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Pa James Moses Itsisor-Asekomhe: A Life of Purpose and Service

Pa James Moses Itsisor-Asekomhe: A Life of Purpose and Service Born on August 23, 1930, in Ogbona, to the family of Itsisor Asekomhe and the late Madam Eladi Amiebamhe of Ivhiagboghidi quarters of Iraokhor in Edo State, Nigeria. Pa James Moses Itsisor-Asekomhe has left an indelible mark on his community. As a retired pastor, teacher, and community leader, his life’s work has been a testament to his unwavering dedication and passion for service. He is married to Mrs Victoria Ikhake, nee Akhamhe, from Ivhiorevho quarter, Ogbona, Mrs Comfort Aneya Musa from Iraokhor and the late Esther Idegbesor from Ivhiochie, Ogbona. Early Life and Education Pa James’ educational journey began at the Catholic School in Ogbona, followed by the EDC School in Ogbona, and finally, the EDC School in Okpella, where he completed his Standard Six education in 1951. He later attended the Adventist College of West Africa (ACWA) in Ilishan-Remo, obtaining a Diploma in Theology/Evangelism. ACWA, then the biggest theological seminary in the Western region, evolved into the present-day Babcock University. Teaching and Gospel Ministry Pa James started his teaching career in 1958, returning to Ogbona after seven years at John Holt in Sapele. He taught at various schools, including Jagbe, Ugbenor, and Ayogwiri, before answering the call to full-time gospel ministry. He became the pioneer pastor of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church (SDA) in Ogbona, zealously spreading the gospel across Avhianwu and beyond. His evangelism efforts took him to remote areas, using a Suzuki 100 motorcycle to reach distant communities. Business Ventures and Community Service Pa James’ entrepreneurial spirit led him to open the first patent medicine store in Ogbona in the late 1960s and another store in the early 1970s, where he sold cement and other building materials. He also engaged in subsistence farming and tobacco farming, winning awards for his quality products. His community service extended to supervisory roles in the then-Etsako Local Government Area (1970-71). He also worked at the Auchi Polytechnic as a Catering Supervisor, where he earned popularity among many indigent students of Etsako extraction for consistently assisting them with free food before the Federal Government stopped subsidizing feeding in tertiary institutions. Later, he served as Chairman of the Elders Forum of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ogbona.  Personal Qualities and Legacy Pa James is a strict disciplinarian, known for his hospitality, philanthropy, fearlessness, and daring nature. He belongs to the Irenumaye Age Group of 1953, which presently has only three of them left. The other two remaining members of the Age group are Pa P. K. Ikhane from Ivhiorevho and Pa Salami (Agbadagbudu) from Ivhiochie. With gratitude to God for his mercies, Pa James Moses Itsisor-Asekomhe is today the second oldest man in Ogbona. He’s widely acknowledged for standing firmly against injustice, seeking impartiality and perfection in all aspects. The retired teacher and pastor is passionate about the preservation of tradition and custom in Avhianwu. He is the Oghie-Ebo of the Apoghie lineage in Ivhiobore, and actively participates in initiating and managing all Okhe title matters in the lineage. His legacy includes 18 children, many grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, cementing his impact on Ogbona’s history. Today, Pa James remains a respected figure in Ogbona, celebrated for his remarkable contributions to the community’s religious, educational, and social development. His life serves as a testament to the power of dedication, hard work, and service to humanity.

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Profile of Comrade Robert Ikhuenekhemhe Odia (Ogedegbe)

was born on October 15, 1978, in Ibadan, Oyo State, to Chief John Oshiomogho Odia-Ogedegbe and Madam Philomena Abakhaghimheye. He hails from Ivhiochie Quarters, Ogbona, Etsako Central Local Government Area, Edo State. Robert Ikhuenekhemhe Odia is a dedicated academic and administrator with a passion for business administration, management, public diplomacy and good governance. After completing his Secondary Education at Our Lady of Fatima College, Auchi, Robert’s higher educational journey began in 1998 when he enrolled in Auchi Polytechnic, where he earned a National Diploma in Business Administration with a Lower Credit. He then returned to Auchi Polytechnic in 2002 and earned a Higher National Diploma in Business Administration and Management with an Upper Credit in 2003, when he also served as SUG Welfare Secretary. In 2018, Robert graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, earning First Class Honours. He holds a double Master’s Degree from Delta State University, Abraka, with an MBA in Business Administration in 2007 (merit), and an MSc in Business Management in 2016 (credit). Currently, he is a PhD candidate in Business Administration at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, with a focus on General Management. Robert’s professional career began in 2005 as a Warri Regional Manager at Mawa Maritime Nig. Ltd., where he honed his skills in management, marketing, and customer service. In 2010, he joined Auchi Polytechnic as a Security Liaison Officer, later becoming an Administrative Officer in 2013. Robert’s administrative career progressed as he became an Assistant Registrar in 2017, a Senior Assistant Registrar in 2020, and a Principal Assistant Registrar in 2023. In January 2023, he was appointed a Lecturer II in the Department of Business Administration and Management. Throughout his career, Robert has attended over 13 training programmes, conferences and seminars, including the GIZ & GOPA MSME Training Of Trainers, Facilitators and Coaches (TOTFC) training programme in 2023, the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) procurement basic training and conversion examination into procurement cadre in 2015, International Top Executive Training in Accra, Ghana in 2012, with over 12 Local/International Journal Articles published to his credit. Robert is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Diplomacy and Management (MCPDM) and the Institute of Public Speaking, Nigeria (MIPS). Robert’s hobbies include studying, public speaking, teaching, and playing volleyball. He is an active member of various associations, including, the League of Commentators and Lector (Lay Readers) in the Catholic Diocese of Auchi, Ogbona Youth Forum (OYF), Auchi Branch, and All Progressive Congress (APC), Ward 4, Ogbona. Robert has also been involved in various community activities, serving as, Master of Ceremonies (MC) at different events, a member of the Harvest Committee at Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Auchi on multiple occasions, and Ward 4 APC Agent during various elections, including the 2023 general elections, and Coordinator for Comrade Adams Oshiomhole senatorial campaign in Ogbona Ward 4 during the 2023 general elections. Robert’s story is one of dedication, hard work, and a passion for learning and growth. He is committed to making a meaningful impact in his field and contributing to the development of future generations. He is also a politician with a great interest in political activities and good governance.

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OGBONA ELITES FORUM NEW EXECUTIVES

OGBONA ELITES FORUM EXECUTIVES Ladies and gentlemen, it is our pleasure to introduce the newly elected executives of Ogbona Elites Forum! The newly elected executives were sworn in by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees on May 22, 2024. These dedicated individuals have been elected to drive positive change and progress in our forum and community. Please join us in warmly welcoming and congratulating our new executives: – President: Gilbert Erelumhe Odior, FNAPE – Vice President: Bernard Kasim Ikhane – Secretary-General: Dr. John Odior Anaweokhai – Legal Adviser/Officer: Bar. Felix Jones Osimerha – Welfare/Social Services Officer: Stella Omosibo Mode – Financial Secretary: Peter Alenoghena Aigba – Assistant Sec.-General: Andrew Aghukhapemho Inua – Treasurer: Bar. Patience Omadimhe Osilama – Public Relations Officer (P.R.O): Lawrence Igonor – Ex-Officio: Tricia Dupe Orbih – Provost: Mike Amanesi Kadiri-Itsuokor We look forward to their leadership, innovative ideas, and contributions to our community’s growth and success!”——————————————————– Gilbert Erelumhe Odior, FNAPE, CPG President Gilbert Erelumhe Isimape Odior was born on July 21st, 1957, in Ogbona, Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria. He began his educational journey at Saint John’s Primary School, Ogbona, from 1966 to 1970, followed by Saint John’s College, Fugar, from 1970 to 1974, and Edo College, Benin City, from 1974 to 1976. Gilbert furthered his education at the University of Ibadan, Oyo State, graduating with a BSc (Hons) in Geology in 1979 and an MSc in Petroleum Geology in 1981. After completing his NYSC program in Cross Rivers state, he embarked on a distinguished career in the oil and gas industry, spanning over four decades. Gilbert retired from ExxonMobil in December 2015 as a seasoned geologist with over 40 years of experience. He has a strong background in asset management, oil and gas management consulting, government relations, mentoring, and building future generations. Currently, he serves as the Managing Director of Field Support Services (FSS), an oil and gas industry support services firm specializing in interface management and regulatory services, project-specific manpower supply, university assistant programs, and community development work. Throughout his career, Gilbert has demonstrated innovative leadership and a commitment to excellence. He has held various leadership positions, including President of the Nigeria Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) from 2004 to 2005 and President of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) from 2012 to 2014. He has also served as a Director on the National Data Repository Board and received the prestigious Vlastimila (Vlasta) Dvořáková International Ambassador Service Award for his leadership, dedication, and long-term commitment to AAPG and promoting its ideals within and across the African Continent. He is active in several professional organizations and Social Clubs including Nigeria Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), Nigeria Gas Association (NGA), Nigerian Mining and Geological Society (NMGS), American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), National Data Repository Board, Fellow of Nigeria Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), and Certified Petroleum Geologist of AAPG and member of Ikoyi Club 1938. He believes in people and goes beyond the usual call of duty to touch people’s lives in remarkable ways, bringing out the best in them. He is energetic, a great team player, flexible, upwardly mobile, and focused on bottom-line results, making him a good manager of people and resources. As a proud son of Ogbona, Gilbert has actively contributed to the development of the community in all spheres of human endeavours. He has been an active member of the Ogbona Federated Union and Ivhiochie Family Meeting, Lagos Branch, since 1981. He was a strong member of the Ogbona Advisory Committee set up by the Okphe Ukpi to map out ways to develop the community. He facilitated the construction of a state-of-the-art model school building at Ogbona Secondary School, Ogbona, by ExxonMobil. Gilbert has authored and co-authored several technical papers and reports and coordinated the production of 24 lecture series on technical and soft skills deployed to 15 universities across the country. He developed the Exciting World of Geology for Geoscience career talk for Senior Secondary school, which has been delivered to over 400 schools across Africa through AAPG Africa Region Young Professionals. —————————————————- Bernard Kasim Ikhane Vice President, Ogbona Elites Forum Bernard Kasim Ikhane was born on April 20, 1966, in Ogbona, Etsako Central LGA, Edo State, to Chief Ikhane Yakubu (GOWON) and Mrs. Ikhane Lucy (née Ikhai). He attended Catholic Primary School, Demonstration Primary School, and Abebe Primary School before completing his secondary education at Ayogwiri Grammar School. Bernard holds an NCE from Bendel State University (now Ambrose Ali University), a BA Ed in English/Literature, and an MA in English Language from the University of Benin. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Semiology at the University of Benin. As an English Language tutor with the Post Primary Education Board (PPEB), Edo State, Bernard was certified as a Master Trainer after an intensive six-month training. He has trained numerous principals and teachers in various programs, including the Vocational Interest Inventory (VII) and Digital Technology in Pedagogy. Additionally, he is a part-time lecturer at Nosakhare College of Education in the Department of English Language and Literature. Bernard is happily married to Mrs. Josephine Ikhane, a professional teacher and evaluative item designer, and they have three children. His philosophy is encapsulated in the phrase: “EVEN THE SNAIL AT ITS SPEED IS RUNNING A RACE.” —————————————————————- Dr. John Odior Anaweokhai, Secretary-General Dr.John Odior Anaweokhai was born into the Catholic family of Pa Joseph Akhaniamhe Anaweokhai of Ivhiosano kindred, Ivhiochie Quarters and Mrs. Victoria Abike Anaweokhai, nee Ikhumhi of Ivhianaga kindred, Okotor quarters, both of Ogbona, Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo State. He attended Imhakhena Primary School, Ogbona and Ogbona Secondary School. He is well-read, including a PhD in strategic marketing management and entrepreneurship He is married to Engr. Mrs Esther Anaweokhai works in the Oil and Gas Industry in Nigeria —————————————————————- Bar. Felix Jones Osimerha Legal Adviser/Officer Felix Jones Osimerha, a distinguished lawyer and devoted community leader, was born on October 1st, 1960, in Ayogwiri, Edo State. Inspired

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Profile of Suleiman Mustafa Enakhe (aka MS MR SOFT)

Profile of Suleiman Mustafa Enakhe (aka MS MR SOFT) Name: Suleiman Mustafa Enakhe (aka MS MR SOFT) Profession: Musician, Songwriter, Composer, Performing Artist, Event Planner CEO, Deepman Entertainment Date and Place of Birth: January 22, 1984, Ogbona Parents: Alhaji Mallam Oyarekhua Suleiman Julius (aka Yogho Yogho) and Mrs Rabiеtu Suleiman Oyarekhua, both from Ogbona Quarters in Ogbona: Ivhiobore, Ivhioche Quarter Education: – Oboarekpe Primary School, Ogbona – Ogbona Secondary School, Ogbona – Ambrose Ali University, BSc Public Administration Workplace: Deepman Entertainment – Current Status/Role: CEO, Deepman Entertainment Family and Community – Family Life and History: From the Oyarekhua family in the Ogbona Ivhioche Quarter, extended from the Izah large family – Views on Ogbona: A community with intelligent people and a beautiful culture – Favorite Story: Enjoying festive periods in the village with friends, having great discussions without phone distractions – Contributions to Ogbona Community: Member of the Ogbona Youth Forum (OYF), Benin Branch – Memorable Moment: Being born and raised in Ogbona, with no regrets – Self-View as an indigene of Ogbona: A solution in my area of understanding (entertainment) Legacy and Impact – Legacy: To be remembered for good, leaving a positive impact in the entertainment industry and through my music – Projection of Ogbona to your children and friends: Share stories of Ogbona with children and friends, showcasing the community’s hospitality – Children’s Visits: Yes, my children visit Ogbona and are always happy to hear the story about their community and the ways of our lives. – Future Plans: Many plans for Ogbona, time will tell

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THE OGBONA THAT FLOWS IN MY VEINS (25) Dr. John Odior Anaweokhai

THE OGBONA THAT FLOWS IN MY VEINS (25) Dr. John Odior Anaweokhai Between the Odior family and The Ilegah family is the Eshiesimua family. While both families are Ivhianaga kindred of Okotor Quarters, The Odior family is Ivhitse Kindred of Ivhiochie Quarter. The Eshiesimuas were proud owners of one of the three upstairs in the Ivhiebi Quarter. It was made of mud blocks of orange colour. The building was never plastered and like the other three, it soon became dilapidated and was replaced with a model building. Eramha Tsedi and Eramha Tsado stayed there together behind the Ifaorumhes. Eramha Tsedi was the senior but was not as tall as Eramha Tsado. Both of them had beautiful girls whom they guided jealously. Eramha Tsado was a trader but later worked at UBTH Health Centre. He later left Ivhiebi to down Okotor where he built his house before his death. Mrs. Stella Mode is one of his daughters. Eramha Tsedi was tough and hardly welcomed male visitors to his house though I was allowed to visit Roseline and Orele who were my classmates in secondary school. One fate we all suffered in that part of Ogbona is the rough and undulating topography that grossly affected the settlement of Ogbona. It is as if nature conspired with some unseen forces to deny Ogbona equal settlement on both sides of the town. From Ivhiosano to the back of the Otsoi family there is no room to expand inward as the back is full of steep valleys and high mountains. As a matter of fact, that part of the town is inaccessible. Until one drives through Ughieda through Ege Ikpido, one has to resort to trekking and climbing mountains. From the back of Ivhiebi up to the Aikabeli, the story is the same, the valleys are over three hundred feet deep. The place is neither arable nor habitable. Unfortunately, that part of the townhouses is our banana plantation farm. The one closer to the house belongs to my father while the one further down the valley belongs to Baba Nokhua, Eramha Eshiemomoh but they later became known as Eghede Dimka. It was a place we all visited in groups, especially during the dry seasons after the annual Harmattan bushfire. The bush fire provided us with the needed opportunity for gaming. As the fire was burning we would stalk for animals, sometimes we caught squirrels or snakes. That was occasional but that of the banana was regular though somewhat seasonal too. we would cut the bananas, bury them underground and return after five days to do justice to them. My cousin, Eramha Michael, aka, Dimka was in charge. He was very tough and never spared any trespasser but my case was different as I had unrestricted access to either of the plantations. How he came to be known as Dimka beats my imagination. It was a name he gladly answered until the Dimka coup of 1976. He became uncomfortable with the name soon after Col. Dimka was declared wanted over the death of the then Head of State Gen. Murtala Muhammed. One interesting about the banana we harvested directly from my father’s plantation farm was that the money realized from it was for our exclusive use as our mother was not allowed to share the proceeds. Most times, we hawked the ripe ones in the market. I loved the market days then especially when we had bananas to sell. The market was a very big open space with few shades. it extended from the totemic Orokhiyie to the Anabor compound. The Front of the Itsuokor compound in its entirety was part of the market. There was a big Obadan tree that my grandmother used to sell beside the Itsuokor family house. The tree had obviously passed its prime with little or no green leaves. Beside the Anabor house was the ALOKOKO shrine which was rarely opened. Before the Shrine is the legendary dry wood, Utuora Nokai. It is the place where proper initiation into manhood is done after naming from Fugar. Also The Azoganokhai and The Asapokhai compounds though both on opposite sides of the roads, were an extended part of the market too. Both sides were the places where garri buyers used as their shades. One thing we did on market days to make some money was to help convey packaged bags of garri into stores, carrying bags of garri was very interesting. The mature ones among us like Anthony Ilegah, and Aleghe Oyiowhi Ozoh would join hands together and fall the bags on their wrists while we supported them from any side. At the end of the day, one or two kobo would be given to us each. Among our trading partners then were the North Ibies. Ogbona relied on them for scent oil, Avhinopie and earth pots. They bought garri and snakes from us. It was very difficult to see any Ogbona person that ate snakes. If a snake was killed before market day, it would be smoked till the next market day and true to type, The Ibies bought it on arrival without much ado. Also located in Ivhiochie is one of the primary schools, Imhakhena Primary School, now Oboarekpe Primary School. We called it a Catholic school, perhaps, because of its origin as a catholic mission school. Though the Primary school we attended in Okotor was also Imhakhena, we never saw ourselves as one. To us, they were alien and our staunch rival. All efforts by our Headmasters to disabuse our minds of such sterile notions fell on deaf ears even though we always had joint sections on vacation days when results were called. We also competed against outsiders together especially, during football matches. One thing they had in abundance was their Smooth football pitch which contrasted heavily with ours. Our football pitch was rough and divided by a wide path that made it look awkward during matches. They had a big hall like ours which musicians used. Gen. Bolivia

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THE OGBONA THAT FLOWS IN My VEINS (18) Dr. John Odior Anaweokhai.

THE OGBONA THAT FLOWS IN My VEINS (18) Dr. John Odior Anaweokhai. One did not need any formal lesson to know that Ivhido is one of the four quarters that make up Ogbona. It is one of the smallest quarters in Ogbona. I cannot say precisely if Ivhido is bigger than Ivhiorevhor or vice versa. Ivhido is sandwiched between Ivhiochie and Ivhiorevhor. In the northern part, they are separated from Ivhiochie by the old road. On the west, they share a boundary with The Ayenis and Abu families On the east, they are surrounded by The Akpabor and Adomhere families and interlive with Ivhiochie and Ivhiorevhor on the southern part of Ogbona across the main road. Ivhido originated from two families of Ivhietso and Ivhiobiri and the two Adi from Ivhido are so named. The notable families from Ivhido are the Anyiador, Aikabeli, Dunia, Igbadumhe, Ezuyia, Aimiekhamhe, Eleta and Orbih. The Orbih family is the largest in Ivhido. The way Ogbona is planned and structured either consciously or unconsciously is very fascinating as the four quarters are neatly linked together by a major road. Wherever there was a burial or any other ceremony, it was customary to go around the village in a long procession. The final burial ceremony was very colourful, especially among the women folks. it is traditional for women to participate in every aspect of both the father and mother in law final burial just as she would observe her biological parents. With a horse tail wangling in her hand, the woman’s age mates queued up behind her in a long procession on a route that cuts across the four quarters. Men did go around the whole village but never in a procession. It was worst where in-laws were concerned. With just two people and a drummer, the man would go around the village like somebody running for his dear life on the battlefield. Perhaps, the architect of our socio-cultural polity realized the fact that everything boils down to the man as it would be a duplication of duty if both were to perform similar rites for the departed soul. A lot of importance was attached to the funeral procession, especially during the final burial ceremony as it was a display of splendour, wealth and power. Most families would deliberately refuse to have more than one member in a particular age mate as it would reduce the number of people that would go on procession whenever the need arose. I know a lot of people who found themselves in age grades far below their real age because of this issue. All the same, a procession was treasured in those days and it was the duty of both the man and woman to embark on a procession around the route that linked the four quarters that makeup Ogbona including Ivhido together. Ivhido had Iloh like the other quarters in Ogbona but it was not as spectacular as that of either Ivhiorevhor or Ivhiochie but they carved a niche for themselves with drumming. Whatever they lacked with the conventional Iloh acrobatic displays and toe dance, they made up for in drumming. It was a common practice then to organize waking keeping for young girls preparing to get married. In the mornings, the dance band would go around the whole village. It was a spectacle whenever Elue Ivhido went around the village. It should be noted here that on such occasions the Iloh masquerade was never involved as the drummers were the only ones for the morning processions. throughout the night of the wake, one didn’t need to be told that Elue Ivhido was on display, even a tired horse would be jotted from its deep sleep by the distinctiveness of the drumming that was led by Chief Jacob Orbih. He was to Elue Ivhido what the server is to a computer network. He was really gifted as he led the band with the all passion in the world. Apart from Elue, Agbi dance was another great export from Ivhido. Though it was generally called Agbi Ivhido, one will not be out of place to conclude that the group was peopled mainly by Ivhiochies. This was not an issue as Ivhido was seen as an extension of Ivhiochie. Agbi dance is a pride to Ogbona. They were two in number, there was the Okotor Agbi and that of Ivhdo. Apart from Agenebode where a certain Akpanube had a semblance of the Agbi, it was not close to that of Ogbonas’. Akpanubes’ hadn’t the distinctive rhythmical beat like that of Ogbonas’. Moreover, Akpanube’s Agbi was not as panegyric as ours as he was hurling insults at people. Ogbona Agbi was very unique and well branded and organized. It is not a common dance that one sees every day. it is seen on rare occasions. Gen Bolivia Osigbemhe of blessed memory explored the Agbi genre to its fullest as it formed the mythology around which every other musical instrument danced in attendance. Apart from its enchanting drumming, the rhythm was danced to with measured steps. Agbi singers sing about the exploits of great men and women just as it is used to make commentary on social issues too. Chief Jacob Orbih was their chairman and became known to everybody as chairman. I don’t need to bore anyone with details of his drumming prowess with the Agbi dance. He introduced the bass guitar, unfortunately, he was not as musically savvy as Gen. Bolivia. Ivhido also had Uke dance that was mainly a women’s affair. My paternal aunt, Uwuomha Mary Anyiador was one of their women leaders. I remember drumming for them on one occasion having learnt the skills from Uke Okotor which my grandmother, Uwuomha Iwulavhor Eradi Ikhumhi owed. Beating Uke drum for Ivhido did not happen by chance as I always frequented my Aunt’s house. We used to call Uwuomha Mary Anyiador Inene nae Ivhido. We were not just going there alone to consume food as we also helped her out

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STEPS TO BECOMING THE OKPHE UKPI OF OGBONA By Dr. John Odior Anaweokhai

THE OGBONA THAT FLOWS IN MY VEINS (14) STEPS TO BECOMING THE OKPHE UKPI OF OGBONA Dr. John Odior Anaweokhai. Chief Patrick Ajayi Oboarekpe who later became the Oghieavianwu of Avianwu in 1986 was occupying the highest seat in the land while growing up but was embroiled in a fierce legal battle with Chief Ikhanoba Ikpeto from Ivhiorevhor over the throne. The ensuing litigation divided Ogbona into two stiff oppositions with tents pitched on both sides, of course, with attendant polarizing consequences. The effects of the dispute transcended the confines of the immediate and extended families of the two parties involved in the imbroglio. It affected every facet of the life of the community. Hitherto friendship bonds which had taken years to build were slaughtered on the altar of of power tussle. Men put their lives on the line and did things unimaginable all because of the Throne. I remember one particular incident where Eramhas Ikielu Omiawa, Okpokpo Itsani and Izagidi went to Ivhiorevhor in broad daylight to purloin Chief Ikhanoba’s Ukpi, his symbol of authority. How a heinous act of that magnitude was plotted and executed with such success remains a mystery to this day though some people have attributed the success to the deployment of the traditional power of invisibility otherwise known as Ebiko. It was a suicidal mission that no man in his right frame of mind would ever contemplate. After a while, Chief Ikhanoba passed on. The legal fireworks that were ensured between Chief Ikhanoba and Chief Oboarekpe pales into insignificance compared to what transpired between Chief Vincent Omadimhe and Chief P.A. Oboarekpe over the same throne. It was a war of sorts that divided the four quarters in Ogbona into two factions. Ivhiorevhor was in solidarity with Okotor while Ivhiochie and Ivhido were on the same page over the issue. This is not to disparage the pocket of opposition that existed within each side too. Chief Oborekpe was a tobacco farmer while Chief Omadimhe was a saw miller and a transporter. By all standards, Chief Omadimhe was a successful local businessman who made a fortune for himself while his peers were still struggling to meet their daily expenses in the village. I remember his rice mill factory, the two lorries, Obayaye and Ozoghor of blessed memory. In the end, both Chief Oboarekpe who was a teacher before he became the Okphe Ukpi in 1955 and Chief Omadimhe extended a considerable amount of their fortunes in court cases over the throne. Though the community was evenly divided along those lines, issues that bothered the well-being of the community were jointly handled. I remember when Ogbona had an issue with Ekperi over a gravel minefield. In unison, Ogbona went there in broad daylight, chased out Ekperi people with little or no resistance, took over the land, sold off the gravel and returned home with all their mining tools. The war between Ogbona and Imiava was succinctly dealt with in the 12th episode of this series. all the same, every Ogbonan was involved and affected directly or otherwise by the impacts of the war. the most unifying incident I can remember without straining my memory walls was the construction of Ogbona Secondary School’s premier classroom and staff room buildings between 1979 and 1980. It was a project that brought out the best in Ogbona. It put to rest permanently in my mind the question of the existence of a contrary power against the potency of unity inherent in a community when brought to the fore. It proved to me as a young lad that there is no limit to what the power of togetherness can achieve when plainly explained and properly harnessed for the common good of the people one was left out. Even as a primary four pupil, one boy and I were made to carry 2*2 sawed wood from Imhakhena Primary School along the main road to the school under construction. All the artisans in Ogbona were involved. even non-artisans were involved as labourers. The women were not left out as they also helped out with the concrete work. Ogbona people levied themselves heavily to ensure the school was completed in time. It was gratifying to note that regardless of which side one was over the throne legal fireworks, there were always red tapes. It is appalling and disappointing that despite the potential danger posed to the well-being of the community by the dispute over the Throne, we never bothered to find out about the procedures or steps to the Royal Stool of Ogbona kingdom. Steps to The throne are well spelt out.in fact, there should be no shadow of doubt or disagreement on who should be the legitimate Opkhe Ukpi of Ogbona. But before we proceed further, who is qualified to be The Okphe Ukpi of Ogbona? Every male child of Ogbona is qualified to aspire for the highest seat in the land because, like The Other Four Villages of Ivhiarua, Ivhinone, Uralo and Ogbona that make up Avhianwu clan, kingship is not by primogenitures. In other words, kingship is not monopolized by one family and there is no perpetual heir to the throne from a particular family or quarter. It is rotated among the quarters that make Ogbona. It must be posited herein that The taking of the OKHEI title is sine qua non to one’s eligibility to contest for the Royal Stool. It must also be clarified that there is no illegitimate son in Ogbona. Ogbona is divided into two ruling houses. As such, The Ukpi rotates between the two ruling houses of Ivhiokhua and Ivhiomierele. Those two names should bring to our minds how age group rites are performed among the male folks. I heard of Ivhiokhua for the first time during my age group initiation. All positions are shared between the two houses. Ivhiokhua is made up of Ivhiorevhor, Ivhitse, Ivhiobore, Ivhiosano, Ivhiobiri and Ivhetso while Ivhiomierele -Okotor is made up of Ivhiozima, Ivhioroke, Ivhiovhaghua and Ivhioverah The other subordinate

STEPS TO BECOMING THE OKPHE UKPI OF OGBONA By Dr. John Odior Anaweokhai Read More »

Profile of Professor David Imhonopi

Profile of Professor David Imhonopi David IMHONOPI, Ph.D A Professor of Industrial Sociology (Human Resource Management and Human Capital Development). Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria Tel. +234-8051158226 Email: davidimhonopi@gmail.com Professor David Imhonopi hails from Ogbona (Ivhiorevho quarters), Etsako Central Local Government area of Edo state. He attended Imhakhena Primary School, Ogbona, and Ogbona Community Secondary School from 1977-82 and 1982-86 respectively. He later proceeded to Ojoh High School, Ibadan, where he made up his required credits and obtained the best results in his Senior School Certificate Examination with distinctions in 1989. Professor Imhonopi holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from the Lagos State University, where he graduated as the best student in his set; a Master of Science degree in Industrial Sociology from the University of Ibadan, where he came tops; and a PhD degree from the same Department. He is the immediate past Dean of Student Affairs of Covenant University. He has also undergone several international training and certifications (Coursera) from the University of Minnesota (USA), University of Colorado (USA), University of California (USA), Copenhagen Business School (Denmark), University of Lausanne (Switzerland), Imperial College London (UK), University of North Texas (USA), Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia), University of London (UK), University of Navarra (Spain), Indian School of Business (India). Professor David Imhonopi has taught undergraduate and postgraduate courses under different rubrics in Industrial Sociology, Industrial Relations, Human Resource Management, Human Capital Development, Medical Sociology and Communication at Olabisi Onabanjo University, Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Bells University of Technology, Ota, National Open University, Nigeria (NOUN) etc. and presently lectures at the Department of Sociology, College of Management and Social Sciences, Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria. In his interesting 22 years of teaching and research at the university, he has supervised over 200 undergraduate projects, over 30 Master’s dissertations, and 7 PhD candidates, and still counting. He has attended both national and international conferences, workshops, and seminars. He is also an established researcher with over 100 published works in reputable national and international journal outlets. He has 2 been considered an internal and external examiner for dissertations and theses, particularly at the University of Ibadan and Baze University, Abuja. He has also acted in different editorial positions in national and international journals, where he has constantly shared his experience and knowledge in reviewing the academic works of colleagues around the globe. For his contributions to epistemic production and expansion and his pleasant work ethic that is both relational and results-oriented, he has edited about five academic books and authored not less than ten secular and motivational books. Professor Imhonopi has played significant roles in leadership positions in the past and present. He has been a coordinator of various academic programmes, a secretary in multiple capacities, a coordinator of postgraduate studies, and an active member and coordinator of several committees at the Department, college, and university levels. He has also received numerous awards from bodies and institutions, such as the Leadership Excellence Award from the Postgraduate Student Council of Covenant University, the Most Inspiring Lecturer Award from Sociological and Anthropological Students Association (Olabisi Onabanjo University), the Award of Excellence from the Nigerian Sociological and Anthropological Students Association, University of Lagos, Guest Lecturer Award from Registry Department, Bell University of Technology, etc. Professor David Imhonopi is not just a seasoned university teacher but also a consultant in career management, emotional intelligence, civil service, and self-development training. He is a regular speaker at religious and secular conferences both at the national and international levels. Knowledge-based business-oriented organisations frequently seek after him to share his experience in organisational management and productivity. He is a member of many professional bodies some of which are the Nigerian Anthropological and Sociological Practitioners Association (NASA), the International Sociological Association (ISA), the Nigerian Sociological Society (NSS), the Institute of Corporate and Business Affairs Management (ICBAM), Institute of Strategic Management (ISM), Chartered Institute of Project Management (CIPM) and a Fellow of the Institute of Management, Leadership and Productivity Development (IMLPD) etc. He is committed to academic excellence, ingenuity, and pragmatism, and his modus vivendi hinges on core values of integrity, spirituality, excellence, and diligence. He desires to play a front-line role in advancing scholarship, leadership, and business revolution on the African continent. Professor David Imhonopi has been an ardent follower of Jesus Christ since he was a teenager. He is a part-time pastor with the Living Faith Church, Faith Tabernacle (Covenant University Chaplaincy) Canaanland, Ota, Nigeria. Professor Imhonopi is also interested in “catching them young” for Christ. Hence, he shares the gospel message with the young generation with simplicity and audacity via a regular program tagged “Hope for the Young Outreach”. He is happily married to Dr. Gloria Bosede Imhonopi, and they are blessed with two children, Davidson and Deborah.

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OGBONA IMHAKHENA ASAMA FEDERATED UNION GENERAL SECRETARY’S REPORT (1987-2004)CHIEF MATTHIAS A AKPAIBOR

OGBONA IMHAKHENA ASAMA FEDERATED UNION GENERAL SECRETARY’S REPORT (1987-2004), CHIEF MATTHIAS A AKPAIBOR It gives me great pleasure to present to the Union this day, this report of my seventeen years in Office as the General Secretary of Ogbona Imhakhena Asama Federated Union. I hereby thank the entire community, both at home and abroad, for the opportunity given me to serve. I took over this office when it was in its infancy and I had little or nothing to start with the cooperation of the first, second, and third Presidents, Chief A. O. Itsuokor, Chief T. A. Osigbemhe JP. The Okphe-Ukpi of Ogbona and Arc. J.E.A Orbih respectively the union started growing from strength to strength. The Union was formed in 1976 with Protem Officers as Chief A. O. Itsuokor – President, Mr. G. I. Kadiri – Secretary and Chief M.A. Akpaibor as the Asst. Gen. Secretary. A constitution committee headed by Mr. P. S. Eleta was set up. The Draft Constitution was submitted in1982 and was adopted and passed into law in the same year. The first Union executive council members were elected into the following offices:- President – Chief A. O. Itsuokor – Lagos Branch Vice President – Mrs. S. A. Anetekhai- Benin Branch General Secretary – Dr. J. E. Umole – Benin Branch 1st Asst. Gen. Secretary – Chief M. A. Akpaibor – Warri Branch 2nd Asst. Gen. Secretary – Mr. P. Osigbemhe – Ibadan Branch Treasurer – Okhaemoi P. S. Eleta – Auchi Branch Financial Secretary – Mr. M. G. Enakpene – Auchi Branch Publicity Secretary – Sir P. M. Anaweokhai – Lagos Branch Social Secretary – Mr. R. A. Edogamhe – Benin Branch Legal Adviser – Chief C. A. Ekhasemomhe Kaduna Branch Ex-Officers – Mr. M. Asapokhai – Kano Branch “ – Mr. A. Oghena – Ile Ife Branch “ – Okhaemoi J. Edogamhe Ogbona Branch “ – Mr. A. Oyagha – Warri Branch “ – Mr. J. I. Odior – Ogbona Branch Patrons – Chief J. O. Odalumhe – Ogbona Branch “ – Mr. Francis Asekomhe – Ogbona Branch “ – Pa. Abu Idinokhai – Ogbona Branch “ – Pa. Odia Ikhane – Ogbona Branch “ – Pa Aleghe Orbih – Ogbona Branch Ogbona was elected to be the Headquarter of the Union and it was agreed that the name of the Union should be known as the “OGBONA IMHAKHENA FEDERATED UNION”. The financial branch unions were eight comprising, Auchi, Benin, Ibadan, Ile-Ife, Kaduna, Kano, Lagos, and Warri while the homebody was dragging their feet over the name of the union. We are grateful to God today as the number has increased from eight branch members to ten branch members including the home branch, Abuja, Ilorin. Port-Harcourt branch which was one of the recently registered branches, is neither here nor there for reasons best known to them. The aims and objectives of the Union were well spelled out in the 1982 constitution. After one year in office, the General Secretary declined his post and I was appointed to act which I did for one year before I was appointed to the post of the General Secretary in 1985. When I took over the office, the financial branch members still remained at eight. The home which supposed to be the headquarters was still doubting whether to accept the name or to stay away because of the name. Then the financial position was very poor. The only main avenue for funding was the monthly subscriptions from the eight branches of the Union. The attendance of the executive council meetings was encouraging except for some branches whose members were not regular, mainly Ile-Ife and Kano. These two branches claimed that they always received letters late. After normalizing their postal addresses, the Ile-Ife branch complained that their members were new converts and that they would not accept the name “Ogbona Imhakhena Union” The Kano branch of the Union complained that due to frequent riots in Kano for the past years, the could not form any useful union. Recently, they informed the federated bodies that they had reorganized and would act fully Ile-Ife remains dormant to date. The union could not achieve any meaningful development during these years till 1986 because it embarked on the reconciliation of the two factions that were Asama and Abokhasomhi unions were formed because of the Chieftaincy dispute in the community. The Ogbona Imhakhena Federated Union called on them to allow the Chieftaincy matters take its cause and form a development union. That is what the Federated Union stands for having a coon front in which the community can channel their problems through to the government for meaningful development of the community. This took the Federated Union time but those who saw what the union stands for were carried along by the union while those who believed that their cause had to be met remained still battling with their Chieftaincy cases. As of today, all these are history as Ogbona Imhakhena Asama Federated Union broke the ice and united the whole factions together and brought them to the popular body both home and abroad. At the 1987 Annual Conference, the National Executive Council of Ogbona Imhakhena The Federated Union was dissolved and there was an election where the following members were elected:- President – Chief T. A. Osigbemhe JP – Benin Branch Vice President – Sir P. M. Anaweokhai – Lagos Branch General Secretary – Chief M. A. Akpaibor – Warri Branch 1st Asst. Gen Secretary – Mr. R. A. Edogamhe – Auchi Branch 2nd Asst. Gen. Secretary – Mr. D. Akhamiemhona – Ibadan Branch Treasurer – Okhaemoi P. S. Eleta – Auchi Branch Financial Secretary – Chief P. S. Anyiador – Benin Branch Asst. Fin. Secretary – Mr. M. Asapokhai – Kano Branch Publicity Secretary – Mr. G. I. Kadiri – Auchi Branch Social Secretary – Mr. P.C.I Okhakumhe – Auchi Branch Legal Adviser – Chief C. I. Ekhasemomhe – Kaduna Branch Ex-Official Members- Mr. S. A. Anetekhai – Benin Branch “

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IVHIA-IBANA OR IYABANA OR IBANA

IVHIA-IBANA OR IYABANA OR IBANA BACGROUND Ivhia-Ibana or Iyabana or Ibana is an esoteric and mystic guild of initiates who dwell in the realm of the spirits and visit our world from midnight to the wee hours of the morning, to administer justice by announcing enacted laws by the elders and leaders of our society. They also pronounce curses and mete out punishments to offenders of the laws of the land. They are considered the representatives of our ancestors who live in the underworld. They are known all over Avhianwu, Weppa Wanno, and Ekperi. Apart from Ibana, they are also known as IKUAWA. The name could be called as Ivhia-Ibana or Iyabana or Ibana. Their shrine (EBO) is located in Okula, deep in the heart of the jungle. They also have a representational abode located beside the village market. It has a conical shape made of zinc from the top to almost the ground. They also possess a mobile house, also of a conical shape, shaped with flowering clothes in which they travel around the village in the early mornings to dispense justice before retiring to their underworld. Ivhia-Ibana, being a mystic band of nocturnal spirits, speak in muffled mysterious voices. Their language, called Igha, is highly encrypted and unearthly and requires an interpreter to convey messages to the uninitiated. The night that they are performing, no woman or child is allowed to come outside of their house or see them. ORIGIN The Ivhia-Ibana guild of nocturnal spirits was said to have been imported from the tribe of the Igala, in present day Kogi State via Anegbette in Etsako Central LGA, Edo State at about 1878 AD. The pioneers, Ogbhumhie from Ivhiobore, and Akhughie Odimhalo brought the dance from Anegbette to Ogbona. Ogbhumhie was the first supreme leader (Ogadigbe). He was succeeded by Amedu Aghemheso, Ifaorumhe Okhoghiemhe, Akhughie Odumhalo, and presently, Akhughie Ilemho. And the present patron (Eri-Ibana) is Chief Joseph Eboitse Oshiotse. THEIR FUNCTIONS a) They enforce laws on behalf of the Okphe-Ukpi and the elders of the land. b) They pronounce curses on lawbreakers by camping around the offender’s abode for whole nights. c) They provide entertainment during festive and funeral rites when invited. MEMORABLE EVENT There were some memorable events whenever Iyabana went to enforce the law. Their stock in trade was to pronounce curses, unleash mayhem, constitute a nuisance, and remain as thorns in the flesh of any culprit. No matter the situation, Ibana must have its way and hold any lawbreaker to account. The infamous episode involving IDAYE and the Ivhia-Ibana remains indelible in our memory to date. Against the express prohibition against plucking mangoes from trees, Idaye, in defiance of the law plucked mangoes on his way to his farm. The Ivhia-Ibana, in carrying out their penalty, besieged his compound for seven nights and defecated around his entire abode in addition to raining curses on him till he paid the fine that was imposed on him. One of the Iyabana episodes was with Eramha Apemheyie Asekomhe. Iyabana came to his house to hold him accountable for an offense. He revealed the identity of some of the members to his wife, Inaluba. Of course, it led to several nights of curses, defecations, and mayhems until Iyabana were appeased. Another case involved T.Y. Abu who arrested Iyabana. He accused them of eating all the meat in his pot of soup. He gave a vivid description of the size of the chicken he used to prepare the soup. Basel Alabi, the then Ogadigbe, and John Ikhane were both taken to the police station in Fugar. Jacob Orbih was mandated to bail them out. T.Y. Abu insisted that Iyabana must pay for the pot of soup. In the end, Ibana was appeased. I also remember that when we overcame the fear of Iyabana, we would leave for the stream or farm very early in the morning to see if we could catch a glimpse of Iyabana returning to the spirit world whenever they performed.     Godwin Asekomhe Ivhiabana in the early 60s was so fearful and was seen as spirits from neither world. In those days no one dared them. Members were never seen physically during the day. Before they come out, they would beat their wooding drum to inform and warn all indigenes, especially women, children and youths to stay indoors throughout the night. Any violation would attract serious capital punishment by flogging with canes. They had their ighala language duely and accurately interpreted by one of their members. If peradventure they had reason to stay till dawn they would construct a mobile hut that would cover them against being seen. Their identity was not known to women and children. They were so dreaded to the point that talking about them was not only fearful but also taboo. Ivhiabana was made up of old men then and we’re known as night masquerades.

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