that animals should be killed strictly for food and not because of our perceived fear of what they might do to us. He therefore avoided killing snakes and even mosquitoes. He lived a life of dedicated service to man and abiding faith in God.

BIOGRAPHY OF PA WILLIAM OBIKO ASEKHAUNO

Pa William OBIKO Asekhauno was born into the family of the late Pa and Ma Asekhauno Ikhaze as the sixth of nine children in the year 1926 in Ogbona Imhakhena, Avhianwu Clan the present day Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo State.
The Name OBIKO was derived from the invincible nature of his father as a great hunter of his time who succeeded in killing buffalo. Pa Obiko’s immediate younger sister, Mrs. Margret EKPE Idenoba Imoagene also had the name (tiger) given to her after their father courageously killed a Tiger in one of his hunting expeditions.

In the year 1935, Pa Obiko at the tender age of nine was taken by his eldest brother’s wife, Mrs. Mary Okoghie Asekhauno from his birth place to Ahoada where he stayed with the family.
Papa did his elementary education in Ahoada, in the present day Rivers state. And went to attend Emmanuel College, Owerri in present day Imo State. He left Emmanuel College in 1949 to Enitona institute, now Enitona Boy’s High School, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
While in Enitona institute, he won the 1st prize of a fountain pen as the best student in English Language and History. Before he could finish College, he lost his eldest brother and Guardian, Mr. Okoghie Asekhauno to the cold hand of death. He had to resort to manual labour to be able to pay his way through school. He did menial jobs in building construction sites around the present day Aggrey Road and Bishop Johnson Street Area of Port Harcourt.
In 1952, he secured a clerical job with the then Bulk Oil Plant of Nigeria (BOPN) Ltd, an arm of (UAC) in Port Harcourt. The name of the company later became Nigerian Palm Produce Board (NPPD) with the indigenization Decree of 1979.
During the course of his carrier, he had the privilege of working twice in Burutu and was transferred to Koko in 1969 both in the present day Delta State. He left Koko for Calabar in 1970 and was transferred the same year to Port Harcourt where he started his working carrier. In 1978, he was transferred to Umuahia from there to Benin City in 1980. In 1984 he was transferred to Ibadan but he decided to retire voluntarily from service as chief accountant.
Papa got married to his beloved, Mrs. Comfort Lami Asekhauno, (née Okozi) in December, 1956 and the union is blessed with nine children. Apart from his biological children, Papa had other several adopted children. He was a doting father and loved all his children. He was a disciplinarian to the core and never spared the rod on any erring child. He was passionately committed to the education of his children and relatives. He was focused and made great sacrifices that saw them through formal education. He never failed to remind his children of a prophecy a man from Ebele, Etsako East LGA of Edo state gave to him in Port Harcourt in 1950s that he Pa Obiko was going to be a great man. In the language of the man “” ukwela mhologwe literally meaning” you are surely going to be prosperous “. Papa kept relishing these words of the seer for a very long time and whenever he was opportune to talk to any of his children.
He never stopped referring to this prophecy after he retired home and all his children became graduates of tertiary institutions. It was indeed a great fulfillment for a man who invested so much in education as he was advised by an expatriate staff in his early years in BOPON Ltd, Port Harcourt.
After his retirement in 1984, Papa went back to his home town, Ogbona-Imhakhena where he started his private business as an Independent Petroleum Marketer under the name,” Palm Petroleum Ltd. In the year 2002, as a result of age, he had to hand over the business to his children.
He lived a very simple life. When in the late 80s, he was listed among others for conferment of chieftaincy title, he declined the offer out of humility. He was very hospitable, never judgmental and was a shoulder for people to lean on.
Papa fondly called all by Yale, Ogboyayogwo and Azoganokhai, was a man of the people and he lived the rest of his life after retirement in his home town, Ogbona-Imhakhena. While home, he contributed in no small measure to the development of the community till the Lord called him home at about 7.30 am on Friday 23rd September, 2016. He was 90 years old. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Comfort Lami Asekhauno, children, sons and daughters in – laws, grandchildren, great grandchildren, a brother, cousins and other relations.

 

Biography of Chief Jacob Ivhador Odior

  • First Primary School Teacher to own a personal car in Ogbona
  • Secretary to Ogbona Community for over 20 years

Chief Jacob Ivhador Odior was born on 13th May, 1934 at Ogbona to Odior

Okhoghiemhe and Asana Odior (nee Achemho) who hailed. From lraokhor, He was the eighth child of his mother in a polygamous setting.

EARLY EDUCATION

Chief Jacob lvhador Odior began his educational career in Holy Trinity Primary School, Onitsha from 1948-1951; then Saint John Catholic School, Ogbona from 1952 to 1954 where he finally obtained his first school-leaving certificate. Armed with the First School Leaving Certificate, the way forward for the young educationally ambitious, Chief J.I. Odior was charted. Consequently he enrolled as a student at St. John Bosco’s Teacher training College, Ubiaja in 1958. This move was rewarded with the teachers Grade III Certificate. After ten years as a Grade III Teacher, the Young Chief J.1. Odior’s quest for education took him once again to Esiegie Teachers College, Abudu 1970. Here he obtained the Teachers Grade Certificate in 1972.

TEACHING CAREER

Having armed himself with the needed certificates, he plunged into the profession

With Pride. Satisfaction, Zeal and dedication. As a young teacher he taught in L.A. (Local Authority) Primary School Ogbona 1955; ldiqie Primary School 1964 to 965, L.A.

Primary School Imiava 1965); Catholic School Ogbona 1965 to 1971; he had a mercurial rise to the positions of Headmaster of RCM Primary School Aviele 1972 to _977; Sule Primary Apana from 1977 to 1980; Okpodi Primary School, lvianokpochi 1980 to 1981; Atakhena Primary School Itsukwui 1981to 1982 where he voluntarily retired.

COMMUNITY SERVICE.

As an enlightened member of the society, he held leadership positions geared towards the development of the community. He was secretary to Ogbona Community, Chairman to Ototo Family Union Ogbona and Secretary to NUP Etsako Local Government. Edo State.

He was a Peace Maker, a bridge builder, a father, provider for the poor, and a true son of his father land; a mentor to whom people went for advice and guidance.

These contributions by Chief Honorable J.I Odior did not go unnoticed by his people. He was recognized through the Chieftaincy Title he bagged specifically as a mark of honour and appreciation of his contributions by HRH Chief J.B Momoh and was honoured with the title of OSHIORIAMHE OF THE THREE IBIES

POLITICAL CAREER.

Chief J.I Odior as an enlightened member of the society made a foray into politics. He was the secretary/public relations Officer for action Group in Etsako District Council from 1956-1960. As a counselor he was appointed member of the caretaker committee under the NPN Party in 1983. He was also Party Secretary, Chairman Protocols, Publicity and Logistics under the NPN in Etsako Local Government Council. Chief J .I. Odior was he Supervisory Councilor for Education in Etsako East Local Government from 1996 to 1997. He was leader in Etsako Central Local Government under the People Democratic Party (PDP) before his passing away to the great beyond.

SOCIAL RELIGIOUS LIFE

Chief J.1. Odior was indefatigable. As a result he participated in all social activities in

Ogbona and beyond. He was a devout Catholic and married his one and only wife Mrs. Comfort B. Odior (NEE) Agbayekhai in church on 1st May 1968.

FAMILY LIFE

Chief J.1. Odior was a great father and husband. He was a rallying point for his ten children. He taught his children the ways of successful living. He emphasized the importance of education and hard work to his children. Chief Jacob Ivhador passed on October 9th, 2010.

Biography of Bernard Akhamibo Orbih (Assistant Comptroller General)

A Profile in Humility!

His life though cut short touched many who came in contact with him. His Ogbona and Iraokhor communities benefited from his contribution to the rural electrification project in the 1980s. A pioneer for his generation in government service, BA encouraged the recruitment of Afenmai and Ogbona indigenes into the Customs service. Bern was an orator, a disciplinarian, and a perfect gentleman. BA still had a lot to offer when he met his untimely death in 1996. Throughout his lifetime, BA believed and lived by the guiding principle of “A good name is better than riches”. May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace!

The late Assistant Comptroller General Bernard Akhamibo Orbih, was the first son of the late Chief (Ogiebo) Aleghe Amedu and Titilayo (Titi) Orbih.

B.A. as he was fondly known, had his early elementary school training from the Ogbona Catholic School. Following in the footsteps of his uncles (the late Chiefs M.C.K & Anthony Isah Orbih), Bern attended the St Thomas’ Teacher Training College Ibusa, in Delta State. An avid soccer lover and player, BA contributed to the youth soccer program of his time during school holidays. After graduating from St Thomas’, Bern became the youngest to head and teach at the same primary school from where he graduated. Bern later taught at the Ikabigbo Primary school before attending the University of Lagos.

After earning his BA degree in Geography, he joined the Nigerian Custom & Excise (now Customs Services) where he rose through the ranks and served as the Principal Assistant to the late Col Benjamin Adekunle. BA served on the Task Force setup by Gen Gowon to clear the Apapa Wharf of the infamous and notorious Cement Congestion at the wharf.

BA was the first Principal of the Customs Training Center in Yaba, Lagos from where he left to serve as the Area Administrator for the Murtala Muhammad Airport. He served the country and customs in various capacities including Area Administrator and Zonal Commander for the Kaduna zone, Area Administrator for the Western Zone in Ibadan. At the time of his death, BA was the Assistant Comptroller General and Eastern Region Zonal Comptroller in Owerri.

He is survived by his son, Sunday Ekhagbai Orbih, many cousins, aunties, uncles, nephews, nieces, and two sisters, Grace Itsuokor, Maria Umole, and brother – Charles Orbih

Biography of Major Francis Aigbona Atsegwasi (Rtd)

Major Francis Aigbona Atsegwasi (Rtd) was the first military officer from Ogbona to obtain a commission from the Nigerian Defense Academy, then the highest military institution in Nigeria

He was the Chairman of the then Care-taker committee of Etsako Central Local Government Area (2002-2003)

He was Aidenomo of Avianwu confer on him by the Avianwu Traditional Ruling Council and the Aigbokhabho of Ekperi Kingdom.

Chief, Major Francis Aigbona Atsegwasi (Rtd) was born to the families of Atsegwasi and Itsuokor on the 4th of December, 1946 at Ilorin in the present Kwara state. A native of Ogbona, in the present Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo State. His father, John Atsegwasi worked with the Nigerian Railway Corporation while his mother, Mrs. Comfort Philomena Abaikhue Atsegwasi was a trader.

He started his primary school education at St John’s Anglican School, Lalupon in the present Osun state. Upon the retirement of his Dad in 1957, Major Francis Atsegwasi (Rtd) completed his primary School at Etsako District Council, Ogbona. A brilliant, smart and restless lad proceeded to Blessed Martins Secondary School, Jattu in the present Etsako West Local Government Area where he studied between 1958-1960 under the honourable feet of a great educationist, a patriot and a strict disciplinarian, Chief M.C.K Orbih, former principal of the school and later Member of Parliament in the then Western House of Assembly.

The father was prepared to take the young Francis, like any of his children, to the highest level. He said to young Francis at his departure to college: ” I have sworn to give all my children the best of education not because I’m very rich but because I want all of you to be trained like the white Engineers I worked under at the Nigerian Railway Corporation” He continued, ” I understood practically everything about railroad fixing and Engineering but I was never addressed as Engr. John Atsegwasi because I didn’t have the opportunity to acquire western education” The young Francis promised to be serous and devoted to studies and he really was.

He left the model school in flying colors in 1961 as he promised his father. While most of his colleagues were picking up teaching appointments, he proceeded to St. John Bosco’s Teacher Training College, Ubiaja, between 1962 and 1965, obtaining his TC 11 Certificate as a trained teacher.

His student life at St. John Bosco was very interesting. He had a remarkable combination of interests and character. He was an Altar Boy, a good dancer and a composer with a natural passion for singing especially at school parties. Tall, Slim with a beautiful complexion, his students called Crazy Palipa. He love the four-some Liverpool based musical icons called The Beatles. He dressed in their boots, Beatles shirts, and trousers and carried their hairdo. Back home, he was a fan of late Jim Rex Lawson, King of Highlife music. His student peers group were Brother Sunday Ogah, Police Commissioner Jacob Oshiomhogho (Rtd), Brother Mike Okhumhale, Brother Paulinus Agbaiyekhai, Sister Magdalene Obomighie(Née Atsegwasi),his younger sister, Sister Comfort Jacob Odior,(Née Agbayekhai) Sister Janet Anabor of blessed memory, Peter Okhuemoi of blessed memory, Pst Mrs. Julie Inu Umoru( Née Anaweokhai) just to mention but a few.

These corps of enlightened young men and women were the initiators and forerunners of western and social culture of Ogbona community in the late 50s and early 60s. They were guardians and role models to the younger generation.

Major Francis Atsegwasi (Rtd) began his teaching carrier in 1966 after his TC11 at R.C.M school, Ikpesi and at Lampese both in Akoko Edo. He resigned his appointment in 1969 to answer his divine calling.

Before the birth of Major Francis Atsegwasi (RTD), there was a prophesy that the expected child was a soldier. In the mind of my father, John Atsegwasi, a.k.a Ikanama, there was no iota of doubt about it, for it is crystal clear in his mind that this rare message from the oracle of God must come to pass. From infant, Francis started to display the military attributes in him. He was in the Boys Scout and acted military roles in school concerts. No wonder, therefore, his father called him “Major” as a pet name ever before he joined the Army.

The onset of the Nigerian civil war 1967-1970 accelerated, or rather actualized his burning ambition to join the Nigerian Army. In 1969, Major Francis Atsegwasi (RTD), joined the Nigerian Army and had his initial training at the Nigerian Military Training College (NMTC), Jaji, Zaria. This military college prepared him to proceed to the Nigerian Defense Academy where he was commissioned to the rank of 2nd lieutenant in September of 1971. He was the first military officer from Ogbona to obtain a commission from the Nigerian Defense Academy, then the highest military institution in Nigeria

He served his fatherland in various capacities and meritoriously for 21 years.

He held the following appointments:

  • 176 INF BN Sapele. —— Adjutant.
  • Ex-SVC MEN BN ———– Adjutant 2nd in command
  • 184INF BN. —– Def. Command
  • I72 INF BN. ——–21/c acting Commanding Officer
  • 24 INF BN ————- Command Officer
  • Staff Captain. …………… HQ Corp of Nig. Army Mil. Police
  • 4 provost BN……………… Second in Command
  • 82 Provost BN………………. Acting C.O
  • Col Administration. ………,. HQ Corp of Military Police and quartering
  • Chief Instructor. …….. HQ Nigerian Army School of Military Police Deputy Commandant.

His career in the Nigerian Army successfully took him through the following courses: Young Officer Course. Platoon Commander, Junior Division Staff College, Senior Division of the Command and Staff College (Pss)

Major Francis (Rtd) was also trained at the Military Police College Bangalore, Indian after which he attended Military Police Advance Officer Course at Fort McClellan, Alabama, USA where he bagged a Diploma in Military Law. For his diligent service to the fatherland, Francis had the following Awards: United National peace Medal, Forces Service star (Fss) and the Passed Staff College (Psc). As an Officer of the Nigerian Army Corp of the Military Police, he was outspoken, and mostly not diplomatic but believed in justice and fairness.

At the rank of a Major Francis was retired abruptly from the service coincidentally, after the Gideon Orka abortive putsch of 1990, though he was ever accused of complicity. The unexpected retirement had untold consequences on him both physically and psychologically. The family, however, thanked God that he left the Army in one piece. There was pressure on him to venture into some business at that critical time, but Francis was not cut out for such. Rather he went into politics, becoming a member of the ruling Party at that time, People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Between 30th May, 2002 and 19th June 2003, he was the Chairman of the then Care-taker committee of Etsako Central Local Government Area. The community he served recognized his passion for truth, honesty, boldness and absolute devotion to responsibility. The Avianwu Traditional Ruling Council bestowed on him the title of Aidenomo of Avianwu, while he was called into the Traditional Chieftaincy Kingdom of Ekperi as the Aigbokhabho of Ekperi. He was also a member of the Governing Council of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma.

Chief Major Francis Aigbona Atsegwasi (Rtd) lived for 68 years, 1946-2014. He was married and blessed with children among whom are: Victor Ikpemhinoghena Atsegwasi of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, Abuja, Mrs. Evelyn Eta (UK) Mrs. Clara Oyeleye Omolulu, and Mrs. Ethel Ndola-Egba of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Abuja, Emmanuel Atsegwasi, Alvin Atsegwasi of Her Majesty Royal Army (UK), Mrs. Joy Tebu, Roy Atsegwasi, Michael Atsegwasi and Polycarp Itsabor Atsegwasi.

Biography of General Bolivia Osigbemhe

History

ORIGIN OF THE BAND

THE WAILING BIRD OF ETSAKO LAND: GENERAL MARSHAL ILEGHIEUMA SUNDAY BOLIVIA OSIGBEMHE

Bolivia Sunday Ileghieuma  Osigbemhe born in Ogbona, a sprawling village in the then Kukuruku Division of Western Region Of Nigeria was like any other village youth of his age, except that his talent in harnessing the folksongs of his community he quickly unfolding while he was in elementary school years. Except during class lessons, any other free time, either during recess period or at the close of the school Sunday always drew a crowd as he rendered commonly known and popular folksongs.

He has a style and this was his specific way of rearranging the lyrics and the listeners knew that a genius was in the making. During the end of the term session he will organize youths from the school to perform and during the holidays after farm sessions, he would create rehearsals  and at school reopening, he embellishes resumption with very enticing compositions of his and the elders, mostly the old women saw new thing happening to the aged-long ballads in the class of “Agbi”, a specific folklore pattern through which songs of praise, pain and abuse, a common pattern was seen being given a very different and unheard of style of raising the level of their

Folklore

His consuming interest fired him to form a local choral troupe that moved him up to being invited by the then Midwest Arts Council. Soon, he took up a teaching appointment and was posted to Fugar town. Form his salary, the young artiste bought a trumpet and he became a one man band at Fugar. Electricity supply hasn’t got to this town and the lantern was in general use.

At the sound of his trumpet usually after the night meals, one will see dotted spots of light emerging from different routes in the dark within Fugar, all heading for young Bolivia’s residence .

This writer is also a fan of his as he was also a pupil teacher untrained though. The crowd was made up of elders, old women, boys and girls, all gathered in the centre of his residence as most traditional homes had this common design pattern of having large openings in the centre surrounded by apartments on both side of the compound with two main exits, the frontage and the backyard exit leading to the refuse dump and gardens.

The free sessions were always delightful as Bolivia would play a trumpet, change to solo performance in songs and members of the audience who know the lyrics would give him chorus. He was of course very popular amongst the teacher in all schools in the village, the indigenes and especially the shy pretty village girls. Many of them would have naturally be willing to befriend him, but the cultural background prevailing then would expose any girl who dared and this would create a topic for gossip that would go round the village like a wildfire.

As he grew and got matured, an uncle of his, Chief M.C.K Orbih who was a trained certificated teacher noticed Sunday’s potentials and bought him a set of musical instrument and he became the first resident band stationed at Chief M.C.K Orbih’s Defacto Bar at Auchi, opposite Chief Yaro Lecky’s family house.

This created a socializing meeting point for music lovers from all town and villages that made up what was then known as Kukuruku Division and later Afenmai Division of today made up of six local government council, namely Akoko-Edo – Igarra as Headquarters, Etsako central – Fugar as Headquarters, Etsako East – Agenebode as Headquarters, Etsako West – Auchi as Headquarters, Owan East – Afuze as Headquarters, Owan West – Sabongida Ora as Headquarters respectively. There were older musician like Anco Momodu, but Sunday Ileghieuma Bolivia Osigbemhe’s fame just came out of the blues, swallowing others.

As he grew, his elderly relations insisted on his furthering of his education to train as a teacher, but he never listened: he was focused and every second of time was devoted to composing songs.

Years rolled by and Bolivia grew in his chosen profession as an artiste: he was an all-round instrumentalist, starting with the trumpet, guitar and the keyboard at its arrival, topping it with a compelling vocal diction with a manipulative effect that could move one into an emotional freezing point.

His growth was a phenomenon: he moved from home and went as far Accra, Ghana (then called Gold Coast) during which he mastered the Ghanaian typical highlife rhythm which are to be found in most of his records.

He joined the renowned Dr. Victor Abimbola Olaiya Dance Band in Lagos and later relocated back home to Etsako land. He has an enlarge Dance Band and became the resident Band at the Hill Top Hotel Auchi owned by his uncle who is also his mentor, late Chief M.C.K  Orbih who was a member of the Federal House of Representative (Etsako Federal Constituency) in the first republic.

The name “Bolivia” he gave himself couldn’t be traced to any particular development other than he had always done things to create news as he did with his periodic waxed discs. Perhaps he had thought he would have to sound much travelled, hence he took the name Bolivia. Which is in the North America.

His works are numerous, but with the Akpola label, a subsidiary of Philips records.

Bolivia was Catholic by birth and he was a very caring and loving husband and father. His siblings can only testify if he had had the holy communion before he died, but one of his wives very popular, called Lucy had said in an interview that at the beginning of their married life, Bolivia had a lot many friends, both males and females, at a time, she was naturally disturbed to an extent of creating scenes each time the females came visiting: later she gave up on realizing that he was very caring, both for his children, his wives and relations.

Along the line, some of his children took interest in their father’s calling and had on-the-job attachment and one of them known as Constance, (a.k.a. avhinopie – the palm oil with good aroma) chested out more than others

In his reigning period, he named himself “General Marshal Bolivia Osigbemhe: he was popular and had a Bolivia fans club. Every Sunday, for over ten years, he sustained “Sunday jumps” at the Hill Top Hotel Auchi, and his son Bolivia Constance took over the Band at the demise of his father. Constance never had it smooth with his senior brother who never wanted him to tow their late father’s line of profession.

Bolivia was destined to be a productive artiste. His uncle Chief Thomas Ajayie Osigbemhe a renowned educationist traced Bolivia Sunday Ileghieuma Osigbemhe’s talent to his parents Pa Okolo and Salametu Osigbemhe who were of the Anglican denominations: “his name Ileghieuma (my association with foreigners has conferred honour on me.) His father was “one of the first Ogbona Anglican Christians to become literate in Yoruba and to read the Bible in Yoruba under tutelage of late Bishop Oyebode.”

“Bolivia attended the St. John’s Roman Catholic School in Ogbona and was baptized Michael, .he entered the limelight of music when organized a small group of school children in Ogbona to sing folklore songs to instruments.” “This group won the first place in instrumental folk music in the Midwest during the arts Festival in 1967 and represented Nigeria in all Africa Arts Festival in Algiers in the following year. His music has universal appeal. Even those who do not understand Etsako language or Bolivia’s lyrics are moved by the melody and harmony of his music. Bolivia uses his music to advise, counsel and admonish.”

That was from his mentor’s words.

Bolivia’s death on January 25th 1991 was very shocking: it came like a bad dream. He was young, born in 1942 and was buried on February 2nd 1991 in his three storey building compound along Ogbona – Fugar Road. He had 58 albums to his credit.

His fifth child and second son, Constance Bolivia Osigbemhe was able to stand the hit of the opposition.

Today, the young Bolivia leads his father’s Bolivia Memorial Band: “when the head of the rabbits die, there are still younger ones in the hole”, this is one of the younger Bolivia’s popular tracks among his numerous works.

He is on such a dexterous on the scene as his works are even more inviting and inciting, especially in his compositions, utilizing the popular “Agbi” format of deliverance.

Young Bolivia is a musical activist, whose lyrics depict prevailing political developments in Afenmai land: the realistic compositions have two faces, the opposite is angered by the truthfulness and the other side praises them.

The fruit that dropped from the tree that died has grown and has developed into a living legend that stepped into his father’s shoes, he is polishing them and the legacy is growing and shining

BIOGRAPHY OF LATE ANTHONY ISA OBI (ORBIH)

The man ANTHONY ISA ORBIH (OBI) was born in the year of our Lord 1921 to Pa Obi of Ivhido Quarters, Ogbona in the present day Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo State, the then Mid-Western Region/ Bendel State of Nigeria. He (Anthony Isa Orbih) was a devoted Catholic which the foundation of his interest in education was.

EDUCATION:

His Education started in 1936 in RCM Ogbona where he did infant Class I to Standard III. In 1941, he moved to continue his education in Uzairue where he did Standard IV to V. He thereafter went to do Standard VI, in RCM Agenebode in 1943. It is on record that he came out fifth out of the thirty students for the 1943 final examination.

He processed further to St. John Bosco College in Ubiaja in 1949 where he obtained Teacher’s Elementary Certificate in Education Department of Nigeria.

He also attended St Thomas College, Ibusa-Asaba in 1953.

In 1955 was awarded Teacher’s Certificate (Grade two) by the then Western Region Ministry of Education, which qualify him to teach all subject up to Class Six of a Senior Primary School, the subjects included  Arithmetical Processes, Practical Rural Science, Religion Knowledge and Rural Science Theory.

In 1958 he obtained from University of London, General Certificate of Education in English language, Geography and British Constitution.

In 1961 to 1962 he obtained from the University of London General Certificate in Advanced Level in British Constitution and History.

And in 1970 he attended Headmaster Institutes of the University of Ibadan where he obtained Associate-ship Certificate in Education.

WORK EXPERIENCE:

As a professional teacher (Headmaster)

He taught at the Catholic School, Ogbona, Catholic School, Okpekpe, Sacred Heart School, Agenebode, St. Vincent Catholic School, Auchi, St. Bonaventure Catholic School, Okhugbe, Okpella and also helped in establishing St Anthony Catholic School, Ugheole Aviele.

Anthony Isah Orbih died in April 1972 from injuries he sustained from an accident he had with his Motorcycle while inspecting his school children lined up to welcome Gov. Audu Bako of Kano State and the military governor of the old Midwest, Brigadier Samuel Ogbemudia on state visit to Auchi.

As a devout Catholic, was married to one wife Mrs. Regina Orbih also from Ogbona, they were blessed with nine children; seven of which are graduates due to the good will of uncle Chief M.C.K Orbih and self-determinations.

May his gentle soul rest in peace Amen.

BIOGRAPHY OF LATE DR. JOHN BESIRU IDODE

The Man John Besiru Idode was born on the 1st of October 1939 to Pa Idode and Madam Pati Itokhokho of Odior-Obore dynasty of Ogbona in the present day Etsako central local government of Edo state. He grew up in the Care of his parents. His father was a successful business man, a renowned tailor (the first tailor in Ogbona) and a devoted Muslim. He would have loved his Son Beirut to take after his business trade but young Beirut had flair for education. 
 

At the age of 10, John Beirut Idode enrolled as a pupil in St John Catholic School Ogbona and had primary six school certificate in 1956.
He also attended the then famous blessed Martin Secondary Modern School, Jattu Uzairue from 1957 to 1959. Upon finishing Modern School, John Beirut went to stay with his uncle, late Mr. T.D DUNIA Who was a staff of the Nigeria College of Arts, Science and Technology Ibadan. Young Beirut who saw the value of education soon enrolled as a student of stenographic studies.
Later in 1965, John Beirut relocated to Benin where he secured a Job and was posted to the Ministry of Establishments /Training as a typist. Through determination and a dint of hard work, the young man combined his official duties with correspondence studies with the rapid result college (RRC) of London. He worked under his then boss, late PA Agbongiague who supported him both financially and morally till he passed his “O” and “A” levels GCE. He was admitted into the prestigious University of Ibadan and graduated B.SC (Hons) Political Science in 1970 and a Master’s degree in 1976 (with distinction). He proceeded to Carleton University of Ottawa, Canada and bagged a PhD in Political Science and Administration also with distinction in 1979. He was offered opportunity to settle and work in Canada with his family but opted to return to Nigeria to serve his father land.

He was promoted administrative officer and rose to the position of Director General in the Public Service of Bendel state now Edo and Delta states. He was a Director General Ministry of Budget and Planning, Director General (DG) at the Directorate for Food Roads and Rural Infrastructure. (DFFRI and Sole Administrator Ika Local Government Authority, Agbor. 
He was absolutely committed to the development of his family and Ogbona. He attracted the water and electricity projects to Ogbona and its environs. Attracted the water project along Imiava road to Ogbona. Attracted the piping project from Imiava road to Ogbona Central market as well as the overhead water storage tank by Odalumhe house. 
J.B as he was popularly called also bagged a degree in law from the University of Benin. Dr. John Besiru Idode belonged to various academic/professional bodies and won several awards. He published several books/journals. DR. John Besiru Idode was married to two wives and with many children. Dr. J.B. Idode died in early April 2007. (May his soul rest in peace)

BIOGRAPHY OF MR. PILLIP SAMUGANA ANABOR.

Mr. Philip Samugana Anabor was born on the 21st of July 1940 in Ogbona, Etsako Central LGA of Edo State. He was born to late Anabor Atogwe and Late Mrs. Aigbodesi Anabor. His mother was the 1st of 5 wives and he was the last of 6 siblings.
His early childhood was spent in Ogbona where he attended Native Authority Primary School, Ogbona in 1946 for 4 years and St. John’s Catholic school for 2 years. He subsequently applied and was accepted into St. John’s Bosco Teacher Training College in Ubiaja. He spent 2 years as a grade 3 teachers before moving to Uzairue to attend the Grade 2 Teacher Training College also for 2 years.
On leaving Uzairue, he taught at Anegbete Primary School for 2 years. Subjects he taught were Arithmetic, English, Vernacular, Writing, and Drawing. His professionalism and work ethics did not go unnoticed and he was rewarded with the Headmaster position at Udochi Primary School. He held this position with dignity for 2 years before returning to the training college at Uzairue to continue teaching. In 1958, he was posted to Benin to work at St. Patrick’s Secondary Modern School for a couple of years before leaving to go back to Ubiaja where he spent his last 4 years as a teacher at the training college it all started from, St. John’s Bosco..1965, he gained admission into the University of Nigeria Nsuka to study economics. He was there until 1967 when the civil war broke out so he left UNN for the University of Lagos to complete his Economics degree course and graduated with Honors.

Upon graduation from UNILAG in 1969, he joined the Central Bank of Nigeria as a graduate student where he worked in the Exchange Control department before moving to Foreign Operations and then Human Resources .He attended various international management courses in Paris, Monrovia and the United Kingdom, to mention but a few, before he retired as Deputy Director.

During his early time in the CBN, he was handpicked as company sponsored Master’s degree program at the Heriot-Watt University in Edinburg, Scotland where he spent 2 years and graduated with a Master’s degree in Economics.

In 1976, he was also sent on a CBN attachment training program to the US where he also spent time working in training in banking facilities both in New York and Washington DC. He climbed up the company ladder with hard work and dedication and at the time of his retirement in 1989, he was a Deputy Director and the Principal of the CBN Training Centre in Lagos.

After his retirement from CBN, he joined Arthur Anderson firm 1991 and worked there for 4 years as an Administrator before he eventually retired to start off his own consultancy firm which he operated for a few more years.

Philip met his wife, the then Miss Patience Ehizijie Agheyisi in the 70s. They courted and got married on 28th of February, 1981 and God blessed the union with 3 children (Osikama, Omegie and Aloiye).

Throughout his life, Philip was a Devout Christian, practicing Catholic who dedicated his life constantly and consistently to the service of The Lord. Until his passing in 2015, he was a renowned member of the SS Michael, Raphael and Gabriel Catholic Church (Archangels Parish) in Satellite town, Lagos

Biography of Anthony Bartholomew Chiata Anaweokhai

Mr. Anthony Bartholomew Chiata Anaweokhai, popularly known as Mr. ABC was born on the 4th of April 1929 to the Catholic family of Cletus Anaweokhai of Ivhiosano/Ivhiochie & Jamina of Ivhiughelo from Iraokhor. Anthony left home at an early age in the late 1930s to live in Rop, a town in the present day Plateau State with his uncle, James Anaweokhai. This was where he had his primary education. He later moved with the same uncle to Onitsha in the 40s where he attended African College Onitsha for his secondary education. He finish in 1949, and got a job with Leventis stores in Port Harcourt as an accountant.

He was transferred to Leventis Lagos where he worked in various sections of the account department at Iddo for several years. He did some certificate courses in accounting and finance at Yaba College of Science and technology to get him better equipped for his accounting job in Leventis. He got married to Aishetu Florence Idode in 1957 and the marriage was blessed with Agatha, Martina and Lilian. He was again transferred to Kaduna in 1973 and finally to Warri in 1979 where he worked till 1985 when he retired as Chief Account. He was an active member of Ogbona meeting in all the places he worked. He helped to unite then divided Ogbona meeting in Kaduna in the late 1970s.

ABC Anaweokhai was an honest man who prided integrity above anything else. He died on 20th June, 1987   

Biography of Yakubu Gowon Ikhane

Jacob, more popularly called, by his Arabic variant, Yakubu, was born to Ikhane Atsike of Ivhiorevho quarter and Iyawo Enakhumhe of Ivhiobore quarter of Ogbona.

There is no known account of his ever attaining any formal education,  a consequence of which he showed little or no interest in the education of his children, for which reason only Bernard and Barrister Dickson out of his thirteen children went beyond secondary school level. However, he made formidable marks as a reputable farmer, a transporter who frequented Ibadan with the family lorry (a Morris minor), and a community leader who was known to deliver promptly and creditably on all duties assigned to him. He was a well-known political foot-soldier of late Chief M. C. K Orbih’s political dynasty, a Commanding General of Ogbona hunter’s guild, and a philanthropists to a fault. He was also the first sub-head of Ivhiorevho village in Ogbona and an Oghie ‘Ebo.  Yakubu (GOWON), an appellation that robed him as a fitting allusion to the then Nigerian Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon was a household chorus in Ogbona. He was a man who was known to give all of himself to any cause he believed in. Like Julius Caesar in Shakespeare, he lived by the philosophy that “the things that touches us ourselves shall be last served “. So he would withhold help to one of his own just to please another, a grievous fault for which he could not make some his children what they ought to have been.

In fact, Yakubu GOWON Ikhane was one of the Lords of Imhakhena until he succumbed to the cold hands of death on 29th September, 2002.    

Biography of Mr. Adolphus Ikhumhi Enaberue

Mr. Adolphus Ikhumhi Enaberue was a renowned educationist, reconciler and philanthropist who believed that education was the bedrock of success and fulfillment in life; not earthly acquisition of property. He was one to always advise and recommend to the youths to first pursue academic accomplishment before venturing to any career in life.

He was a man of peace and a bridge builder whenever there were crises. He believed strongly in culture and tradition and was never one to denigrate the beliefs of his people

 DATE OF BIRTH – Was born on 24th October, 1932 to the family of Papa and Mama Enaberue and Ebeto.

  1. Academics – For his educational pursuits, he attended:
  2. John’s Catholic School, Ogbona from 1943 to 1948 and later St. Theresa’s Catholic School, Fugar from 1949 through 1950 where he obtained his Standard Six School leaving certificate;
  3. Provincial Teachers’ College (PTC), Ubiaja (1952);
  4. John Bosco Teachers’ Training College, Ubiaja, where he obtained teachers Grade III certificate (1955);
  5. Assumption Teachers’ Training College Uzairue (1958-1959) where he obtained his teachers grade II certificate;
  6. University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU)), Ile-Ife from 1964 through 1967 where he obtained Bachelor of Arts (Honour) degree in History and Government; and
  7. Temple University, Philadelphia, United State of America (Abraka Campus), where he obtained a Master of Arts Degree (MA) in Education.
  8. WORKING CAREER – During his working career, he taught at
  9. Vincent’s Catholic School, Auchi (1943);
  10. Sacred Heart Primary School, Agenebode 1955-1957;
  11. Catholic School, Ivhiukwe, April 1957 through December 1957, where he was Headmaster.
  12. Secondary Modern School, Urhonigbe (1960-1962)
  13. Okhuokhuo Primary School, Okhuokhuo near Ehor, as Headmaster
  14. Electricity Cooperation of Nigeria ( ECN), Ibadan, January to October 1964
  15. Anglican Girls Grammar School, Ibillo (1974 – 1975) as History teacher
  16. Iyiagor Grammar School, Ubuluku where he was Vice Principal (1974 – 1975);
  17. Okada Grammar School, Okada (1976 – 1978) where he was Principal
  18. Owa – Alero Secondary Commercial School, Owa-Alero as Principal
  19. Ministry of Education, Ororokpe, Ethiope Local Government Area, where he headed inspectorate Unit
  20. Ministry of Education Headquarters, Benin city, where he again headed the inspectorate unit
  21. Ministry of Education, Ubiaja, Agbazilo local Government Area, where he was chief inspector of Education (CIE), until his retirement from service in 1987

After his retirement from service, he was:-

  1. Customary Court Judge (1989 – 1991)
  2. Farmer, from 1992 – 2010.

Mr. Adolphus Ikhumhi Enaberue was a renowned educationist, reconciler and philanthropist who believed that education was the bedrock of success and fulfillment in life; not earthly acquisition of property. He was one to always advise and recommend to the youths to first pursue academic accomplishment before venturing to any career in life.

He was a man of peace and a bridge builder whenever there were crises. He believed strongly in culture and tradition and was never one to denigrate the beliefs of his people. Accordingly when it became expedient for him to be recognized by Ogbona people, he gladly accepted and was conferred with such traditional position as:

  1. The Oghiebo of Ivhiobiri
  2. Otadi of Ivhiobiri
  3. Head of Elue Traditional Dance and Custodians of ilo Ivhido’s costumes
  4. He was also Chairman Avianwu peace and Reconciliation Committee before his death on Sunday 14th September, 2014 at age 82.

He was a catholic faithful and his hobbies were reading, storytelling and mentoring of youths.

BIOGRAPHY OF GEORGE ENETOMEH UWAYA

George Enetomeh Uwaya obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geography from the University of Ibadan. He thereafter proceeded to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria where he obtained a Post Graduate Diploma in Education. He also holds a Master of Science Degree in Geography from the University of Benin.

 

Carrier in Public Service

  1. Education Officer in the Ministry of Education North Western State from 1971 to 1975,
  2. Head Geography Department, College of Education Minna, Niger State from 1976 to 1991
  3. Examiner for West African Examination Council in 1986,
  4. Dean School of Art and Social Science 1991,
  5. Chairman Committee of Deans College of Education 1991.
  6. In 1994-1996, he was appointed Commissioner for Education Edo State,
  7. 1996-1997 Commissioner Special Duties Edo State.

Late George Enetomeh Uwaya died on the 30th of January 1999. He Survived by wife and Six Children.

Biography of Arc. John Edward Agekame Orbih

Chief (Arc.) John Edward Agekame Orbih was born at Ogbona on December 21, 1944 to Mr. Peter Izogeti Orbih and Madam Itsefia Orbih.

He attended St. Theresa’s Catholic Primary School Okpekpe in 1957. He then proceeded to Edo College Benin City from 1958 to 1967 where he spent his crucial formative years. While at Edo College he was a member of the Literary and Debating Society, French Club and the school’s cricket team. As a show of his glaring leadership qualities he was made a school prefect. He taught briefly on leaving Edo College before proceeding to the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria where he obtained his Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Architecture between 1970 to 1973 and 1973 to 1975 respectively. As a student he was a Federal scholar and also a Midwestern scholar. On completion of his first degree he proceeded on his national service as a pioneer member of NYSC in 1973.

His working career started when he joined the then Bendel Development and Property Authority (BDPA) in 1976. Between 1976 and 1980 he rose to the position of Principal Architect before he resigned to go into private practice.

At BDPA he left his footprints in the sands of time as he was the Project Architect responsible for the construction of the BDPA Headquarters on Sakponba Road and the various Housing Estates in Benin City, Ugbowo, Oregbeni, Warri, Asaba and other places. He was well loved by all his co. workers.

In private practice he started an Architectural firm Hibro Edwards Archi –Services Ltd Benin City that is behind some of the Architectural masterpieces adoring Benin City, Auchi, Abuja, Ibadan Lagos etc.

He was involved in many professional, socio cultural and political activities. He was a promoter for the preservation of the culture of Avianwu people. He was a past President of Ogbona Imhakhena Federated Union a post he held for over 10 years. He was also a member of Avianwu Club, Lions Club, Lotus Club and many other social clubs. He was the National Secretary General of Edo College old Boys Association from 1985-1988. He was also Secretary, two time Chairman of the Nigerian Institutes of Architects (NIA) Bendel, Edo and Delta branches. He was also a member of council of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), the Chairman of the Accreditation and Examinations boards at different times and a Fellow of the institute.

On the political front Chief J.E.A. Orbih was a politician per excellence who started early under the tutelage of the master, Chief M.C.K. Orbih. He was a founding member of PDP in Edo State. He passionately followed the party until he left in 2006 when he said “the laid down principles of the party were no longer being followed”. He later joined the Labour party and was the party’s State Treasurer and a member of Adams Oshiomhole’s Campaign Organization.

Chief J. E. A. Orbih was an enigma of humor and had the ability to relate with people at all levels, young, old, rich and poor in a special way.  He always had a joke for every occasion and touched many lives positively wherever he went.

He was a devoted Catholic and a dedicated husband, father, brother, friend and mentor.  He loved gardening, reading, sports and listening to music especially highlife.

Chief J. E. A. Orbih died November 9th 2007.

BIOGRAPHY OF CHIEF VINCENT OSIREGBHEMHE AZAGBOR OMADIMHE 1924-2008

CHIEF VINCENT OSIREGBHEMHE AZEGBOR OMADIMHE
CHIEF VINCENT OSIREGBHEMHE AZEGBOR OMADIMHE

He was born the last child into the family of Late Chief & Mrs. Omadimhe Epi. Both Parents are from Ivhiomhierele sub-village, Ogbona in Avianwu clan that comprises also of Ivhiraokhor, Ivhiarua and Ivhinone Villages

Education: Highly decidedly far-sighted to envisage the necessity of a western education, be it high or low, he availed himself the opportunity from his very tight schedule to commence his elementary education at a full-grown age in the year 1936 while he was clearly in the top academic bracket of his class. His class mates include Chief P.K. Ikhane, Pa. Francis Aigbudumhe Ibadan to mention but a few in the then Etsako Divisional Council School E.D.C. Ogbona presently Imhakhena Primary School. However, the destiny of the entire household particularly the upkeeps of his aged parents rested on his shoulder at such early age and became constrained to terminate his western educational pursuit in standard five, the terms by which school classification was referred in the days of old.

His low educational status notwithstanding, he was endowed with exceptional gift of knowledge, articulation and indeed a highly sound mind and like the legendary epitome of wisdom, William Shakespeare, he was a dependable analyst, counselor, a teacher whose philosophical mind, men and women of high and low status were excited and satisfied to share Love for his people: The life and time of this sage portrayed a compassionate, committed and magnanimous heart for his birth place and her people, a radiating and unalloyed love which left non in doubt through whatever he professed and practiced, consciously for the well-being and glory of the Imhakhena’s. His love, comparable with an overflowing river, or synonymous with that of the fish to water, better put symbolic of the sky and the chick at a drink was what he lived to defend. The eventful life in the right direction of Chief V.A Omadimhe tends to attest to the fact that for every era of the human kingdom, are scathingly nature-sent valours, heroes and heroines purposely to salvage the particular era. Like the ancient Benin Kingdom, oral historical beliefs remembers the duo of the legendary mighty men of valour, Erua and Odiah of old who triumphantly and jealously made exploit for the protection of the Benin Kingdom or the famous men of valour of our very own, and our ancestral founders, Ancestor Imhakhena of Ogbona and his siblings Unone, Arua and Uralo of the Avianwu decent. For Chief V.A. Omadimhe one can’t but liken him to a God-sent hero of his people in view of the visible soaring desperation and passion with which he earnestly yearned after, and fervently aspired to put his people always on the next best soothing in all scheme of things not minding the associated disincentives of being sometimes misunderstood, misrepresented or misconstrued while for him, he regarded it as normal.

Achievements: To many, who X-ray him via the memory lane, his most remarkable achievement is his successful effort to put paid to the transportation menace of the early Ogbona and indeed the Avianwu merchants, from way back February 2nd 1962 while others vary their choice on a wide range of other of his achievements. As there was no single motor-lorry around, the very few operational Lorries available from Uzairue were quite seldom, unpredictable and unreliable, many were force-fed the menu of transportation predicament. Our merchants men, women and children were either regrettably compelled sometimes to miss the anxiously awaited delightful Jattu market, the nearest commercial centre which holds every ninth day or Etsako bi-native weekly day or embark on the rigour of trekking the (30km) thirty kilometer road carrying the wares on their heads. As worrisome, reprehensible and ignominious as he viewed this degradation of his community, he personally undertook the challenge to procure to the sucour of his people, a brand new 5 tons Austin Lorry from the sweat of his brow through a solo effort as a farmer/ “sawyers” in the second year of the nation’s independence with the inscription, “No Event No History” similarly, his unwavering sense of purpose to be different about the specific prevailing transportation challenges of his people warranted his subsequent attempt to water it down in his capacity time to time, hence his chain of various types of vehicles later. They also included Mercedes Benz 911 lorries (two) Mercedes Benz 911 tippers (two) Toyota Dyna Bus Service (one) with the inscription “Ogbona Bus”, Peugeots 404 Van, Datsun Pickup Vans (two), Peugeot 504 wagon and saloon amongst others.

PHOTO COLUMN

Motor Saw Engine: Also for the delight and necessity of his co-sawyers, he procured the first “Motorize Table Saw’, a diesel engine-powered saw, used to roll out smaller wood sizes as 2”/ 2”/12”, 2”/3”/12” and so on from larger bars of wood. The machine was operated with a handful of workers, like Late Adamu Ikeku, Late Adamu Umoru together with himself.

PHOTO COLUMN

Improvement on Rice Regimen:

In about 1964 Late Pa Okhumhale, Mr. Nasamu Odior, Okhani Musa, Imhana Ogedegbe, and Lawrence Ogedegbe started the cultivation of rice on commercial scale  while experimental cultivation had be on for quite some years. The newfound crop became so popularly propagated hitting such unbelievably high annual tonnage in a couple of years in Ogbona alone while neighboring villages followed suite. Regrettably however, though the farmers and the native middlemen were impressed with their earnings, it was soon discovered that such earning were a far-cry from desirable as the grains were sold with chaff without value addition. In discontentment over the aberration, he personalized this challenge and as an amelioration, he procured the first of its kind, a rice milling engine that turned out chaffed grains to fine polished grains from 1966. This was an improvement on the rice regimen that attracted myriad rice merchants of men and women including Yoruba dealers to Ogbona, thus availing many native residents a maiden experience of the Yoruba conduct, life style and practice.

PHOTO COLUMN {rice engine}

PHOTO RICE ENGINE

In 1976 or thereabout there was the ugly occurrence of acute classroom accommodation shortage, a widespread phenomenon of the Bendel State Government Primary Schools which occasioned various short-term palliative measures by the authorities of the affected schools. This took its toll on one arm of the Imhakhena Primary School where teaching in certain classes was done under the shades of trees. Worried by this alarming dimension, the patriot swore before the schools headmaster to build a standard 3 classroom block in one of the school arms with his newly founded Abokhasomhi union now moribund for which he was the life chairman. Surviving members of the union include Mr. Martins Okolo, Chief Francis Irene, Mallam Agbonoga Obhozeghie, Mr. Salami Opikhara (Billy), Ighiadebo Aikabeli, William Umoru, Isedu Agbomekhe while Mr. Ozekhome Inaede, Idesimhi Itsuokor, Osilama Oghena, Okereke Anabor, Imhana Odior Imhana Ogedegbe, S.A. Oshiomhogo (Sec) C.U. Imhochi, and Anthony Ilegah are of blessed memory. The block was completed at an unbelievable record time of less than two months and commissioned by the then Head  of Education Inspectorate Division Mr. P.U.O Esenwu from the Education Board Auchi when Chief J.E Alemoh, the present Ogieanor of Avianwu was the headmaster. Under the school renovation by Edo State past government of Comrade Adams Aliu Oshiomole, the block is now wearing new colour of red

PHOTO 3-CLASSROOM BLOCK

In 1987, he subsequently went on to pioneer the construction of the first recreation hall, “Ivhiomhierele Town Hall”, Ogbona while he was the Chairman and motivator of Ivhiomhierele sub-village family meeting. Today the hall houses various activities of Christ Chosen Church at Ivhiomhierele axis of Auchi-Agenebode Road.

PHOTO Ivhiomhierele T. Hall

In about the year 1984 he also pioneered the citing and construction of a standard market advantageously located at the Ivhiorevhor axis of Auchi-Agenebode road Ogbona as the main founder and chairman of the then newly founded Ogbona Development Union (ODU) with several built in open store from takeoff.

PHOTO TO MARKET

Contribution at the D.B. Partridge Commission of Inquiry

As novel and overwhelmingly impactful these physical achievements have been, a testimony of how much he treasured his dear people of Ogbona in particular and Avianwu in general, book makers or analysts have upheld that the rewards of his intellectual output deserves more glowing tributes to this enigmatic character. They cite amongst others, his unforgettable eloquent and oratorical submission of yester years which sealed the victory of Ogbona and Ivhiraokhor while he represented the two at the D.B. Partridge Commission of Inquiry of 1966 that lasted several weeks.

There were several such commission of inquiries by the Bendel State government instituted in various communities. In Avianwu clan of four villages, it was meant amongst others to quest into the custom and tradition of the four villages with a view to determining the framework of power relation, the source(s) of such powers, superiority if any of one power to the other, ascent to traditional chieftaincy hierarchy including clan headship among the four villages. While it lasted, each time this icon, a dependable reference point in the Avianwu custom and tradition, Chief V.A. Omadimhe mounted the dock, the entire arena was agog and with such obvious appraisal in the face of every listener including the Chief Justice D.B. Partridge himself who continuously nodded and jotted excitedly, it became certain the pendulum as it did would swing the way of Ogbona and Ivhiraokhor. At the end of his submission, emotion overwhelmed observers surged out in excitement not minding the supposed decorum of court atmosphere to lift him shoulder high amidst jubilation and victory insinuating remarks though ruling was being reserved indefinitely. For his contribution at the commission of inquiry, apart from the fact that the present day unison and solidarity enjoyed by the entity, the four-village clan of Avianwu may have been in doubt, secondly the possibility of the two he represented particularly Ogbona ascending to be highest traditional chieftaincy height of clan headship may have been a mirage except something else happened.

Considering how hard-earned the resources of a full-time village home dweller from relatively lowly rewarding sources like his could be, and in view of how committedly he shared the pains of his people with whole strength and might, a courage possible only unto heroic minds, this endeared so much to his name. He advocated that success is not on the amount of commercial rewards of a man but on the number whose lives he is able to touch. This is a fulfilled personality in Avianwu and entire Etsako whose memory the public has kept alive in a number of issues of grave community concern.  For instance, it is found expedient in various fora being unanimously vindicated over his stand on a number of grave community concern. Also his spoken words and philosophy, human progress driven are being gloriously re-echoed after him so that at variance with the famous hypothesis by William Shakespeare’s ‘Julius Caesar’, the good he did had continued to live after him. This indeed is a well-deserved historic rewards and most effective immortalization of caring and selfless heroes of repute at their exit from this sinful world.

As A Farmer/Sawyer: The intimidating number of the acreage of the different types of crops he cultivated in an harvest year, and the output of his exceptional prowess in his woodworks was a true incite of the vitality of the blood that ran in his vein.

Religion: As a practical Christian, many who were opportune were delighted to take part in his sermon and prayer sessions believing the efficacy. As gifted as he was, he rolled out his prayer with a superb rhythm and eloquence that made many  to refer to him on lighter note with various connotations such as the “The Baba who does not curry favour” a term with which he often exalted the Almighty in prayers amongst others. He equally observed that true Christianity is not necessarily in the eloquence of language or the quantum words or the loud noise at prayers but the quality in the life you live when no one is around.

Traditional Chieftaincy Cycle: He was in the traditional chieftaincy cycle where he transited to the highest rank of the cycle or height of Okphe-Ukpi in the four stepped traditional chieftaincy ladder of Avianwu clan, from Utokho-Ukpi, Egboikpise-Egboise and Okphe-Ukpi of the Avianwu custom and tradition. He was duly crowned by the king markers in charge, Ivhiadachi quarter of Ivhinone represented by Late Pa Azimhi and others at the end of a pending court case in his favour banked up through Gazette No. 12vol/20 as B.S.L.N 25 of 1983 published in the Bendel Sate of Nigeria.

It was greeted with further intermittent litigation which lasted while Chief Vincent Azagbor Omadimhe passed on in 2008.

By David Omadimhe

BIOGRAPHY OF CHIEF IMHANA ANDREW OGEDEGBE 1915-2010 (95 Years)

PREAMBLE

Chief Imhana Andrew Ogedegbe was born in the year 1915 at Ogbona Avianwu clan in the present Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo State. He was married to his amiable wives Madam Titi (Late) Madam Adi (Late) and Madam Rose.

 GENEOLOGY

Chief Imhana hails from Ivhitse in Iviochie quarters of Ogbona. His father was Oyarebu (alias Ogedegbe the great) while his mother, Umuajia Oyarebu Ogedegbe was the daughter of Odamah Emoakemhe who hailed from Ivhiotso in Ivhido Quarters of Ogbona.

The profile of Imhana Ogedegbe began in this wise:

IKEKU is of the lineage of Itse (Ivhitse) who was the father of Okoko, Iniaru, Itebalumhe, Enike and other women. OKOKO was the father of Imhomo, Innih, Esuka and other women. Imhomo had three sons and a daughter namely: Atogwe (son), Emoekpere (son), Igbenegwu (daughter) and his last child, Oyarebu alias Ogedegbe, the father of chief Imhana.

ATOGWE was the father of Azoganokhai, Ibogi and other women. EMOEKPERE was the father of Oregbemhe, Apekhena, Mamape and other women. OYAREBU, alias OGEDEGBE “THE GREAT” was the father of the following eleven (11) children of (5) five sons and (6) six daughters:

  1. Agieka (daughter)
  2. Enalelu (daughter)
  3. Odia (son)
  4. Oge (daughter)
  5. ‘Kaide Lawrence (son)
  6. Imhana Andrew (son)
  7. Oyasor Mathias (son)
  8. Amedu Jacob (son)
  9. Unokhua (daughter)
  10. Theresa (daughter)
  11. Igierelu (daughter)

EDUCATION

Although, Chief Imhana Andrew Ogedegbe was not opportune to be educated, but young Imhana charted an independent and self-accomplishing future. His belief and love for education, made him to ensure that his children were educated in order to become responsible men and women which they are today.

OCCUPATION

At his tender age, Imhana learnt fast, the art of hunting and farming. In no time, he became a consultant agriculturist, especially in traditional farming practice and methods. This endeared people at various times to rally round him as a mentor and a counsellor both from within his immediate environment and beyond. As an energetic farmer, he had very strong drive for hard work and adventure hence; he was one of the first families to migrate from Ogbona main to his present location, called Ughiagbai. Papa was a renowned producer of both cash crops like tobacco, rice etc. and food crops. He was also into logging and sawmills business.

PHILOSOPHY AND HUMANISM

Chief Imhana was a very principled man, seasoned disciplinarian and a focused visionary. He was fearless, outspoken, honest and hard working. He was never tired of rendering meritorious services at any point in time to either the community at large and also to any individual he met even at his old age.

He believed in unity, peace and progress for the larger family of Innih and Ogedegbe in particular for which he was the oldest and the “last man” standing of the second generation of the Ogedegbe family tree; and the community at general. In his last moment on earth, he strongly advocated the need for his children and the entire family (both immediate and extended) to live in peace and be each other’s keeper. He warned earnestly that no member of the entire family should stand against the progress of one another within the family in particularly and the community at large.

RELIGION

Papa gave his life to Christ and believed strongly in the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. He got baptized in Anglican Church Ogbona on Sunday, 22nd May 2005 and was later confirmed on Sunday the 31st of December 2006. Papa Imhana was an Elder in Anglican Church, Ogbona in Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo State.

SOCIAL STATUS

Chief Imhana Andrew Ogedegbe was a socialist. A grassroots politician, a cheerful, cool, calculated easy going man. Papa could mix easily at any occasion, no matter the calibre of people in any gathering, even though he was not educated, he was quite intelligent and outspoken. Many young and old people would remember him for his hard handshakes, humour and his beaming smiles. Papa had no dull moments during his life time. People looked forward to a fulfilling moment of laughter, encouragement and great counsel with Papa Imhana. The children in his environ would also miss their tea moment with Papa.

LEADERSHIP

Prior to his death, he was the second oldest man in the entire Ogbona Community and the oldest in Ivhiochie quarters of Ogbona. He was the head and the oldest of the patrons/patronesses (Anawii /Ivhiotu) age group (age grade) in Ogbona. He was the patron (father) of Eghiekhakumhe age-group of Ogbona. Papa Imhana Ogedegbe was the head of the entire extended family of Innih (Apinnih)

DEATH

According to the word of God in the book of Ecclesiastes chapter 3 verse 1-2 which says “TO EVERY THING THERE IS A SEASON, AND A TIME TO EVERY PURPOSE UNDER THE HEAVEN. A TIME TO BE BORN AND A TIME TO DIE: A TIME TO PLANT AND A TIME TO PLUCK UP THAT WHICH IS PLANTED “That shows that in the physical, everything that has a beginning must have an end. God sets the time for birth and also for death. The scripture has been fulfilled in the life of Chief Imhana Andrew Ogedegbe. He came, He saw. He contributed his own quota in this community and left indelible marks in the lives of people, not just his biological children but all that came in contact with him. He finally conquered and went back to his maker. Chief Imhana’s final home call has left behind an anthology of history of notable, worthy fore-fathers and Patriarchs in Ogedegbe family tree. Papa answered the clarion call of nature at exactly 6.00am on Friday 2nd July 2010, after a very brief illness.

LATE CHIEF PAUL SALIU ELETA – (1931-2017)

CHIEF PAUL SALIL” ELETA was born on the 5 of May 1931 into the humble family of ELETA and MARY ASABI of Ivhido Quarters in Etsako Central Local Government Area Edo State. He was the third son of the family.

He had his Elementary Education at St. John Catholic School now Oboarekpe Primary School Ogbona from Jan 1944-Dec. 19^47. he then proceeded to St. Theresa’s Catholic School now Usagbe primary School Fugar from January 1948 – December 1950 where he obtained his standard Six.

Ln his further quest for contentious Education, he attended St. Thomas Teachers Training College Ibusa where he obtained his teachers grade II in 1957. On 1st March, 1971, he got his teachers Grade 1 in history and geography respectively. In October 1972, he obtained an Associate ship certificate in Education (External U.I Ibadan).

Working carrier CHIEF PAUL SALIU popularly known as P.S. Eleta, working carrier started in January 1 1956-December 1964 at St. Thomas Secondary Modern School Agenebode where he was the headmaster of the school, then in January 1965 – February 28th 1966, he worked as a teacher in St. John College Fugar where Rev. Father Etafo was his monitor.

He proceeded to government school, now Uchi Primary School Auchi where he worked as a teacher headmaster. Chief Paul Saliu Eleta as an inspector of Education in the following Stations, ministry of Education Auchi. Ministry of Education Afuze. Ministry of Education Burutu, State Headquarters Benin-city and the Auchi. where he retired as a principal education Assistant on 31st December 1990. While in the Ministry CHIEF PAUL SALIU ELETA, undertook School inspection, conducted practical teaching test in teacher training college, he also took part in setting and marking teacher grade II examinations in Physical and Health Education. CHIEF PAUL SALIU ELETA was a member of the then Bendel Football Association, he officiated in football competitions as a graded referee, CHIEF PAUL SALIU ELETA was the First and only FIFA licensed referee in Ogbona Community. While in service CHIEF PAUL SALIU ELETA was elected secretary Bendel Referee Association for a period of Fifteen years. He also served as a Vice Chairman State Cycling Association and also served as a member of Bendel Athletics Association. Through training CHIEF PAUL SALIU ELETA was awarded the rank of a referee in Athletics Competitions.

Though retired, CHIEF PAUL SALIU ELETA was never really tired as he went on to serve as a Supervisory Councilor of Education in Old Etsako Local Government Area. He didn’t stop there as he was appointed the first executive Secretary to the Local Government Council in Etsako East Local Government Area Agenebode.

CHIEF PAUL SALIU ELETA story cannot be complete without giving credit to his amiable wife Chief (Mrs.) Cecilia Onokpalo Eleta (Nee Mochi) whom he wedded in May 3rd 1964, when he was still the principal of St. Peter’s Secondary Modern School Agenebode. In 1970, he was the Secretary to the Juvenile Court in Auchi. Until his death, he was the President/Secretary of the Rotary Club and also the President of Faith and unity Club.

CHIEF PAUL SALIU ELETA was a devoted Catholic and he made himself available to the growth and activities of the Catholic Church. He was a pioneer member of the then St. Vincent Catholic Church, now Immaculate Conception Catholic Auchi. he played a vital role in the development of the church. He was a member of the C.M.O. daddy never played with his rosary; he was always praying the rosary. Daddy was a member of the Etsako Community in the church and a member Warrake B.C.C which was held in his house.

CHIEF PAUL SALIU ELETA was a hardworking man of excellence and discipline. He had a keen sense of judgment. CHIEF PAUL SALIU ELETA was a man of truth and courage, he was fluent and articulate. CHIEF PAUL SALIU ELETA was a generous man, very accommodating; his home was home for all both relations and visitors. CHIEF PAUL SALIU ELETA was an orator and communicator per excellence, he was a palace chief and also a leader with a dedicated heart and devotion to cause that will uplift his community. He was humble, dutiful, and he was a helpful hand to the aged, the noble and vital role you played in your community cannot be overemphasized.

CHIEF PAUL SALIU ELETA showed his children the path of discipline, honesty and uprightness. As the head of his family he was firm, punctual in all activities, he cared and loved equally. Daddy was always there for his family. He was easy going, satisfied with what he had, he had no personal quarrel, not revengeful but always stood for the truth. Daddy will be remembered for his New Year party at his house every new year where everyone come together to eat drink and be merry.

At this point it is the death of CHIEF PAUL SALIU ELETA that has brought all of us together but let it be known that it is his life we wish to remember. Our joy today is that he lived to be 86years and lived an eventful life in his earthly existence. Daddy surrendered to death in the early hours of Wednesday 16th August 2017. As the saying goes all is well that ends well, Daddy finished his course and ended well. May the gentle and loving soul of CHIEF PAUL SALIU ELETA rest in perfect peace. ADIEU DADDY.

 

SIGNED: Family

A TRIBUTE TO A MAN OF PEACE

By Amb. Gregory Kas Enegwea Afp Jp

 An anonymous moralist once affirmed that “the human mind is like a jug. No mortal can look into its recesses, and you can only judge of its purity, by what comes out of it.” As mortals, none of us including the closest associates of late Chief Paul Saliu Eleta, could access his mind to decipher its purity or otherwise. But God, in His infinite goodness had endeared Eleta with scintillatingly positive outward signs, which no doubt, pointed at his inward grace.

PS, as he was fondly called by his teeming admirers, was patient and suave, painstaking and sagacious, and yet prudent and shrewd. The man had infinite capacity for making friends which he sustained and kept, throughout his life time.

In social occasions, Chief Eleta was like a magnet, moving through a crowd of friends. While I admired his gregarious bent it was the man of principle in him that I worshiped, idolized, and was truly my role model.

PS life-style was a classic apparatus for teaching humility, patience, prudence, refinement, probity, satiety, integrity and accountability. And wherever he went, kindness, humility, fairness, frankness and consideration for others, were his travelling companions.

My first contact with this man of peace, dates back to Seventy (70) years ago – 1947 to be succinct. He was sixteen (16) years old then, while 1 was only four (4), living with my maternal grand-parents, Pa and Ma Enaberue of blessed memory.

The Enaberue’s house was adjacent that of the Eletas, and separated from it with a dwarf earth-wall fence, which in my childish eye, was a tribute to African architecture.

About twice or so every day, the young, fashionable and devastatingly handsome PS Eleta, would stand beside the dwarf wall fence, to exchange pleasantries with my equally young uncle, Adolphus Enaberue of blessed memory. Over the years, I gathered that apart from being age mates, both young men were classmates at St Theresa’s Catholic School (now Usagbe Primary School), Fugar.

But there, beside the dwarf wall fence, the duo would discuss interminably every day, in a manner analogous with that of Pyramus and Thisbe, the legendary Babylonian lovers whose story was celebrated and popularized by Ovid.

I would not know the topic of their regular discussion as they spoke only English which sounded like Greek to me at the time, and whose imprint on paper looked like comical hieroglyphics. But judging from the way the duo chatted freely, and laughed heartily and merrily, it was obvious to me that an atmosphere of mutual trust, and deep respect for each other, existed between them. However, following the death of my maternal grandfather in 1948, I moved to my parents’ house from the Enaberue household.

In 1957, Fate as it were, re-united me once again with Mr. Eleta. I was admitted at St. Thomas’ Secondary Modern School, Agenebode, where the young Eleta was principal. My sojourn in that school lasted only three months as I had to leave Agenebode for the Blessed Martins’ Secondary Modern School, Jattu, Uzairue, following my uncle’s transfer from Agenebode to Catholic School, Ivhiukwe, as headmaster.

It was during my brief sojourn at Agenebode that I became quite close to Chief Paul Eleta, the man I had admired for upwards of ten (10) years. Apart from being the Principal of the School, Chief Eleta was the cynosure of all eyes. He was a quintessential teacher in the mould of Hammurabi; he was our Choirmaster, beautiful footballer, and comely fluent speaker. We all loved Mr. Eleta. who loved us in return. Being everybody’s idol, he belonged to everybody, and yet belonged to no one in particular. From him, I learned that true-friendship multiplies the good in life, and divides its evils.

In ensuing years, my association with Chief Eleta, oscillated from that of teacher and pupil, to father and son, and later culminated into deep and lasting friendship ever since.

However, between 20th through 23rd May, 2017,1 had the rare privilege of hosting Chief Eleta and three of his children, namely: Angela, Emmanuel and Aloysius, in my modest home in Abuja. While with me, I admired how the trio cared for, doted on, and idolized their father, who definitely enjoyed and admired their closeness to him.

When the quartet arrived, I observed that the almanac of age was all over Chief Eleta. Like Wordsworth’s Simon Lee, the man had bent double, hands and feet almost together in life pilgrimage. The man looked quite feeble and rheumatic of shoulder. It took the erstwhile agile and athletic Paul Eleta more than five minutes (assisted by his children), to descend the three flight of risers that led to my main living room. Though age had stolen vigour from his limbs, his brain was still razor-sharp and his sense of humour had Zipped up. more than ever before.

The Holy Bible tells us in Ecclesiastes 3:1-4, that “Everything that happens in this world, happens at the time God chooses: –

He sets the time for birth and the time for death; the time for planting and the time for pulling up; the time for killing and the time for healing; the time for tearing down and the time for building; He sets the time for sorrow and the time for joy; the time for mourning and the time for dancing”

In synch with the foregoing Divine Order, the life candles of Chief Eleta, lit by God eighty-six (86) years ago, burnt off completely in the early hours of Wednesday, 16th August, 2017. In “SHE IS GONE,” chosen as Preface for the order of service for the funeral of Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, held on 9th April, 2002 an anonymous writer states: “You can shed tears that she is gone, or you can smile because she has lived”.

In my view, the epigrammatic effect of this oxymoron is sparkling, and very well suited for the funeral service of Chief Paul Saliu Eleta. We can shed tears that he is gone, or we can smile because he has lived. Death is no doubt an unwelcome guest in the life of all mortals. There is no armour against it.

In a notebook written on his death-bed, the American writer, Mark Twain (1835 – 1910), saw death as “the only immortal who tears us all alike, whose pity, and whose peace, and whose refuge are for all -soiled and the pure, the rich and the poor, the loved and the unloved”. PS Eleta, the amiable friend and confidant of the down-trodden, and the loud voice of the voiceless, is no more. We can shed tears because death by itself means we shall not see him again for ever.

We shall miss his humour, his frankness, his diligence, his dedication and devotion to duty. We shall miss his flawless pieces of advice which he gave freely, willingly and objectively in all matters. We shall greatly miss his tireless, relentless and inimitable trouble-shooting proclivities and propensities, geared towards engendering fair-play, peace and justice.

Chief Eleta willingly stood up for all whenever and wherever bigotry and injustice arose, without regard to the personal cost and safety.

But as we mourn Chief Paul Saliu Eleta, let us recall the words of Xenophone, who cautioned that “excess of grief is madness, for it is an injury to the living, and the dead know it not”. In spite of our cries and sighs, occasioned by this sad loss, we should also smile because he lived a good life. The man’s impeccable life-style made him a copy book, a traveler’s map, the pilgrims staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, the pugilist’s glove, and the Christian charter, for all of us.

PS Eleta, the Oghiebo of Ivhido, The, Okhaimho emeritus in Okphe ukpi’s palace Ogbona, former secretary to the Ogieavhianwu of Avhianwu, lived an exemplary life, for which we have to thank God. He was an honest, gentle, humorous, humble and generous man, who preached humility, unity and peace, as a creed, and adopted same as his daily catechism. Chief PS Eleta

did not believe in the senseless craze for material wealth. Like St. Paul, his patron Saint, Chief Eleta believed that “we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we shall carry nothing out of it”. (irimothy6:7).

Cognizant of his sterling qualities, we are sure that Chief Paul Saliu Eleta will make Heaven. After all,

Jesus in The Sermon on the Mount, encapsulated in Mathew 5:3-11, teaches us: –

  1. Happy are those who are humble they will receive what God has promised!
  2. Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires/* God will satisfy them fully!
  3. Happy are those who are merciful to others/ God will be merciful to them!
  4. Happy are the pure in heart for they will see God!
  5. Happy are those who work for peace! God will call them His children

As we inter the remains of Chief Paul Saliu Eleta, on 29th September, 2017, we pray that God in His

infinite mercy, will grant him eternal repose, and his family the fortitude to bear the loss. PS lived a happy, peaceful, joyous, virtuous and contented life. The man had malice towards none, but had charity for all. As he is being committed to Mother Earth, we bid farewell to this ambassador of peace, with the immortal lines of William Shakespeare (1554 – 1616) as we say: –

Thou, thy worldly task has done, home had gone and taken thy wages”

Surely, mat may be his epitaph, of which PS need not be ashamed.

BIOGRAPHY OF LATE PETER DIRISU AYALOMHE, AKA OPEL – THE PHOTOGRAPHER

NAME:  Late Pa Peter Dirisu Ayalomhe, Aka Opel was born on the 30th January 1925 in Ogbona to Late Pa and Madam Ayalomhe Oshoakpeme and Madam Obo Agiuna Ayalomhe (nee Okhamaru). Opel was a teacher, photographer, politician (councilor) businessman and a farmer.

Peter Dirisu Ayalomhe attended Native Authority Primary School, Ogbona briefly before proceeding to Okpella to complete standard six.

He left for Ijebu Ode to stay with his elder brother, late Mr. Smart Ayalomhe “Aka bicycle” to study and trained as a professional photographer. On returning home in 1956, he took up a teaching job at C M S primary school Ogbona as well as venture into his photographic business.

As a professional photographer the first of his kind in the whole of Ogbona, Avhianwu clan, Etsako and Akoko Edo in general, he was skillful in the business of photography with his acquisition of the best photographic equipment as at then known as “PIN HOLE “camera which was a product of OPEL, this led to his been nickname “OPEL” by his admirers.

His quest to break new grounds, as well as his association with political dignitaries, business tycoons, Royal fathers, who help to school him in politics, made him to contest and become a councilor under the NCNC political party. He was active in politics for a while before via into his business and as well work with PHILIP OKHUMALE & SONS NIG. LTD as a manager overseeing Akoko Edo and its environs.

Late Peter Dirisu Ayalomhe parent Pa Ayalomhe and Obo Agiuna Oshoakpeme where pioneer members of CMS church (Anglican) Ogbona, where late Peter Ayalomhe was an active member and served as church warden (catechist) for many years converting many and contributing to the growth of the church before his demise on the 26th Jan 1987.

For his efforts and contributions., he was given a post Humour meritorious services award by the Diocese of Etsako Anglican communion in recognition of his positive contribution to the growth of the church, society and mankind in general by Saint Peter Church Ogbona by the vicar Rev. Canon Paul O Umoru on the 9th of march 2012. Late Peter Dirisu Ayalomhe was married to two wives and blessed with 14 children who are doing well in various fields of endeavor.

BIOGRAPHY OF CATECHIST FRANCIS KOLO ILEGA (ASATARABA)

Catechist Francis Kolo llega was born on 1st January, 1923 into Pa llega Emoakpore Obaseki A.K.A Babegwa Umogba and Mrs. Atitu llega of Iviokpo Quarters (Apagbi) Fugar. His father Babegwa a prominent trader of his time settled at Ogbona in Etsako Central Local Government Area.

Francis llega in his early life was taken to Enugu by his father in the Year 1937 to attend school. In 1941 he returned back home and obtained Standard Six Certificate in 1950. In 1951 he left Nigeria for Ghana where he worked as a wood mechanist in Mr. Victor Macfood’s Sawmill.

In 1954 he returned back to Lagos where he worked as a chief baker.

In 1956 he came back to Ogbona at the demise of his father. While at home he was appointed as a Primary School teacher by Rev. Father Colman who was then the Manager of Schools in the area. That same year he got married to his wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Fegiola llega nee Ogidi who was also a teacher.

He taught in the following schools: St. Anthony Catholic School Iraokhor from 1956-1963; RCM, Ekwotsor 1964-1967; RCM, Ogbona 1968-1969; Ebidi Primary School Fugar, 1969; Usagbe Primary School Fugar, 1974; Obe Primary School Fugar where he taught the Deaf, Dumb and less privileged children.

Catechist Francis upgraded himself by attending several in-service trainings courses. He also went to the school of Evangelization at Ubiaja were he was certified as an Apostle by the director Sister Angelitan.

Catechist Francis llega retired from his teaching profession in 1986 as Headmaster. Retired but not tired in the year 2000 he proceeded to Ekpoma for Catechist training as a full time Catechist at Brother Roman Centre. He was commissioned as a Catechist by the Arch Bishop Ekpu in 2001 and posted to St. John’s the Baptist Church Ogbona where he equally retired at his very old age in 2013.

Baba, as we all fondly call him was very accommodating, highly principled, loving, wonderful husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather, a devout Christian who made his significant mark in the Catholic world and in Christianity generally. He taught his children to always see and do the needful above all to always pray.

BIOGRAPHY OF LATE PA DANIEL KADIRI ITSUOKOR (Aka DK/Baba Bendel)

Eramha DK or Baba Bendel as he was fondly called by his close friends and associates lived a very resourceful life predominantly in Kaduna, Kaduna State in North Western Region, Nigeria. His, was a life lived in the service of humanity. He carried the Ogbona cause on his shoulders all throughout his life. The “unity and progress” of all Ogbona sons and daughters residing in Kaduna was foremost in his heart. This he also extended to other Etsako residents in Kaduna.
Born in the year 1935 to late Isede Itsuokor of Ivhiochie Quarters, a prominent trader in his time and Uwomha Aniboku Enamegbai of Ivhiosano quarters all of Ogbona. In fulfilment of the age grade categorization, he was initiated into the 1953 Age group and performed the Okhei rites at an early age.
He started his early education at the then Native Authority Primary Ogbona in 1946 but left with the transfer of his elder brother A.O. Itsuokor then a teacher in the school to another station.
The constant transfers of the early generation teachers in then Western Region of Nigeria took a great toll on him, as his elder brother, he was staying with, Late Eramha A.O Itsuokor was constantly being transferred from one School to another in faraway locations. His education continued in Osomhegbe, Ivhierekhu, Ivhiukwe, Agenebode, Imiegba, all in the old Etsako Division. Inspite of these constant movements, he still managed to complete his primary education with flying colours in St John Catholic Primary School Ogbona in 1954. He was credited with one of the best hand writing in his school days. He was also keen sportsman and was a member of his school football team.
Among his class mates in Ogbona was Eramha M.B Aliyu popularly called “Benin”. Immediately after his Primary Education he relocated to Irrua in Esan Central LGA in search of greener pasture, this was short lived as Irrua could not meet his expectations. The search for the Golden Fleece took him to Lagos to stay with another of his elder brother Late Eramha Okolo Itsuokor with the hope of furthering his education, this also failed due to paucity of funds.
The paucity of funds for further education triggered him, into training as a builder in Lagos. He relocated to Kaduna in the late-50s to stay with yet another of his elder brothers the Late Eramha S.A Itsuokor (Omoba) the first British trained Land Surveyor of Etsako extraction. It was in Kaduna he perfected his skills as a builder with established Foreign Civil Engineering and building Contractors like D’Alberto and Giampoli where he rose to the position of a supervisor. His working career spanned over 3 decades. He retired from active service in the early 90s.
He was involved in the construction of famous Architectural master piece like the famous Hamdala Hotel, Durbar Hotel, Ahmed Talib Building (NNDC house), NNIL Building, Federal Mortgage Bank all in Kaduna. He was also involved in the construction of Nigeria Tobacco Company, Zaria shortly before the Nigerian Civil war in 1967. He relocated temporarily with his family to Ogbona from Zaria at the onset of the Nigerian Civil War in 1967. He returned to Kaduna in the heat of the Civil War in 1968 where he continued with his employers.
For the love and the interest of the economic empowerment of his fellow Ogbona compatriots, he influenced the employment of many sons of Ogbona in the building and construction industry.
This citation would not be complete without mentioning his role in the formation and nurturing of Ogbona Federated Union in Kaduna. He along with his elder brother S.A Itsuokor established Ogbona Federated Union in Kaduna in the early 60s. Being the pioneer Secretary General, he served in that capacity for close to 25 years. He alongside other Ogbona residents in Kaduna played a prominent role in the drafting of the constitution and nurturing of the union to an enviable height.
His role as a stabilizing factor in the cohesiveness of the association, during the the turbulent days of the balkanization and fractionalization of the union into “Abhokhasomi and Ogbona Federated Union cannot be over looked. The contest for the Okpe Ukpi of Ogbona initially between Late Chief Ikhanoba and late Chief Patrick Oboarekpe and later between late Chief Azagbor and late Chief Oboarekpe tore the village into factions and this was extended to the cities with Kaduna inclusive. Brothers of the same town became sworn enemies. But in all these he never shied away from ensuring unity, reconciliation and resolution, even at the expense of being tagged with unpleasant names.
Long after his stepping down as Secretary of Ogbona Federated Union, he was still a reference point for direction of the the union. His wealth of experience brought sunshine to so many dark situations associated with the Ogbona Community in Kaduna and environ.
He played prominent role in rallying Ogbona sons and daughters in Kaduna for community development through levying for the construction of Ogbona Community Secondary School, the Rural Electrification Project etc.
Late Daniel Kadiri Itsuokor was married to Late Lady Christiana Igonor of Ivhiorevho Quarters in 1960 and the union was blessed with 9 Children comprising 6 males and 3 females.
The quest for sound education was never lost on Eramha DK. Inspite of his inability to further his education beyond primary School. He ensured all his children attended the best schools available in Kaduna State and environ.
Our late patriarch D.K Itsuokor was a disciplinarian of the first order, bridge builder, a lover of peace and literature; he was very accommodating, highly principled, loving, wonderful husband, father, grandfather, a devout Christian who made his significant mark in the Catholic communion. He is still missed by all who came in contact with him, and sat under his wise counsel.

BIOGRAPHY OF GREGORY ENIKE OMOMOH (A.K.A GUINEA)

Gregory Enike Omomoh (A.K.A Guinea) was born in 1934 to Late Pa Omomoh Ileli and Mrs. Ivieovho Omomoh of Ivhido quarters in Ogbona, Etsako Central LGA of Edo State.  

He had his primary school education at Ogbona. He later left for Ibadan in the early 50s with his uncle, late Pa. Ogiator Zibiri in search a greener pasture.

While in Ibadan, he took to apprenticeship in salesmanship and Patent medicine. When he returned to Ogbona, he established at Ivhido quarters a traditional maternity home. He was the only known doctor that treated all serious cases that were referred to him from neighboring towns and villages like Okpekphe, Imiegba, Imiava, Ayogwiri, Ekperi and of course Ogbona his home town. He also established a business where he sold clothing materials and Kerosene.

He worked as a traditional maternity attendant in Ogbona. He was also a very successful businessman who traded on clothing materials, drugs and kerosene

He got married to Elizabeth Omoake from Iraokhor in 1957. He later married Queen Akhagbemhe of Ogbona. He had eleven (11) children from the two wives.

He was a Christian of the Catholic faith. He led the St. John’s Catholic choristers of Ogbona for 13 years. During his tenure as a choirmaster, the choir won the 1st prize of the competition organized by the then Afemai Deanery now Auchi Catholic Dioceses.

He died on the 20th of June, 1987.

BIOGRAPHY OF LATE CHIEF AUGUSTINE OKPO ITSUOKOR

Late Chief Augustine Okpo Itsuokor was born in Ogbona to the family of late Isede and Egimhegie Itsuokor of Ivhiochie quarter in Ogbona on the 10th of August 1926.

He was the 6th child in the family of eight children of late Nene Egimhegie.

Chief A.O. Itsuokor had his Primary School Education at St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Lokoja (now in kogi State). He proceeded to St. John Bosco, Ubiaja for his training as a Grade III teacher.  The training was completed at Assumption College Uzairue for his Teacher’s Grade II Certificate. While in Lagos he attended a short course at the Mathematics Institute Yaba, which qualified him as a modern Mathematics teacher. He also attended the Project Time Institute of Education Yaba, an affiliate of the University of Lagos where he obtained the Associateship Certificate in Education.

He continued his teaching career after these trainings and taught in many schools. Some of the schools were Native Authority Primary School and RCM Primary School both at Ogbona. Other schools were at Osomhegbe, Ivhierekhu, Ivhiukwe, Imiegba, Agenebode, Avielle all in the then Etsako division where he was an Headmaster. Hence his household name became “HM”.

In the year 1962, he relocated to Lagos to continue his teaching career.  He taught in several schools in Lagos namely; Ladi –lak Institute Yaba, Ebute-Meta Primary School as a Head Master and St. Timothy College where he was a Vice Principal.

He retired statutorily from active service in 1991. On retirement he came back home to Ogbona to continue his good will in Education. He ensured with the help of the government that Ogbona Community Secondary School was well equipped for the teaching and learning of science.

The Ogbona community recognized him as a worthy son who could represent them as the need arose. Consequently in 1994 the Ogieavhianwu of Avhianwu His Royal Highness conferred on him the title of “Onaghueghie of Avhianwu”. He served as a Palace Secretary and represented the community as a delegate to different parts of the country. He would be remembered as always for his selfless service.

Chief A.O. Itsuokor was an active member of the Ogbona Progressive Union (OPU), Ivhiochie Apakhade Family Union and Avhianwu Progressive union (APU) which later went into extinction. As a good team player, he made immense positive contributions to these groups.  As young children then, we always looked forward to the end of the year activities of these great and well recognized Unions that brought all families of Ogbona and Avhianwu together in Lagos. He strove in many ways to ensure the advancement, unity and peace of Ogbona Community. In times of crises, he was always there to support and ensure that justice prevailed.

He was a strict disciplinarian, a doting father, the kind of father that the children sort to emulate. Some of these strict attributes can still be found in his children today. He was a devoted Catholic and like others of his time, he was respectful of traditional values and culture. He had a very good sense of humor.

Chief A.O. Itsuokor was an epitome of hospitality, a generous giver who gave all he had to put smiles on people’s faces. He had an open hand, a drive which made him to take up the responsibility of educating many of his kinsmen’s children. The family knew him for adding value to the lives of members through Education. He cherished education above all things and never compromised it. Little wonder then that his first two children rose to the positions of Directors of Education in the Lagos State Ministry of Education.

He did all he could to ensure that he gave his children the best legacy a father could give. ’HM’ as he was popularly called at home and ‘TEACHER’ in Lagos was a force to reckon with.

 

BIOGRAPHY OF MR GREGORY ETU ITSUOKOR

Mr. Gregory Etu Itsuokor was born on 2nd February 1932 at Ogbona to Pa Isede Itsuokor and Madam Omoayena Itsuokor of Ivhiobore Quarters of Ogbona in the present Etsako Central L.G.A. of Edo State.

 EDUCATION

He had his primary education at Roman Catholic Mission (RCM) School Imiegba from 1948 to 1950, and RCM School Ogbona between 1951 to 1955 where he obtained his primary School Leaving Certificate. He was one of the pioneers of Catholic Modern School Agenebode where he schooled between 1956 to 1958. He later proceeded to Saint John Bosco’s College Ubiaja where he obtained his Teacher’s Certificate (T.C) Grade Three between 1959 to 1960. From 1968 to 1970 he attended Mariere College Benin City where he obtained his TCII Certificate. Due to his Love and desire for knowledge in the teaching profession and sports, daddy proceeded to College of Physical Education Afuze between 1974 to 1975 where he obtained his Associateship Certificate in Physical Education and later to be more reckon with in sports he proceeded to a three-year course in Physical Education at the Institute of Education, University of Benin where he obtained his Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) between 1979 to 1982.

OCCUPATION

As an educationist who had flair for the teaching profession, he started his teaching career at Roman Catholic Mission (RCM) School Okhasie Okpella in 1961. He taught at RCM School Ivianokpodi from 1962 to 1963. He was later transferred to RCM School Okpekpe where he taught from 1964 to 1967. After his course at Mariere College Benin City, he was posted to RCM School Iyerekhu in 1970. Transfer later took him to Government School Auchi where he taught from 1974 to 1976. Finally, he was transferred to St. John’s Grammar School Fugar where he served as from 1976 to 1996 and retired. During his twenty-year (20) service at St. John’s Fugar, he served as an outstanding classroom teacher; form master; house master; and games/sports master where he won different prizes / laurels for the school both at the L.G.A and state levels.

RELIGION

Daddy was God fearing and very humble, always sympathetic with people in need. He was a Muslims by birth named Yusuf by his Parents. During his primary school days, he got converted to the Roman Catholic faith where he was baptized and confirmed, and his name was changed to Gregory as his baptismal name.

He later decided to join a religion of his choice which is One Love Family of SATGURU MAHARAJ JI in 1986 where he was a Community Co-Ordinator till death.

According to the great book, everything that has a beginning must have an end; Daddy finally answer the call nature on Tuesday 3th July 2012 after a brief illness. He is survived by a Wife, eight (8) Children, five (5) Grand Children, two (2) Brothers, Four (4) Sisters, Three (3) In laws and other relatives.

 

BIOGRAPHY OF MR. MARTINS ATANEGBE IKHAGHU

Born in the year 1918 to Mr. Ikhaghu Akpeokhai and Mrs. Omhoagbo Ikhaghu of Ivhiochie quarters Ogbona. He attended Standard School Agenebode and later attended Sacred Heart College Ubiaja for Grade 11 Certificate. He started teaching at Missionary School Ayogwiri, he later went to Lagos for better opportunity.

He later came back home and for teaching appointment at the Local Authority School Ogbona. He was posted to Anegbette, and later to Imiava. Came back to Ogbona. Died in acting service in November 30th 1980 at the age of 62years after a brief illness.

He was married to Mrs. Dora Titi Aleghe Emhoabino who died early without any children. He later married Mrs. Felicia Nanatu Ikhaghu (Nee Idode), and had seven children. He also married Mrs. Lucy Ikhaghu (Nee Agba) and had two children. He was a pillar in Akpeokhai family who encouraged everybody to go to school or learn a trade to make a living. He never had something of his own but always our own. He united the Akpeokhai family and never discriminated against anybody. In his teaching carrier, he never stopped any child from starting ABC because of his or her under age.

He was also a successful farmer and a devoted Christian. He contributed immensely to the development of Oshiobor family. Ivhitse-Ivhioche and Ogbona in general.

 

BIOGRAPHY OF HELEN OMONOBEDO IMOHAGENE

Mrs. Helen Omonobedo Imoagene was born in the year 1934 at Okoto Iraokhor in the defunct Bendel state now Edo state to the family of Late Mr. Emakiohmhe A.k.A Akpi O gana & Mrs. Omobumhe.  Her father was a great hunter, farmer and a native Herbal practitional in the community. Mama was the fifth child among seven and the second of her parents.

Mama did not grow to know her mother as she died at her tender age. She was not privilege to have a formal education but was a woman of great talent.

Mama, with admirable character qualities was attracted to a young man, from the family Imoagene in 1954, she got married to her heartthrob, Mr. Osiregbemhe Utu Imoagene. They were blessed with two daughters and sons. After few years in her marriage, she was left all by herself to raise her kids. While raising her children as a single mother, mama ventured into business and farming.

She was able to give her children the level of education she could to the best of her ability. In the

year2014 mama lost her only son.

 

Mama was full of life. She was a talented a composer of songs and a dancer, a source of encouragement to people. The pains of others were her pains, the comfort of others was her comfort. She was popular and well known for her Hospitality, generosity and care. Her life positive influence and transformed a lot of people.

She was an advocate of peace, forgiveness and love and a great intercessor. Mama knows n> enemy and never show one to her children, Grandchildren and Great grandchildren.

Mama Helen had an encounter with the lord in the year 1982 and since then, she dedicated her life to the service and propagation of God’s work.

She became a preacher of the gospel and custodian of the word. While she was about he business, mama puts God first and that was the secret of her success. Her ministry was backed with signs and wonders. She never saw any mountain that could not be pulled down when the name c God is called.

She was able to establish her church in the year 1988 at Ogbona with some branches. In her ow strength & knowledge. She showed her children the way of the Lord. She was interred on 11 November, 2017 by the church of her younger daughter, Deeper Life Bible Church.

It was on the second day of September 2017 at about 4 am at Ohize Medical Centre, Benin City she passed on. She is popularly called “IMAMA DE MAMA” a gentle woman, a woman of peace, a tree of shelter, a mighty woman of valour, an intercessor, a mother of mothers passed on to the great beyond to answer the inevitable call of all mortal men.

She turned her back and left it all to follow the path God laid for her. She’s saying to all “I have fought a Good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith”.

She was survived by 2 Children, 19 Grand Children, 11 Great Grand Children Sisters. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (for salvation)-Ps. 90:12

Biography of late Mr. Ekhasemomhe Alfred Idonighie

Late Mr. Ekhasemomhe Alfred Idonighie was born at Ogbona Ivhiochie Quarters in 1929 to the family of late Mr. Asokhokhai Ekhasemomhe and Mrs. Asokhokhai Ekhasemomhe Amina. His father was a farmer and his mother a trader. Late Mr. Ekhasemomhe A.I was the first child in the family of five male children.

Mr. E Ekhasemomhe A.I Started his primary school education at Saint John’s Catholic School Ogbona now Oboarekpe Primary School in 1945. He proceeded to Sacred Heart Catholic School Agenebode, where he obtained Standard Six School Leaving Certificate in 1954. Upon his graduation, he started his teaching profession in St. John Catholic school Ogbona. While on the Job, he proceeded to Saint John’s Bosco college Ubiaja where he obtained the teacher grade lll (3) Certificate in 1965.

He taught in the following primary Schools: Ido 2 Primary School Okpella, ldo 1 Primary School Okpella. Ogochi Primary School. He was later transferred to Imhakhena Primary School Ogbona now Oboarekpe primary School. Where he was retired in 1986 as Headmaster.

Late Mr. Ekhasemomhe A.I. got married in 1961 to Mrs. Catherine Azimhi from Ivhiarua (Fugar).

Late Mr. Ekhasemomhe A.I. was a strict disciplinarian, brave and honest man. He was a devoted Catholic, respectful of traditional values and Culture. He was very hospitable, also had open hand which made him to take responsibility of educating many of his kinsmen children to also show his love for education. He was a treasurer of the committee that were in charge of rural electrification “Ogbona”. Until his demised he stood for the progress, peace and development of humanity. We missed you dad. Sleep on and good night until we meet in God’s kingdom where we shall part no more.

Mr. Ekhasemomhe Alfred Idonighie was famous for his knowledge of history and culture. He had a great knack to tell a story about our past and family relationship in the community. His talks or stories were always full of proverbs and innuendos to illustrate his stories.

Biography of late Patrick Shaibu Anabor. 

Mr. Patrick Shaibu Anabor was born in the year 1932 to Anabor and Iyawo Atogwe. He was the fourth Child of Iyawo the First wife of Anabor. From Ivhiobore, Ivhiochie quarters of Ogbona. As a Child he displayed some artistic behavior which the father saw in him and since he could not attain western education, the father took him to Mr. Uwaya his uncle who reside in Sapele to learn a trade. Because for a Child to go to school as at that time, it is the community  that sponsor  a child for western  Education. After a brief stay in Sapele he came back home and his father took him to Ivhiavhia Fugar town in Etsako Central to continue with the trade of tailoring with late J. A Braimah where he graduated in fashion design. He was verse in both English and native wears. At Ogbona, and it neighbouring villages such as Imiegba, Okpekphe, Apana, Ayogwiri, Ebele, Iraokhor, any man or woman who has not worn a cloth sown by him, has not arrived.

He was nickname London tailor and “Okereke” after a popular Igbo Embroider who design masquerade dresses for the ikpeluemhe dance popularly called “Egbokobia” in Ogbona, a popular dance that is liked by all sons and daughters of the community.

As a service provider, he trained others in fashion and design such as Bernard Ayalomhe, Kilian Omoighie, Bernard Emuekidi and a host of others.

In the sixties and seventies, he was very popular among the school children because of his pattern of sewing school uniform for children in schools in the community. Because of his passion for education, he assisted parent in sewing the uniform free and at subsidised rate. Those from Imiegba and Okpekphe were not left out especially their sons who attend St Johns Grammar School Fugar. It was not a surprise that when the present Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Auchi paid a pastoral visit to St John the Baptist Catholic Church Ogbona. He asked. “where is that my tailor that sewed my clothes when I Was in St Johns Fugar.

During festivities he hardly sleeps as he has to meet up with the children wears and to ensure that they had new clothes to wear during the festive Period. Add to these he took up the sales and distribution of cigarette for Mr. S. A Akininraye who was the major distributor to Nigerian tobacco company and their product were always available for sales on demand such cigarette at that time were Bicycle, Gallon, S.M, Flieght, and Goldleaf.

He got married to Julian Omosioba Anetekhai, a traditional bone setter “Anwugwah” from Ivhiomierele quarters in Okotor Ogbona and blessed with children.

Social life: He had a childhood friend, late Jacob I Odior who both of them move like twins until death parted them on the 18th of September 2007. He was also a member of Abhokhasomi union Ogbona.

Religion life: He was a member of the seventh day Adventist Church Ogbona until his death, he never attended any other church hence when he died, it was the Adventist church that buried him. He was loved by all as parents leave their children with him when they go to farm. He was popularly called ”ta”meaning tailor

BIOGRAPHY OF CHIEF THOMAS UDUKHOKHA DUNIA

THE OKHAEMHO OF IVHIOBIRI VILLAGE IN IVHIDO QUARTERS OF OGBONA

Chief Thomas Udukhokhai Dunia popularly known as “T. D” was born in 1929 at Ogbona, Etsako Central Local Government of Edo State. His parents, Mallam Dunia Anaemhomhe and Princess Igbhonaughie Ototo were Muslim and Traditional religious worshipper respectively. Pa. Dunia remained a devout Muslim until his death in 1953, while his wife also maintained her religious disposition until her death in 1979.

 EDUCATION

Young Thomas Dunia started his elementary education at St. John Catholic School, Ogbona in 1940. He later continued his education at Government School Auchi in 1946 where he successfully passed the First School Leaving Certificate Examination in 1950.

Thereafter, he proceeded to Ibadan to live with another relation. There he was exposed to the learning of various trades including Typing, Tailoring, Electrical appliances, and got various certificates in them. He also received lessons in various Trades and professions.

 ACHIEVEMENT

T. D. Dunia became a tailor in 1952 and worked as a journey man under his former master, late Pa David Idiaokhai, a native of Iraokhor who was a popular tailor at Mokola Ibadan at the time.

Armed with a certificate in Driving, he took up an appointment as a tractor driver with the College of Arts Science and Technology in 1954. This year he got married to his wife Margaret with whom he lived all his life.

While at Ibadan as a Tractor Driver he established a Typing Institute where he applied his knowledge as a typist to groom young school-leavers in typing and printing. This was a time of opportunities for clerical staff and typists in government offices. The products of his typing institute have their way in to government offices where some became Administrative officers and Secretaries and big time printers.

In 1960 Chief T.D. Dunia published the Etsako Almanac showing the various traditional festivals and age-groups in Avhianwu Clan, as well as the chiefs and celebrities in the clan. The Almanac was a pace setter and paved the way for similar publications in the clan.

The college of Arts Science and Technology was later converted to the University of Ife in 1960. Chief T. D. Dunia was retained and regarded as a resource officer and appointed as maintenance officer in charge of electrical plant and other clerical jobs in the maintenance Department of the new University. He was transferred to Ile-Ife when the University moved to its permanent site in 1966. However, he came back to Ibadan again in 1970 when his services were wanted by those who knew his worth when he served at the old College of Arts, Science and Technology. Consequently, he transferred his services to Ibadan Polytechnic which inherited the sites of the former College of Arts, Science and Technology in 1980. He became the foreman of the Maintenance Departments and in 1983, he was promoted as the Higher Works Superintendent, the position he retained until he retired in 1988.

 HIS SOCIAL ACTIVITIES

Chief T. D. Dunia’s social life began in 1945 when he founded the famous Ivhido Union Boys which was later renamed Ivhido Boys Union whose members were all school children of Ivhido origin.

These school children recited poems, dramatized plays on festival occasions like Esi Festival, Easter period and Christmas time. Infact Ivhido Boys Union became the vanguard for encouraging and spreading education in Ogbona.

He drew the constitution of Ivhido Udokhako Union which today has remained the official hand book for running the Union. It is interesting to note that the constitution has been reviewed over and over again.

Chief T. D. Dunia found time outside his very busy schedule to socialize through various social club, and sports organization to which he belongs. He was a member of the Polytechnic Senior staff Association Club, Darts Association Club, the University of Ibadan Senior Staff Club.

He was a keen sportsman, where he later became the captain of the Darts Association in 1985. And during his tenure he won laurel at various competitions; Kaduna, Kano, Sokoto and Maiduguri in Borno State.

He was also a member of the famous, Darts Federation Recreation Club Ibadan where his excellent performance earns him a giant trophy at Ikeja in 1986.

 HIS BUSINESS ACTIVITIES

Chief T. D. Dunia’s business acumen bears little comparison. He was the first Etsako man to go into the business of Hotel Management at Ibadan. He established the Wisdom Hotel at Mokola Ibadan in 1955.

It later had a branch at Abadina in the University of Ibadan. The motto of the Hotel was “Onoke lo mie” meaning “he who seeks, finds”. The Abadina guest house serve as a meeting point for Etsako students at the University of Ibadan. Many who visited the place while TD was around always get free drink and pepper soup.

The hotel made him popular all over Ibadan. The hotel bloomed to attract Etsako Dance bands including Anco Limited, Igieghele dancers and later Bolivia Band from Ogbona. Sometimes he used his influence to allow these dancers to secure places in the programmes of W.N.TV and W.N.B.S.

 CHIEF T. D’S CHRISTIAN LIFE

Chief T. D. Dunia was baptized at Catholic Church in 1946. He married in the church in 1954 and had been a practicing devoted Christian since then. He was the promoter as a director of Ivhido Boys Christian community, a position he held very well in thunder and in rain. He helped in calling the young men and women of Ivhido origin to embrace Christianity. He was also a member of the J. D. P. C, a position that earned him the name O A U at Ibadan. At home, he remained a staunch member of the J. D. P. C. He was also a member of the Police Community Relationship. In his capacity he led his people to maintain the rule of Law and to embrace peace.

 HIS PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS

Chief T. D. Dunia had some traits in his character which many may find difficult to imitate. He did not discriminate between his blood relations and his distant cousins.

He encouraged everyone to grow and provided both cash and materials for them to learn and work. Among these distant relations cousins we have an Air Force Officer retired, a retired Naval Officer, a top Military Officer and a College Principal for whom he stood surety to get students loans at the very critical time.

T. D. Dunia was a man with a heart of iron. What made people panic give him no disturbance; he looked untroubled and did not give chance for people to plant the seed of discord between him and his wife or between him and his friends or relatives.

Viewed against his background in the public services, his various activities and his personal dispositions Chief T. D. Dunia was invited by his people of Ivhiobiri villages to represent them in the Okphe Ukpi’s palace as their Okhaimho in 2000.

Chief T. D. Dunia was the P.T.A. Chairman of Imhakhena Primary School, Ogbona 1995 – 2000, Financial Secretary, Ogbona Secondary School, 2000 – 2005.

He called the Ogbona people to stop burning of bush that in future it will bring hunger, famine, erosion, and desertification, which all the people obey till today.

He became the Secretary of the Okphe Ukpi’s palace Chiefs, a position he held with distinction until his sudden death on January 21st 2005 at the age of 76.

His epitaph will read, “Here lies a man with the Heart of oak, versatile in many trades and professions and a master of all”

May his soul rest in perfect peace. Amen

He is survived by his wife, sons and daughters.

THE BIOGRAPHY OF LATE CHIEF CHRISTOPHER UTU MOCHI

BIRTH AND EARLY LIFE

Chief Christopher Utu Mochi otherwise known as CU was born to the family of Mr. Mochi Akhilomhe and Marian Bisi of Ivhiochie Quarters in Ogbona on the 7th day of July, 1926 at Ivhiochie quarters Ogbona in present day Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo State. His philosophy and general disposition to life was making people believe in themselves and doing the right things at the right time. CU believed in hard work, a trait he inherited from his father, who was very energetic and hardworking which left him no options than to take after his father. He was a man of integrity, great discipline and honesty, he was also sociable, hardworking, just and an embodiment of love, care and understanding towards humanity.

 

EDUCATION

His early education began at The Roman Catholic Missionary School (RCM), now Oboarekpe Primary School, Ogbona in 1943 where he read up to Standard six I 1949 which was the peak at the time

He started teaching in 1950 at the R.C.M Ogbona but immediately moved to R.C.M, Okpekpe in 1951 where he got married in 1953. In 1955 on transfer to R.C.M, Iyerekhu where he moved with his young and adorable wife, he was then later transferred to Ikholo and from there to R.C.M, Uzairue in 1960. After 4 years there, he was transferred back to Ogbona, his home town and this time he taught at CMS Ogbona in 1964 and Imhakhena Primary School in 1972 respectively. In 1976 he was transferred to Eramhe Primary School, Afokpella and from there was transferred to Uralo Primary School, Iraokhor where he finally retired from his noble teaching profession on the 29th September 1986 after dutifully molding lives, some of whom includes the present Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Aliu Oshiomhole

The name CU was popular nickname derived by his friends from the initials of his name “Christopher Utu”. He was well known for his farming and religious engagements in his early years while also caring so much for the less privileged in his community

COMMUNITY EFFORT

At the community level, CU was a custodian of culture and tradition going by his numerous service to his community, Ogbona, being among the first people to pick up the challenge and interest towards the development of his Quarter Ivhiochie and indeed, Ogbona Community at large. His traditional disposition earned him the enviable title of “Oghie Eboh” which qualified him for the position of installing titles in the community. Chief C.U. Mochi was also the financial Secretary of the Planning Committee during the formation of Imhakhena Primary School, Ogbona. He encouraged parents to take their wards and children to school and even assisted the poor in paying school fees for their children. CU was a good listener to any problem brought before him. He was an out-spoken man who was fearless at approaching issues.

 

He was enlisted into the Umonwamhemho Age Group in Avhianwu community in 1949. Some of age mates include Pa. Francis K. Ilega, Pa. Obiko Asekhauno, Pa Erua Iyevhobu, Pa Oshoke Aigbepue, Pa Imhonegamhe Okozi, Pa Ikhenape Okhuemoi and Mrs. Cecilia Acha Amiekhamhe

 

He clocked 86 on July 7th 2012 before he took ill and was taken to Otibhorkhai Specialist Hospital, Irrua where he passed on 1st August, 2012. He is survived by wife, 13 children, 38 Grand Children, 22 Great Grand Children and 3 sisters.

BIOGRAPHY OF GABRIEL MASADE OPUTEH (Ogudugu)

Gabriel Masade Oputeh was born in Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo State in the year of our Lord 1923 by peasant parents. The exact month of birth was unfortunately not recorded as his parent were illiterates and the record of birth and death was not common in those days. He had a very humble beginning and spent most of his youthful years in Ogbona

As was customary in those days it was difficult for illiterates’ peasant parents to consider western education for their offspring. It had to take extra brilliance and the persistence of children of that time for their parents to send them to school. in his testimony he did not indicate that he attended primary or secondary school but engaged in farming at Ogbona in his youthful days. He was said to be a favorite of his mother madam Osofia who had wanted him to be around her always.

He was said to be a very smart, popular, and a restless man in his youth. he was a youth leader who was popularly nicknamed “Ogudugu” because of his youthful exploits. his restlessness made him leave home to relocate first to Warri at a very young age and then later to Lagos where he joined the army (the then west Africa frontier force) alongside his elder brother Mr. Williams J. Oputeh. he had his stint in the army during the war and was discharged after the war.

He relocated back to Ogbona after his discharged from the army and resumed his farming activities and later got married to his heartthrob the then Christians Aluta Esue. The union produced a total of 6 children which only 3 survived he was a great husband and father who despite not being thoroughly educated emphasized the importance and value of education to all his surviving children. His love for his children was a passion to him and he ensured he was there for them as regards education.

His restlessness and love for adventure which made him joined the army again led to his relocation back to Lagos where he started work as a stevedore at Iddo motor park. He also was into business as a transporter for the then British petroleum (b p), helping to transport their products from Lagos to various regions of Nigeria.

His working life at Iddo motor park was legendary. He was so popular at the park such that any person travelling to and from Lagos for any purpose had to only land at Iddo park and ask for Masade Oputeh for all his or her problems to be address.  Stranded travelers from Ogbona were guaranteed temporary accommodation in his house at Ijora Badiya. In those days also the likes of Alhaji Inu Umoru, Napoleon Momoh Omoakhia, and chief Phillip Okhumhale were constant guests in his house at Ijora when on their usual business trips to Lagos. He was also a local DHL/UPS as any messages /letter or luggage from and to Ogbona were usually directed for his attention and assistance. It was at Iddo motor park that he met and married his second wife the then Ayisatu bello from Fugar. The marriage produced 5 children.

His circle of friends was legendary and was the envy of all. The likes of john Ozagha, joseph Ayeni, mike Akpoghome, mike Oghena chief m c k Orbih Paul Anaweokhai, Alhaji Inu Umoru, Phillip Okhumhale were his friends. Of particular note was his friendship with joseph Ayeni, mike Akpoghome, and mike Oghena. They were said to have formed a circle that had a knack and ability to enjoy life.

After his retirement from business he went back to Ogbona where he lived a simple but fulfilled life. He was a philanthropist, very hospitable and was a shoulder that many people leaned on even at that old age. He passed on to the great beyond on the 19th December 2014.

Biography of Sir, Paul Imhologhomhe Anaweokhai

Sir, Paul Imhologhomhe Anaweokhai was born in 1935 to the Catholic family of Pa Cletus Eshiemhomoh Anaweokhai of Ivhiosano, Ogbona and Mrs. Jeminah Angelina Anaweokhai from Iraokhor both in Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo State.

He started his Primary education at Catholic Primary School, Ogbona in 1944 and later travelled to Jos to live with his uncle, Pa James Anaweokhai but came back to the village in 1950 to finish his primary school. He again traveled to Onitsha to live with another uncle where he learnt typing, short hand and English and   graduated in 1953.The death of his mother in December,1954 brought him back to the village to give her a befitting burial.

Working experience

He got employed as secretary/teacher with the Catholic Mission at Afashio Uzairue from 1955 to 1956.His quest for knowledge took him to St. John Bosco Teachers College, Ubiajia for his grade 3 from 1957 to 1958. Upon his graduation, he started his teaching career at Afashio in 1959. He taught at Sobe, Otuo, Atte before he left for Lagos in 1968.

He worked in Domino Store as sales supervisor. He later joined Copper Companies as store manager from 1968 to 1975 before he joined Exam Success as Personnel manager from 1975 to 1979. He went into business in 1979 and became the Executive Director of Procosagec Company Ltd,17. Adeniji Street, Surulere, Lagos.

He obtained a diploma in law from Holborn College UK through correspondence studies. He ventured into politics in 1979 and became the Surulere Ward Chairmen of UPN from 1979 to 1983.

He was a devoted Catholic and was made Knight of St John 1996.

He published THE LIVES & TIMES OF THE APOSTLES in 1999.he was a member of CBIU he was the humble president of the CBIU of the archdiocese of Lagos, the pioneer vice chairman of SS Peter and Paul Oke-Afa till death. He was instrumental to the purchase of the church permanent site.

Family life

He got married to his wife, Lady Roseline Anaweokhai née Umoru from Iraokhor in 1963. The marriage was blessed with many Children amongst whom are Cornelius, Mrs. Christie Egbeyia, Mrs. Gloria Oshiokpekhai, Evelyn, Paulina, Evaristus and Leo

Social engagements

He was the Chairman Board of Directors, Isolo Community Bank until his death on 2nd July, 2000. He was also the chairman of Isolo housing estate and was instrumental to the establishment of the government primary school

and the supply of electricity to the estate. He was pillar in the family and town union meetings. Sir Paul was the secretary of the Ivhiochie family union in Lagos and also an active member and officer of the Ogbona Federated Union, Lagos in the early 80s through 90s. He played a major role in the establishment of the Ogbona Secondary School as he was a member of the very first committee that recommended the establishment of the school and also followed it through it building stage.

May his gentle soul rest in peace

BIOGRAPHY OF RAPHAEL OSHOMA ODALUME

Mr. Raphael Oshoma Odalume was born on the 24th Day of October 1947 in Zaria, in the then Northern region to a happy and proud parent, Chief James Oshiokpekai Odalume and Mrs. Cecilia Odalume from Etsako, in the then Mid-western State of Nigeria. Raphael Odalume was the second son of five siblings, he was raised in a devout catholic family and had his early education at the famous St. Theresa Roman Catholic School, Zaria. He completed his primary education and obtained his First School Leaving Certificate at St. Cyprian’s Catholic Primary School, Offa in then Kwara State.

In 1964, he proceeded to Holy Trinity Grammar School, Sabongidda-Ora, Edo State for his secondary education. He excelled academically and enjoyed sports, he was appointed School Prefect in recognition of his level of responsibility and dedication to excellence. In 1971, he was admitted into the University of Ibadan, which was the premier and most sought after citadel of learning in Nigeria at the time. He read Linguistics and secured B.A. Linguistics, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. During his time in University of Ibadan, he was Hall Chairman, Nnamdi Azikiwe Hall, University of Ibadan. This was an elective position, which he secured because of his advocacy for good and acclaimed oratory and popularity amongst the students in the university. Academically, he was very cerebral and a lecturer’s delight. He was designated “University Scholar” and received the University of Ibadan Scholarship award for Academic Achievement. Mr. Odalume was 2nd Best Graduating student in the Faculty of Arts, University of Ibadan in 1976/77 academic session. In 1978, Raphael Odalume returned to University of Ibadan and secured B.A. Communications Arts, University of Ibadan.

The working career of Raphael Odalume was very much shaped by his passion and outlook to life. It was therefore not a surprise that his early career started in the academic sector. He was early in life a Teacher at IIesha Grammar School, IIesha where he spent about 2 years helping young boys and girls to build academic future. He also worked as an Education Officer, North Central State of Nigeria (now Kaduna and Katsina States). As an Education Officer, he monitored and helped to shape education curriculum in the states particularly in English language.

In May 1979, Mr. Odalume joined The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), where he spent a total of 20 years in the Human Resources Directorate. He held at various times, many Executive and Leadership positions, requiring him to work in all the major Shell locations in Nigeria. Some of the positions he held during his career include; Head, Industrial Relations – West; Head, General Services – East; Head, Corporate Recruitment – Lagos; Head, Operations Planning (Production, Maintenance, Procurement/Logistics).

Mr. Raphael Odalume at SPDC was a man of exceptional reputation. He was a seasoned HR professional, who commanded the respect and admiration of peers and subordinates for his principles and thoroughness. He was coach and mentor to many of the younger generation, in whom he instilled the values of integrity, trustworthiness and fair-play. Everyone called him Uncle Ralph, he was a father figure to many and always sought to develop the good in people. In a competitive corporate environment, this was a rare quality, his interpersonal skills and ability to relate across all age groups, gender and ethnic groups was exceptional. Uncle Ralph was gifted with the art of languages, he spoke fluently the three major languages in Nigeria; Ibo, Hausa and Yoruba. He was always the voice of wisdom, calm and consideration. Uncle Ralph was a man of Peace, who shunned avoidable conflict but had inordinate capacity to resolve conflicts. He was widely acknowledged as a complete gentleman “the gentle giant” with style and substance.

He was a member of many professional bodies, amongst which are; Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria (CIPM); Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM); and American Society for Training and Development (ASTD). In his 20-year career with Shell he attended and lectured at many local and International courses and conferences in Nigeria, Ghana; UK; USA; The Netherlands. Uncle Ralph retired meritoriously from SPDC in 1999. In the year 2000, Mr. Odalume set up a private consultancy firm, Alpha Peak Ltd which provided him the opportunity to share his vast oil and gas industry knowledge and leverage the network of professional colleagues and friends in the development of the next generation oil and gas professionals. This allowed him to keep in touch with his passion of developing others, his was one consultancy where payback was not measured in monetary terms but by how much he contributed to the growth of others. He enjoyed charity works and supported many charity organizations. He was the pioneer Chairman of the Governing Council of Lakeland School, Ogunu. As Chairman, he helped nurture and define the educational standards operating in the school, his commitment and contributions have helped immensely to sustain the quality and academic excellence associated with the school.

In his later years, Uncle Ralph lived life with commitment to the service of God, his family and neighbours. He devoted a significant part of his energy, time and resources to supporting the church which gave him plenty of satisfaction. Until he took his last breath, in the early hours of Monday, 6th August 2018, Mr. Raphael Odalume remained an inspiration to friends, family and relations.

He is survived by his wife, 5 children, grandchildren, brother, sisters, nephew, nieces and in-laws.

BIOGRAPHY OF DR. STEPHENAIGBEPUE (SNR.) 15TH APRIL 1956 – 7TH JULY 2019

Jewel in the savannah, one of his kind was born Dr. Stephen Aigbepue (Snr.), He was born on April l S” 1956 to Mr. Garuba Aigbepue and Mrs. Ashetu Elizabeth Aigbepue, both of blessed memory, in Ogbona, Okotor Quarters of Etsako Central Local Government Area, Edo State.

Dr Stephen Aigbepue spent his early childhood in Ogbona after which he got admission into the Catholic Technical College I1e-IfeOsunState, popularly known as CATECO from 1970 to 1974, In 1975

He got a job as a Senior accountant/company cashier at the Nigerian paper mill Ltd., Jebba. He got his \VAEC which enables him to enrolled into Auchi Polytechnic Auchi Edo State where he bagged his OND and HND in Business Administration from 1977 to 1981, and thereafter posted to Sokoto state for

as a Lecturer in the Sokoto State from 1981 to for Education and higher

further enrolled for bachelor Usman Dan Fodio University a BSc (Hons.) in

from 1986 to 1989. Prior to finishing his NYSC, he was the Polytechnic of Sokoto, appointment, academic bio-environment, 1992 a Masters of Business

from Ahmadu Bello State. Still working in Sokoto promoted to Lecturer I,

Lecturer and Chief Lecturer was also Principal Lecturer at Abdu Gusau Polytechnic,

His keen interest learning moved him to degree program in Sokoto where he obtained Management Studies this achievement, while retained as Lecturer III in Sokoto State on contract While in the he nagged for himself in Administration (MBA) University Zaria, Kaduna State Polytechnic, he was Senior Lecturer, Principal from 1990 to 2004. He and Head of Department Talatal Mafara from 1993 to 1997.

In the year 2000 Dr Stephen Aigbepue was Awarded with Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in management Studies, in Usman Dan Fodio, University, Sokoto, Sokoto State.

In 2004 he decided to return home to Edo State, and was employed as Chief lecturer in Auchi polytechnic, Auchi. While in Edo state, He was a visiting lecturer in the Department of Business Administration Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, from 2006 – 2007. He was a Facilitator/Lecturer, (part – Time) in School of Management Sciences, National Open University, Benin City Study Centre. Benin – City from 2007 till Date.

his NYSC where He served Polytechnic of Sokoto 1982.

While at the Auchi polytechnic Auchi, He was Head, Department of Business Administration and Management, School of Business Studies from 2005 to 2008, and later became Dean of School of Business Studies Auchi Polytechnic for two (2) successful tenures, from 2008 to 2012

He has held many administrative post and membership, He was Member, Appointments and Promotions Committee (Senior Staff), Member Senior Staff Disciplinary Committee (Auchi Poly), Member, Committee on the Review of Promotion Criteria for Academic Staff: Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi, Chairman Committee of Deans, Auchi Polytechnic, Au hi, Chairman/CONTISS 15, Implementation Committee, Chairman, Committee on Mounting of Bachelor’s Degree programmes in the Polytechnic. Member Committee on The Affiliation of the Polytechnic with Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Chairman, Committee on Relocation of Sports Unit and Servicom Member, Panel of Investigation into Procedure for Handling Examination Malpractice, Chairman/Membership of

Several Panels of Inquiry/investigations in the Polytechnic.

Dr Stephen Aigbepue published many papers both in International and Local Journals such as Issues and Challenges of Nigerian Fiscal Federalism Interdisciplinary Journal of Research in Business Vol. 1 Issue 10 (Pp 26 – 31) PAKISTAN, A Critique of Staff Performance Appraisal in Public Sector Organisations -Bayero Business Review Bayero University, Kano. Vol. I, No. 1 Pp. 27 – 36, Oct. to his credit, to mention but a few.

He also belongs to several bodies such as NIM, NIMN, FCAI, IRDI, ANA.

ln 1979 Or Stephen met his Wife Rose Aigbepue, from Okpe in Akoko-Edo LGA. They got married in 1982 and were blessed with five (5) lovely Children.

His service in the vine yard of God started in the Living Faith Foundation Chapel of Grace in Arikila – Sokoto, Sokoto State. As he made his journey back to Auchi, Edo state, he remained active in the service of the Lord at the Redeem Christian Church of God for several years but he had to step

back in face of increasing health challenges. not just a father but also a friend and a mentor to all his children and his commitment to education spurred him on to ensure that all of his children attained tertiary education, which he completed by the Grace of God.

Even in the face of ill health, he remained a cheerful and welcoming person. His strength and equanimity were, and remain n, a great source of inspiration and comfort to those who interacted with him in the last few years. He retained his sense of humor and it was obvious that he trusted in the Lord above

all things.

Dr Stephen A Aigbepue was an accomplished lecturer, a great achiever, wonderful family man, a loving father to his children and a devoted husband to his wife. He is survived by children, grandchildren, brothers, sister and other relatives, who will all remember him as a principled, God fearing man.

Though Daddy will be sorely missed, the joy of knowing him in his lifetime and the assurance of his faith more than compensate for our temporary sorrow at his departure.

A TRIBUTE TO DR STEPHEN AIGBEPUE (PHD)

r. Stephen Aigbepue was one of the first people I met in Sokoto, in 1985, on posting to the Federal Department of Forestry. I drove to his house with his very close friend, Chief Paul Igbeneghu.

Steve had served his NYSC in Sokoto State Polytechnic and being astute in his duties, was retained and employed as a Lecturer in the Department of Business Administration.

What was my first impression about Steve? Gentle, calm, a good listener and not given to much words.

He was much more interested in enriching himself with knowledge rather than material wealth. This was expressed by diving courageously into the academic world. Steve knew that an HND was not sufficient. He had to undergo a fresh Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at the Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto, combining it with his official duties for three years. The next years saw Steve going through an MBA at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and a PhD at the Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto. Under the feet and the mentorship of an erudite scholar, Professor Sheidu Aminu, Steve was passed through the crucible of a Ph D in bU1ness administration

Dr Steve! you were a great man, a motivator, all enviable academician, ‘a hardworking man, a successful man. lam tempted to attribute your greatness and wisdom to the fact that you were a self- made fellow who never had the comfort and support of a father having lost your earthly father at. a

tender age. You personally encouraged me to undergo two master’s degrees at Usman Dan Fodio University. Thank you for that. Steve, you were a team player, a motivator of significant standard, an intelligent man, one blessed with innate wisdom and hard work. You excelled in achievement far more than those that lived Longer. Right before all, you touched the lives of many people, remolded them,

BIOGRAPHY OF DR. STEPHENAIGBEPUE (SNR.) 15TH APRIL 1956 – 7TH JULY 2019

Jewel in the savannah, one of his kind, Dr. Stephen Aigbepue (Snr.) was born on April 15, 1956 to Mr. Garuba Aigbepue and Mrs. Ashetu Elizabeth Aigbepue, both of blessed memory, in Okotor Quarters of Ogbona, Etsako Central Local Government Area, Edo State.

Dr Stephen Aigbepue spent his early childhood in Ogbona after which he got admission into the Catholic Technical College Ile-Ife, Osun State, popularly known as CATECO from 1970 to 1974.

In 1975 he got a job as a Senior accountant/company cashier at the Nigerian paper mill Ltd., Jebba. He got his WAEC which enabled him to enroll at Auchi Polytechnic Auchi Edo State where he bagged his OND and HND in Business Administration from 1977 to 1981, and thereafter posted to Sokoto state for his NYSC were he served as a Lecturer in the Sokoto State Polytechnic from 1981 to 1982.

His keen interest for Education and higher learning moved further enrolled for bachelor degree program in Usman Dan Fodio University Sokoto where he obtained a BSc (Hons.) in Management Studies from 1986 to 1989. Prior to this achievement, while finishing his NYSC, he was retained as Lecturer III in the Polytechnic of Sokoto, Sokoto State on contract appointment.

While in the academic bio-environment, he bagged for himself in 1992 a Masters of Business from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria Kaduna State. Still working in Sokoto State Polytechnic he was promoted to Lecturer I, Senior Lecturer, Principal Lecturer and Chief Lecturer from 1990 to 2004. He was also Principal Lecturer and head of Department at Abdu Gusau Polytechnic, Talata Mafara from 1993 to 1997

In the year 2000 Dr. Stephen Aigbepue was Awarded with Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in management Studies, in Usman Dan Fodio, University, Sokoto, Sokoto State.

In 2004 he decided to return home to Edo State, and was employed as Chief lecturer in Auchi polytechnic, Auchi. While in Edo state, he was a visiting lecturer in the Department of Business Administration Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, from 2006 – 2007. He was a Facilitator/Lecturer, (part – Time) in School of Management Sciences, National Open University, Benin City Study Centre. Benin – City from 2007 till Date.

While at the Auchi polytechnic Auchi, He was Head, Department of Business Administration and Management, School of Business Studies from 2005 to 2008, and later became Dean of School of Business Studies Auchi Polytechnic for two (2) successful tenures, from 2008 to 2012

He has held many administrative posts and membership, he was Member, Appointments and Promotions Committee (Senior Staff), Member Senior Staff Disciplinary Committee (Auchi Poly), Member, Committee on the Review of Promotion Criteria for Academic Staff, Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi, Chairman Committee of Deans, Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi, Chairman/CONTISS 15, Implementation Committee, Chairman, Committee on Monitoring of Bachelor’s Degree programmes in the Polytechnic. Member Committee on The Affiliation of the Polytechnic with Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Chairman, Committee on Relocation of Sports Unit and Servicom Member, Panel of Investigation into Procedure for Handling Examination Malpractice, Chairman/Membership of

Several Panels of Inquiry/investigations in the Polytechnic.

Dr Stephen Aigbepue published many papers both in International and Local Journals such as Issues and Challenges of Nigerian Fiscal Federalism Interdisciplinary Journal of Research in Business Vol. 1 Issue 10 (Pp 26 – 31) PAKISTAN. A Critique of Staff Performance Appraisal in Public Sector Organisations – Bayero Business Review Bayero University, Kano. Vol. I, No. 1 Pp. 27 – 36, Oct. to his credit, to mention but a few. He also belongs to several bodies such as NIM, NIMN, FCAI, IRDI, ANA.

ln 1979 Or Stephen met his Wife Rose Aigbepue, from Okpe in Akoko-Edo LGA. They got married in 1982 and were blessed with five (5) lovely Children.

His service in the vine yard of God started in the Living Faith Foundation Chapel of Grace in Arikila – Sokoto, Sokoto State. As he made his journey back to Auchi, Edo state, he remained active in the service of the Lord at the Redeem Christian Church of God for several years but he had to step

back in face of increasing health challenges. Daddy was not just a father but also a friend and a mentor to all his children and his commitment to education spurred him on to ensure that all of his children attained tertiary education, which he completed by the Grace of God.

Even in the face of ill health, he remained a cheerful and welcoming person. His strength and equanimity were, and remain, a great source of inspiration and comfort to those who interacted with him in the last few years. He retained his sense of humor and it was obvious that he trusted in the Lord above all things.

Dr Stephen Aigbepue was an accomplished lecturer, a great achiever, wonderful family man, a loving father to his children and a devoted husband to his wife. He is survived by children, grandchildren, brothers, sister and other relatives, who will all remember him as a principled, God fearing man.

Though Daddy will be sorely missed, the joy of knowing him in his lifetime and the assurance of his faith more than compensate for our temporary sorrow at his departure.

A TRIBUTE TO DR STEPHEN AIGBEPUE (PHD)

Dr. Stephen Aigbepue was one of the first people I met in Sokoto, in 1985, on posting to the Federal Department of Forestry. I drove to his house with his very close friend, Chief Paul Igbeneghu. Steve had served his NYSC in Sokoto State Polytechnic and being astute in his duties, was retained and employed as a Lecturer in the Department of Business Administration.

What was my first impression about Steve? Gentle, calm, a good listener and not given to much words. He was much more interested in enriching himself with knowledge rather than material wealth. This was expressed by diving courageously into the academic world. Steve knew that an HND was not sufficient. He had to undergo a fresh Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at the Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto, combining it with his official duties for three years. The next years saw Steve going through an MBA at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and a PhD at the Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto. Under the feet and the mentorship of an erudite scholar, Professor Sheidu Aminu, Steve was passed through the crucible of a PhD in business administration.

Dr Steve! you were a great man, a motivator, all enviable academician, a hardworking man, a successful man. lam tempted to attribute your greatness and wisdom to the fact that you were a self- made fellow who never had the comfort and support of a father having lost your earthly father at a tender age. You personally encouraged me to undergo two master’s degrees at Usman Dan Fodio University. Thank you for that. Steve, you were a team player, a motivator of significant standard, an intelligent man, one blessed with innate wisdom and hard work. You excelled in achievement far more than those that lived longer. Right before all, you touched the lives of many people, remolded them, passionately turning them around for good. We shall miss you so much.

Your wife and children definitely, will miss you more, twice bereaved in less than two years. Rev. PJ.A. Olaiya, General Overseer of the Chapel of Grace, Pastor Sunday Adeoju, Mrs. Iyabo Aliyu and the whole congregation of the church shall miss you. Bro. Patrick Awhinawhi, Dr Mark Oriakhi, Fred Olisama and families will all remember you. May the Almighty God receive your blessed soul in Jesus name, Amen.

Godwin Atsegwasi

passionately turning them around for good. We shall miss you so much. Your wife and children definitely, will miss you more, twice bereaved in less than two years. Rev. PJ.A. Olaiya, General Overseer of the Chapel of Grace, Pastor Sunday Adeoju, Mrs. Iyabo Aliyu and the whole congregation of the church shall miss you. Bro. Patrick Awhinawhi, Dr Mark Oriakhi, Fred Olisama and families will all remember you. May the Almighty God receive your blessed soul in Jesus name, Amen.

Godwin Atsegwasi

 

Biography of Engr. SM Raphael Uloghobu AsekomheEng. SM Raphael Asekomhe was born to the family of LATE MR. ITSISOR ASEKOMHE and LATE MRS. AMINETU ASEKOMHE (Nee Dunia) on the 5th of October 1948 at Ivhiochie in Ogbona, Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo state.He commenced his academic pursuit from RCM primary school, Ogbona in 1955, thereafter proceeded to Saint Michael Modern School, Ogbona 1960, he then traveled to Lagos to join his elder- brother Mr. Peter Asekomhe, Where he went to join the Nigeria Army, but was denied as a result of no Godfather, he Later learnt printing in Lagos in 1967, later worked with a match Company in Lagos briefly, when his elder brother was transfer from Lagos to Warri, he moved on to live with one of his brothers Mr. Johnson Asekomhe who took him to learn Aluminum fabrication Lagos and later worked with the Company.Engr. SM Raphael Asekomhe got married in December 23rd, 1977, he left Lagos to Benin city, Edo state after his marriage thereafter joined Agen Aluminum company as a production manager, where he brought many sons of Ogbona into the Aluminum profession, 90% of Ogbona Youth who are into the Alumaco profession passed through him directly and indirectly.Engr. SM, Raphael Asekomhe joined Ogbona Imhakhena Federal Union in 1967 in Lagos before he moved to Benin, and continued with the union. He served as the secretary to the union for many years and in 201 2 was elected the Chairman of Ogbona Federated Union, Benin Branch and also the Financial Secretary to the National body of Union. (OIFU), also served in many committees to move his father land (Ogbona) to a greater height.Engr. SM Raphael U Asekomhe was a devoted catholic member in many capacities. Until his death he worshiped with Saint Fidelis Catholic Church, Aduwawa while in Ogbona he Worship with Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church.Engr. SM Raphael U Asekomhe joined the FRSC Special Marshal in 1991, where he was a Secretary to unit 22, and in 1994 he was made unit coordinator to unit 18 and served two tenure and in 2003 he became the state coordinator and served for 12 years, thereafter in 2014, he became the Deputy National Zonal Coordinator to Edo, Delta and Anambra State Respectively till his deathAmong the award received are Zonal Coordinator of the year 2017, Award of Commendation 2014, by St John the Baptist Catholic Church, Ogbona. Catholic Women Organization of Nigeria (CWO) St Fidelis Catholic Church, Aduwawa and too numerous to mentionLeft to mourn him are his Wife children, Grandchildren, Brothers, Sisters, Son-in-law and Daughters In-laws and Friends.

Special Marshal RS 2.1, Lagos, August 13 at 3:58 PMSM ASEKOMHE RAPHAEL: THE DEATH OF A COLOSSAL MAN. SM ASEKOMHE RAPHAEL, the National Deputy Coordinator and the Zonal Coordinator RS5.1, EDO. Your demise was a misery to us at Special Marshal RS2.1, Lagos and throughout the whole world. You were passionate about the safety of live and property on our roads. Despite your age, your dedication to this calling of road safety remains commendable.We can’t forget how you featured on Road Safety Matters on ITV, Benin. You remained a voice to reckon with in Road Safety Issues in Nigeria. Alas, pests didn’t allow us to enjoy a ripe kolanut! Death has snatched an icon away from us. An Iroko Tree of Special Marshal has gone for his rewards! Gone forever and ever!Your participation during the final football match of Edo State Special Marshals at Arinze Primary School Ground between Sector Team and Edo Central Team on Wednesday 7th August ,2019 where the Edo Central Team won on penalties shoot out still remains fresh in our memories. You played on the side of the Sector Team during this match and also scored a goal, but nobody knew that was your final football match on earth.You were a loving leader and a complete gentleman. Your love was beyond ethnicity and race. You were a Yoruba man in the circle of the Yorubas, a Hausa man in the company of the Hausas and an Igbo man any time you found yourself in the midst of the Igbos. You remained a ” WAZOBIA ” during your days on earth as the Deputy National Coordinator for Special Marshal in Nigeria. No wonder you were elected to man the number 2 position seat at the Headquarters of the Special Marshal in Abuja.SM ASEKOMHE RAPHAEL! Your death has caused a lot of doubts. How come a man full of energy and enthusiasm this past Wednesday would be no more today? This was what has been in the mouths of many. Your life was road safety while on earth. You lived road safety, you drank road safety, you wore road safety, you spoke road safety and everything about you was road safety.We didn’t know it would be so early like this for you, we would have celebrated you more than how we celebrated you during your last birthday celebration. Today we remember your love and affection towards the ideals of road safety in Nigeria and Africa at large.The Lagos State Coordinator of Special Marshal , SM Sola Olojede, on behalf of his Executives and all the Special Marshals in Lagos State commiserates with the immediate family of SM Asekomhe Raphael , the Corps Marshal , the National Coordinator of Special Marshal, SM Sini Kwabe , the National Executives of Special Marshal in Nigeria , all the Special Marshals in RS5.1 , Edo and all the Special Marshals in Nigeria. May God console everyone and stop such a death within us. Amen. //www.facebook.com

Biography of Elder (Chief) Pius Sunday Anyiador

Elder (Chief) Pius Sunday Anyiador was born on November 14, 1945 to the prominent family of Late Chief Anyiador Ilele of Ivhido Quarters in Ogbona village of Etsako-Central Local Government Area of Edo state and Madam Uwodu Anyiador from Ivhioche Quarters of Ogbona. His father was a hardworking farmer and an excellent hunter, while his mother was a farmer and trader.

He attended Ogbona Modern Primary School, Ogbona. While he was in the Modem School, he was involved in poultry and vegetable fanning. After his Primary Education he attended Ozoro Secondary School, Oleh in Isoko local Government Area of the then Bendel State when he was living with his Elder Brother the Late Chief Thomas Ayosi Anyiador. He was the labour prefect in his Secondary School based on his commitment to his education and interest in Agricultural and Sanitation Activities.

After graduating from Secondary’ School, he worked with MCC – Monier Construction Company (German Company) at Ore as a clerk/Cashier. In his quest for sound education and his passion for studying and resolving environmental and health sanitation issues, Sunday as he was fondly called by Ogbona Indigenes gained admission into the then Health Technology School at Ibadan where he graduated with flying colours.

After his graduation, he secured a job with the Health Department of the Oredo Local Government Council. Elder (Chief) Pius Sunday Anyiador started as sanitary Inspector and rose to Chief environmental health inspector. He was the pioneer environmental health inspector that implemented the monthly Environmental Sanitation programme in the then Bendel State in the 1980s. Due to his diligence to work, he was transferred to Agbor to Head the Health Department of the Council Area. After the Creation of Edo State, he was transferred several times as Head of the Health Department to Ubiaja, later to Agenebode and then to Ekpoma where he was affected by the mass retirement of Civil Servants that were 20 years and above in service by the then Lucky Igbinedion government in year 2000. He had just clocked 20 years in service.

Elder (Chief) Pius Sunday Anyiador joined Christ Chosen Church of God (“CCCG”) GRA Branch, Benin City in 1989 at Oni Street, GRA and was baptized in the early 1990s by the then Snr Apostle Osagiede and was an Altar Elder in the GRA 1 Branch until his death. Due to his commitment to the church and his love for God he pushed for the established of Christ Chosen Church of God, Ogbona Branch in Ogbona when he was still serving at Agenebode as Father of Church of the Agenebode branch of CCCG.

He got married to the wife of his youth – Deaconess Beatrice Aboshioke Anyiador (nee Aliu Idegbesor) of Okotor Quarters of Ogbona on July 16 1975 and their marriage is bless with four boys and a girl. To show their devotion, love and commitment to each other, in 1996 both Elder (Chief) Pius Sunday Anyiador and Deaconess Beatrice Aboshioke Anyiador renewed their wedding vow at Christ Chosen Church of God GRA 1 Branch.

Elder (Chief Pius Sunday Anyiador was a lover of people and contributed to the development of Ogbona as a community which was the reason the Ogie Avianwu bestowed an honorary chieftaincy title – the Oshiozokhai of Avianwu on him in recognition of his meritorious service to the Ogbona Community in the mid-1990s.

Until his death, Elder (Chief) Pius Sunday Anyiador was more involved in fighting for the wellbeing and rights of Edo State’s Local Government Pensioners i.e. retired local government workers in Edo State.

FRANCIS APEAKHUYE ABAYOMI ASEKOMEH – JUNE 4TH, 1932 – AUGUST 17TH, 2019

Francis Apeakhuye Abayomi Asekomeh was born June 4, 1932 in the ancient city of Ibadan, Nigeria into two royal families. His father was from the Asekomeh royal family of Ogbona in what is now Edo State, Nigeria. His mother was from one of the Ibadan ruling, royal families in what is now Oyo State, Nigeria. The first of seven children, Francis spent his formative years growing up in the Western Region of the country.

His father, one of the first indigenously trained engineers in Nigeria, worked as a civil engineer, helping to expand the Nigerian Railway Corporation. The responsibilities of his senior level position combined with the immense stress and strain of the job, led to his unfortunate and premature death at age 48. As the oldest child and son of his parents, Francis became the head of house at a young age and father-figure to his younger siblings. Devoted to his family, he vowed not to marry until he had raised and trained his six younger ones through school.

Francis started his career as a civil servant in pre-independence Nigeria, working at the Ministry of Information, Secretariat, Ibadan, Western Nigeria. Academically gifted, Francis soon won numerous scholarships to further his education after completing his Senior School Leaving Certificate from Niger College. Eventually, he completed his B.A. from the University of London in 1966, after earning the British Commonwealth Scholarship under the British Council, London. Rising to the rank of a senior civil servant, Francis served as the Chief Instructor in the Staff Training Center, at the Ministry of Establishments in Benin City, Nigeria.

In January 1967, Francis was selected to participate in the Aburi Conference in Ghana as a member of the Midwest Nigeria delegation of Governor David Ejoor. After receiving General Yakubu Gowon, Nigerian Head of State with Governor Robert Adebayo of Western Nigeria and Governor Hassan Katsina of Northern Nigeria at the Benin City Airport, their delegation flew together to Kumasi, Ghana, where they, along with Governor Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu of Eastern Nigeria were all escorted to Peduasi Lodge, Aburi, Accra, Ghana. There they were received and hosted by Lt. General J. A. Ankrah the Ghanaian military Head of State.

It was at these meetings that took place between January 4 and 5, that the Aburi Accord was reach billed as Nigeria’s last chance at preventing all out civil war. Though the accord eventually failed, plunging Nigeria into civil war, Francis was honored and privileged to participate in such a historic and important national assignment.

From 1970-1977 Francis served as a principal at the Auchi Federal Polytechnic, School of Business Studies, Benin Campus, GRA. It was during this time that he reconnected with and married the former Florence lyabowale Ogunseso in 1975 after a whirlwind romance, in a lavish society wedding in Benin City. Televised statewide throughout what was formerly Bendel State, it was the talk of the town for years to come.

That union yielded three children; Demetrius Oshopeme, Oluwadamilare, Anthonia Imelewa Oluwatemitope and Victoria Umesomeme Oluwabukola. A lover of knowledge, Francis again chose to further his education. This time with a young family in tow, he relocated to the United States for graduate studies. Much to the chagrin of his superiors, He decided to enroll at a tiny university in Berrien Springs, Ml rather than an ivy-league institution as expected. In 1981 he earned a M.A. in Business Education followed by another M.A. in Educational Administration from Andrews University. He then transferred to the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN to pursue a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology.

Returning to Nigeria soon after, Francis commenced lecturing at the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi. Yet again, the call to further study came, and he completed another Masters in Nutritional Medicine while on scholarship. In 1988, he retired meritoriously from Auchi Polytechnic after 35 years of public service.

In 1990, after training at the Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRO), in Oshodi, Lagos. Francis went into business manufacturing “Doris Soap” in Edo State with a factory in Agbede. Though he enjoyed his stint as an industrialist and businessman, the call of the classroom was strong. He eventually joined the staff at Benson Idahosa University, one of the first private universities in Nigeria, as a lecturer and eventually Head of Department where he worked for 11 years.

Though finally retired from academia but never one to be idle, Francis continued to pursue his passion for teaching and educating, this time as a natural health practitioner opening and operating his own wellness and lifestyle center in both Abuja, FCT and Benin City, Edo State.

An accomplished athlete, celebrated academic and educator, author, businessman and philanthropist, Francis Apeakhuye Abayomi Asekomeh breathed his last breath, August 17, 2019. He is survived by his wife, Florence Asekomeh and his six living children.

SIR BENJAMIN ASEMOKHAI OKOZIE AKA YELLOW UNCLE (THE MAN OF THE PEOPLE)

Benjamin Asemokhai Okozie has passed on. A gem in the eyes of many and a foundation formally success. In his short life, he affected a lot of people in several ways and the results of his impact will last for a very long time.

He was born December 6th 1954, at Ogbona, Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo State to Memuna and Ilenuma Okozie. He was the last child of his parent.

He has his primary School Education at Imhakhena Primary School, Ogbona. He attended Our Lady of Fatima College, Auchi in 1966.

Benjamin gained Admission into the then Bendel State University now Ambrose Alii University, Ekpoma where he obtained his B.A in Business Administration.

He was gainfully employed in 1979 at Etsako West Local Government Secretariat Auchi and he was the first headmaster of Etsako West Nursery School.

Benjamin was later transferred to Esan East Local Government Ekpoma and also served as the community officer at Owan East, Etsako central Local Government Area and he finally retired at Etsako East Local Government Area, Agenebode.

He was a devoted Christian, baptized in the Catholic faith, because of this zeal to serve humanity he joined the knight hood of saint Mulumba.

At a point in his life he was always praying the angelus and he knew the exact time even without looking at the clock. His favorite song was a song dedicated to our mother Mary title “Imho uwo no uwho ma mai Egbe”.

Benjamin was a family man to the core sacrificing personal comfort for the growth of his family and the society. He was a philanthropist, very generous, passionate and kindhearted. He was the MAN OF THE PEOPLE.

 

Biography of Reverend Daniel Joshua Alade Obozeghie

Rev. Dr. Daniel Joshua Alade Obozeghie, is the founding father and general overseer of “DOMINION DELIVERANCE OUTREACH MINISTRIES INC.

He was born in Ogbona on Sept. 7th 1969 into the family of Mr. & Mrs Agunu Obozeghie of Ivhioche quarters of Ogbona Community in Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo State.

He attended Oboarekpe Primary School and Ogbona Community Primary School, all in Ogbona Community of Etsako Central Local Government Council of Edo State.

Daniel Joshua Alade Obozeghie was actually billed to be enrolled into Nigerian Army by his parents after his secondary school, but little did his parent knew that, the Almighty, his maker in heaven have needs for him in his heavenly Army on earth, to serve him, save his people and prepare them for the kingdom.

It was upon his hearkening to this call that he got himself enrolled into one of Africa most prestigious Bible Institute. The All Nation for Christ Bible Institute of our grandfather in faith, Arch Bishop Benson Idahosa of Blessed Memory, who as his tutor, eventually became one of his mentors, where he obtained a degree in Theology in 1986.

As a teenager in 1986, while still under the tutelage of our grandfather of faith, Arch Bishop Benson Idahosa, the founder of the modern day Pentecostalism, he picked from him the attribute of boldness and uncommon holy radicalism against the kingdom of darkness which spurred him to ventured early into ministering as a young pastor in many ministry, such as, at Pentecostal Holiness Church at Nekpe-Nekpe axis around East Circular road in Benin-City.

In 1988, his desire to do more exploit for his maker and the Almighty, took him to Oba home town in Anambra State in the eastern part of Nigeria, where he met another mentor, Reverend Eric Emechebe of Bible Faith Gospel Centre Okusu, Oba, who eventually became his spiritual father. Here, he was thoroughly taken through the deep rudimentary secrets of covenant breaking, deliverance of the demonized, liberation of the oppressed and general deliverance.

Having successfully understudied him and served as a personal assistant to him, his lordship, Reverend Eric Emechebe for a year, he was then recommended to serve at the university town of Nsukka in Enugu State, under, Reverend Anwatu of Reconciliation Gospel Mission, were he made mark for himself as a true Apostle of the gospel, preaching, healing and liberating as well as setting the captives tree, just as Christ instructed and in all, the name of God Almighty was highly glorified through the various exploits he did in his name.

Having successfully served under Reverend Anwatu for some years, in 1994, he later returned back to his spiritual father, His Lordship Revered Eric Emechebe to undertake a newer task it was at this point in time, he met Sister Ify Onwuntalu Daniel Obozeghie who eventually became his wife later.

Precisely, on 24th of May 1997, he tied the nuptial knot to his beloveth wife, Pastor Mrs Ify Daniel Obozeghie. They are blessed with three lovely children, Joy, Emmanuel and Success.

In 1999, while still serving under his spiritual father at Oba in Anambra State, the Lord instructed him to move on to the city of Warri in Delta State from the east, where he said he will be established.

In 1999, Dominion Deliverance Outreach Ministry was birthed at Mosheshe Estate, in Effurun-Warri, Delta State, which has given birth to five other branches today. The Lagos branch, Benin branch, Ogbona branch, Iraokhor branch and off course, the Headquarters in Warri.

Reverend Daniel Joshua Alade Obozeghie, is a fiery fire branded preacher, a socialite and peace builder. He was awarded a Doctorate honorary degree of Theology by Advance Ministerial College of Theology Florida, USA in 2010. He became a Jerusalem Pilgrim (JP) in 2012, when he visited the holy land of Israel.

Before his departure to the great beyond, he served in various capacities in various organizations. He was the Vice President of Etsako Gospel Vanguard in Effurun – Warri, Delta State. He was a treasurer of Ogbona Christian Association, Nationwide. He was also an associate member of the Uvwie Indigenous Pastor of Uvwie L.G.A., of Delta State.

He is a member of C.A.N., Christian Association of Nigeria and also a bonafide member of P.F.N., The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria.

Sometimes among the living mortals, it becomes controversial as to the format to exit this sinful planet earth to meet with the creator, our Lord and Master, the author and finisher of our faith.

Our brother, uncle, father and spiritual grandfather Reverend Dr. Daniel Joshua Alade Obozeghie, chose to hearken to a superior call from his Master at about 2pm on Friday 20th of December, 2019.

Our Daddy was a dare devil, demon destroying deliverance minister, and epitome of God’s end time General.

He is survived by a wife, an aged Mother, brothers, sisters, children and spiritual children spread around Nigeria and abroad.

Shalom Daddy. May we meet again someday to part no more.

AMEN!



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