The old are also beautiful. Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion, Esama of Benin, on Monday celebrated his 83rd birthday at his home in Benin City, Edo State. See some photos from the grand events.
The life’s journey of Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion started in the small farming village of Okada, in the present Ovia North-East Local Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria, on 11th September, 1934. “The Heavens,” as Shakespeare would say, “did not blaze forth his birth,” for his parents, though of proud and noble heritage were of humble beginnings. He was born to the late Josiah Agharagbon Oviawe Igbinedion and Madam Okunozee (nee Ihaza) a descendant of the Royal House of Usen.
Chief Igbinedion is today the Honourable Chancellor and Chairman of the Board of Regents of the first private University in Nigeria Igbinedion University Okada. This position which he now occupies is a befitting tribute to his over 15 years of tenacious struggle to bring about a phenomenal development in education. It was a struggle of his life to which this relentless businessman selflessly committed enormous resources, time and energy.
He commenced the actualization of this vision with a candid representation to former President Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, GCON, in1986 and pursued this agenda throughout the tenure in office of Chief Ernest Shonekan (Head of State) and Military President Sani Abacha. His request was finally granted by General Abdulsalami Abubakar GCON, Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Chief Igbinedion was then presented Certificate No. 001 by the Federal Government of Nigeria on Monday 10th May 1999 at a colourful ceremony held at Nigeria Universities Commission, in the Federal Capital of Abuja, signalling government’s approval of Igbinedion University Okada as the first private university in Nigeria.