The remains of late Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, Dr.Ado Ibrahim, has been laid to rest in the palace he built for himself in Okene, the headquarters of Ebira people group.
The multimillionaire industrialist passed on in Abuja at the age of 94, spending his last 26 years as the paramount ruler of Ebiraland. The Ebira are the second largest ethnic group in Kogi State.
With his demise comes jostling for the hot seat known to be desired by prominent sons of the land, including a former National Assembly Clerk and son of Ado Ibrahim’s predecessor, Alhaji Sani Omolori.
But the man who holds the ace as to who emerges is Governor Yahaya Bello, who was not on the best of terms with the deceased traditional ruler. Nonetheless, all eyes are on him to know his preferred choice, amid building tension that the Ohinoyi’s death, 14 days to the hotly contested seat of governor of the state, could raise the temperature of Ebiraland.
One source warned on Sunday that Ebiraland could erupt into violence over who succeeds the Ohinoyi.
“But I think the real battle will start after guber elections when the kingmakers begin the process of democratically picking a successor. I don’t pray to be around home when all of that starts. There are just too many interested parties, and they are all powerful within Ebiraland. It is Bello who will seek to determine who gets the coveted crown, but there are people who will fight him to a standstill over this purely Ebira matter,” he said.
Meanwhile, information from the Ebira Avaibe Association shows that the late king, Ado Ibrahim, was born on Thursday February 7th, 1929 to HRH Alh Ibrahim Onoruoiza Attah and Hajiya Hauwawu Ozianuva.
He completed his Nursery and Quranic education by the age of eleven, he was enrolled in the Okene Native Administration (NA) School from 1934 to 1940 for his elementary education.
Upon completion of his elementary education, he was admitted to Okene Middle School in 1941. After spending two years, he moved to the famous Ondo Boys High School for his secondary education from 1943 to 1946. From 1947 to 1949, he moved to Oduduwa College, Ile-Ife where he completed his secondary education.
He was employed with the United African Company (UAC) in 1950 as a special entrant for accelerated management. Having successfully gone through the accounting and Sales Department in 1952, he was promoted to the post of Manager at the Kingsway Stores, Kaduna.
In January 1953, he quit Kingsway stores and moved to Jos as Personnel Manager of Amalgamated Tin Mines of Nigeria Limited (ATMN) in charge of the maintaining operation area of Bukuru, Barkin Ladi and the Ropps.
That same year, he attended the first Minning School in Jos and qualified as a Mining Prospector and Area Manager. Later in the year, he was sent by the company on a further technical training course, organised by the Anglo-American Mining Corporation, in Johannesburg, South Africa. On his return, he was immediately promoted to Area manager and assigned the responsibility to excavate the Lead/Zinc Ore deposits at Izom in Abuja district, and to lead a team prospecting for gold and base materials in the location.
Meanwhile, he had enrolled in 1952 as an external candidate for a degree at the London School of Economics, by utilising the extra mural study facilities organized by the British council in Jos.
He combined his mining and prospecting duties successfully with the undergraduate study programme and earned the Bachelor of Science degree in statistics of the London School of Economics in 1954.
The following year, he won a Ford Foundation Sponsorship to undertake a six month course in marketing and business strategy at the Business School of Harvard University. On the strength of his performance, he was later readmitted into the Master’s Programme of the school as a full time student. He thus earned the celebrated Harvard MBA in 1959.
Having fortified himself with practical industrial experience and a sound academic training, he married Mrs. Abimbola Solomon on November 1st 1959.
He assumed the office of Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, 2nd June 1997, after the passing away of the former Ohinoyi, Alhaji Sanni Omolori.