Prince Egiebor Egharevba Ogiugo
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By Dr. Patricia Fadaka-Igbinovia (Last Update June 10, 2023)

Prince Egiebor Egharevba Ogiugo (1862-June 5, 1939)-My Maternal Grandfather
Ovbiugo Niyekerhionmwon, Ugo neki (the original market center)
Ovbiagboghidi noyan Ugo
Ovbiugo eboh eboh
Ekpen no gbevbisore
Ovbie Egharevba norhio Ogiugo
Prince Egiebor was one of the founders of the British sponsored Baptist Church on Mission Road, Benin City, One of the first to ride Albion car; his body was conveyed in a hearse (a funeral limousine) to church service and interment in his home on Akpakpava Street. He passed on June 5, 1939, a date my mum always commemorated. He was a father of many nations including his first-born, my mother, deaconess Esther Aimikpimoyako Egharevba Egiebor Ogiugo (Oct. 6, 1909-Oct. 21, 1991), Mene Ogiugo, Bamidele Ogiugo Ebosie, Ebun Ogiugo, and Omorogiuwa Ogiugo Johnson Evbuomwan.

Egiebor was offered free education by a Baptist missionary as a kind gesture to his royal father, the Duke of Ugo (Ogiugo Egharevba) of the line of Oba Osemwende of Benin (1816-1848). Egiebor had earlier lost his mother (an Itsekiri princess) by name, ‘Eyuwa’, elder sister to Madam Jewusi of Sapele. Egiebor was the only son available and willing to go with the benevolent white missionary. Other sons were restrained and protected by their mothers for fear of harm besetting such an endeavor. Only one boy was needed and destiny chose Egiebor.

As the young Egiebor appeared before his father who presented him to the white man, the chiefs in attendance in the royal court heard the white man say: “I have seen him”. They thought the white man gave him a new name: “Assini” and this later became his nickname. After many years of training and western education, Prince Egiebor was bought home to visit his family. He turned out well, well groomed, well educated, lanky, and different from other youths in the domain. The community went jubilating and singing: “Assini is back”. It was a glorious homecoming. He was already employed in the Prisons Services (Correction Services) and he rose to the highest echelon before retirement.
He married Odigie Okundaye, daughter of Princess Imadiyi Ogiugo and begat my mother, Aimikpomoyako. Odigie Okundaye was of the same parents as Agbongiaban, Aihomo Okundaye Ize-Iyamu (Iye Oni), Thomas Okundaye (World War II veteran) and same father with Aihevba Okundaye, Ugiagbe, and Atekha). As a result of Egiebor’s exposure to western education, he ensured the education of his children. My mum attended the renowned Government School, Benin City and was reputed for wearing ‘Alelezi’ George attire to school as an elegant young woman.

Egiebor Egharevba Ogiugo worked as a senior prisons officer at various parts of Nigeria, which was amalgamated in 1914 under Lord Luggard, serving in Lagos, Abeokuta, Enugu, Sapele, Warri, and Benin City. After retirement, he had shares with the United Africa Company (UAC). He passed on June 5, 1939 in Benin City due to surgical error at a reputable hospital in Agbor. My mum told me how sad he was that he would not be around for long to help look after me, as I was less than three months old.

Egiebor was reputed for his kindness and he was a mentor to many young men and housed them until they found their feet. Some of such mentees were great men such as Omere, Iserhienrhien, Idehen, Edokpayi, and Ighile. Your Akpakpava residence was home to very many prominent men and women. Akpakpava is a derivation from a Portuguese word Papa via. It is the street the Portuguese established the first Catholic Church, now a native church, Holy Aruosa Church.

Thank you grandpa for your tremendous love, integrity, and benevolence. I saw many of your dairies wherein you recorded important activities in your life in beautiful cursive writing. My mum’s writing was like yours and she loved you so dearly. She kept your legacy with passion and improved on your estates rather than selling them to strangers for ephemeral gratification. May your great soul continue to rest in perfect peace!
Dr. Patricia E. Fadaka-Igbinovia

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