Biographies of Ogbona Past Leaders

Biographies of Some of the Great Ogbona Men and Women


50 YEARS IN MIND PA JOSEPH AKHANIAMHE ANAWEOKHAI, 1906 -1973 , THE FATHER I NEVER KNEW. 24th July ,1973, will remain a red-letter day in the annals of my existence as my father, Pa Joseph Akhanimhe Anaweokhai boarded the celestial plane to live among saints. For many years, I struggled without retrain ,dug deep into the reveries of my inner being, plied ceaselessly through the recesses of my mental hub, stretched the elasticity of memory boundary, all to catch a glimpse of his face, much as I strained my tiny earlobes daily ,hoping to be jarred by his guttural voice, cleared my mind of cobwebs in readiness for fatherly admonitions ,waited eagerly to fall into his warm embrace with my school report card and to have my frayed nerved soothed by his coaxing fatherly counsel, of course, all to no avail. Yes, exercises in futility cum childish fantasies they were. The reality is that he is no more and painfully so, I have since learnt to live with that stark reality. That is not to say it was easy. It was by no means an easy task. Whenever we thumbed one another as children, some threatened to report me to their fathers. Did I have anyone to report to? Yes, my mother. However, such reiteration bred a bigger problem for me altogether. Namely, my father’s name became totally erased from my nomenclature and got replaced with my mothers’, ODIOR ABIKE before my peers. No peer of mine knew my father’s name. My surname, Anaweokhai, did not help matters as it completely obliterated my his name from the equation. Humanly speaking, is there any height in life I could have attained but for his early exit? The answer is capital NO. I told a group of friends sometimes ago with deep sense of responsibility that I owe my “success” in life to three factors: The grace of God, solid family background and a God fearing/supportive wife. Pa Joseph Akhaniamhe Anaweokhai was a visionary father per excellence who saw beyond the limiting scope of his immediate environment. Very early in life, he migrated from his agrarian community of Ogbona to the commercial city of Onitsha to ply his trade in commodities and to a great extent, accumulated both fortune and fame .He became a rally point to his immediate and extended friends and family members. He also broadened his horizon beyond trading by keying into adult education, spurred by Onitsha market literature, and became literate enough to read and write, a no mean feat in the 1950s and 60s. Apart from helping to support his sibling’s children in their life endeavors, he ensured his children, Chief Vital Anaweokhai and Pst Mrs Julie Inu Umoru were exposed to western education very early in their formative years too. A life transforming investments whose benefits rubbed off on the younger ones later in life in no small measures. Pa Joseph was a none conformist and disdainful iconoclast to the core. While girls were mostly seen as mere chattels and objects for producing children and as such ,undeserving of being wasted scarce resources on, Pa Joseph unapologetically broke with tradition and sent her only daughter ,Pst. Mrs Julie Inu Umoru to school in the 1940s. Another lifetime investment that completely changed the family narratives. In a nutshell, Pa Joseph’s foresight had a trickledown effect from Chief Vital Anaweokhai to my twin brother and I, the last born. If I didn’t have to struggle to pay my way through schools, from secondary school to post graduate studies levels ,it was because of the above foundation. If I made quick progress in business ,without any form of equivocation, it was strictly because of the said investment. On the appreciative page of my Ist degree Project,I did write MY JOURNEY THROUGH THE IVORY TOWER LIKE THE FRESH NEEDLE THROUGH A PIECE OF CLOTH WAS SO BECAUSE MY ELDER BROTHER,SIR ROMANUS AND HIS WIFE ,LADY AGNES ANAWEOKHAI SAID SO. If Sir Romanus saw farther than most men in all spheres of life, it is by standing on the shoulder of Pst.Mrs Julie Inu Umoru and if Pst Mrs Julie Inu Umoru was able to raise her younger ones ,it was on the basis of the sacrifice Chief Vital Anaweokhai made to see her through school. Dad, wherever you may be, I feel proud to have come into this world through your loins. If I have to come back to this world again and I am given a choice in the matter, I won’t hesitate a hoot to come here through your loins and of course ,to leverage your good legacy. Eramhe No’khai ,the family has expanded beyond what you would have imaged and blessed with good health ,long life and all round blessings. Your first son, Chief Vital will be 88 years old in October. A lot of grandchildren and great-grandchildren have been added to the family. Your only daughter, Pst.Mrs Julie inu Umoru is now a great grand mother, thus extending the bloodline. Sir Romanus ,Adolphus ,Omo and my humble self, have lived a humble and peaceful lives devoid of criminality. The seed of Christianity planted in the family by your elder brother,Pa Cletus Eshiemhomo Anaweokhai has grown to produce Rev .Father and Pastors. Your venture into business in the early 30s has snowballed into limited liability companies. Writing this piece without your attached picture is one of the most hallowing and disappointing experiences I have had in recent times. The stories are the same. ”When I relocated to my new place, I misplaced them” .The good thing is that all the sources have promised to swing into action and make them available in next to no distant time. Continue to rest in peace, Dad. We miss you daily. John Odior Anaweokhai ( Your Grown Banana Sucker)



BIOGRAPHY OF N-E-N-E LATE MADAM LADY OKEMECHI EGHIEYE Celebrating: A fulfilled Christian woman HER BACKGROUND In the year 1925, Nene was born at Okotor Quarters, Ogbona in Southern Nigeria and later Midwest/Bendel, now Edo State, into the descendant of Eghieye family and mother Ughie Eghieye. Her father, a humble gentle man was a great Hunter and a prosperous farmer in the community. Nene was the youngest among her six siblings. She was greatly loved and cherished by her mother who gave her a pet name (Omoyienyie). Nene grew up with certain essentials and potentials that were evident to her parents. She was very calm, peaceful, patient and easy going. She hated conflicts to the core and was never found struggling for her rights, nor having conflict with any member of the family. she embraced good neighbourliness and unity. She followed peace with all. HER FAMILY LIVE As a young lady, with amiable character, she was attracted to a young man from the family of Emalumhe, in the year 1940, one Mr. Kadiri Emalumhe, who later abandoned her in search of greener pastures to the city. The marriage however was blessed with a son. After waiting in vain for him, she later got married to a well-known business and prosperous farmer Mr. Imhana Jerome Odior (AKA) Gagakugu). Her marriage to Pa Imhana was also blessed with two sons. HER SOCIAL/CAREER LIFE Nene was full of life and industrious. She was perfect and locally known for making (Eko/Agidi) that so many people in the community usually place order ahead with her for marriage ceremonies. She was also a dedicated farmer who worked tirelessly to assist her husband in making provisions for essential family needs. She taught her children to be contented, never to look at other person eating. Nene was salt to all the people around her; she was a caring woman and a mother to other children that were not biologically hers. The pains of others were her pains and the comfort of others her comfort. She was popular and well known for her hospitality, generosity, love and care. Her life positively influenced and transformed lots of young women in the community and also in the church. HER RELIGIOUS LIFE In the religious sphere, Nene was born into the family of Catholic and grew up as a communicant. However, in the year 1998, she had an encounter with the Lord in Deeper Life Bible Church, where she served the Lord till her death. As a result of her faith in Christ, Nene went further to affirm her faith and hunger to see the Lord. She made all wrong, right and took a bold step of faith, did her restitution back to her family home, even when Pa Jerome Imhana Odior was yet alife. She was a dedicated worker in the church, faithful, obedient, committed and consecrated to the things and service of God. HER GLORIOUS HOME CALL It was on a glorious Wednesday, after a brief illness, on 21st day of September, 2022, that Nene answered the glorious call to eternity after her meal in the morning. She told her granddaughter “Oh Baby that she wanted to take a nab, she laid on her bed and passed on peacefully to glory. It was a glorious home call. Adieu Nene!!! Sleep on till the resurrection morning when we shall see to part no more. Nene is survived by two children, 13 grandchildren and many great grandchildren.



BIOGRAPHY OF PA ANDREW ABU OKHAMERA Andrew Abu Okhamera was born in Ogbona, Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo State on 15th March 1928 to the family of Mr Okhamera and Aishetu Ikhiagwa of Ivhiorevho Quarters, Ogbona, Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo State. Andrew was the third child and second son of Pa Okhamera a renowned farmer and trader in cocoa and kola nuts and a respected community leader. The couple were blessed with seven children four males and three females which included Mary Anima Iyiemhe Agbayekhai (first), Alukhu Okhamera (second), Andrew Abu Okhamera (third), Joseph Arolo Okhamera (fourth), Jacob Ighiekhanu Okhamera (fifth), Christiana Akweye Okhamera (sixth) and Cecilia Ayenegbe Okhamera (seventh) all of whom have now been called to the heavenly kingdom of the Angels. Pa Okhamera Ikhiagwa was a highly principled man, and a strict disciplinarian who stood for honesty, truth and justice and morality, who spared nothing to ensure that his children were well groomed in these virtues. As a first surviving son, Andrew had no choice than to imbibe his father’s high standards or face the “music” for any breaches of the Oldman’s codes. As the young Andrew grew, Pa Okhamera Ikhiagwa promptly enrolled him at the model school Ogbona to acquire western education, where he ended up in standard IV, before a relation relocated him to Calabar, in the present Cross River State. Rather than continuing his education, the young Andrew was redirected to learn a new trade of tailoring. He soon learned and perfected the skills and became a tailor, who on his return to Ogbona in the early 1950’s set up a thriving dress making business. His services were sought by most young men and women at the time in the village and neighbouring communities of Iraokhor, Fugar and other locations as Ekperi and North Ibie. In those days, Abu the ‘tailor’ was a popular brand sought after by young and trendy men and women who wanted to remain fashionable and relevant. The profession attracted him to many friends which included Chief Paul Saliu Eleta, John Ikhane, Bolivia Osigbemhe, Joseph Imhonopi, Atsighi, S.S. Oboh from Fugar and many others all of whom now rests peacefully in the kingdom of the Saints. Alongside his thriving tailoring business, Andrew also loved farming and hunting. The latter, took him deep into the bushes to hunt for games. He shared this passion for hunting with his best friend and relation, Chief Paul Saliu Eleta, a renown educationist, whose professional duties and deployment as a teacher took him to many communities which were rich with games that made them good hunting locations. His love for hunting led him to always seek after good hunting locations. Together with the strong pull from his best friend and brother, he eventually relocated from Ogbona to Ekperi in the late 1950’s. While not too busy with tailoring, Andrew would go into the Ekperi and adjourning forests to hunt for games. One early morning in the 1960s, the young Andrew hurried out of his home to quickly check the traps he had set to catch animals in the bushes, not really far from the Ekperi village. It has rained all night and by his calculations, it was good opportunity for animals to venture afar from their hiding places to look for pastures. His plan was to go round all the locations of his ‘traps’ and return early to face his tailoring jobs. So, he picked up a matchet and went off but it turned out to be very eventful, for he did not bargain for what was to confront him as he was rounding up the assignment. Up on a slightly elevated ground, a few yards away, he was confronted with this huge male buffalo trapped in one of the wire traps. The wild animal, from the struggles to free itself had literally bulldozed the surrounding bushes and attempted to ‘charge’ at the enemy. Andrew, going by his account of the incident, ran back and stood at a safe distance from the beast to think about what to do. First, he considered returning to town to pick his gun to enable him shoot dead the animal, but he immediately dropped the idea and settled for cutting a fairly sizeable wood and confronting the beast from another direction close to a steep slope so as to trick it to fall into the pit. What a risk for any one to contemplate. He tried his plans nonetheless and it worked perfectly. Armed with the stick, Andrew approached the beast as he planned, from the direction of the slope. The animal charged at him but it slipped and fell on its side in the slope. Andrew took advantage of the situation and with the strong stem in his hands, hit the animal repeatedly on the head until it died. With his cutlass, as was required of tradition, he cut of the tail of the beast and ran back to Ekperi to announce his conquest of the buffalo. For that act, which took place several decades ago, Andrew later took the title of “Ogie Ighiedo” or head of hunters of not only Ogbona but perhaps, the whole of Etsako Land of Edo State. His success in catching games, boosted his interest in hunting. Together with his friend and brother P.S Eleta, he went on many expeditions to several communities such as Agenebode, Ekwuotsor, Ivhiukue, Osomhegbe and others. Again, while on one such exercise in 1965 at Ekperi with his friend and brother, P.S. Eleta, Andrew had a near death experience when his hunting gun accidently discharged into the palm of his right hand, resulting in serious injuries which eventually led to his inability to handle the scissors, one of the most important tools of the tailoring profession and brought that career to a closure. Back in the village and unable to do his tailoring, Andrew had to seek other avenues to make a living and care for his family that was also steadily


HRH Chief Williams Uloko Idode 1959-2022

  HRH Chief Williams Uloko Idode 1959-2022 When beggars die, there are no comets seen; The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of prince. Shakespeare There is a time to be born and a time to die, so says the good. HRH, Chief Williams Uloko Idode, born 4th April 1959 to Mr. Momodu Ojakpai Idode and Mrs. Lametu Amiunomhene Idogho, both of Ivhiobore quarters, Ogbona, has played his part and took his exit but at a time his ingenuity, sagacity and pragmatics approach to life are most needed. We give God the glory for a life well spent. Much as one is not old enough to do a comprehensive comparative analysis of all the Okphe Ukpis that have ruled our community before now, it goes without saying that his reign helped to unify the community and brought quantum of developments hitherto unseen in the history of our community, chief among which were renovation of schools, provision of furniture, renovation and construction of health center, drilling of boreholes, extension of electricity to some parts of the community, provision of new and maintenance of old transformers . He had this unquantifiable passion for human capital development for the community which manifested in the number of people he helped to gain employment and admissions to schools of their choices. His rich knowledge and exposure to the outside were well leveraged in the areas of security and the engendering of peaceful atmosphere for development to thrive. It is on record that no sooner was he enthroned than His Royal Highness set up Ogbona reconciliation committee, purposely to insulate chieftaincy affairs from partisan politics, thus setting the tone for healing that helped the community to see common issues that united it than the ones that divided it. Chief Idode was a just arbiter who never feared to speak the truth regardless the parties involved. He saw the cup as half full than half empty. His love for Ogbona community was without rival. I remember in January 2018 when I got a call from him, inviting me to join him to see the Chief Medical Director of UBTH in Benin City. Chief Idode came prepared and with all the composure, mental alertness and seriousness the occasion demanded, he reeled out the challenges faced by Chief M.C.K Orbih Comprehensive Health Centre at home. The high point of the visit for me was when he made a case and personally submitted application letters from Ogbona people to be employed as medical personnel. His leaving home to live with his uncle, Dr. J.B.Idode in Benin City in 1970 where he attended Arinze Primary School and Western Boys High School Benin City 1972 -1977; his stint with Nigerian Defense Industry in Kaduna and as teacher at home in 1979 prepared him for the task ahead. It was not surprising that he was invited In 2007 by elders of his Ivhiobore kindred, with pressure from the then Clan Head, The Ogieavianwu of Avhianwu, Chief Patrick A. Oboarekpe to accept and hold in trust, Egboise for them which is second position to Ukpi title. He accepted albeit, reluctantly because he was doing very well in business and politics. The Egboise graduated to Ukpi drummer in 2008 when HRH T.A. Osigbemhe died and he remained The Okphe-Ukpi of Ogbona until his demise. He was particularly thankful to God that collectively, we were able to move the community forward, better than where it was when he took over. Good night Your Highness John Odior Anaweokhai Peter Aigba Adieu…. My dear King! O death! Where is thy sting, ……. Today is a sad day for us all. The death of our King is monumental loss by all sense of the word after a protracted illness. I woke up this morning and I was shocked to learn about this tragic loss, and I know we are all shocked, scared and perhaps angry at the unfairness that took him from us in such an untimely manner. We are probably all seeking answers to why this happened, but undoubtedly, this is part of God’s plan. We all knew the exemplary fashion with which Chief Willy loved us, loved our community, saw strength in our unity and advocated radical emancipation from our old ways that were emmeshed in trado-political imbroglio and rancor in our community. He was a bridge-builder, a scores-settler, and a peace-making king, such of which is rare to find in our generation of kings. His demise has thrown our community both at home and in diaspora into mourning. We cry to God and ask why once more, but we are assured that he has done well and for that, he may as well be in a better place now. As we now accept that our king is in a better place, we must now as a community, as family, as friends, acknowledge our loss and contemplate the great importance of Chief Willy Idode’s life even as we grief and wallow in sadness. We now owe it to the Okphe-Ukpi and ourselves to focus on the big picture of what Chief Willy Idode life meant to us (as Ogbona community) and what it stood for. The Okphe-Ukpi’s transition to the great beyond will definitely have a lasting effect on us and therefore his legacy must never be undermined. From his youth days through school, he worked so hard to maintain financial independence despite his humble background. Amongst the many opportunities within his reach, he sought a teaching career until he succeeded thrown in 2007, this is quite an impressive journey and perhaps a journey that was full of difficulties yet surmounted. Chief Willy Idode had an active but a progressive mindset, never say never attitude, an elaborate thought process, excellent memory, exceptional taste for knowledge, unwavering and well thought through opinion, and was a listening king. Our Okphe-Ukpi, was hard-working from the day he wore the crown till death, even on his sick bed he pondered about our people and about our unity. Above all of

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Biography of Pa Pius Ebayode Igonor

Pa Pius Ebayode Igonor (a.k.a odigba-to baya), beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, in-law, cousin and friend was born in Ogbona, Etsako Central Local Government Area in Edo state, on 7th March 1940 to Mr. and Mrs. Patty Igonor-Oshiakpemhe. He was the fourth of five children and was the only son who lived for over 80 years. He has only one sister who is still alive till date aged 90. Pius Igonor lost his father at a tender age, and dropped out of school from the Native Authority (NA) Primary School in Ogbona, He left in standard two in 1956. He struggled to take care of himself through farm work, which earned him stipends that enabled him to survive. Thereafter, he left home to live with his brother in Ibadan. He worked briefly with a Lawyer named Abdullai Awomolo whom he served diligently. After a while, he decided to pick up a trade. He However, he still got engaged in a part time job as a Horticulturist, with Professor L.A. Thompson of the Department of Classics, University of Ibadan. He was very faithful and dedicated to his duties, as he maintained the beautiful compound No 3. Crowther Lane, which was a masterpiece within the entire University community. He became very well loved by the Thompsons who fondly called him “Pius”. They encouraged him to attend evening classes organized by the Extra-mural Programme at the University of Ibadan. Through this effort, he was able to improve his speaking and writing skills tremendously. Determined to be successful in life, he sought for employment as a Caterer/Supervisor under the Catering unit at the University. left to learn tailoring which he studied for 3 years (1956 – 1959). Following his graduation, he gained a reputation as a top-notch tailor in the community. He got the job with strong recommendation from the Thompsons in the year 1963. During this period, he served diligently at the Independence Hall and the Alexander Brown Hall, College of Medicine, University College Hospital (U.C.H) Ibadan, where he retired in 1985 voluntarily. Nevertheless, because of his need to educate his children to his utmost satisfaction, he took up a contract appointment with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) between 1988- 2001. He was awarded with Certificate of Excellence at the International House of the Institute for his outstanding performance. Pa. Pius was wedded to his amiable wife of over 60 years, Mrs. Theresa Igonor (Nee Esi- Balogun) on 14th October 1961 at the Catholic Church Ogbona. The union is blessed with children and grandchildren. With his wife, Pa Pius went to Canada to visit his children and grandchildren. He lived in Abuja from 2005-2015, after which he decided to relocate to his village in Ogbona, Edo state.

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BIOGRAPHY OF LATE CHIEF JOHN IKUKU ANABOR (THE EKHAYOUNO OF AVIANWU KINGDOM AND THE OGHIE ISESE OF OGBONA LAND) (THE PEACE MAKER) A.K.A OYEGUN This great son of Ogbona land was born into the family of Late Chief Anabor Atogwe and Mrs. Omomhiruevho Anabor about 90 years ago . Late Chief John Anabor had a very humble beginning as the father; Chief Anabor Atogwe was one of the most respected Daodu in Avianwu Kingdom. Though he had no formal education, Chief John Anabor at an early age had a clear vision of what life could be and as such equipped himself with a very high level of intelligence that would help him to transform into greatness. Chief Ikuku Anabor made an indisputably rapid progress in life. He started farming career at an early age under the strict supervision of his father. From the little savings he made from farming, he was able to marry and establish a Trading Business in 1960 and 1961 respectively. His marriage to Miss Fatima Orbih ( a woman of excellence ) brought invaluable and estimable progress to the family . The Trading Business established by “Baba Oyegun” as he was fondly called expanded the status of the business to the standard of a supermarket by 1961. Baba Oyegun trans versed the Eastern and Western parts of Nigeria to buy stock for the expanded business. He started with Onitsha Main market but when the Civil War broke out in 1967, he changed his routes to Ibadan and Lagos market. His main sources for his stock were Dugbe and Mokola markets in Ibadan and Oyingbo, Ebute Ero and Idumota markets in Lagos. In 1971, he further expanded the business to include sales of liquor. As at this period, only off License permits were issued to liquor dealers. He was the first trader to obtain an “on Liecence in Avianwu”  “on License” indicates that you can buy and consume liquor at the place of purchase. Baba Oyegun had a great passion for politics. He was a quintessential politician who remained indomitable and unbeatle in his political career. He was never self-centered as equity and fairness were his political philosophy. His political journey started in 1951 when he became one of the founding fathers of NCNC in Afenmai Division. He later defected to Action Group in 1962 till when the military took power via a coup de tat in 1966. When the ban on political activities was lifted in 1978, he pitched his political tent with the National Party of Nigeria (NPN). He was elected the Youth Leader for Avianwu Ward in 1979 till 1983 when the military struck the second time in 1988, when the ban on politics was lifted again, he became a member of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) and later defected to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the year 2005. He was elected the PDP Ward Leader for Ward 4 in 2011; A position he maintained till his demise on the 3rd of November, 2021. It is historically recorded that this bold and fearless politician never lose election in this Ward inspite of the political intimidations and gangsterism perpetuated by the then Ruling Party in the state. Aside politics, Chief John Anabor worked as a civil servant with the Authorities of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital. He was the Head of the Horticulture Unit where he worked meritoriously and compulsorily retired in 2011. Chief John Anabor was a community leader who displayed uncommon leadership qualities. As a result of his sterling leadership qualities and his contributions towards the development of Avianwu Clan, he was honoured with the chieftaincy title of  “Ekhayoumo of  Avianwu Kingdom” by the Late Royal Majesty (HRH Chief P.A Oboarekpe) in the year 2007 . Also, because of his roles in ensuring peace and harmony in Ogbona land, he was installed by the sub-clan head of Ogbona ( HRH Chief Willy Idode) as the Oghie Isese of Ogbona land in year 2012. The Isese Chiefs are the wise men responsible for peaceful resolutions of all family and inter-family conflicts in Ogbona. He was the sage that piloted the affairs of this Palace for almost 10 years. Baba Oyegyun as he was fondly called by his children was an umbrella /pillar of the support to many families. He provided financial, material and guidance services for very many people. He was the patriarch of the Atogwe’s family of Ogbona. He united the entire family and led them in their family meetings which were held weekly. Though he was not literate, he had great passion for education. He starved to ensure that all his children, grand children and foster children got the quality of education they desire. He was full of human kindness. Because of his humane nature, he gave scholarship to five Ogbona indigenes to study in various Higher Institutions of learning. Chief John Ikuku Anabor was born into a Mulism family and given the name “Busari”. He converted to Christianity in 1955 and was baptized into the Catholic Faith in 1957 by Rev. Canaan who was accompanied by Rev. Fr. M. Grace of blessed memory. He wedded his loving wife in the year 2010 to further buttress his commitment to Christendom. He was a cheerful giver and a pillar of support to church development. His assistance towards church development was not restricted to the Catholic Church alone. Chief John Anabor made friends and kept them till old age. He had them in quantum and in droves, both old and young, males and females, strong and feeble, rich and poor, particularly the later. His friendship with Chief Azuaye Umoru was something else. They were like soul mates and siamese twins. Also, Chief Jacob Orbih, though an In-Law to him, was like his twins brother. Emmanuel Otoaye and Mallam Kasimu Esimhekua were his pet friends. He kept them till he went to rest eternally with his creator . Chief John Ikuku Anabor was a socialite who lived a fulfilled life. There


Biography of Dr. Jerome Atsenokhai Umole

Dr.Jerome Atsenokhai Umole Dr. Jerome Atsenokhai Umole began life’s journey on the 3rd of March, 1946. Born as the first son (second child) to Pa Momoh Umole and Ma Esther Adi Umole (both now late) in Ogbona Town, Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo State, he began his primary school education at the age of 6 years at Etsako District Council Primary School (EDC) now Imhakhena primary school, Ogbona in 1952. He proceeded and graduated from modern school in 1961. Thirsty for education, Joe as he is fondly called enrolled at the Prince College, Onitsha in 1965 but was forced by the Nigerian Civil war to abandon his education and return home to Midwestern Nigeria. Here however, his pursuit for self-enlightenment and self-discovery propelled him to apply for the much sought after Midwestern Government Scholarship. Not surprising, he got the scholarship on merit after a rigorous examination and interview. It was therefore on the broad shoulders of Government that he completed his secondary school education at the prestigious Essi College in 1969. With his excellent golden result in his hands and the world at his feet, Papingo as soccer lovers in the old Midwest called him, was short listed by Barclays Bank DCO for immediate employment. Once again fortune smiled on his hard work as he sat and passed the highly competitive examination with flying colors and became one of the elite few Nigerians in those days to carry the banner of the bank. There he worked and climbed the upward ladder of the bank, until 1975 when in patriotic zeal, he transferred his services to the New Nigerian Bank Ltd. He rose to become one of the youngest managers in the history of the Bank in 1985. Paulosa Nigeria Limited was his next station after he left the fast paced banking sector in 1989. Quickly he became Vice-president/Regional Manager (North) but once again the desire to create a niche for himself propelled him to resign his services from the company. He then birthed the following companies: JerryGold Nigeria Limited Adi Publishers Silverpoint International Services Ltd JerryBest Suites Ltd Qualifications WASC AIB MSc, University of Ibadan PhD (Econs) Somerset University, UK Publications Banking and Monetary Systems in Nigeria The Language of Money JerryGold “My Memoirs” at 60 The Nigerian Budget Challenges (ongoing) Married Life Elder Umole is happily married to his heartthrob of 45 years Deaconess Comfort Omosigho Umole (Née Aghedo) and together they are blessed with children and nine grand children Social Life Pioneer Chairman, Abuja Bankers Club Secretary, Benin City Bankers Club General Secretary, Senior Staff Association of New Nigerian Bank Ltd President 1991/1992, Rotary Club of Abuja Vice President (Publicity), Abuja Chambers of Commerce, Agriculture, Mines & Industry Vice Chairman/Trustee, Abuja Children’s Home Elder Umole or JerryGold as business associates love to call him, loves and plays football, hates tobacco and alcohol in any form, avoids loose talkers and covenant breakers, celebrates hard work and friendships. Unashamed of his faith, Elder Umole is saved, Holy Ghost filled with evidence of speaking in tongues and a husband of one wife. Ordained by the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa, Elder Umole believes that every man has one life to be lived for God and humanity. Well written. He did his PGD in University of Lagos in 1981/1982 academic season. He was the pioneer Manager of New Nigerian Bank in Abuja when Abuja was just Wuse and Festival Road and Agura Hotel the most prestigious hotel. He lived in Bendel Estate in Warri and had a white Vespa with the motto written on it “Who is your class Mate” I remember vividly in our holiday with him in Warri, he carried Gilbert Odior, Clement Umole and myself on the Vespa to a Cinema. Adieu A Handsome and jolly Uncle Dr Joe E. A. UMOLE. LIFE AND TIME OF A LEGEND Elder Dr.Jerome Atsenokhai Umole (Alias Jerry Gold) Dr. Jerome Atsenokhai Umole began life’s journey on the 3rd of March, 1946. Born as the first son (second child) to Pa Momoh Umole and Ma Esther Adi Umole (both now late) in Ogbona Town, Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo State, he began his primary school education at the age of 6 years at Etsako District Council Primary School (EDC) now Imhakhena primary school, Ogbona in 1952. He proceeded and graduated from modern school in 1961. Thirsty for education, Joe as he was fondly called enrolled at the Prince College, Onitsha in 1965 but was forced by the Nigerian Civil war to abandon his education and returned home to Midwestern Nigeria. Here however, his pursuit for self-enlightenment and self-discovery propelled him to apply for the much sought after Midwestern Government Scholarship. Not surprising, he got the scholarship on merit after a rigorous examination and interview. It was therefore on the broad shoulders of Government that he completed his secondary school education at the prestigious Essi College in 1969. With his excellent golden result in his hands and the world at his feet, Papingo as soccer lovers in the old Midwest called him, was short listed by Barclays Bank DCO for immediate employment. Once again fortune smiled on his hard work as he sat and passed the highly competitive examination with flying colors and became one of the elite few Nigerians in those days to carry the banner of the bank. There he worked and climbed the upward ladder of the bank, until 1975 when in patriotic zeal, he transferred his services to the New Nigerian Bank Ltd. He rose to become one of the youngest managers in the history of the Bank in 1985. Paulosa Nigeria Limited was his next station after he left the fast paced banking sector in 1989. Quickly he became Vice-president/Regional Manager (North) but once again the desire to create a niche for himself propelled him to resign his services from the company. He then birthed the following companies: JerryGold Nigeria Limited Adi Publishers Silverpoint International Services Ltd JerryBest Suites Ltd Qualifications WASC AIB MSc, University

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Biography of Chief Thomas Ajayie Osigbemhe JP

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 Emevor; 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 City 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 course 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

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THE AMAZON, MADAM ODODOIBO OBEAKEMHE & THE ANTI-TAX RIOT OF 1961/1962 History pages are strewn with women contributions to the emancipation of human race. Often times, they risked their lives, broke with traditions, overcame gender barriers and jumped in where even men would fear to trend. Queen Amina of Zaria and Mrs. Funmilayo Ransome Kuti easily come to mind. The Aba women riot of 1929 is still as fresh as ever. Unfortunately, for reasons best known to historians and more out of ethnic bigotry than subtle display of chauvinism, the heroic contributions of Uwomha Ododoibo Obeakemhe to the liberation of Avhianwu people from the burden of the obnoxious tax regime known as Schedule 2 (SEDETU)from the local authority is not mentioned anywhere in the history books. Worse still, even at the local level, there is no memorabilia in her honor for her heroic deeds. Before any form of rigmarole, the questions are immediately propelled, what is the meaning of ODODOIBO and who is Mrs. Ododoibo Obeakemhe?   Ododoibo means the glittering cloth of the white race or the glittering flower of the white race. (a very pretty woman) Ododoibo was the great and brave daughter of Omosue (aka Onuguna) of Ivhianaga quarters, Okotor Ogbona. Her mother was Mrs. Anwuekpe of Ivhiobere kingdom, Ivhido, Ogbona.   Late Ododoibo was born circa 1894 and got married to Late Obeakemhe Onaikpe around 1912. She died in May 1975. She was among the first uneducated women to travel out of Ogbona to visit her first son who was a driver to the king of Ondo. Her visit to Ondo exposed her to western education and the business world. Upon her return from Ondo, she led a protest to the then village head, late Okozi Ebeto that girls who normally went out naked as it was the practice, should be allowed to tie wrapper around their waist.   She also leveraged her business experience in Ondo and got involved petty trading. She was fully engaged in trade by barter as she would go to Osomhegbe Ikpata markets to exchange ume (camwood) with fish. She would in-return, sold (exchange) the fish obtained for other items. she was indeed, a rally point in the community. She was also a woman leader in Ivhiochie when politics was introduced in the late forties.   HER INVOLVEMENT IN OGBONA WOMEN RIOT OF 1961/1962 Prior to the attainment of political independence in 1960, the tax law that was practiced in Nigeria was pal tax. That is, every person irrespective of political affiliation was expected to pay the same amount as tax.   Upon attainment of political independence, the western Nigeria Regional Government (ACTION GROUP) enacted a tax law that was discriminatory in nature. Schedule 2 (sadetu) of that tax law was targeted at political opponents who were expected to pay higher tax because they belonged to the opposing party. The NCNC was also guilty of such political victimization too, being the party at the federal level.   The season witnessed unwarranted arrest of some political opponents who could not pay the schedule 2 tax notices served them. Some people absconded from their homes in the village to hide in their farm for several months for fear of being arrested by tax law enforcements officers. In November, 1961, some tax enforcement officers from the Afenmai Divisional Council Office at Auchi were deployed to Ogbona to enforce collection of the higher taxes. The tax men invaded Ogbona as early as 5.00am in a bid to arrest the tax evaders who mainly were members of the opposition party in the western region. Some men were arrested and bundled into a waiting van.   Tax collectors had able allies in the persons of Mr. Tenebe, the then maternity dispenser who collected taxes for the council and Mr. Opel Ayalomhe who was in charge of issuing receipts.   But, for the bravery of Ododoibo who mobilized some other women like Isomhepo Enamhegbai, Omomhirue Anabor, Aretsa Oboarekpe, Omhonaya Ebraimah-Ikoko, and a host of others, Ogbona men would have remained pawns in the chessboard of tax men. The women barricaded the road to Auch, disarmed the tax officers and freed those already arrested. The driver of the vehicle and the tax officer were asked to leave the village for peace to reign. The women were dressed in native farm uniform of EGBU thus signposting the readiness for war at the least provocation. The tax officers made several attempts till early 1962 to arrest some indigenes of Ogbona but each attempt was met with stiff resistance and consequently foiled by the protesting women who were ready for any show down. The protest lasted for more than four months.   Though the protest did not completely cancel the obnoxious tax regime, it spared the men from the humiliation of being bundled into waiting van like common criminals. Again, it brought about civil proceedings as those who were excessively taxed had the opportunity to seek redress in Fugar and appeal in Auchi. Things were said to be so bad that a woman had to carry her husband on her back to farm in order to escape the plying eyes of tax collectors in Iraokhor. Upon discovery of her prank, the man fell from the back and ran into the bush to the amusement of everyone.   Uwomha Ododoibo’s action was said to have spurred Iraokhor women into similar action to save their men from further humiliating tendencies. Her political activism also came to the fore when the election between Chief M.C.K Orbih and Chief G.M Udochi in 1964 was rigged in favor of Chief Udochi at Okpella. As a matter of fact, there was no election as fictitious results were written at Okpella. Uwomha Ododoibo organized and mobilized everybody to Assumpta School, now Saint Angela’s Girls Secondary School Afashio were results were being collated. Within a short time, the place was taken over by Ogbona people with the sworn mission to raze it down with fire. It took the intervention


Okhei Traditional Title in Avianwu Clan By Evangelist Godwin Eshiekhai Asekomhe

Okhei Traditional Title in Avianwu Clan By Evangelist Godwin Eshiekhai Asekomhe  PART ONE Avianwu Clan is made up of four communities namely: Ivhiarua, Ivhinone, Iraokhor and Ogbona. These four male children are the direct biological children of the same parents (i.e. Anwu the father and Aleokoko the mother). The four communities uphold and practice the same cultures/traditions that binds them together as one indivisible entity. An entity with One Clan – One destiny. One of the cultures that binds them together is Okhei Traditional Title. Okhei Tradition is one of the most exclusive enduring social institution in Avianwu culture. Initiation into Okhei Title is the exclusive preserve of male (male children, youths and adults) only. Initiation into Okhei Traditional Title is a traditional priestly ordination into priestly cult in traditional society, hence every Okhei Title holder is called and addressed as OBOH. Okhei Traditional Title is so important to the culture of Avianwu Clan such that initiation into the cult is the most necessary and important qualification to the conferment of any of the traditional titles in the Clan that culminate in being enthroned an Okphe – Ukpi ( Ukpi Drummer i.e. Community Head), which is the apex chieftaincy title in Avianwu Clan culture. This connotes that no one can be a traditional ruler if one is not an OBOH – that is Chief Priest. A male member of the traditional society who is not initiated into Okhei Title is considered as a mere and mean man and of no value in the Land. Hence such man is called OGBARI. Any OGBARI cannot aspire to attain any social status and position such as Oghiebo, Utokho – Ukpi, Ogbor – Okpise, Priest nor Chief Priest to offer sacrifice to the gods, nor any other traditional political position in the Clan. PART TWO Is Okhei traditional Title in Avianwu Clan our inheritance bequeathed to us by our forefathers? What is the origin of Okhei Traditional Title in Avianwu Clan? ORIGIN OF OKHEI TRADITIONAL TITLE IN AVIANWU CLAN. Okhei traditional Title in Avianwu Clan is not originally Avianwu Clan Cultural heritage bequeathed to us by the founding fathers of the Clan. From Avianwu Clan historical antiquity Okhei Title tradition was borrowed from “Ebu” which means “IGBO”. It is a (cross – culture) borrowed from Igbo land by some of our elders in the past. (Descent of Anwu by Ekpeshie). In Igbo Land, it is called “Ozoh traditional Title” without which no man can wear the traditional Red Cap, nor conferment of traditional chieftaincy title, nor be elected into traditional political offices nor regarded or respected in the committee of elders just as it is done in Avianwu Clan. THE PRACTICES AND THE ISSUES INVOLVED IN INITIATION INTO OKHEI TRADITIONAL TITLE. I will like to begin this section of our discourse by saying: (1). I am an Okhei Traditional Title Holder. (2). I have studied extensively on the subject of Okhei traditional culture in Avianwu clan. (3). As a deliverance minister, I have travelled far and wide in Igbo Land uprooting and destroying evil idols, deities altars etc. So I have knowledge of these issues. From historical and demonological and deliverance studies, practical life experiences and testimonies of one delivered from the demon of Okhei, it is observed initiation into Okhei traditional title involves a high level of paganism and occultism rituals and sacrifices to gods and spirits.   PART THREE OKHEI TRADITIONAL TITLE IN AVIANWU CLAN: RITUALS AND PRACTICISES Okhei Traditional Title in Avianwu Clan is the official traditional initiation and ordination into traditional Priesthood without which no male member of the traditional society can aspire to any social status, position or perform rituals and sacrifices to the gods of the land. Okhei traditional title is the most controversial cultural heritage in that it involves a very high level of pagan rituals and sacrifices. Initiates from between early 30s and 90s will affirm to these assertions. Some of such rituals and practices are: Iluobo-Okhei (Initial Okhei planning sacrifice). Decoration of traditional Olibo Stick. Decoration of initiate with traditional white chalk in preparation to going to Ogwa- Nikeke and Ogwa – Nokhua (small & big forest). Leading the initiate to both forests for rituals, sacrifices, dedication and taking oath of initiation accompanied with heavy drumming. On the way to the forests the initiate make sacrifices with “Asa” yam flour mixed with palm oil with roasted house rat and a fish on top of a small earth ware clay pot placed in the left hand of the initiate. Planting of a hen feather and pouring of palm wine on the way to both forest for rituals and sacrifices. Carrying of a long square basket called “Itsakpa” covered with a piece of white cloth and decorated with palm front and two hens by a boy considered and called servant of the new Oboh (To be continued). PART FOUR OKHEI TRADITIONAL TITLE IN AVIANWU CLAN: RITUALS AND PRACTICISES  (Continuation) Bowing down and worship any Iroko and Olibo trees on their way to and in the big forest. At the forest the chief priest order the initiate to run round an Iroko tree seven times. The chief priest strangles a life chicken to death and uses it to hit the chest of the initiate and also wave it around his head seven times. The initiate places his right leg on the stem of Iroko tree with citation of incantations by the chief priest (Ogiebo). Invocation of an evil spirit on the initiate which makes him stagger like a drunkard. Oath taking and vow of dedication at the big forest (Ogwa Nokhua). The oath and vow of dedication goes thus: ULOKO NA OGWA EEE, IREGBEMHE NE MHO- meaning “IROKO TREE OF THE FOREST I DEDICATE MY SELF TO YOU. After certain pronouncements by the chief priest (Ogiebo), the initiate makes a final pledge to the shrine in the forest and promise to keep the oath of secrecy of the testimony. PART FIVE OKHEI TRADITIONAL TITLI IN AVIANWU CLAN. TABOOS,

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